Which is best? Indinero, Xero, Outright, Sage (Peachtree) and Quickbooks (updated)

Filed in Intuit QuickBooks, Xero by on February 29, 2012

Which is best? The world is rapidly learning that there is no longer any contest between Indinero, Xero, Outright, Sage (Peachtree), QuickBooks and many others. The winner is Xero, for many businesses. Xero’ growth rate proves it. Here are documented increases in Xero paying customers:

   Paying  Customer Customer
 Customers  Users  Increase  Annual%
03/31/08     950
09/30/08   2,200   232%   463%
03/31/09   6,000   273%   545%
09/30/09  12,000   200%   400%
09/30/10  27,000   225%   225%
01/26/12  60,000  240,000   222%   687%

This is in 100 countries, with one version, including around 10,000 U.S. users. There are only 25 total Xero Partners for 240,000+ users. There are 60,000 QuickBooks ProAdvisors for 5 million QuickBooks users. One Xero Partner for 1,000 users, compared to one QuickBooks ProAdvisor for 100 users, makes Xero a much better opportunity for accounting professionals. Xero also makes accountants much more efficient and cost effective, so we have less unbillable time than with QuickBooks.

I say Xero has one version, though Xero and QuickBooks remove features and visible menus, to create different flavors. QuickBooks often referred to its different Simple, Pro and Premier products as flavors, since all involve only one actual program code base. However, QuickBooks also has many different incompatible international versions, which Xero does not need. By the way, I am certainly not saying that Xero is suitable for every business. However, an early Chartered Accountant (CPA) Xero specialist soon began using it even with public companies. He also soon became a partner in one of the largest international CPA firms.

I have long been one of the top QuickBooks CPAs (Google best QuickBooks CPA). However, Xero has much that QuickBooks cannot match.

Xero automatically imports many bank, credit card, broker and other account transactions and balances daily. That means you more than pay for its low cost in time saved checking account balances and preventing fraud, even if you use other accounting software. Xero also has easy rules to automatically classify entries. This automates immediate transaction MANAGEMENT, not repeated expensive, error prone and late QuickBooks data entry. To the extent Xero still needs manual attention, our VERY inexpensive bookkeepers and CPAs can work all night, as needed. Xero charges nothing for their access, while insuring that they cannot steal your money. All this starts for less than $10 a month (U.S. $) for my Xero Partner clients. At that price, I will use it (at least as a supplement) for all business clients.

It is easy to transfer Xero rules, charts of accounts and more between clients. This, and a beautiful Xero interface, sharply cut data entry and training time. Xero automates reports and notifies accountants of client Ask My Accountant entries. It has web stores and billing system add-ons for SAAS use, plus CPA practice management, inventory, broker accounting and much more. That is what no doubt allows its use by many larger companies. The fast growing Xero add-ons use a fully open standard add-on interface. You cannot compare this to the limited proprietary interface that QuickBooks uses to limit access to some data and retain a payroll monopoly. You also cannot compare it to the interface changes that QuickBooks made over the years. QuickBooks dropped two early access methods, rather than fix known bugs. It also switched from free banks access to royaly only access. It even broke one access method and repeatedly considered removing a second, as it moved towards royalty-only access.

That is why we said long ago (a few months), OMG! Xero is the Future of Accounting! It also is why this is unlikely to change, even if QuickBooks Online gets automatic bank transaction imports tomorrow. For a long time QuickBooks Online was so bad that I repeatedly wrote that I would rather spend an hour in a dentist’s chair than an hour using it. That is what some outstanding QuickBooks CPA friends and I told Intuit top execs at length, after we met at the first QuickBooks Advisory Council meeting in 2002. Recent QuickBooks Online changes produced 80% annual growth, confirming our vision. However, Xero is now getting users almost 9 times as fast as QuickBooks Online and up to 100 times as fast as other QuickBooks versions and competitors. 

So, which is best? As I said, the world is rapidly learning that there is no longer any contest between Indinero, Xero, Outright, Sage (Peachtree), QuickBooks and many others.


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