I have found that shapefiles that function normally in ArcGIS will not work in QGIS due to geometry issues. For example, I have a species geographic range file that when I intersect with a buffer will not work citing geometry issues (GEOS geoprocessing error. One or more input features have invalid geometry). When I try to fix the files in QGIS with various methods, Vector -> Geometry -> Check Geometries, convert to raster, create a buffer, manually edit out the self intersection I am unable to complete any of the processes because of geometry issues, or in the case of Check Geometries tool it runs to completion but does not seem to fix the problem. I have also run the GRASS v.clean and tried to manually edit out the self-intersection on a shapefile in QGIS but I am unable to edit the file. If I run any of these tools on the layer in ArcGIS it works no problem. This is my current solution, fix it in arc and then import it to QGIS.
My pointed question is therefore (1) have anyone experienced sensitivities to geometry in QGIS but not arcGIS, and (2) how do you fix files that seem to be rendered entirely unworkable in QGIS because of geometry issues?