As a business owner, deciding which small business accounting software to use for your business can be overwhelming. There are a number of good products on the market, including Quicken and QuickBooks. In this article, we compare pricing and features of Quicken versus QuickBooks so that you can decide which is best for you.
When to Use QuickBooks
QuickBooks is almost always a better option than Quicken because it is a true accounting software for businesses, while Quicken is more focused on personal finance. QuickBooks will grow with you as your business expands, from a startup to a corporation, without having the need to upgrade later. Get up to 50% off with your paid subscription to QuickBooks Online.
When to Use Quicken
Quicken is predominantly a personal finance tool and isn’t great for small businesses. However, it can be a better fit than QuickBooks if you have a rental property business and need a software that is customized to keep track of tenants, rental rates, and lease terms. Otherwise, you’ll want to use QuickBooks for your business needs.
Quicken only has one software option available for businesses, which is their “Home & Business” package. For the remainder of this guide, we will therefore focus on the features of Quicken Home & Business software versus QuickBooks Online Plus.
Quicken vs. QuickBooks Features & Pricing Table
|QuickBooks Online (QBO)||Quicken|
|Who It’s Best For||Most small businesses||Those who have a rental property business|
|Simple Start: $20/month|
Home & Business: $99.99/year
|Manage Accounts Receivable|
|Manage Accounts Payable||✔||✕|
|Separate Business & Personal Expenses||✕||✔|
|Schedule C & E Reports||✕||✔|
|Rental Property Center||✕||✔|
|Number of Users Included||5||1|
|Ease of Setup/Use|
|Integrations with Other Systems|
|Payroll: Intuit Online Payroll|
Credit Card Processing: Intuit Merchant Services
Ecommerce: Shopify, Square
Check out the Apps center for the complete list
Credit Card processing: PayPal
Home valuation tool: Zillow Zestimate
Document storage: Dropbox
Check out the Services center for the complete list
|iOS & Android||iOS & Android|
|Learn More||Visit QuickBooks||Visit Quicken|
Why We Chose QuickBooks over Quicken
QuickBooks beats Quicken hands down because it was designed for businesses to do their bookkeeping, whereas Quicken was created for consumers as a way to track their personal finances and investments. In addition, QuickBooks is not limited when it comes to sharing your data with other users or tracking your invoices and bills.
Beyond the fact that it’s specifically for businesses, here are three reasons why QuickBooks beats Quicken every time:
1. Gives Multi-User Access
QuickBooks Online (QBO) is a cloud accounting software, which means that anyone with a user ID and password can access your data from anywhere at any time. This feature gives you the ability to give your bookkeeper and tax professional access to your data so they can do their work without having to bother you. Unfortunately, you cannot give others access to your Quicken data because the software is installed on your computer.
2. Can Track Accounts Receivable & Accounts Payable
Cash flow management is one of the most (if not the most) important aspects of your business. In order to stay on top of this, you must be able to track the money that is owed to you from customers (accounts receivable) as well as the money that you owe to vendor suppliers (accounts payable).
QuickBooks Online will automatically update your accounts receivable balances for you as you enter customer invoices and payments, as well as your accounts payable balances as you enter your bills and pay them. This is different than Quicken, where you must manually track accounts receivable and accounts payable balances.
3. Can Meet the Needs of Your Business as It Grows
With QuickBooks Online, you don’t have to worry about switching accounting software when you hit certain thresholds, such as deciding to hire your first employee or contractor, when you are ready to accept online payments, or if you decide to start selling products.
With QuickBooks, you can turn on the payroll feature anytime (additional fees will apply), hire a contractor whenever you are ready because QuickBooks can track 1099 contractors, and turn on the credit card feature to accept online payments (additional fees will apply). Finally, QuickBooks is set up to track your inventory products when you are ready.
What QuickBooks Is Missing
While we do recommend QuickBooks Online over Quicken, there are a couple of disadvantages of which you should be aware. First is the steep price. The cost of Quicken for an entire year ($99.99 per year) is what you would pay for just a two-month subscription to QuickBooks Online Plus ($60 per month). As discussed, this is due to the number of features that you get with QuickBooks.
Second, you can easily transfer your data from Quicken to your Schedule C in TurboTax if you have a rental property business or something similar. Unfortunately, with QuickBooks, you will have to run your Profit and Loss statement and then manually enter the data into TurboTax.
When You Should Consider Quicken Instead of QuickBooks
If you have a rental property business, then Quicken may be a better fit for you than QuickBooks Online. For example, unlike QuickBooks Online Plus, Quicken Home & Business has a rental property center. Within this center, you can manage every aspect of your rental property business, including keeping track of your tenants, monthly rent, rent increases, lease terms, and more.
If you want an accounting software that is customized to meet the needs of your rental property business, Quicken Home & Business is a good choice. Last but not least, if you keep your own books and do your own taxes, then you probably don’t need to give anyone else access to your data. Having Quicken Home & Business installed on one computer should work just fine for you.
In-Depth Comparison: Quicken Home & Business vs. QuickBooks Online Plus
In this section, we will provide you with the details on pricing, ease of use, features, integrations, and the mobile app for Quicken Home & Business versus QuickBooks Online Plus. This should give you a better understanding regarding the full range of options possible, as well as which one is right for you.
Features: Quicken Home & Business vs. QuickBooks Online Plus
Both Quicken Home & Business and QuickBooks Online Plus include the following features:
- Customer invoicing
- Create estimates
- Connect bank and credit card accounts
- Track income and expenses
- Accept online credit card payments
- Pay bills online
- Email invoices and receipts
- Run Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet Reports
QuickBooks Online Plus Features
In addition to the features list above, QuickBooks Online Plus also includes the following features:
Tracks Accounts Receivable Automatically
Staying on top of the money that is owed to you by customers is critical to maintaining positive cash flow for your business. QuickBooks Online Plus automatically updates your accounts receivable balances when you create invoices and when you receive customer payments.
Unfortunately, Quicken Home & Business does not do this automatically. The accounts receivable account must be set up and you must manually update the accounts receivable balances when you create invoices and receive customer payments.
Tracks Accounts Payable Automatically
Staying on top of the money that you owe to vendor suppliers is just as important as keeping track of your accounts receivable. QuickBooks Online Plus automatically updates your accounts payable balances when you enter bills and when you pay your bills.
Unfortunately, Quicken Home & Business does not do this automatically. The accounts payable account must be set up and you must manually update the accounts payable balances when you enter and pay your bills.
1099 Reporting for Contractors
QuickBooks Online Plus allows you to easily keep track of payments made to 1099 contractors throughout the year. When you set up a vendor in QuickBooks Online, you can flag them as a 1099 vendor so that they will appear on a 1099 report that you can run in QuickBooks. With this report, you can create your 1099 forms and submit them by the due date.
If you sell products, you will need to keep track of your cost, quantities, and total value of each item. With QuickBooks Online Plus, you can easily set up all of your products and track this information. Unfortunately, Quicken Home & Business does not have the functionality to track inventory.
Quicken Home & Business Features
In addition to the features list above, Quicken Home & Business also includes the following features:
Separate & Categorize Business & Personal Expenses
While it’s best practice to keep business expenses separate from personal expenses, Quicken Home & Business allows you to categorize income and expenses as business or personal. This ensures that the information included on the Profit and Loss statement and Schedule C, including income and expenses, are related to your business only.
QuickBooks Online Plus does not include categories for personal expenses like Quicken Home & Business. However, QuickBooks does have a self-employed option that gives you this functionality. Be careful though, because this QuickBooks option is only valid for single-member companies and can’t grow with you.
Schedule C & E Reports
Each business expense category (e.g., office supplies, meals, and entertainment) in Quicken Home & Business is linked to a tax line on Schedule C if it is a tax deductible item. This built-in feature allows you to run a Schedule C report to see where you stand for tax purposes throughout the year. No more waiting until April.
By the same token, if you are in the rental property business, you can easily run Schedule E to see what your tax position is anytime you choose to. At tax time, you can easily export your data to TurboTax to prepare your tax return. Unfortunately, you cannot run these reports or export your data from QuickBooks Online to TurboTax.
Manage Rental Property
Unlike QuickBooks Online Plus, Quicken Home & Business has the capability to manage all aspects of a rental property business. This includes, but is not limited to: tenant information, reminders for rent payments that are coming due or past due, recording income and expenses for each property, as well as managing lease terms, rental rates, and security deposits, all within the Rent Center.
Pricing: Quicken vs. QuickBooks
The pricing structure of Quicken versus QuickBooks Online is like comparing apples to oranges. Quicken’s pricing structure is a hybrid of desktop software that you install on the computer and the subscription-based model that most cloud accounting software uses. Each subscription plan is paid upfront, and it is good for 12 months.
At the end of the 12-month period, it will automatically renew unless you decide not to do so. By contrast, QuickBooks Online pricing is billed on a monthly basis and continues until you cancel your subscription.
QuickBooks Online Pricing
QuickBooks Online has three pricing plans that are billed monthly:
- Simple Start: $20 per month
- Essentials: $35 per month
- Plus: $60 per month
The primary difference between these three plans are the features included in each, which we have outlined in the chart above. While the price tag for QuickBooks Online Plus ($60 per month) is a lot steeper than Quicken Home & Business ($8.33 per month), QuickBooks Online includes a number of features that Quicken Home & Business does not offer. You can save up to 50% on QuickBooks Online with your paid subscription.
Quicken has four pricing plans that are billed annually:
- Starter: $34.99
- Deluxe: $49.99
- Premier: $74.99
- Home & Business: $99.99
The primary differences between the four plans are the features that are included, which we have outlined in the chart above.
If you are looking for the best product to manage your business, we recommend the Home & Business plan. At $99.99 per year ($8.33 per month) this plan costs a lot less than QuickBooks Online Plus, which is $720 per year ($60 per month). Keep in mind that there are several features included in QuickBooks Online Plus that are not available in Quicken Home & Business. Read the Features section of this article to learn more.
Ease of Use: Quicken vs. QuickBooks
It’s harder to compare the ease of use between QuickBooks and Quicken because QuickBooks is predominantly online while Quicken is run both online and locally off your computer. Still, we downloaded both programs and gave them a test drive to see which one was easier to use.
QuickBooks Online Ease of Use
QuickBooks Online is a lot easier to navigate around and, unlike Quicken, I didn’t have to squint to see the text on the screen. The QuickBooks Online dashboard has a left menu bar to that allows you to easily navigate the program, the total paid and unpaid customer invoices, total expenses, profit and loss, and sales for the time period you choose.
A snapshot of the dashboard in QuickBooks Online is below:
The five primary sections found on the QuickBooks Online dashboard are:
- Left Menu Bar – You can access just about any tasks from the left menu bar, including create invoices, bank accounts, and reports.
- Invoice – In this section, you can see what your customers owe you (accounts receivable), as well as the total amount of payments collected that you have deposited versus undeposited funds.
- Expenses – In this section, you will see the total expenses for a selected time period along with the top three categories (e.g., Maintenance & Repairs, Job Expenses, Cost of Goods Sold, etc.).
- Profit and Loss – Stay on top of your profit and loss without having to run a report!
- Sales – Keep an eye on your sales throughout the year so that you can recognize trends and make any necessary adjustments.
Quicken Ease of Use
In my opinion, the user interface of Quicken needs improvement. The screen design is a bit clunky and the font size used throughout the program is pretty good in some areas and then requires me to squint when I navigate to other areas of the program. The Quicken dashboard includes a snapshot of total spending, unpaid bills, and a budget versus actuals comparison.
A snapshot of the dashboard in Quicken is below:
The primary information you will find on the Quicken dashboard is:
- Menu Bar – Click on the top menu bar to navigate to the various areas of the program like Bills & Income, Rental Property, and Tips & Tutorials.
- Total Spending – Keep tabs on where your money is going by reviewing the graph that shows the amount spent by category (e.g., Auto, Utilities, etc.)
- Bills to Pay – Stay on top of monthly bills that you pay using the Bill Pay feature in Quicken.
- Budget – Create a budget to keep track of spending to help you find ways to decrease your spending and save more money.
Integrations: Quicken vs. QuickBooks
When it comes to integrations with other software products, there is just no comparison between Quicken and QuickBooks. Quicken only integrates three other products, while QuickBooks integrates with over 600 programs.
QuickBooks Online Integrations
In addition to integrating with more than 600 apps, QuickBooks includes built-in integrations like Intuit Online Payroll to manage and pay employees, Intuit Merchant Services to accept online credit card payments, and Bill.com so that you can make online bill payments. On top of these, you can add apps to manage your ecommerce business (Shopify and Square).
Check out the Intuit Apps Center to see the full list of apps available.
When it comes to integrating with other software, Quicken is extremely limited. Quicken integrates with PayPal for accepting online credit card payments from customers, Dropbox to store important documents (such as rental agreements and contracts), and Zillow Zestimate, which is a tool that you can use to calculate the value of your home. Similar to QuickBooks Online, it has a built-in bill payment tool that allows you to pay your bills online. Check out the Service Center for more information.
Mobile App: Quicken vs. QuickBooks
Both Quicken and QuickBooks Online allow you to access your data on the go with their mobile app. The app for both products is available for both iOS and Android devices. Read on to learn what you can do with each mobile app.
QuickBooks Online Mobile App
Similar to Quicken, you can do just about everything that you can on a desktop computer with the QuickBooks Online mobile app. This includes adding new customers and vendors, creating invoices, and entering bills.
Some of the tasks that you can complete with the QuickBooks Online mobile app are:
- Add new customers and vendors
- Create customer invoices
- Take a picture and attach receipts to transactions
- Enter vendor bills
Quicken Mobile App
With the Quicken mobile app, you can perform many of the same tasks that you can do sitting at your desktop computer. This includes viewing your account balances, taking a picture of receipts and attaching them to transactions, and reviewing your budget. Your data will automatically sync across all devices.
A few of the tasks that you can perform with the Quicken mobile app are:
- View account balances and transactions
- Review your Desktop budget
- Take a picture and attach receipts to transactions
- Manually add and categorize transactions
Customer Service/Support Options: Quicken vs. QuickBooks
One of the areas where a lot of accounting software programs fall short is offering live customer support. Both Quicken and QuickBooks Online have live customer service reps that you can call when you need help.
QuickBooks Online Customer Service/Support
Similar to Quicken, QuickBooks offers live customer support. Unlike Quicken, you can also chat with a customer service rep. To start a chat, log into your account and click on the Help menu. Customer service reps are available Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST and Saturdays 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. PST.
QuickBooks also has a learn and support page that includes step-by-step articles and videos on the most frequently asked questions. If you can’t find your answer, you can also send an email to the support team and they will respond within 48 hours.
Last but not least, Fit Small Business has designed a free QuickBooks Course to teach you everything you need to know to get your business up and running on QuickBooks in no time.
Quicken Customer Service/Support
In addition to a customer service line, Quicken also has a frequently asked questions section and a Tips and Tutorials section that includes detailed “How To” guides on just about everything. You must be logged into your account to access this information. The customer service team is available Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.
Customer Reviews: Quicken vs. QuickBooks
We thought it would be helpful to share with you what customers are saying about Quicken and QuickBooks. Below, we have provided you with what customers say each software does well and what they don’t do so well.
QuickBooks Online Reviews
On the positive side, QuickBooks customers really like the mobile app. The feedback is that you can perform almost any task using the mobile device and everything syncs up nicely. Unfortunately, customers are not impressed with the customer service (or lack thereof). The feedback from customers is that they have to spend a lot of time on the phone talking to someone who may or may not be able to resolve their issue.
I have had the same experience with contacting customer support. My recommendation is that you try using chat to get help. By using the chat support, you can continue to work while you are waiting for someone to locate the answer to your question. Check out our customer review page to learn more about what small businesses are saying about QuickBooks.
I must confess that it was quite difficult to find positive customer reviews for Quicken. Overall, the customer reviews that I did find had three common issues with the software: poor customer support, the program crashes when downloading bank and credit card information, and there are bugs that have existed for a number of years, with no effort to fix them.
The positive reviews that I was able to find note that they continue to use Quicken because “it’s better than using an Excel spreadsheet or Mint.” I would have to agree that Quicken is definitely an upgrade from an Excel spreadsheet or the old “shoebox” method.
Now that we’ve given you the lowdown on Quicken versus QuickBooks Online, it’s time for you to step up to the plate and make a decision! If your business is rental properties, go with Quicken. It’s customized for your business plus you can keep track of your personal income and taxes.
However, if you’re looking for a robust accounting software with few limitations, QuickBooks is the way to go. Sign up for a free 30-day trial and take QuickBooks for a test drive.