While ZipBooks is more affordable as it offers a free plan, its features aren’t as robust as QuickBooks Online, our overall best small business accounting software. ZipBooks is great for small businesses and freelancers needing an easy-to-use and affordable solution for income and expense tracking, while QuickBooks Online is ideal for businesses that require more enhanced features, such as inventory management, tracking activity by class and location, and payroll.
When To Use
Fit Small Business Case Study
We developed a case study to help us review and evaluate accounting software programs across key areas of small business accounting—and we put ZipBooks’ and QuickBooks Online’s features to the test. If you want to see detailed discussions of these two programs, read our ZipBooks review and QuickBooks Online review.
Here’s the result of our case study:
Case Study for ZipBooks vs QuickBooks Online
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From free; tested at $35 per month (Sophisticated)
From $30; tested at $55 per month (Plus)
ZipBooks is a budget-friendly software program, while QuickBooks Online is a flagship-level software because of its price points for higher plans. However, our case study shows that QuickBooks Online stands out in most categories, especially in inventory management and mobile accounting.
ZipBooks vs QuickBooks Online: Pricing
ZipBooks is a budget choice because of its free version and low-priced plans, while QuickBooks Online is more expensive, being the industry leader in advanced accounting features. ZipBooks is the winner based purely on price because its free plan is ideal for freelancers, while its highest plan is suitable for small businesses with basic accounting needs.
ZipBooks vs QuickBooks Online: Features
Note that our feature comparison is based on QuickBooks Online’s Plus plan ($85 per month) vs. ZipBooks’ Sophisticated ($35 per month).
Banking & Cash Management
QuickBooks Online is better in banking because it allows you to upload your files of transactions manually, which is useful if you don’t want to connect your bank account to your accounting software. Another advantage is that it allows you to print checks, which is great if you’re paying your vendors regularly by checks.
Invoices in QuickBooks Online are more customizable than those in ZipBooks. QuickBooks Online lets you choose from different templates and change invoice colors, which is impossible with ZipBooks. Also, a standout feature of QuickBooks Online is the ability to calculate the total tax rates automatically to apply to an invoice based on your customer’s address, which is great if you’re collecting taxable payments from different states. This feature makes it our overall best invoicing solution.
QuickBooks Online takes the lead in accounts payable (A/P) management because you can upload expense receipts from your mobile device using the mobile app. The program captures the information automatically and attaches it to an existing transaction or lets you create a new one.
Additionally, if you often need to issue POs and vendor credits, then QuickBooks Online is preferable.
QuickBooks Online is slightly better when it comes to project accounting as it allows you to track inventory used in your projects. However, project-based businesses will find both QuickBooks and ZipBooks reliable for managing teams and project profitability—unless they need to track estimated vs. actual costs for budgeting. If you need this feature, then Xero is a great alternative.
ZipBooks vs QuickBooks Online: Ease of Use
Both are generally easy to use and set up, but QuickBooks provides more customer support options because you can request for an agent to call you. If you need extensive support, such as the ability to call a customer service representative directly, then FreshBooks is a great option.
ZipBooks vs QuickBooks Online: Integrations
ZipBooks is good for collaboration since it integrates with Slack and Google products. It also integrates with Square and PayPal for online payments and Gusto for payroll. However, it doesn’t offer the vast number of integrations that you get with QuickBooks, which also has its own payroll and timekeeping apps. If integration is an important part of your business requirements, then QuickBooks Online is the clear choice.
QuickBooks Online integrates with over 750 business apps, including:
- Square Payroll
In contrast, ZipBooks currently has 12 integrations. These include:
- Google Drive
- Google Workspace
- Square Appointments
- Square POS
- Square for Retail
- Square Payments
- Spiceworks Network Monitor
- GrandMaster Suite
ZipBooks vs QuickBooks: Mobile App
ZipBooks currently doesn’t offer a mobile app, but it can still be accessed through the browser of any device. Meanwhile, QuickBooks’ most useful mobile features are invoicing and receipt scanning. The invoicing feature shows all of your customer’s details, including directions and maps to find your way to their business. You can use it to enter transactions, record expenses, invoice customers, and send reports anywhere.
While QuickBooks Online’s mobile app is great, we recommend Zoho Books Professional if you want an app that can do more than what QuickBooks Online’s app can do (like track time, assign billable time, and enter bills).
ZipBooks vs QuickBooks: User Reviews
Most of the ZipBooks reviews we found online are positive. Some said that they like that the program is easy to use and that it offers a free plan for very small businesses. Others explained that it helps them effectively compile and track their expenses. Those who left negative feedback complained that the setup process is a bit clunky and that it offers very few integrations.
QuickBooks Online also has generally positive reviews from users. Most of the good reviews are about its ease of use and the availability of advanced features, like inventory management. Very few reviewers said that they dislike that they can’t manage multiple companies using a single account.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the biggest differences between ZipBooks and QuickBooks Online?
ZipBooks has a free plan, and QuickBooks Online doesn’t. However, QuickBooks Online is more feature-rich as it includes inventory accounting and a mobile accounting app.
When is ZipBooks better than QuickBooks Online?
ZipBooks might be better for freelancers or very small businesses that are on a tight budget and are primarily concerned with compiling income and expenses for a tax return.
Are there great alternatives to QuickBooks and ZipBooks?
Yes, and the best alternative depends on your needs. If you prefer a desktop-based solution, you should consider QuickBooks Desktop. If you want a free alternative, Wave is a great choice. Find more solutions in our best small business accounting software guide.
QuickBooks Online scores high for its depth of functionality, reporting, and customer support. Considering the low price of ZipBooks, it’s remarkable how well it stacks up against QuickBooks Online. If you need to keep your costs low, ZipBooks can handle the basic functions that you need for business accounting, unless you sell physical products and need to track inventory.