quicken business vs quickbooks

quicken business vs quickbooks

Comparison of QuickBooks Pro & Quicken Home Business

Intuit software helps you manage finances.

Intuit got into the desktop financial software market with its release of personal finance software package, Quicken, in 1984. As its popularity grew and small businesses expressed an interest in using the software, the company created Quickbooks, a user-friendly integrated accounting package, in 1992. Today, Intuit offers a number of versions of Quickbooks, including the entry-level QuickBooks Pro desktop package as well as a more robust version of Quicken with support for some small-business features -- Quicken Home & Business.

Quicken Home & Business is an enhanced version of the Quicken personal finance program. While Quicken can create invoices and track business expenses, Home & Business adds limited accounting functions -- including accounts receivable and payable tracking. It can also keep track of client jobs and your mileage log while also helping you create a business plan.

QuickBooks Pro has no personal finance functions, so you cannot use it to track your money outside of your business. It adds much more robust business reporting with more than 100 reports available as well as additional features in its accounts receivable and payable modules. QuickBooks Pro adds tools such as the ability to process payrolls, track inventories and support multiple users. Unlike Home & Business, QuickBooks Pro also supports traditional double-entry bookkeeping.

When to Use Quicken Home & Business

Quicken Home & Business could be an excellent choice for a small home-based business that provides services. Its limited functionality hides what could be a bigger benefit -- ease of use. The program's integration with your personal finances can also be helpful when you use your business as a source of day-to-day income.

QuickBooks Pro becomes a necessity if you have employees who you need to pay or inventories that you need to track. Its enhanced capabilities let you create more complicated invoices, track more bills and analyze your jobs from a cost and time perspective. Its business-class accounting and reporting features also let you look at your business and its operations on a deeper and more strategic level.

Steve Lander has been a writer since 1996, with experience in the fields of financial services, real estate and technology. His work has appeared in trade publications such as the "Minnesota Real Estate Journal" and "Minnesota Multi-Housing Association Advocate." Lander holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Columbia University.

QuickBooks and Quicken are two of the most widely used financial management tools in the world. Both programs come from software developer Intuit (INTU), also the owner of popular personal finance management site Mint.com and the maker of tax filing program TurboTax. Both QuickBooks and Quicken have unique feature sets designed for different uses. Read on to find which tool may be right for you.

QuickBooks is a full-featured business and financial management suite complete with tools for accounting, inventory, payroll, tax filing, invoicing, bank account tracking and reconciliation, expense management, budgeting, payment processing, and accounts receivable and accounts payable management.

That feature set is not a complete list of what QuickBooks can do. It can also plug into many additional software tools for added features. Essentially, QuickBooks is the Swiss Army Knife of business financial tools.

Like a Swiss Army Knife, QuickBooks can do just about anything you might need for your business, but there are some features that many businesses will never need, and the high price tag for QuickBooks Professional may be reason to look elsewhere.

If you run a small to medium sized business and want to ensure you can track all financial information and create reports summarizing any aspect of your business, QuickBooks will not disappoint. Just be aware that there is a learning curve when starting out, and not all features are intuitive when you get the program up and running for the first time.

QuickBooks also offers both a desktop version for a fixed fee and an online version accessible through your web browser, tablet, or smart phone for a monthly fee. Some features, such as payroll management and payment processing incur an additional fee regardless of which version you choose.

What QuickBooks offers for small business, Quicken offers for individuals and families. Quicken tracks your account balances, transactions, investments, personal budgeting, loans, and any other part of your personal financial life. The highest end version includes the ability to track rental properties and a small business in addition to your personal information.

These features allow you to turn your computer into your financial command center with updated information from each bank, investment, and credit account downloaded right into Quicken. You can also track investments with cost basis to best understand the tax implications of buying, selling, and how you are building your portfolio.

The business tools are much more limited than those with QuickBooks, but work just fine for a family with a rental property, or a few, or someone who owns their own side hustle business or sole proprietorship.

Quicken is a desktop product. If you want an online version, look to Mint.com.

If you just want to track your personal financial information, Quicken has all of the features you could want. You can track everything related to your family’s finances in one place without a lot of extra hassle.

If you have a small business, you have a tougher decision to make. If you are an independent online freelancer, Quicken’s features may be enough for your business, but if you need anything more robust, QuickBooks is the clear winner in terms of features.

The hardest part is finding the right balance between cost and features, as QuickBooks offers more for business, but also costs more. In rare cases, QuickBooks may offer more than necessary, but in most, QuickBooks is better for business financial management than Quicken.

When starting out, it is important to make a decision that you can stick with, as you cannot easily convert Quicken data into QuickBooks, or vice versa. Each has its own download and data storage specifications and the two are not compatible.

If you are looking solely for your business, QuickBooks is clearly the best option of the two, but there are many other online accounting options to choose from as well.

Quicken business vs quickbooks

While you should know what side of the fence we come down on, occasionally we get asked what the differences are between QuickBooks and Quicken. In our experience, Quicken should be used to manage your personal finances whereas the robust, market-leading QuickBooks accounting software should be handling your business books. Consequently Intuit suggests a primary variance is in the nomenclature:

Quicken uses terms familiar to anyone who has used a checkbook. QuickBooks uses a few terms that are standard in business bookkeeping and terms that reflect the increased power and convenience of QuickBooks for business.

Secondary to that however, the sheer volume of additional functionality available to you in QuickBooks is staggering – a key point being the open API of QuickBooks and the plethora of QuickBooks apps that are available to you to extend and enhance your QuickBooks experience. For those still on the fence the table below will enumerate the the feature sets of both Intuit offerings so you can quickly and easily make the correct decision.

Quickbooks vs Quicken For Home & Business

We have a small business that is now LLC. It is a locksmith business. We have used quicken home and business for years, which is a great tool to do both personal and business. But this year I am trying quickbooks , yes both the online trial and quickbooks desktop pro 2013. The ONLY reason we are looking into quickbooks is because with our business about 90% of our business has us out in the field and we do invoices but having to do invoices in field then bringing a copy back to shop to redo into quicken is getting daunting. At this time quicken does not offer mobile invoicing. They do have mobile for phone or tablet but no invoicing. Quickbooks does. I know this is an issue with many people but at this time they are not addressing this. So with quickbooks we can do invoicing and it is already in the system. But quickbooks is primarily for business. But they state that quickbooks pro desktop is good for both business and personal. I have yet to see this. Especially in the categorizing of taxable items. In quicken it allows choice of personal or business. I know keeping business seperate from personal is way to go. But that is not happening with us. We do have seperate business accounts for banking but do sometimes purchase a personal item from that business account as we also have business card that is same way but in quicken you categorize your purchases quickbooks does not have that split in categoring from business and personal. HELP. how can we categorize between home and business with quickbooks..EASILY. lol. We utilize turbo tax with quicken and it is awesome but not sure how well that would work with quickbooks between home and business. All this hassle would be remedied if intuit would just add mobile invoicing to quicken as they have with quickbooks. CANT figure out why they have not done this. Any help with this would be great. Thank you in advance. Bill

Company: Prime Investments & Development

One suggestion I have is to set up a class called Personal. Then when you have a personal expense you will just class it to Personal and you can run a P&L by class and and very easily see all personal expenses.

Company: Tier One Services, LLC

I must differ with my fellow Proformative member Christie. For many reasons, including the protection of the "LL" in your "LLC," you must have two separate QuickBooks files, one for your personal finances and one for your business finances.

I've served in public accounting for 10 years, published a book on QB, have given seminars and workshops for years, and have seen personal and business records in QuickBooks across a huge array of industries. My team and I routinely set up QuickBooks files for our clients with closely-held businesses and it does NOT have to be a confusing mess.

It can be simple. Straightforward. Logical. And no hassle, so you can get out from behind the computer and back into the field making money.

Start with two separate files and take it from there. If you want assistance with moving quickly from confusion to clarity and ease, contact me, but if you have enough time you can figure it out yourself.

You'll love it once you have a system that makes sense and is super-easy to use.

Quicken and QuickBooks are both offered by Intuit, a publicly traded company. They also own the finance management website www.mint.com and are the makers of TurboTax. Although both software options are offered by the same provider, there is a different feature set to at to determine which could be the right tool to use.

Quicken is designed for families or individuals. The software tracks your account balances. It will also keep track of your investments, budget, loans, or other transactions that you have for your personal finances. One version even provides the option to track rental property income or small business finances with your personal finances.

QuickBooks is a financial management tool that is designed for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs). It provides everything from inventory and accounting to payroll and tax filing. You can track bank accounts, perform reconciliation, and do your payment processing from it. AR, AP, and other invoicing or budgeting needs can be completed as well.

In the Quicken vs QuickBooks debate, which option is better for you? Let’s take a look.

What Are the Advantages of Quicken?

Intuit uses Quicken to target individuals, sole proprietors, freelancers, and entrepreneurs who do not have the need to manage a payroll. The tools are fairly simple, but still helpful, when there isn’t a need to separate personal finances from business finances.

  • It is simple to use, which makes it easier to learn.
  • It offers a single-entry accounting system. Think of it as an online checking account registry that you can keep track of in real-time for income or expense records.
  • Reporting capabilities are available, though geared toward personal income rather than business income except on the highest-end version of the software.
  • You can associate different income or expense entries with departments, classes, or activities.
  • A budgeting wizard is included to help you locate expenses that could be hurting your bottom line. You can also use the wizard to design a savings plan.
  • You can track investments, such as your stocks or your IRA.
  • Pricing is quite affordable, with entry-level versions suitable for personal finance management being about $50. Even the highest-end versions are typically less than $200.
  • It allows you to analyze your spending habits in specific windows of time, from 1 month to several years, and then compare how your habits are improving.
  • Various visual representations, such as pie charts, are available to help users understand their finances.

What Are the Advantages of QuickBooks?

Intuit uses QuickBooks to target SMBs that need advanced accounting support. Payroll is an available option, but not required. You have access to everything from your Schedule C reports to tax deduction tools.

  • It offers features that are specifically helpful for SMBs and some freelancers/entrepreneurs who have extensive business records that must be maintained.
  • It is a double-entry accounting system, but offers single-entry bookkeeping.
  • Most standard accounting reports can be run from the entry-level versions of this software option. You can also export those reports to MS Excel spreadsheets or create your own reports.
  • Users can go up to 5 levels deep for handling classes, cost centers, and profit centers.
  • There is an inventory system though it is somewhat limited for many SMBs. It supports the average costing method only, making it a good system for retail businesses.
  • Single-user and multi-user options are available. You can choose the number of users based on the software version that you purchase for your finances.
  • Customer statements can be exported with this software.
  • Software development kits are available to developers so that add-ons can be created by third parties. Cloud-based applications create marketing platforms that enhance this development.
  • Payroll systems are available with this software, though it does come with an added fee for both the desktop and online versions.
  • Security features are in place that allow you to delegate certain accounting tasks to others without requiring you to give that person access to your full financial picture.

One additional advantage that applies to both Quicken and QuickBooks: Both software platforms offer the option to download transactions. You can do so from your bank account, your credit card statements, and your investment accounts. Your institution must support this feature for it to work correctly, however, so you’ll want to check with each provider before choosing whether Quicken or QuickBooks is your better option.

Intuit provides free trials for both software options so you can determine which has the right tools and reports to meet your needs.

What Are the Disadvantages of Quicken?

Quicken is designed to be the next step for individuals who are currently managing their budget or accounting needs on paper or a less-advanced software platform. It will take your financial management to the next level, but it is not going to be an all-encompassing system. If you run a business that is setup as anything but a sole proprietor, then you’re going to struggle with the limitations that are in place.

  • The number of available features and options is fewer when compared to QuickBooks.
  • There isn’t an inventory system that is available.
  • No payroll capabilities are offered in any version of this software. You must either do the payroll the old-fashioned way or use a separate program, then enter the wages, taxes, and any other withholdings manually if using it for your business.
  • There isn’t an online version that can be used at this time. You must download a desktop version.
  • Only single-user versions are available for this software.
  • There isn’t a programming interface, which limits the number of add-ons and third-party improvements that are available.

What Are the Disadvantages of QuickBooks?

QuickBooks is an excellent system for business accounting, but it assumes familiarity. If you’re just starting your business or transitioning into the gig economy as a freelancer, there is a good chance the structures and workflow of this software platform are going to be problematic in those first days. Once you get to know it, QuickBooks is a powerful system.

  • It offers a steep learning curve, especially for those who are unfamiliar with accounting principles.
  • There are no investment or stock tracking features available with this software.
  • LIFO and FIFO approaches are not supported, making it a difficult software option to use for those who are engaged in production or manufacturing.
  • Pricing for the desktop version can be up to $500. Entry-level versions are still $150 or greater.
  • Most payroll systems are upgraded by Intuit every 24-36 months, which requires desktop users to upgrade their software. Online subscribers receive the updates automatically, but pay a monthly fee for the privilege.

One additional disadvantage that applies to Quicken and QuickBooks: Although Windows and Apple versions are available, the Apple versions are limited in comparison. The software development kit, for example, is available for only the Windows versions of QuickBooks. A similar option doesn’t exist if you’re using a Mac, which means you’ll have a small range of add-on and product choices.

Updated versions for Apple products occur with less frequency than they do for Windows operating systems as well.

Some of the negatives can be solved with a work-around, such as a software emulator, but that does require an added step by the user.

Although there seem to be more negatives than positives with Apple products, Intuit has designed Quicken to interface with other apps, such as AddressBook and iCal.

Quicken vs QuickBooks: Which to Choose?

If you want to take your business finances seriously and you’re not a sole proprietor, then QuickBooks is really your only choice. It is designed specifically for SMBs and can provide many of the reports that you need to generate on a frequent basis. Add-ons are available, including payroll, which can help some businesses to stop outsourcing this service and save some cash.

For individuals and those who are not required to separate business income from personal income, Quicken could be a better option. If you have extensive business records, QuickBooks may still serve your needs better. Since the high-end version of Quicken and the entry-level version of QuickBooks are about the same cost, you’ll need to look at the specific business accounting features that are available to determine which will best meet your needs.

If you are trying to organize your family finances, then Quicken is the logical choice. You’ll still be able to track core income categories and manage your investments without needing to pay for the advanced business tools that really don’t apply to your specific situation.

Intuit released Quicken in 1983 and it has been serving individuals and SMBs effectively since then. It would not be until 2002 that QuickBooks would be released to help bridge the gap between single-entry and double-entry accounting. Just 3 years after its release, QuickBooks held 74% of the US market.

Recent innovations have brought improvements to the report viewing, automated report generation, and smart search functions that are available on both platforms.

If you need help with your accounting, then Intuit is the go-to company to meet your needs. Choose Quicken or QuickBooks, depending on your unique circumstances, and you’ll be able to take charge of your finances.

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