There are some fundamental differences when you compare Quicken vs QuickBooks, and if you were to search online, you’re going to find debates all over the place as to which one is better, more effective, simple, or complex.
The reality is that they’re both great applications that do what they’re supposed to do but they each function differently. We’re going to focus on what the differences are so that you can make an informed choice about which one is going to work for you.
Consider What You Are Using Them For
Do you want to be able to track business expenses or do you want to be able to track personal finances? The answer is going to make a difference as to which one is going to be a better option for you.
Let’s dive in and figure out what some of the other differences are between the two.v
QuickBooks is meant to track all of your business transactions because that is what it is designed to do. Quicken incorporates the tracking of personal finances in addition to some business transactions.
If you’re into finance as either a hobby or professional career choice, you’ll likely agree that it’s not best practice to host both personal and business finances in the same place. The reason for this is because if you’re not careful, transactions can sometimes get muddy or misplaced, leading to all sorts of issues.
When it comes to tracking personal finances, you’re going to also want to ensure that you watch all of your credit card transactions and keep them distinctly separate from one another.
If you prefer to be able to track all of your expenses both business and personal all in one place, then Quicken is going to be the way to go, even if it’s not typically recommended.
Comparing the Pricing Schemes and Collecting Payments
Budgetary constraints can make a difference, too, when you’re considering choosing between Quicken vs QuickBooks, and rightfully so.
There are fewer payment tiers for QuickBooks, but that makes sense given that it is designed for business consumers. You can choose to go with a Simple Start, Essentials, or Plus subscription that ranges from $15 to $50 per month.
When it comes to Quicken, you pay annual fees as opposed to monthly fees. The different levels of service that they provide make payment easier on your pocketbooks, too. You can expect to pay as low as $34.99 for the year for their Starter package or pay as much as $99.99 for their Home & Business package. There are a couple of other options in between to help you find what you’re looking for.
Something else to think about is the way that they each accept or send payments. QuickBooks integrates nicely with Intuit Online Payroll, while Quicken does not integrate with any payroll applications.
QuickBooks also offers compatibility with other credit card processing companies as well as e-commerce vendors like Shopify or Square. Quicken, on the other hand, works with PayPal and Dropbox for document storage.
There are significant differences between what the two track and how they’re accessed, so it would be a good idea for you to consider just how those variances may impact you.
Understanding the Difference in Accounting Features
At the core, both applications do the same thing – track money in versus money out. They both also offer you the option of balancing and reconciling your accounts to make sure that everything is where it is supposed to be.
With QuickBooks, you have the option to handle bank feed information and manage it however you see fit depending on the criteria you set forth. That means that keeping track of your balance and reconciliations as well as your invoices, bills, reports, and other accounts can be simple to manage.
Hands down, QuickBooks is more appropriate for business users. Other accounting features you’ll find inside include things like keeping track of payroll, inventory, purchase orders, and automatic payments, too.
QuickBooks also allows for sending invoices, setting up online payments, and creating recurring charges that will automatically send receipts to customers when the charges have been made. It does, of course, require authorization from the client, but know that it can happen without much intervention on your behalf.
Quicken, on the other hand, is good at managing mutual funds and investment accounts. It can even project capital gains which is extremely useful when it comes to planning for your retirement. As you can see, though, these particular features found on Quicken are better for personal finances as opposed to business finances.
Getting to Know the Interface and Access
QuickBooks is designed for the business consumer, and as such, the interface is significantly simpler because it has one job – tracking business transactions. It’s also available directly from the cloud, which means you don’t need to have a dedicated business computer. Instead, you can track everything online whenever you need it.
Cloud access and design mean that the information you input is changed in real-time as opposed to needing time to sync. It’s not the kind of application where you make changes on a local system that sync later. As a business, you can appreciate knowing that your information will be up-to-date at all times.
Quicken is entirely different because it is designed for the home user and so offers the tracking of personal accounts as well as some business-related accounts. When you compare the two applications, you’re going to find that Quicken is markedly different and more complicated due to the difference in capabilities.
There is always going to be a risk of sync errors, too, because, with this application, you’re going to need a local box to work off of when adding new information. Once you enter it, the data has to sync with their online account. If there is ever a sync error, it might mess up your accounting, so it is something to be aware of.
A word of advice, though, regarding the cloud access. Yes, cloud access is incredibly convenient, but take it from someone who knows – always have a backup copy in case the changes don’t take place the way they’re supposed to. If you do that, then you’ll still have accurate information to fall back on.
Consider, too, who will have access to the information. QuickBooks offers access for up to three users, which is crucial if you’re running a business and you need to delegate duties to someone. You want to be able to tell John that he is in charge of tracking certain things while Shannon is in charge of payroll that way you’re not doing everything.
Quicken is quite different in that respect. The application only allows for a single user, which makes sense considering it is made to track personal finance and only a few aspects that are business-minded. If you’re a home-based business or simply someone that wants to be better about keeping track of your finances, then you may be fine with a single user.
In considering Quicken vs QuickBooks, you’re going to want to go with QuickBooks if you’re in need of managing inventory or for keeping track of payroll. The convenience of online payments is a boon to you, too, if you’re a business customer.
If you’re more in need of projecting your own capital gains or tracking mutual funds and other investments, then Quicken will better fit the bill for you in that regard.
When you think about the way the interface and access work, you’ve got to consider what your needs are and what your goals are. If you need to ensure accurate and always available access without requiring a given platform, then you’re going to want to go forward with QuickBooks.
If you’re okay with having a local box to work off of and then checking that the information syncs properly at every sitting, then you’re going to be better off with Quicken.
When you’re trying to decide between Quicken or QuickBooks, you’ve got to figure out what will meet your needs for your specific financial situation. Compare their features and design to make the decision that will work for you.