accounting software comparison

Xero vs FNB Instant Accounting vs Quickbooks vs Sage

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Accounting Software Comparison: Xero, FNB Instant Accounting, Quickbooks vs Sage

Which accounting software should I use? This is a question that many business owners ask themselves, and it can be difficult to answer. There are so many different providers of accounting software out there, each with their own unique features and pricing plans. In this blog post we will compare Xero vs FNB Instant Accounting vs Quickbooks vs Sage. All four of these companies offer cloud-based versions for their products – but which one is the best?

Different Accounting Software Systems

Xero Accounting Software Logo

Xero Accounting Software

If you’re looking for an accounting software that will help your business work more efficiently, look no further than Xero. With the single unified ledger and automatic bank feeds, it’s designed to keep businesses running smoothly without requiring frequent data input from users. You can even create custom invoices with a few clicks of the mouse or swipe on mobile devices! It also includes a host of other features such as fixed asset register, business and management reporting, purchase orders, expense claims , accounts payable & receivable and many more.

Pros of Using Xero

  • Unlimited Users
  • Large App Marketplace and open API
  • Accessible and user-friendly mobile app
  • Extremely Easy to use and fantastic user interface
  • Good speed and reliability
  • Has all the features a regular business needs and all accountants need
  • Caters for a large number of industries
  • Support quick response
  • Large base of self support articles and videos available

Cons of Using Xero

  • A bit more expensive than the other software providers (Still worth it)
  • The lowest package has big limitations
  • USD Based Pricing

Xero Accounting Software Pricing tables

Visit Xero’s website for more information

FNB Instant Accounting Software logo

FNB Instant Accounting Software

FNB Instant Accounting is a free accounting solution for FNB account holders. It has all the basic features that one has to expect from a free solution and should be sufficient to get the information required for a sole proprietor or business in its infancy stage. Instant Accounting is a one-stop solution for your accounting needs. It automatically creates financial statements and VAT reports using your electronic FNB bank statement.

However when it comes to the additional features needed when running your business a couple of extra hundred bucks will be worth it to rather pay for a paid accounting solution.

“A unique, online accounting solution which uses your FNB electronic bank statement to generate financial statements and reports.” – FNB

Pros of FNB Instant Accounting

  • Free to use for FNB account holders
  • Good for sole proprietor starting out or a business that does not have the cash flow to spend on accounting software

Cons of FNB Instant Accounting

  • Lacks Features
  • Minimal Flexibility
  • Not suitable for larger or medium-sized enterprises

For more on FNB Instant accounting you can visit their site.

Sage one Accounting Software Logo

Sage One Accounting Software

Sage One online accounting is an easy-to-use accounting solution that’s also affordable for the average small business owner. It’s fully packed with loads of features and you can easily see why they’ve been market leaders in the accounting software space for so long. They have everything you will have to expect from a paid accounting software such as automatic bank feeds, reporting, and all of the day-to-day functions such as invoicing etc. But, although they have a great product that will add value to any business their product does leave you begging for more simplicity and feature adjustments to create a better overall experience.

Pros of Sage One Accounting Software

  • Pay per additional module (Helps small businesses with more affordable options if they don’t require advanced modules)
  • Cheap pricing
  • Has all the required features a business owner needs
  • Has all the features accountants need
  • Payment integrations within the software
  • Has app Marketplace
  • ZAR based pricing

Cons of Sage One Accounting Software

  • Pay per user
  • Pay per additional module
  • Bank recon less user friendly than Xero or Quickbooks
  • Have experienced frequent bugs in software
  • Limited self help support when Googling
  • Less user-friendly interface

Sage One Accounting Software Pricing Table

For more info on Sage One accounting visit their website

Quickbooks Online Accounting Software Logo

Quickbooks Accounting Software

Businesses and accountants alike swear by QuickBooks, an accounting software package developed and marketed by Intuit. The number one priority of this program is to make sure your numbers are on point which can be done through the different features that it offers such as accepting payments for businesses or paying bills with its cloud-based application.

Quickbooks has been a long-time favorite amongst small business owners because of how easy they find the interface when managing their finances–this includes making all important financial decisions. Quickbooks caters to the small-and medium-sized business owner and has some awesome features for your business.

“Say goodbye to manual bookkeeping. QuickBooks empowers small businesses in Mzansi with tools and resources that help you stay ahead.” – Quickbooks

Pros of using Quickbooks Accounting Software

  • Affordable Pricing
  • Easy to use interface
  • ZAR Pricing
  • All required features for business owners
  • All required features for accountant
  • Best suited for sole proprietors or smaller businesses

Cons of using Quickbooks Accounting Software

  • Smaller app marketplace
  • Less impactful reporting
  • Less suitable for larger businesses

Quickbooks Online Accounting Software pricing Tables South Africa

For More Information on Quickbooks Online Accounting Software visit their website

Accounting Software Side by Side Comparison

FeatureXeroFNB Instant AccountingSageQuickbooks
Basic features:
Usersunlimitedunlimited2 Users, Billed additionally per userSimple Start
1 billable user + 2 accountant users
3 billable users + 2 accountant users
5 billable users + 2 accountant users
Connected AppsYesNoYesYes
Receipt appHubdoc/Receiptbank/Auto EntrynoneReceiptbank/Auto EntryHubdoc/Receiptbank
Invoice settingsYes(all items)Add logo onlyYes(all items)Yes(invoice,quote and sales receipts only)
User interfaceOrganizedClunky(first impression)OrganizedOrganized
Invoice remindersYesUnconfirmed(could not see it anywhere)YesYes
Email SettingsYesYes(generic email body customization)YesYes
Expense ClaimsYesNoNoNo(has third party apps for this, or manual journals)
Invoices/bills/purchase orders/quotes
Make Invoices/bills/quotes/purchase ordersYesYes(cant confirm on purchase orders)YesYes
Make Credit NotesYesYesYesYes
Draft invoices/billsYesNoYesNo(has a document called estimates, but in a separate section)
Awaiting Approval/billsYesNoNoNo
Awaiting Payment/billsYesYes(called open)NoYes(called open)
Monitor invoice status(been viewed etc)YesNoNoYes
Repeating Invoices/billsYesYesYesYes
Tracking categoriesYesNoYesYes
Accounting features
Bank feedYesYes(only for FNB)YesYes
Income StatementYesYesYesYes
Balance SheetYesYesYesYes
Actual vs budgetYesYesYesYes
VAT ReturnsYesYesYesYes
Cash flow statementsYesYesYesYes
Transaction analysisYesYesYesYes
Tracking SummaryYesNoYesYes
Aged payables/receivablesYesYesYesYes
Larger collection of reportsYesNoYesYes
Manual JournalsYesYesYesYes
Chart of AccountsYesYesYesYes
Fixed Assets SettingsYesNoNoYes
Conversion from other softwareYesVia csvYesYes
Customers listYesYesYesYes
Suppliers ListYesYesYesYes
Other features
Quick SearchExtensiveLimitedYesExtensive
AssistanceMultiple sourcesTelephonic support(found little online material from fnb)Email/PhoneMultiple sources
Advanced Features
Integration to payment servicesYesNoYesYes
PricingStarter$20=R3005 Bills and 20 invoicesStandard$30=R450No multi-currencyPremium$40=R600Multi-CurrencyFreeStart- R160
Simple Start
No bills, one user, one account
Bills, multi-currency, Three users, one accountant
Inventory, purchase orders, projects, 5 users, one accountant

Final Words

After much deliberation, our overall favorite has to be Xero. We found that it was the most user-friendly of all four and had a good online resource structure for support in place should you have any queries. They also have the largest app marketplace which allows your business to scale and have some heavy lifting features under the hood. A good second place goes to Quickbooks and a third place to Sage one.

But at the end of the day it all comes down to personal preference and what your business most needs.

Please note the above features/pricing might have changed since the last edit was made.

Contact us If you require any assistance with converting over to one of these accounting software systems or accounting, bookkeeping, reporting, business advisory, or tax compliance services. Call us on 011 568 2390. Email us directly at [email protected], or alternatively, you can complete our contact form.

About the Author:
CFO360 offers comprehensive solutions to simplify matters for your company. Services range from accounting systems and monthly bookkeeping to tax preparation and compliance services. Led by Professional Accountants and servicing hundreds of small businesses. They’ve dealt with many small businesses going through a difficult period. Arrange a call with an Accountant to find out more.

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