When we started Capterra in 1999, the very first business software purchase I made was Quick Books.
Spreadsheets were good enough to track our revenue and expenses in the early years (we hardly had any of the former), so the main reason we needed Quick Books was for invoicing.
I remember standing in Staples and doing a quick comparison of Quick Books versus Peachtree.
Intuit launched Quick Books in 1992, and it quickly became the de facto small business choice with a market share over 80%.
So I did what any new business owner would do— I followed the crowd and bought Quick Books.
It cost a couple hundred dollars and was supposed to be easy to use, so we took the plunge and never looked back.
Over a decade later, with about 30 employees and over 1,000 customers that we bill monthly, we’re still using it. (That’s a successful software purchase by any measure, but in retrospect, I’m slightly embarrassed about that rash decision making process given Capterra’s business.) Now, in 2013, it’s amazing to see what has happened in the accounting software market.
More than a handful of online software products with names like Fresh Books, Xero and Kashoo have become notable Quick Books competitors by focusing on user friendliness, price and other factors.
And while Quick Books still has millions of customers and dominates the category, these up-and comers appear to be slowly chipping away at their market share.The real question is, are they different enough to make it worth your time and effort to evaluate them before making a decision?Is there really much difference between these options and how they help you manage your books and invoice your customers?Laurie Mc Cabe, a technology industry veteran and partner at SMB Group, believes so.“Quick Books didn’t get to where it is by accident, and it is a great solution for many small businesses.But it may be too much for some people, while others may need specific, advanced capabilities that it doesn’t have.” Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most popular alternatives to Quick Books: If you prefer an on-premises solution – which you may if you ever perform work without a great Internet connection – then Sage 50 Pro is a viable alternative for a one-time fee of 0 for one user.