Quality assurance (QA) and testing are two essential elements of software development. No system, application, or website can be developed without robust QA and testing.  

However, there’s a confusion. Some people misunderstand both these terms are synonyms. The reality, however, is different. There is a fundamental difference between QA and testing.  

Although they have the common goal, of building bug-free apps, their scope is different.  

Quality assurance (QA) controls overall software quality to ensure a seamless user experience. Testing, on the other hand, is a part of QA. It involves robust quality checks and rigorous testing of products under development. 

Still confused? Don’t worry, refer to this detailed QA vs. testing comparison to know the difference between these two terms. We also explain why are they crucial for the success of any software product. 

So, let’s get started. 

What is Software Testing? 

Software testing is the process of verifying the performance and functionality of software or systems under development. It involves testing applications under various environments to identify any bugs or errors. Software testers make sure the app meets the client’s requirements and delivers the expected results. 

Different types of tests are conducted on software systems. Typical ones include unit testing, integration testing, functional testing, regression testing, and system testing. The test teams possess extensive knowledge of running all these tests and fixing errors. 

The software testing process takes place in five different stages: 

  1. Initial planning 
  2. Case design 
  3. Test execution 
  4. Identification of bugs and errors 
  5. Defect reporting 

What is Quality Assurance (QA)? 

Quality assurance, as the name suggests, is all about maintaining the integrity, functionality, and reliability of a software product. The primary goal is to develop applications per international quality standards that satisfy users’ needs. 

Every software development company has a quality assurance department. It employs various strategies to identify and fix potential errors right from the start. Besides, SQA engineers closely monitor the statistical data through the software development lifecycle (SDLC).  

The bugs or errors identified by the QA team are reported to developers working on that project. The developers then fix those errors to release high-quality applications into the market. 

Typical activities involved in the QA process include: 

  1. Building roadmaps 
  2. Strategic planning 
  3. Workflow analysis 
  4. Software testing 
  5. Regular monitoring 
  6. Final review 
  7. Future recommendations  

QA vs. Testing: Key Similarities 

Let’s start with the similarities first. The table below explains the key similarities between QA vs. testing: 

Type Similarity 
Goal Both focus on improving the software quality, meeting client’s requirements and delivering enhanced user experiences. 
Collaboration Active collaboration takes place between QA staff, testers, developers, and stakeholders. 
Activities Similar activities between QA and testing include planning, implementation, monitoring, and reporting. 
Strategies QA and testers employ functional and non-functional tests with the help of automation tools for improved efficiency and product quality. 
Documentation Any bugs or errors identified within the software are documented in both processes for evaluation. 
Continuous Improvement Feedback provided by QA and testers helps developers continuously improve the quality of software systems and build a happy user base. 
Approach The end user experiences are always the top priority. This user-centric approach results in enhanced performance. 

QA vs. Testing: Key Differences 

Here are some of the key areas that differentiate QA from software testing: 

Difference QA Testing 
Scope Broad scope that covers the entire software development lifecycle (SDLC). Limited to specific stages linked to improving the software functionality and performance. 
Purpose Develop intuitive and robust applications meeting quality standards. Identifying bugs, errors, and defects in software products. 
Stakeholders Developers, project managers, QA engineers, clients Developers, testers 
Role Prevention of defects from entering the software development process. Identifying and fixing errors before releasing the final product to the market. 
Timing Starts in the early stages of the SDLC and continues until the product launch. Occurs at typical stages only like system integration and testing. 
Perspective Long-term perspective focuses on improving the software quality. Short-term nature focusing on the current software development cycle only. 
Approach Proactive approach to ensure software quality Reactive approach to identify and fix issues after development. 
Skillsets Communication, process analysis, agile development, risk management. Strong technical skills and knowledge of testing tools and techniques. 
Responsibility Entire development team Software testers 
Methodologies Six Sigma, lean methodologies Test automation, management, execution 
Reports Quality standards, process improvements, guidelines Test reports, test coverage statistics, defect logs 
Metrics Defect reduction rate, process adherence, compliance with quality standards, improvement in user satisfaction Test coverage, defect detection rate, test execution time 

Importance of QA and Testing 

Building quality products is the ultimate goal of every software development company. Achieving high quality demands robust planning and monitoring at every stage. QA and testing both play a key role in this regard. 

Software testing helps developers identify and fix errors that may impact the app’s performance. All these defects must be removed before the final product is launched. Testers, therefore, play a crucial role in highlighting areas that need improvement. They guide developers on bugs that need fixation so that users don’t face any issues while using the system. 

On the other hand, QA looks at a broader picture. QA teams not only ensure the product meets quality standards, but they also establish SOPs to maintain that quality in the future.  

For instance, if the same bugs are being reported in multiple applications, the QA department should point out key factors contributing to those errors. These could be outdated practices, poor training, or a lack of required skills.  

Based on their assessment, the QA team can suggest recommendations to fix those issues and improve the overall quality of final products. 


When you buy new software, quality is one thing you can never compromise. Regardless of software price or type, you need an application that meets your needs and delivers exceptional results. Otherwise, you won’t use that particular system again. 

Therefore, software development companies focus on continuously improving the quality of their products. They establish high-tech QA departments that closely monitor the system functionality and take actions for further improvement. QA, as a result, plays a crucial role in enhancing user experiences and achieving customer satisfaction. 

Conversely, software testing is a part of the quality assurance process. With testing, developers can timely identify and remove potential errors that could create problems for users. Robust testing reduces the chances of unexpected crashes and ultimately results in high adaptability.