It can sometimes be challenging to find a person who:
- Has deep knowledge of both products.
- Who reads these forums, and noticed this thread.
- Who feels like responding with a detailed, feature-by-feature comparison.
The easier approach is to identify the features you need, and create a list. Then ask someone to review your list, and reply how ERPNext compares.
The challenge here is that ERPNext and QBO are similar. Yet also fundamentally different.
QBO is a specialist. It’s great at what it does. Tracking invoices, payments, time, tax, and payroll. If that’s all you need? Excellent. You get that. But you must use the processes and workflow, exactly as offered. You must do things “the Quickbooks way”.
ERPNext is a generalist. It does those things too. But (in my opinion) in a general, unrefined way. It provides the basic necessities. It has a nice Accounting package that does the usual things.
However, ERPNext offers a lot more. Its design is known as a “monolith”. It automatically ships with CRM, Inventory, Manufacturing, Project Management, Quality Control, Human Resources, Point of Sale, Assets. And lots more. It is a “jack of all trades” software platform. And a very global/international product, with users on all 6 continents, and tons of language translations.
But also, ERPNext is open-source and fully customizable. Like QBO, you can modify reports and printouts. With no limits to your report’s design. You can also add new data tables. New screens. Entire new modules. You can see and edit every single line of code. Need ERPNext to integrate with Shopify? Amazon? Track the stock market? Communicate with a weather station in Antarctica? No problem. Just add the code. It’s ready for you to teach it new things.
QBO is solid and polished. If you like what Intuit offers? Or if you can purchase marketplace add-ons that work for you? Fantastic. But once you need it to do something new, different, or better? You’re out of luck. It’s not your software. It belongs to Intuit. You cannot improve on it. And you’ll pay the rates they tell you to pay.
ERPNext is like owning 30 boxes of Lego blocks. When you’re done following the instructions, you have 30 interesting things. But you’re free to modify them. Add more Lego blocks. Or attach them to a Raspberry Pi and make a robot.
If you don’t care about any of that? Then QBO may be better.
Hopefully my response explains why “cost of integration” is not a question with a quick answer. An integration could take a few weeks of effort. Or 6-12 months. That depends on what is required. And also your comfort-level and experience working on a joint-project with ERPNext consultants and developers.