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Quickbooks vs Xero: Which is a Better Fit for Manufacturing Businesses?

A modern manufacturing  business stays in touch with all aspects of its activity and offers the same level of scrutiny across platforms to ensure a tight ship. One of these key areas to monitor is accounting, where the checks and balances of a successful business are unearthed. To that effect, modern businesses have a host of options to stay on top of their financial activity, but two of the most popular platforms out there also provide an ongoing debate: Quickbooks or Xero?

Manufacturing businesses need to stay on top of their production planning schedule, vendor relationships, material requirements planning, payroll, sales and inventory management, just to name a few key aspects. The accounting solution they pick needs to provide enough value and stay flexible enough, so that it can easily integrate with the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution employed by a manufacturing business.

We’ve attempted to provide a few of the arguments for each platform, so read on to find which service could provide immediate benefits for your manufacturing venture.


Quickbooks and Xero essentially both provide similar value to a growing business that’s attempting to track its expenses, as well as provide invoicing and generate easy-to-follow cash flow snapshots. That means that the right solution largely depends on how a company is organized, what its business model is, and what choices have already been made in arranging the production model.

Capturing and organizing receipts is a key functionality provided by both products, but the delivery method differs, with Quickbooks collecting them through its own mobile app and online service. Xero provides them through its subsidiary Hubdoc, a document data and capture software service. There are noted benefits to having an all-in-one solution, as well as keeping documents and receipts separate for easy organizing and perusal, but it’ll depend on each company’s needs and preferences.

For sheer number of features, Quickbooks has an advantage, but that will come at a higher cost, with the service’s initial pricing outpacing Xero’s. Additional price hikes for the number of allowed users, years of activity and extra features see the cost of the service balloon significantly. Meanwhile, Xero offers more stable pricing, an unlimited user model for its top tier, but several integrations for some of its functionality and a smaller featureset are consequential.

Both companies offer similarly capable payroll capabilities, but neither are the finished article when it comes to that aspect. Xero’s integration with Gusto does provide an extra step in the process, while Quickbooks has the function built in.

No easy answers

Xero’s more nimble product and unlimited user model at the upper pricing tiers can provide solid flexibility for a wide range of businesses, but it calls for a business to have a dedicated accounting department to offer the most benefit. Meanwhile, Quickbooks Online is a fast and easy solution that can provide quick benefits to small companies that choose to outsource accounting, while its pricing model is a little more restrictive.

Like with any heated debate, we’ve seen that there are serious pros and cons for each product. The key is a strong base for your business, preferably one that provides integrations with whichever service you identify as the right solution, then working with that solution to optimize as much of the business as possible. Featuresets and flexibility are key to developing a comprehensive image of a business’ health, while pricing awareness and ease of use are big for any starter venture trying to stay efficient and manage growth properly.

Katana ERP software provides seamless integration with either leading accounting service, providing businesses the ability to capture and organize receipts, and stay on track with invoicing and billing, all directly from the platform.


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