Everyone keeps talking about the cloud these days, and for the most part, most of my data is in the cloud. I have been hearing a lot about QuickBooks Online (QBO) and Xero, so I thought I would test them out to see how they compare to QuickBooks for Windows (desktop version, which I'll abbreviate as QBs), which I have been using for almost a decade now. I have used QBO and Xero for several months and there are some similarities and some differences. I was going to put together an extensive spreadsheet to compare the features of both, but this has already been done. What is really interesting to me is their comparison to what I have been using for years, QBs; however, that is like comparing apples to oranges. And going through the hundreds of differences really isn't going to tell you which one is the best, so I'll just give my opinion.
Xero is very cool, with a very simple way of doing things. For a business that really only needs to code transactions, Xero works very well. They are from New Zealand so a lot of the verbiage is in the Queen's English. This doesn't bother me, but I could see how this would prevent someone from using it. But the data is stored in US data centers, so no worries there. I had a harder time with the trickier transactions that I am used to doing in QBs and there are some simple features that are still missing, such as being able to calculate (as in a calculator) within a data field. While not huge, this is a feature that I use all the time in Quicken and QBs. But of course, this shouldn't be a reason for anyone else not to use it.