Monday, 25 January 2021

Quicken vs. QuickBooks: Which Should You Choose?

Quicken vs. QuickBooks: Which Should You Choose?
05 Jul

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To successfully grow your small business, you need full knowledge of your company’s finances. You may be considering accounting software from QuickBooks or Quicken to manage your books.

QuickBooks’ offerings are designed for small businesses, and although Quicken primarily focuses on personal finance, Quicken’s Home and Business software could be a good option for managing personal and professional finances in one place.

We’ll review Quicken Home and Business software compared with QuickBooks to help you choose which accounting program would be best for your small business.

Quicken and QuickBooks at a glance

Here’s a quick look at how Quicken Home and Business and QuickBooks Online compare.

  Quicken Home and Business QuickBooks Online
Software format Desktop software; Ability to sync with online Quicken accounts Cloud-based software
Subscription Annual subscription Monthly subscription
Price $89.99/year for the first year; $99.99/year for the following years Lowest tier is $10/month for first three months; $20/month for the following months
Free trial N/A 30-day free trial
Multi-user capabilities N/A Up to 25 users, depending on subscription tier
Payroll Not included Not included; Available as an add-on feature

Quicken vs. QuickBooks: The fundamentals

Quicken and QuickBooks both provide basic accounting services for small business owners, though there are differences in what each company offers. We’ve compared Quicken’s Home and Business program with QuickBooks Online, as it’s the more popular product from QuickBooks. Both programs also have comparable price points. Here’s how they stack up:


Quicken: Quicken Home and Business is a desktop software program available for Windows operating systems. However, you can sync your account to the Quicken Cloud to access your data through Quicken on the Web, which is a companion app for Quicken desktop products. The Quicken Cloud does not back up files, so you couldn’t rely on the cloud to restore lost data.

QuickBooks: QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based financial management software. And unlike Quicken, QuickBooks saves your data on two hard drives and performs an automatic backup each night. You could access your QuickBooks account from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection. QuickBooks also offers a desktop version of its software for businesses with a larger budget and stationery accounting needs.

Accounting capabilities

Quicken: You can track your personal and business transactions separately with Quicken Home and Business. The software lets you view your business account balances, transactions, budgets and spending trends. You can also search your transaction history, and check the performance of your personal investments.

Additionally, Quicken Home and Business allows you to track transactions related to rental property. You can track property value, bank accounts, tenant lists, income and expenses related to your rental properties within your Quicken software, something QuickBooks Online doesn’t include. You can also store tenant agreements, manage rent and security deposits and send payment reminders.

If you sync your data to Quicken on the Web, your information will remain up to date across your desktop, web and mobile devices. Quicken Home and Business generates reports, such as profit and loss statements. You can also create custom reports and custom invoices that include payment links. Quicken Home and Business does not include a payroll feature, however, and does not advertise an option to add payroll as an extra feature. Quicken also does not let you add extra users. You would be the only user who could access your data through the desktop software and Quicken on the Web.

QuickBooks: There are several tiers of service for QuickBooks Online, but all of them allow business owners to track income and expenses, organize receipts, send invoices and accept payments. You can also run basic financial reports and send estimates. The advanced tiers let you add users, track inventory and manage and pay bills. Like Quicken, QuickBooks does not include payroll, but you would be able to add the feature for an extra cost, starting at $18 per month.

Although QuickBooks does not include features specifically for managing personal finances like Quicken does, QuickBooks does offer a Self-Employed version of QuickBooks Online that separates business and personal expenses. The program starts at $5 per month for the first three months. QuickBooks Online automatically syncs your data across multiple devices and lets you grant access to an accountant who could then review your books online. Because Quicken doesn’t allow multiple users, you wouldn’t be able to give your accountant similar access with Quicken Home and Business.


Quicken: Even though you would need to download the software, Quicken requires a yearly payment for the service. New customers can pay the promotional price of $89.99 for the first year, then pay the standard price of $99.99 for subsequent years. Quicken advertises a 30-day money-back guarantee if the software doesn’t cut it for your business.

QuickBooks: The QuickBooks Online pricing model is similar, though you would need to pay for a monthly subscription rather than an annual subscription. QuickBooks Online is available at several price points depending on your accounting needs. For new customers, each plan is available at a 50% discount for the first three months, and the cost then doubles when the promotional period ends.

  • Simple Start: $10/month; includes basic income and expense tracking and the ability to send invoices and generate reports.
    • First year: $210
  • Essentials: $20/month; includes the same features as Simple Start, as well as bill management, time tracking and the option to add up to three users.
    • First year: $420
  • Plus: $35/month; includes the same features as Essentials, plus inventory tracking, project profitability reports, contractor management and the option to add up to five users.
    • First year: $735
  • Advanced: $60/month; includes the same features as Plus, in addition to faster invoicing, bill payment and management, advanced reporting and the option to add up to 25 users with custom permissions.
    • First year: $1,530

If you want to add payroll, the feature would also be 50% off for the first three months. Self-service payroll would cost an additional $18 per month, plus $4 per employee per month. Full-service payroll would cost $40 per month, plus $4 per employee per month. A free 30-day trial is also available for all QuickBooks Online options.

Quick comparison: Quicken charges a one-time yearly subscription fee starting at $89.99 per year for new customers, while QuickBooks charges per month. QuickBooks Online Simple Start, the lowest-tier offering, starts at an introductory rate of $10 per month for three months. The price then jumps to $20 per month. Your first year of QuickBooks Online Simple Start could cost $210. Though QuickBooks may be pricier than Quicken, you could have access to more features.

Which is right for your business?

Quicken’s primary product is personal finance management software, and the company’s business offering includes personal finance tools as well. If you prefer to keep your personal and business financial activity in one file, Quicken Home and Business could help you stay organized.

You would need to download Quicken software to your desktop computer, which could limit access to your files. However, Quicken does provide cloud services so you could access your data through its Quicken on the Web application. You’d need to set that up separately from your desktop software.

On the other hand, QuickBooks Online is cloud-based software that would let you manage your business finances from any device with an internet connection. QuickBooks Online also offers more business-specific features, like the ability to track sales and organize receipts. These features contribute to QuickBooks’ overall cost, which is high compared with Quicken. But if you have room in your budget, QuickBooks may provide more in-depth accounting solutions for your business.

Small business owners could also manage their personal finances using the more affordable Self-Employed version of QuickBooks Online. The accounting features are limited for the Self-Employed plan, though, and it may not be useful for larger companies with advanced needs.

Whether you choose Quicken or QuickBooks for your small business accounting needs, you’re not locked in to your decision. Quicken data can be converted into QuickBooks Online files – and the other way around – if you want to switch.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Melissa Wylie


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