The two biggest FFL Software companies on the market are FastBound and FFL Boss. Because of this, am frequently asked which one is the best and how they compare. On the surface, this is a great question because they seem like the same software. However, after testing and researching both, they aren’t. Therefore, in this FastBound vs FFL Boss article, I will compare them side-by-side and hopefully give a direct answer on which one is better.
Fastbound FFL Compliance Software
- Final Grade : A
FFL Boss Compliance Software
- Final Grade : A-
As you can see above, on the surface, the two FFL software options look pretty similar, with the exception of the pricing. However, that too can be a little deceiving based on how they structure their pricing scale. So, let’s start the side-by-side comparison by looking at four areas and how they compare:
FastBound vs. FFL Boss: Interface
When I talk about interfaces, I’m really describing two things: How the software looks and how intuitive it is to use. This second is important because where a designer puts things and how they create them is a difference between software that is easy to use and one that is complicated.
With that, when it comes to interface, I feel like FastBound is a bit better. It’s a bit cleaner, and I find that the general location of buttons or features makes a bit more sense.
However, having studied interfaces of other software in different industries, I must say that most FFL software feels a bit outdated anyway. Honestly, it feels like both of these companies, when they first designed their software, designed it with a select few capabilities. However, over time, having to keep up with each other, they all kept stacking more and more on the software. When a company does this, things are put where there is space instead of where they should be.
So, because of this, I can say that FastBound is a little bit better in terms of its ease of use and looks; however, that being said, I feel like there is a lot of room for improvement for both.
Winner of Interface: FastBound +1
FastBound vs. FFL Boss: Features
Generally speaking, both of these software sets have just about the same features and capabilities as each other. These include a bound book, 4473, integration with background checks and FFL E-Z Check, and more. Over the years, it seems like both have raced to keep up with each other.
Therefore, comparing the two on this is a bit difficult. However, there is one spot that I do want to cover, and that is integration. With both having the ability to integrate with 4473 Cloud (which every FFL software should have that capability but doesn’t), Fastbound has more integrations with excellent Point of Sales (POS) systems like Trident1 and GearFire.
This means that if you choose Fastbound and realize later that you need to add a POS system because your FFL business is growing, you can choose a POS system that works with your compliance software. This makes your business operations that much more effective and efficient.
Winner of Interface: FastBound +1
FastBound vs FFL Boss: Compliance
All FFL software should be ‘compliant’ or the ATF will (and has) shut them down. However, as you study all the different FFL software, you’ll find that there are times when they don’t actually perform something, but so as to stay compliant, they make it clear that it is on you to take certain actions. Kind of like a CYA for themselves.
So, based on this, does FFL Boss or FastBound do this well? The answer is, they both do it as well as the other. However, as I discussed with the interface, there is still much room for improvement.
I believe both should give more notifications for printing the list (hard copy). They should offer their own backups and give logic-based recommendations beyond what I found.
But still, as compared to others, these two do much more than most.
Winner of Interface: TIE
Okay, so now we come to one of the most important parts – the pricing.
(Image of pricing – but make them both fit in one image – side-by-side)
As you can see, both companies offer just about all of their capabilities no matter what plan you are on. Instead the price changes based on the number of FFL transfers/transactions.
This can get confusing because depending on how many transactions you do, one could be better than the other. Plus, Fastbound charges are based on the transactions per year, whereas FFL Boss charges per transaction per month. So, to make the comparison easier, I’ll speak in annual transactions (thus converting FFL Boss into an annual number.
Also, because the pricing switches between the two depending on how many transactions you do, I’m going to try to make this easier and give a generalization to help:
If you just got your FFL or are running an FFL without a storefront business, then you’re probably only making a handful of transactions a year. Therefore, FastBounds $9 a month program is the cheapest and will give you everything you need.
Small FFL businesses are people who only do medium to large amounts of sales. In truth, the cheaper option can switch between these two with a drop of a hat. Therefore, I really don’t think you should focus on either at this range, and instead of looking at the small tit-for-tat pricing, choose based on which one you like.
However, if you do 10,000 transactions or more a year, your best bet is FFL Boss. This is because they give 12,000 for the same price as FFL Boss. Beyond these numbers depends because anything further requires contacting them and asking for special pricing based on your transaction number and probably other factors.
Winner of Pricing for Home-Based FFL: FastBound +1
Winner of Pricing for Large Business: FFL Boss +1
FFL Boss Versus FastBound: Who Wins?
Tallying up the score above, we have FastBound with 3 and FFL Boss with 1.
FFL Boss +1
Granted, in each section, they were still close, so although Fastbound wins, it’s still a lot closer than the score shows. Still, I see a lot of improvement on both sides and places where they need adjustment.
But that being said, Fastbound is the better bet between the two and received my #1 pick for FFL software, as you can see in that article.
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