Quickbooks vs Quicken - A Complete Guide

Quickbooks vs Quicken - A Complete Guide | Accounting Smarts
Charles Hall

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Charles Hall

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July 5, 2021

Finding the best accounting software requires some expertise in the field to know what features you need most. QuickBooks and Quicken are two top choices to consider.

Finding the best accounting software requires some expertise in the field to know what features you need most. QuickBooks and Quicken are two top choices to consider.

QuickBooks is one of the best accounting software platforms for small businesses. On the other hand, Quicken is more geared towards those looking for a personal finance and budgeting tool with limited business capabilities. Available features are tailored towards different customers, so first you must decide what you need most.

QuickBooks is often referred to as the gold standard in the business accounting world. They provide everything you’ll need as a small business owner and more. Quicken is more designed to help you manage all finances in your personal world. However, Quicken does offer some unique features for real estate property owners with a rental property center built into the software. This guide will discuss all features available offered by both platforms.  

The business accounting industry requires adherence to many different regulations and laws to continue running smoothly. Our industry experts understand all of these and analyze each software with expertise. This guide contains all research, data, and insights gathered from the most credible sources available. Keep reading to learn which platform will improve your financial management best.

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Quickbooks vs Quicken

This guide compares Quicken Home & Business with QuickBooks Online. They are the most comparable offerings by each platform. Below is a detailed chart highlighting some key features and specifications about each software and its capabilities.

Quicken QuickBooks Online
Software Desktop Only Cloud-based
Subscription Annual Monthly
Price Starting at $35.99/year Starting at $7.50/month
Free Trial N/A 30-day trial
Key Features Lease & Rental Management, Loan tracking, and personal budgeting Real-time collaboration, access to accountants, easy data backups
Mobile App Available but limited IOS & Android compatible
Integrations Import bank statements with Web Connect 650+ available like PayPal and Square
Payroll N/A Available w/ certain plans
Support Phone, live chat, community Phone, live chat, community, resources, live training

What Is QuickBooks?

QuickBooks is the most influential small business accounting software that businesses across the world rely on to automate key aspects of their financial needs. It can be used to manage expenses, invoices, payroll, and track the overall financial health of an individual business.

QuickBooks provides several different options when signing up to accommodate different types of business owners, starting at a single self-employed plan up to larger enterprise plans to help complete accounting teams.

Businesses can create and keep track of invoices in one place. They are easily generated with plenty of templates available. You can either print an invoice or send it directly to your customer right from the QuickBooks portal.

QuickBooks is also great for handling all bills and expenses. It can be set up to track expenses made with credit or debit card accounts automatically. Link these cards to your account, and the software will pull these records right into your business portal to track spending by category, vendor name, and much more.

QuickBooks also provides extensive coverage with business financial statements like balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow. These are the most important statements needed come tax season.

As you grow, QuickBooks grows with you. The payroll features are extensive, and you continue to upgrade plans with time tracking features built right in.

You can also use QuickBooks as a way to track inventory, scan receipts, and accept online payments directly. They are truly a full-service business accounting platform with so many features to offer.

What is Quicken?

Quicken is much different than QuickBooks and focuses on serving the personal accounting software market with a variety of features. Quicken operates as a downloadable desktop version with features for data storage to access from anywhere with your mobile app.

Quicken users can get their personal finances in order by organizing income, expenses, budgets, investments, bank accounts, and other important documentation all in one place. While the cloud capabilities still exist, there is no longer a Quicken Online software available.

Quicken gives you access to reconcile bank statements and check your recorded transactions in one place. This is the digital version of balancing a checkbook. It’s a good way to audit exactly where your money is going firsthand.

There are impressive retirement planning features in Quicken to lay out your plan and see where you are headed. Set your own retirement goals and see what you need to save on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis to accomplish them. 

Quicken has the ability to sync with TurboTax like QuickBooks to make your life much easier during tax season. If you do your own taxes, they also have tax reports that can be generated and analyzed by you and your accountant.

Every bill you pay online can be added to Quicken as a way to manage all of these bills in one place. This is an excellent solution to ensure you don’t miss any payments and keep track of your balances.

QuickBooks vs. Quicken: Features

The primary features that stand out among these two platforms vary significantly because the use case for each is so different. QuickBooks is geared towards automating the accounting practices for small businesses. Meanwhile, Quicken aims to empower people to gain control of their personal finances.

QuickBooks Features

Available Integrations

QuickBooks is made to integrate seamlessly with many of the top applications available like PayPal, Shopify, Square, and many more. You can completely automate many of the tedious tasks you spend time on by taking advantage of the 600+ available integrations.

Most of the apps are free to download and sync right with your QuickBooks dashboard. Integrations allow you to manage your business from anywhere, further organize your finances, and create an optimized dashboard relevant to your needs.

Payroll and Time Tracking

QuickBooks Time is the extensive time tracking tool available within the QuickBooks platform for all employees. It can accurately track time and sync with your weekly payroll to make the process as simple as possible.

Payroll management allows for full control over your entire team. The weekly taxes and end-of-year tax forms are generated and sent out automatically too.

Invoice Creation and Management

One of the best features of QuickBooks is the ability to create highly customized invoices tailored to each specific client or vendor. There are plenty of pre-made templates to use, or you can decide to start from scratch and build your own.

You can also set up automatic invoicing to go out on specific dates every week or month to save yourself the time of repetitive, tedious tasks.

Quicken Features

Bills and Income Management

Quicken allows users to directly connect their accounts into the platform to put all of their bills and income in a single location. You can use this area to track upcoming payments that are due, any past due accounts, and incoming paychecks.

By tracking everything here, there are no surprises when bills are due, and you should eliminate any late fees that have occurred in the past. You can also set up autopay right in Quicken on any account.  

Spending

Quicken allows users to directly connect their accounts and download transactions right into the software. The integration is extremely accurate and even allows you to label and group your expenses so you can see where all of your money is being spent.

Use the reporting feature to analyze where money is being spent and how you can better budget. By first uploading all of your spendings, you position yourself to access more features like the financial planning aspect of Quicken.

Financial Planning

The financial planning tab in Quicken is highly intuitive. You are allowed to input different numbers to see what type of commitment with saving and investing would yield you. It helps you determine short-term budgeting goals and long-term retirement planning.

QuickBooks vs. Quicken: Plans and Pricing

QuickBooks Pricing Plans

  • Self-Employed: $7.50/mo
  • Simple Start: $12.50/mo
  • Essentials: $20/mo
  • Plus: $35/mo
  • Advanced: $75/mo

Self-Employed

QuickBooks Self-Employed is the first plan offered for small businesses, independent contractors, and freelancers. The plan begins at $7.50/mo and provides enough features to make this pricing a complete steal.

The Self-Employed plan also contains tiers for those who want more assistance when tax season rolls around. There are other offerings that include this type of support.  

Self-Employed Tax Bundle

The Self-Employed Tax Bundle plan starts at $12/mo for interested customers. They put a primary focus on making the tax process easier to handle for solopreneurs. You gain full access to all of the Self-Employed features, plus you get access to the QuickBooks portal to pay quarterly estimated taxes directly.

You can also use TurboTax as a direct integration to file your taxes. There is no need to input all of your information from scratch, and the software automatically handles it for you.  

Self-Employed Live Tax Bundle

Everything included in the Self-Employed Live Tax Bundle plan has already been mentioned in the previous plans, but you get even more for a low price of only $17/mo.

In this plan, you have access to a marketplace of real, professional CPAs on-demand to help you with any of your tax needs. When the time comes to finalize your taxes at the end of the year, you can find someone to take a look at and fix any issues that may occur later.  

Simple Start

The Simple Start plan is the first plan aimed at small businesses. The pricing starts at $12.50/mo and offers plenty of features for such an affordable price.

The features you most need are income tracking, expense tracking, and automated expense recording after you link your accounts to QuickBooks. There are also plenty of invoicing, online payments, estimates, and reporting capabilities you can use.

You can also start automating tax deductions with this plan, so they are already done when tax season arrives. All sales tax is also tracked automatically.

The hiring journey can begin in this plan too. All 1099 contractors will have access to time tracking along with basic payroll functions and documents. Other features include mileage tracking, cash flow management, and receipt capture and organization.

Essentials

The Essentials plan starts rolling out more impressive features for QuickBooks users. The plan gives you added functionality with a small increase in price up to $20/mo. You get access to all of the same available features found in the Simple Start plan plus even more.

This plan allows two more licenses for a total of three users in your organization. The upgrade also includes access to bill management and payments right in the QuickBooks portal.

You can use the time tracking feature and give contractors and employees access to pay based on billable hours worked accurately. QuickBooks Time is a simple time tracking tool that any user in your business can take advantage of with the Essentials plan.  

Plus

The Plus plan is for larger businesses experiencing impressive growth that need more features to handle their business finances and accounting. The features in the Essentials plan are included, along with many more upgrades too. The pricing for the Plus plan is $35/mo.

The Plus plan upgrades you to five total licenses to expand your team’s access to the QuickBooks portal. Now you can track time more effectively and grow your accounting team, all for only $35/mo. This plan allows your team to handle more tasks inside the software platform for only a small increase in the monthly cost.

Other feature upgrades include inventory tracking and project profitability tracking. These features give you more capabilities inside the software and allow your business to handle processes daily with ease.

Advanced

Pricing for the Advanced plan stands at $75/mo. In this plan, you get many upgrades across the board in both features and access.

This plan gives your business 25 total user accounts. This is a better plan for bigger businesses that have large enough teams to occupy so many different QuickBooks licenses.

Other upgrades include the business analytics and insights tool to better track things happening in your organization.

You also get invoice and expense batching, role access customization, and premium app access. You also can automate workflows for all employees and restore data at any time to avoid a loss of information.

Live Bookkeeping

Business owners have the ability to a full setup of their bookkeeping with the Live Bookkeeping add-on. It is a small $50 one-time fee and allows a professional to sync all of your accounts, automate repetitive tasks, and teach you the basics of the software. This is not required when you sign up.

Full-Service Bookkeeping

QuickBooks truly does offer it all. If you decide you would like to automate the entire account process, they have that option available too. This is a custom plan that requires a discussion with a QuickBooks sales rep to determine the exact pricing.

However, QuickBooks provides a free consultation to help you determine what the best course of action for your small business is.

Quicken Pricing Plans

  • Starter: $35.99 per year
  • Deluxe: $49.99 per year
  • Premier: $74.99 per year
  • Home & Business: $99.99 per year

Starter

This entry-level “Starter” plan with Quicken provides the basic features available to take the next step in planning a better financial future for yourself. It is best for new customers just getting started with optimizing their personal finances.

Features include a dashboard to sync all of your accounts to one place, budget creation, budget management, and the ability to manage your money on the go with mobile and desktop-based access.  

Deluxe

The Deluxe plan is when new features start getting added to the bundle. This plan gives you all of the access granted in the Starter plan plus extra benefits.

Upgrading to Deluxe gives you a more customizable platform to tweak your budget based on new metrics. You also gain access to more debt syncing to add personal loans to your account for tracking. This plan is best to expand your budget offerings and create more intensive savings goals.

Premier

The Premier plan is best for someone looking to maximize their current investments and expand the current capabilities of the software. You receive every feature in the Deluxe plan, along with a list of new tools to make the platform even more efficient.

The bill tracker section allows auto payments for free. You can adjust all bills and make payments in one place.

You also gain access to a full array of investment tools like portfolio analysis, returns vs. the market, cost basis tracking, Schedule D tax reports, and buy/sell insights. This plan is best for someone looking to expand investment knowledge and continue to build their personal portfolio.  

Home & Business

The Home & Business plan offers exactly what it says. You receive all features already discussed involving your personal or “Home” assets. Plus you are granted access to all of the available business and property management features Quicken has.

These features include business profit and loss statements, Schedule C tax documents, custom invoice creation, lease management, tracking rent payments, and saving all rental documents. If you are a business or property owner, this plan gives you excellent features for basic management.  

Who Should Use QuickBooks?

QuickBooks can be used by all because they offer such a variety of plans. From freelancers to small business owners, there are plenty of features included in each plan to make your accounting situation much easier.

The plans also scale quite quickly and it doesn’t cost too much for a small business to upgrade to a new plan as they grow. With such a wide range of offerings, we recommend QuickBooks as the best business accounting software to all those business owners just starting out and looking to grow.

QuickBooks Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Easy to manage and adjust inventory.
  • Reporting customizations available are extensive.
  • 600+ different integrations are available.
  • Payroll features allow you to pay employees directly.
  • Affordable monthly pricing.
  • Plenty of tools to quickly find mistakes.
  • Filters available when searching for customers or transactions.
  • High-level accounting reports and insights.
  • Data stored on the cloud for best access.
  • Taxes are always correct with plenty of support from TurboTax.  

Cons

  • Reporting is limited outside of basic accounting.
  • Invoice tools could be improved.
  • Sharing large files causes slower load times.
  • You cannot revert back to previous versions.
  • Premium features cost a lot of money.

Who Should Use Quicken?

Quicken is best suited for individuals looking to branch into the world of personal finance and learn more about making the most out of their money. It is a detail-oriented tool for individuals and becomes even more impressive for property owners and small business owners.

Overall, the tool is quite limited for business owners because it does not provide any real support with accounting. However, individual property owners are getting access to a range of features not found in other competitor platforms.

We recommend Quicken for newbie investors with a tight budget looking to learn more or an individual real estate owner with rental properties.  

Quicken Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Banking syncing is optional to protect your data.
  • Easy-to-use platform with user-friendly visuals.
  • Debt reduction tools are intuitive.
  • Bill-tracking and reminders are reliable and accurate.
  • Information is accessible online.
  • Lease and property management are unique offerings.
  • Projected balances on upcoming bills to help you plan accordingly.  

Cons

  • Plans get expensive as you reach for new features.
  • Overwhelming interface for beginners with no financial background.
  • Bank and account syncing requires a major time commitment  

The Verdict: QuickBooks vs. Quicken

Quicken does not have the same type of business capabilities that QuickBooks can provide. If you are looking for software to improve your businesses’ financial health, QuickBooks is the obvious choice.

Overall, QuickBooks provides the most available features for every price range. Quicken starts out expensive and never quite matches the full range of offerings available in QuickBooks. However, the features are more geared towards budgeting than accounting, so your specific needs matter most.  

Charles Hall

Charles Hall

Charles has spent 25 plus years in the world of accounting and business. His experience includes working as a CPA/Auditor international accounting firms. He has worked as a controller and as a COO for small to medium sized companies.

Learn more about Charles Hall