Comparing Invoicing Services: QuickBooks Online, Xero, Freshbooks, and Wave Accounting

Accounting Invoice Bookkeeping Invoicing

We’re seven years beyond the date we were ‘promised’ flying cars, hoverboards, and strange extra-long-sleeve shirts from Marty McFly’s trip in Back to the Future. While the whole flying-car idea might be reserved only for Sci-Fi films, we at least have stumbled into a world where invoicing for small-businesses is quick, easy, and user-friendly.

There are a few main players in the invoicing game: QuickBooks Online (QBO), Xero, Freshbooks, and Wave Accounting. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at each of these services and compare the pros and cons to help you decide which one is the best fit for your business.

QuickBooks Online (QBO)

Intuit’s QBO is a popular choice for invoicing, but it does come with a price tag. The minimum cost for QBO is $15 per month for the Self Employed plan. While this may be competitive for some businesses, it’s important to note that invoicing is not included in the 30-day free trial.

There are a few reasons why some people may not be fans of Intuit, the company behind QuickBooks Online (QBO) and other financial software products. Intuit is known for upcharging for their services, and many people feel that the prices for their products, including QBO, are too high. This can be especially frustrating for small businesses that are trying to keep their costs down.

Another reason people may not like Intuit is due to their customer service. Some users have reported negative experiences with Intuit’s customer service, including long wait times, unhelpful or unprofessional support staff, and difficulty getting issues resolved. This can be frustrating for businesses that rely on Intuit’s products and need timely support.

Finally, some people may not like Intuit as a company due to their business practices. For example, Intuit has faced criticism in the past for its acquisition and shuttering of competing software products, which can leave customers feeling betrayed and forced to switch to a new product. Intuit has also faced criticism for its lobbying efforts, including efforts to influence tax legislation that would benefit the company.


Xero is a cloud-based accounting platform that offers invoicing as part of its suite of services. Xero offers a range of pricing plans, starting at $9 per month for the “Starter” plan and going up to $70 per month for the “Premium” plan. The Starter plan includes invoicing, quotes, purchase orders, and expense claims, while the Premium plan includes additional features such as project tracking and multi-currency support.

There are a few downsides to consider as well. One is that Xero does not offer a free trial for its invoicing or other services. This means that businesses will need to commit to a paid plan in order to try out the platform and see if it meets their needs.

Additionally, while Xero’s interface is generally user-friendly, some users have reported that the interface can be a bit cluttered and overwhelming, especially for those new to accounting software. It may take some time to get used to the layout and features of the platform.


Freshbooks is a step up from QBO, but it still comes with a cost. For $15 per month, the Lite plan offers unlimited invoices, time tracking, and bookkeeping. While this may be a steep price for a growing small business, we do appreciate the data visuals on Freshbooks. The Freshbooks dashboard is pleasing to look at and provides a clear snapshot of outstanding and overdue invoices for the past 30, 60, and 90 days.

Creating new invoices and recurring invoices is easy on Freshbooks, and payouts are seamless. However, it’s important to note that Freshbooks does charge a yearly fee of $180.

If we were to use the real estate metaphor, Freshbooks would be the house that checks most of your boxes. It’s in your price range, has the features you want, and has a decent-sized backyard. However, the moment you step outside onto the back patio, you hear the loud traffic from the nearby freeway (in this case, the yearly fee).

Wave Accounting

Wave Accounting offers unlimited invoicing and is completely free. Recurring invoices, seamless payouts, and easy management of products, services, customers, and vendors are all included in the package.

Payouts are generally within a couple of business days and setting up recurring invoices is a breeze. Customers can even save their cards to their account for easy payment. Generating reminder emails and adding and managing new products and services is also straightforward.

In addition to its free invoicing service, there are several other reasons why Wave is a great company. One reason is its commitment to helping small businesses. Wave offers a range of free financial tools, including invoicing, receipt scanning, and personal finance management, all of which are designed to help small businesses succeed.

Another reason to love Wave is its dedication to privacy and security. Wave takes the protection of its users’ data seriously and uses industry-standard security measures to keep their information safe. This is especially important in the age of cyber threats and data breaches.

Wave is also a socially responsible company, with a focus on sustainability and environmental impact. The company has made a commitment to offset its carbon emissions and is working towards becoming a carbon-neutral organization.


When it comes to invoicing, QuickBooks Online, Xero, Freshbooks, and Wave Accounting are all solid options. However, each service comes with its own set of pros and cons. QBO is a decent choice for invoicing, but we recommend avoiding their bookkeeping platform and other services. Xero offers a range of pricing plans and a user-friendly interface, but the interface can be cluttered and overwhelming for some users. Freshbooks offers a pleasing dashboard and seamless payouts, but comes with a yearly fee. Wave Accounting is completely free and offers a range of features, including fast payouts and easy management of products and services.

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