As a business owner, deciding which small business accounting software to use for your business can be a bit 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 vs. 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 start-up to a corporation without having the need to upgrade later. Click here to get up to 50% off 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 vs. QuickBooks Online Plus.
Quicken vs. QuickBooks Features & Pricing Table
|Who It’s Best For|
|Simple Start: $15/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|
|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
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 anytime. 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 A/R balances for you as you enter customer invoices and payments as well as your A/P balances as you enter your bills and pay them. This is different than Quicken, where you must manually track A/R and A/P balances.
3. Can Meet the Needs of Your Business 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 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, as well as 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/year) is what you would pay for just a 2-month subscription of QuickBooks Online Plus ($50/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 & 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 vs QuickBooks Online Plus. This should give you with 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/credit card accounts
- Track income & expenses
- Accept online credit card payments
- Pay Bills Online
- Email Invoices & Receipts
- Run Profit & 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 A/R balances when you create invoices and when you receive customer payments.
Unfortunately, Quicken Home & Business does not do this automatically. The A/R account must be set up and you must manually update the A/R 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 A/P balances when you enter bills and when you pay your bills.
Unfortunately, Quicken Home & Business does not do this automatically. The A/P account must be set up and you must manually update the A/P 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 QBO, 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 info included on the Profit & Loss statement and Schedule C, including income and expenses 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 (i.e. office supplies, meals & 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 info, 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 vs. 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 – $15 per month
- Essentials – $35 per month
- Plus – $50 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 (QBO) Plus ($50/mo) is a lot steeper than Quicken Home & Business ($8.33/mo.), QuickBooks Online includes a number of features that Quicken Home & Business does not offer. Click here to save up to 50% on QuickBooks Online.
Quicken has 4 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 is 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/month) this plan costs a lot less than QuickBooks Online Plus which is ($600 per year ($50/month). Keep in mind that there are several features included in QBO 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. Below is a snapshot of the dashboard in QuickBooks Online along with a brief description of the info you will find here:
- 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 vs undeposited funds.
- Expenses – In this section, you will see the total expenses for a selected time period along with the top 3 categories (i.e. Maintenance & Repairs, Job Expenses, Cost of Goods Sold etc;).
- Profit and Loss – Stay on top of your profit/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. Below is a snapshot of the dashboard in Quicken, along with a brief description of the info you will find here:
- 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 (i.e. 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 400.
QuickBooks Online Integrations
In addition to integrating with more than 400 apps, QuickBooks includes built-in integrations like Intuit Online Payroll to manage & 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 e-commerce business (Shopify and Square).
Check out the Intuit Apps Center to see all of the 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 or 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 info.
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. Here is a list of just a few of many tasks that you can complete:
- Add new customers and vendors
- Create customer invoices
- Take a picture & 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. Your data will sync across all devices. Here are just a few of the tasks that you can perform with the Quicken mobile app:
- View account balances and transactions
- Review your Desktop budget
- Take a picture & 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, 6am-6pm PST and Saturdays 6am-3pm PST; give them a call at 1-800-488-7330.
QuickBooks also has a learn & support page that includes step by step articles and videos on the most FAQs. 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 an FAQ section and a Tips & Tutorials section that includes detailed “How To” guides on just about everything. You must be logged into your account to access this info.
The customer service team is available Monday through Friday, 5am to 5pm PST; you can reach them at 1-650-250-1900.
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 end, 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/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 continue to use Quicken because “it’s better than using an Excel spreadsheet or Mint.”
Now that we’ve given you the lowdown on Quicken vs. 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.