Last week we had a look at Xero, and now onto the biggest accounting software provider…

All things Quickbooks

Quickbooks states “Do the work you love, and we’ll handle the rest” – and mostly we agree. 

Quickbooks has focused on trying to reduce user’s admin, as well as easy to read and accessible information. Quickbooks started off as bookkeeping or accounting software, but now also focuses on the business user experience. 

It’s all about getting things done on the go. Quickbooks however still offers desktop based versions, which means that product development is split between online and desktop offerings.

Some stats (which we will use to compare all packages)

Number of subscribers worldwide
(this is not users, but actual businesses making use of the software)
Over 5.6 million
Number of apps that connect to Quickbooks 18 add on solutions that we could find (this would be payroll, manufacturing, point of sale etc)

Quickbooks is by far the most widely used accounting software by small and medium businesses in the world. It has used feedback from users to improve the software and attract more users. 

The majority of its users are from the United States, and therefore some of the functionality is aimed towards users in that specific country. It has however brought specifics into each country that it enters and tailored some functions to the needs of the specific users.

As mentioned, the number of users, or volumes of transactions aren’t necessarily what I base my decisions on in most cases. 

I continue to look for what the software providers offer as basic features for a start, and then what the top end packages offer. Pricing obviously also comes into play.

Quickbooks packages (note that pricing excludes current offers and discounts)

Price (ZAR/m) R199 R305 R411
Invoicing Unlimited invoices  Unlimited invoices  Unlimited invoices 
Quotes No Yes Yes
Bills No Yes Yes
Purchase orders No No Yes
Bank reconciliations Yes Yes Yes
Currency ZAR Multiple Multiple
Users 1 (+ accountant) 3 (+ accountant) 25 (+ accountant)
Reports Yes Yes Yes
Basic inventory management No No Yes
Tracking of income and expenses Yes Yes Yes
Tracking by area Yes Yes Yes
App Yes Yes Yes

It is an advantage for Quickbooks that it’s packages are offered in ZAR as Xero is currently only offered in USD. This brings about stability for the user and costs can be identified and budgeted for accurately.

Other things that Quickbooks offers (in the South African market)


Let’s dig a little deeper…

Quickbooks covers most of the basics on a high level, but how about on a deeper level? Let’s dig in to the details and find out. 

Notes on what you get, and what you don’t get

Dashboard (summary of everything) Yes – Bank balances, sales invoice summary, supplier bills summary
Bank Feeds Yes
Reports Yes
Fixed Asset Register No
Invoice reminders to customers Yes
File storage (not relevant to a specific transaction) Yes
Direct link to other Quickbooks users No
Tracking options Yes
Shortcuts Yes
Basic Inventory Yes (buy and sell)
Attach documents to transactions Yes
Ability to edit postings Yes (audit trail kept)
Statements with ageing Yes and terms can be added
Customisable report Yes
Customisable templates Yes (Quote, Invoice, Sales Receipt)
Notifications Yes
Help Yes
Budgets Yes
Time tracking Yes
Product release training/webinars Yes
Advisor certification Yes

Does Quickbooks shape up?

Just like Xero, Quickbooks has all the basics and more. Quickbooks also continues to improve and update it’s offerings and it’s little tweak are all meant to improve the user experience and overall feel of the software. Quickbooks releases product updates quarterly, however these appear to only be released to accountants and bookkeepers, not general users. 

Customer statement and ageing

Quickbooks statements split out debtors ageing per month or days, and you can assign terms to customers, which is really awesome. 

Time recording

Quickbooks allows users to record time spent on items or customers, which is great, but only if it is going to be used somewhere or for something. As Quickbooks doesn’t have a payroll functionality, this information will have to be entered into the payroll system. It also relies on manual inputs, which can lead to errors or manipulation. Quickbooks does connect to online payroll software providers, and most companies use onsite biometrics (which integrates with payroll software) to record their employee hours. 

Report and templates

Quickbooks reports and templates are customisable and are seen to be better than Xero’s. Quickbooks is missing a vital feature in our eyes, that Xero has – a fixed asset register. 

Training and certification

Quickbooks training platform is first class and covers every angle of the software. Quickbooks Certified Advisors need to pass a test every year to prove that they keep up to date with the software and are giving their clients the best available support.


(5 stars being excellent, 1 star not so much)


If you enjoy being part of a large “family” and having options that are specific to South Africa available to you (statement ageing, payment terms) you won’t go wrong with Quickbooks!

Next step

If you’d like to learn more about Quickbooks, or find out what our advice would be regarding using the software, get in touch below.