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Wyoming Business Tips for Sept. 24-30

September 15, 2017

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Robert Condie, WSBDC southwest regional director

“What are some differences between QuickBooks Online and Xero?” Kirt, Evanston

At a recent convention I attended, I participated in a discussion surrounding an accounting software that was relatively new to me, Xero.

Xero started in New Zealand and has quickly spread across the globe with small businesses from 180 countries using the services Xero offers. While at the conference, differences between QuickBooks Online (QBO) and Xero were provided.

The main question is the cost difference between the two. The pricing schemes on both software programs are fairly similar, with one glaring difference. When purchasing Xero, running payroll on the system is free. QBO has an add-on for purchase that is needed for the capabilities of payroll. Xero is only available as an online software, whereas QuickBooks still has the desktop version.

Another question: Is there a difference in the platform between the two companies? As far as usability, Xero might have something that is going to work for more people more often than not. The owners of a given business are not accountants or even versed in the vernacular of the trade. Xero takes that into consideration and helps guide the user through accounts with easier-to-understand account names and workflows.

What happens if you don’t like QBO or Xero? Can the data be transferred between software? If you try QBO and Xero and don’t like them, you can export your data and import items into the other option without too much hassle.

The difference between the two systems could boil down to the needs of your firm. Try them both and see what each offers; both offer an initial 30-day free trial of the products. 

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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