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Accounting in the Cloud: Vendor Shoot-Out Updated

By Kristopher Morrison @KrisJayMorrison |

(This article has been updated to include Sage One Canadian Addition)

In an earlier article, we wrote about the benefits of cloud-based accounting software. Now, we will compare the three big accounting software providers.

QuickBooks has been one of the most popular and well known accounting softwares for years. Now, Intuit has released QuickBooks Online. They offer three packages; their most popular is QuickBooks Online Essentials costing $19 per month. If you want inventory tracking, you will need to go to their QuickBooks Online Plus package for $29 per month.

While FreshBooks does offer a free package, it is limited in its features. As a business owner, you are more likely to sign up for the Seedling or Evergreen packages, costing $19.95 per month and $29.95 per month respectively. The main differences between these two packages are the number of clients you can manage and the number of staff who can access the accounts.

Wave Accounting is completely free. Some features, such as payroll, are added as a paid module, but otherwise you can sign up and begin using the system without charge.

Sage One's Standard plan runs $24 per month and boasts unlimited online and phone support.

We have spoken with representatives from all four companies to put together a comprehensive list of their features.


QuickBooks Online



Sage One - Canadian Addition

Set-up and admin

Create Custom Chart of Accounts Yes No Yes Yes
Create Revenue and Expense Accounts Yes No Yes Yes
Set Pricing and Tax for Revenue Accounts No No Yes No
Customer and Expense Management        
Create and Manage Customers Yes Yes Yes Yes
Create Invoices, Receive Payments and Make Deposits Yes Yes Yes Yes
Create and Manage Statements for Overdue Accounts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Enter and Pay Bills Yes Yes Yes Yes
Print Cheques Yes No Yes - In Payroll No
Banking Features        
Set-Up Multiple Bank Accounts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Manage Multiple Currencies Yes Yes Yes No
Reconcile Bank Accounts Yes No Coming early December Yes
Connect to Bank and Import Bank Transactions Yes Yes Yes Yes
Connect to E-Commerce Banks Account (like PayPal) No Yes Yes Yes
Create and Apply Tax Codes to Invoices Yes Yes Yes Yes

Track GST, HST and RST Tax Paid

Yes Yes Yes Yes
Automate GST/HST Returns Yes No Included in sales report but not processed within Wave No
Profit and Loss (P&L) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Balance Sheet Yes No Yes Yes
P&L Previous Year Comparison Yes No No No
Accounts Receivables Aging Summary Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sales Reports Yes Yes Yes No
Open Balance Report Yes No No Yes
Other Popular Features        
Payroll Yes No Yes - Paid Module No
Automatically Create Record of Employment (ROE) Yes No Done by Wave staff upon request No
Inventory Tracking Yes Yes-Beta No No
Create Estimates and Convert to Invoice Yes Yes Yes Yes
Recurring Expense and Invoice Reminders Yes Yes Yes No
Create and Manage Journal Entries Yes No Yes Yes
Additional Apps Through an Apps Store Canada coming Soon Yes Yes No
Security and Protection Features        
Audit Trail Yes Yes No No
SSL Encryption 128-bit SSL 256-bit SSL 128-bit SSL 256-bit SSL
Active/Active or Similar Content Distribution Yes No No No
Anti-Fraud Detection Features Yes - Reports to filter suspicious activity No Yes - In Payroll and Payments No
Redundant Back-Ups Yes Yes Yes Yes


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