Quicken vs. QuickBooks: Which is Best for Small Business in 2023?
The right business planning software and invoicing software will allow you to organize your financial records, monitor company assets, take care of your accounting, and forecast finances for the short term and long term.
When it comes to small business accounting software, the market is dominated by various products that all offer a ton of features and may be used by small businesses at different scales and on different platforms.
In fact, by 2026, the worldwide accounting software market will be valued at around $11,772 million.
This means that the more software that gets into the market, the more difficult it will be to find and use the right financial software in your business.
There are many high-quality programs available, but which one will provide you with the tools that you need?
Two of the top contenders in this category are Quicken and QuickBooks.
Both of these power small businesses and help them to keep track of their ongoing financial activities.
This article will compare the two products when it comes to their:
- Expense Reporting Features.
- Budgeting Features.
- Recurring and Automated Payments.
- Inventory Tracking.
- Cashflow Management.
- And More.
Let’s dive deep into this topic.
Here’s a quick overview of the two financial management tools.
Quicken is a financial software application owned by H.I.G Capital.
It’s suitable for managing personal finances and gives you an overview of all your financial accounts in one place, so you can make informed decisions that help you reach your goals.
It gives you the power to excel when it comes to managing your income and expenses with extra features, such as bill reminders, powerful tools for investing, tax tips, and more.
One of its USPs is its ability to track and manage real estate, lease terms, and rental properties.
With a Mac version and a Windows version, you can ensure that the software works as it should no matter your operating system.
QuickBooks is accounting software owned by Intuit and is great for small business accounting.
It allows you to track income, expenses, and employees.
The program also helps you enter and track transactions, reconcile bank accounts, generate reports, run payroll, manage investments, and more.
Here’s a glance at QuickBooks vs Quicken:
Rental property owners, freelancers, and managing personal finances.
|Any sole proprietor and all types of small business owners.|
$35.99 per year
$25 per month
Generate Financial Statements
Property Management/ Rental Income Management Tools
Yes (Android and iOS)
Yes (Android and iOS)
Project Profitability Tracking
The Ability to Create Invoices
Via phone and email
Via phone and email
Now let’s see in detail which accounting software is best for small businesses in this Quicken vs QuickBooks debate.
There are some similarities between Quicken and QuickBooks, but some significant differences might make one financial management solution more suitable for your business needs than the other one.
Here’s a detailed comparison of the two popular accounting software that will help you identify the right option for your business.
Whether you are trying to get out of debt, save up enough money to live on your own, or pay off a mortgage, expense tracking will help you visualize exactly where every dollar is going.
Let’s see how Quicken and QuickBooks compare in this department.
Quicken prompts you to enter all your account details as soon you sign up with them.
From bank activity to investment, you can send everything to Quicken, allowing them to keep complete track of your expenses and overall finances.
Quicken takes your recent transactions, top spending categories (Home, Education, Business, etc.), net income, spending over time, and more into account.
This gives you a detailed insight into your expenses against earnings.
It also generates bill and income reminders, helping you make payments on time.
You also get graphs summarizing your rental property income and expenses – a helpful functionality for rental property owners.
You’ll get two types of rental expense graphs, including:
- The Expense graph displays the top rental expense categories.
- The Income vs. Expenses graph displays expenses compared to the total income by category over time.
One of its key business features is monthly income and expense forecasting across different time horizons.
Forecasting of expenses curbs overspending and mismanagement of money.
Other features include segmenting transactions by household members, customizing spending categories, and analyzing monthly spending trends.
Beyond expense tracking, it also saves you from online frauds by allowing you to catch and flag illegitimate transactions.
You can even connect your Quicken dashboard to over 14,000 financial institutions and view your expenses and transactions from one dashboard.
The fact that it’s accessible on desktop, mobile app, or web app makes expense tracking more convenient.
While Quicken’s expense tracking functions gear more towards freelancers, personal finances, and rental businesses, QuickBooks has more advanced features to cater to small businesses as well.
Start by connecting the QuickBooks dashboard to all your accounts, including your bank accounts, PayPal, Square, credit cards, and more.
They will automatically import all your income and expense details.
After all your transactions are in one place, you’ll be able to approve or edit the automatic categorization of your transactions. You can even create custom rules.
To alleviate complex paperwork, you can take and save photos of receipts and bills with their mobile app.
QuickBooks automatically matches your receipt information to an existing transaction and saves it for later.
This feature makes expense tracking fun and easy.
Their scanner pulls information like vendor, date of the receipt, amount, and payment method, right from your receipt. The company will match receipts to your current expenses or create new expenses.
QuickBooks also has a project management function that categorizes all your projects and expenses incurred for each project.
Using built-in reports, you can also keep tabs on your expenses, income, and outstanding invoices.
There’s also an option to share expense reports with your accountant right from the dashboard.
You also get access to the profits and loss report that shows you where you’re spending most of your business money.
QuickBooks is the winner here due to its ability to save receipts, pull information from bills, project management functionality, and more.
The user interface and reports are also more intuitive and easier to use than Quicken.
That said, Quicken is more suitable to manage rental properties and personal expenses.
Both Quicken and QuickBooks provide budgeting features to help you get info about your spending and exactly where your money is going.
You can stay on top of your finances, understand how your money moves, plan for short- and long-term goals, and cut spending.
Let’s peruse their differences and budgeting features in detail.
Quicken offers budget management tools with all of its plans, allowing you to create a monthly budget with expected income and expenditure.
You can take two different budgeting approaches with Quicken:
- Personalized monthly spending plan – Quicken’s Simplifi app will automatically create a budget based on your monthly income, subscriptions, overall bills, and more. You can further customize and track your budget while spending simultaneously.
- Traditional category-based budgeting – Here, you can set spending amounts for different categories. Quicken will create a customizable budget accordingly, which also includes rollover budgeting.
Setting your spending amount for different categories (including food, kids, transport, auto, etc.) makes budgeting even more unambiguous.
You can use as many budget categories as you want, including pre-defined and custom categories.
Further, you can add your expenses and transaction throughout the month and keep abreast of your budgeting.
If you’re using Quicken’s Simplifi mobile app, you can remove unusual earnings and ignore one-off transactions from the monthly spending plan. For instance, expenditures like the lottery, gifts, etc.
They also suggest budget amounts based on your previous expenditure and earnings history using advanced machine learning.
Other budgeting features include:
- The ability to budget for your saving goals.
- Rollover budgeting.
- Budget transfers to other accounts.
- Calendar or fiscal year budgeting.
- Make yearly budgets in addition to the monthly budgets.
- Track savings, pay your due credit, mortgages, and more.
Additionally, you can create separate budgets for multiple family members, small businesses, clubs, etc.
It also provides advanced features to manage and track your business tax deductions and profit and loss. But they’re only available with the pricier plans.
QuickBooks also helps you create a business budget based on your accounting data. You can also edit, copy, or delete existing budgets whenever you want.
There’s also a Budgets vs. Actuals report that lets you compare your actual expenses and revenue with your budget.
You can compare income, expenditure, and other financial statements quarterly or annually.
Budgeting in QuickBook also includes Average order amount, number of orders per month, material expenses, rent, utilities, mortgages, average payroll cost, billable hours, etc.
Since Quicken is primarily a personal finance management solution, it has more options to manage a personal budget and track personal expenses than QuickBooks.
Quicken allows you to send direct invoices to your clients, but only with Quicken Home and Business plan. You can also attach a PDF file of your invoice to the email.
While the template may look archaic, you can choose the header color or alternate row color from the edit layout window. Add and remove sections like title, date, number, items, description, etc., from the invoice layout section.
You can also add your company’s logo, address, and other details in the invoice with the invoice maker and editor.
And that sums up its invoicing capabilities.
While it’s suitable to send standard invoices, its invoicing capabilities aren’t advanced enough to use it as a full-fledged invoicing tool.
QuickBooks provides solutions for creating, tracking, printing, and sending an unlimited number of invoices.
You can use it even if you’re looking for professional invoicing solutions.
It comes with pre-built invoice templates that you can further customize using tons of designing tools.
Or you can make your own design using the customization tool.
You can even add a button to your invoice to let customers pay with a single click.
Customers can pay you using credit cards, debit cards, and ACH bank transfers.
Plus, you can schedule and send recurring invoices via email.
The software also sends regular reminders to your clients via regular automated invoicing.
In addition, you can track the status of invoices as pending, viewed, paid, sent, and deposited using the invoice tracker.
QuickBooks has full-fledged invoicing services, while Quicken only lets you create and send a basic invoice to your clients.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of clutter that piles up from financial accounts, bills, and transactions.
Luckily, both Quicken and QuickBooks allow recurring payments.
It’s a great way of collecting payments from customers without human interaction, enabling you to stabilize and streamline your cash flow.
Let’s compare it in detail.
Quicken’s automatic payment feature helps you collect payments from the customers without any redundant interaction.
You can select the start date and frequency to send invoices on autopilot.
A built-in feature sends reminders to your customers, notifying them about unpaid invoices.
QuickBooks offers a similar feature that lets you set up automated recurring payments. You’ll get an alert when your customer views and pays the invoice.
Quickbooks provides two types of recurring payment options:
- Fixed recurring payments – It allows you to collect the same amount from the customer on a selected date or after a specified period. Example: Collecting money for newspaper or magazine subscription.
- Variable recurring payments – This option helps collect variable or irregular recurring payments based on the services used by the customer. For example, electricity bills.
You can also set invoices to be sent earlier than the due date to notify customers ahead of time.
Setting up automated payments avoids late payments and takes the worry off your plate.
Winner: It’s a Draw.
Quicken’s “Business and Home” plan has some features to manage finances related to your home-based business.
However, it doesn’t offer any advanced inventory tracking features.
You can manually track your inventory if it consists of a single number. Beyond that, Quick doesn’t have any inventory tracking features.
QuickBooks offers inventory tracking software that helps you manage your inventory and automatically updates quantities when you buy or sell products.
The software helps you track all items in your inventory, get alerts for restocking, and see what you sell and buy.
You can organize your products with images, product types, prices, status, last updated, SKU codes, and categories.
Organizing information for multiple vendors and products in one place makes restocking easier.
You also get access to custom reports to get insight into your inventory, allowing you to make timely reorders and stay on top of your ecommerce business.
The reports also help you discover your best seller, total sales or service provided, the average cost of each product, quantity on hand, value, and more.
Here’s a quick summary of inventory tracking features you get with QuickBooks:
- Multi-channel tracking.
- Purchase order management.
- Inventory lists with custom filters.
- Barcode scanning.
- Stock on hand report.
- Incoming stock report.
- Location report.
- Inventory accounting.
- Stock adjustments.
- Detailed stock history with restocking log for quantity, assigned team members, and date.
Additionally, QuickBooks has a built-in point of sale system that helps you keep tabs on inventory.
Your inventory gets updated automatically in the POS system.
This way, you’re always privy to your stock and know when to re-order.
Quicken’s cash flow management functions help you understand the amount of money that comes in or goes out from your bank account.
Add your accounts, bills, and income timeline to Quicken’s dashboard, and they’ll notify you about your due bills.
You’ll also get access to your account balance forecasts and graphs projecting the future of your spendings and account balance.
Here’s Quicken’s Projected Balances graph, for instance:
It also provides reports about your cash flow with easy-to-understand and interactive graphs like pie charts and line charts.
You can also get reports for different spending categories, such as grocery, rent, loans, etc.
Quickbooks cashflow management function also gives you insights into money coming in and going out of your company’s bank account.
For starters, you can monitor your complete financial picture and business balances from a single dashboard.
It has a Payment Predictor that predicts when your customer invoice is likely to get paid. It also forecasts tax liabilities that help prepare for the money outflow in advance.
It also reminds you about your due bill and gives you an insight into the money outflow in advance.
The software can even forecast your company’s finances for up to one year.
Sync it with your accounts to avoid missing out on payments and payrolls.
With its Desktop Premier, Accountant, or Enterprise plan, you can even create forecasts to predict future revenue and cash flow.
Create a financial forecast on your own or using last year’s data.
Both Quicken and QuickBooks offer account balance forecasting and detailed cash flow reports. However, reports provided by QuickBooks are more intuitive and easier to comprehend.
A payroll is a regulated accounting process to help you pay your employees and even deduct appropriate amounts from them for tax purposes.
Let’s talk about it in detail.
Quicken doesn’t offer payroll management features.
It does let you track and manage your paychecks, but there’s nothing aimed at paying your employees.
QuickBooks provides a full-service payroll management system that gives you access to HR tools and benefits.
It helps you pay automatically by setting and scheduling regular payrolls for different employees.
You’ll also get access to automatic tax forms and filing, bookkeeping, expert support and tutorials, and 401(k) plans.
You can either set up payrolls directly from the dashboard or get one of their payroll experts to do it for you.
When payday comes, you’ll just have to review, edit, and approve hours and wages.
You’ll get an instant payroll review with taxes already figured out for you.
They calculate, file, and pay payroll taxes for you.
Their team helps you resolve your tax notices for payroll tax errors that occurred after you started using QuickBook payroll management software.
And you’re covered with tax penalty protection.
They cover a penalty of up to $25,000 per year imposed by the IRS and other tax agencies.
You can also access reports to get detailed insights into payroll, projects, regular and overtime hours, and more.
Sync QuickBooks online payroll with timesheets so that your employees can clock in from anywhere, and their hours will get updated automatically.
There are also options to monitor the time spent by each employee on each task.
Quicken provides a bill pay service and bill manager that helps you download, track, and pay your bills.
You can track and download the PDF statement of your bills from one single dashboard and see what’s due and when.
Quicken Bill Tracker helps you track all your paid and upcoming bills from one place using interactive graphs and data.
It also auto-detects bills, sends alerts for paid and forthcoming bills, makes same-day online payments, and automatically separates bills and subscriptions.
It lets you pay your bill in two ways:
- Quick Pay – Send electronic payments to payees with online accounts accessible by Quicken.
- Check Pay – Make check payments to billers who cannot accept electronic payments. Check payments are sent through a Quicken’s service, which doesn’t involve printing mail checks.
Only US residents with an address can use the “Check Pay” method.
QuickBooks comes with a bill management solution called Bill Pay built right into its dashboard.
However, it comes with QuickPay Essentials, Plus, and Advanced plans.
It helps you add, pay, track, manage bills, and even attach the PDF of the bill if you have one.
Bill Pay automatically syncs with Quickbooks, removing the need to enter the data manually.
You’ll be able to see all your bills on the vendor’s list.
The tracking payment feature provides estimated delivery time, remittance information, and payment proof once the payment gets transferred successfully.
When it comes to payable bills, you can pay your bills online from QuickBooks or mail in a paper check yourself.
It allows you to make ACH and international payments in USD for lower wire transfer fees than most banks and in local currencies with no wire transfer fees.
You can also access the Bill Pay service from QuickBooks mobile app.
Winner: It’s a Draw.
Quicken’s mobile app is available on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad for iOS 9 or higher, and Android mobile and tablets for android version 4.1 or higher.
The app helps you keep your finances up to date anytime, anywhere.
You can enter all your transactions and store receipts of your purchases in the app.
The data or receipts you enter on your mobile phone automatically sync with the app.
You can also use the app to track your balance, expenses, income, account, transactions, and more.
In addition, you can view the spending trends with easy-to-understand graphs and data.
The app also gives you updates and helps you track the performance of your investments.
The mobile app uses passcode protection, 256-bit encryption, and even Face and Touch ID protection to keep your data secure.
QuickBooks offers a mobile app for your Android smartphone or iPhone to help you manage your business from anywhere.
The app lets you keep tabs and save time on your business when and where you need it, which is difficult with the desktop version.
Use the mobile app to:
- Create, send, and track invoices.
- View all your customers’ information.
- Add notes and take snaps of expense receipts.
- Access profit-loss statements with line charts and data.
- View profit-loss charts.
- Reports on expenses, incomes, account balance, etc.
- Open invoice amount from your mobile phone.
You can also record and categorize your business expenses directly on the app – which helps reduce problems while filing taxes.
The app also integrates with smart devices like the Apple Watch, allowing you to check your business health from the watch.
Winner: It’s a Draw.
Quicken’s built-in reports help you get information and view your money management trends.
They provide an overview of your spending, income, expenses, and cash flow – and help you prepare better for the future.
It also helps you discover places to save money and ways to manage your taxes.
You can also use them to track your net worth, investments, and investment portfolio’s performance.
Quicken provides nine different types of reports:
- Account balances and net worth reports.
- Banking reports for bank summary, cash flow, transactions, and more.
- Comparison reports: current vs. past spending, cash flow charges, etc.
- Spending by category, by the payee, etc.
- Tax schedule and summary reports.
- Advanced tax reports to analyze capital gains, schedules, etc.
- Investing reports: asset allocation, portfolio performance, investment income, and more.
- Business reports: A/P, A/R, balance sheet, cash flow, payroll, P&L, etc.
- Rental property reports.
Here’s a glance at Quicken’s investment reports:
You can also customize your reports based on date range, categories, types of expenses, income types, income sources, and more.
QuickBooks gives you real-time small business insights with income statements and balance sheets directly to the QuickBooks dashboard. You also get access to the cash flow statement to track what’s coming in and what’s going out.
Other reports include:
- Previous years’ income comparison reports.
- Profit and Loss reports.
- Top consumers reports.
- Customer Balance Summary.
- Accounts Receivable Aging Summary.
- Expense report.
Other reports like sales, vendors, inventory, purchase, banking, employees, payrolls reports are also available.
All reports are available with interactive and easy-to-understand graphs and line-by-line transactions.
Customize these reports with advanced filters like transaction type, categories, date, income source, and more.
You can also search for any transaction using their advanced finder.
Winner: It’s a Draw.
Quicken provides four payment plans suitable for all business sizes:
- Quicken Starter ($35.99/year) – Custom income and expense categories, core budgeting features, core bill management features, tracking tax-related spending, basic reports like banking, net worth, comparison, and spending reports.
- Quicken Deluxe ($51.99/year) – Quicken Starter + custom savings goals, what-if analysis, fiscal year budgeting, the ability to track income, expense, debt, mortgage, and investments, investing reports, and core property management tools.
- Quicken Premier ($77.99/year) – Quicken Deluxe + premium support, updated home value with Zillow, same-day online payments, check-based payments to any address in the US, advancement investments features, advanced tax reports, and more.
- Quicken Home & Business ($103.99/year) – Quicken Premier + business reports, rental property reports, advanced features to manage and track business and rental property.
You can also use Quicken’s mobile and web app “Simplify” at $35.99/year.
Quicken also provides a 30-day free trial. New members get 40% off on Deluxe, Premier, and Home and Business plans and 50% off on Simplifi.
There is a thirty day money-back guarantee on this product.
QuickBooks provides four pricing plans.
Simple Start: $25 per month.
The Simple Start plan includes all core features like tracking income and expenses, invoicing, accepting payments, reporting, sales tax reports, managing cash flow, invoicing, and managing up to 1099 contractors.
Essentials: $50 per month.
Features in the Simple Start plan + include up to three members, track time, and the ability to manage and pay bills.
Plus: $80 per month.
Features in the Essentials plan + the ability to track inventory and project profitability, time tracking, etc. The Plus plan also allows five users.
Advanced: $180 monthly fee.
Features in the Plus plan + more than five users, business analytics, insights, manage employee expenses, automate processes, restore company data, and more.
It also comes with a Freelancer plan suitable for personal use.
QuickBooks Self-Employed Plan: $15 for the monthly subscription.
This plan includes income and expense tracking, basic reporting, organizing receipts, estimating quarterly taxes, and more.
QuickBooks also has a 30-day free trial and 50% off for three months.
Both QuickBooks and Quicken are powerful accounting tools and provide an excellent array of accounting features and add-ons.
But which option will be suitable for your personal and business finances depends on your specific needs and preferences.
Quicken is a personal finance tool that helps you manage personal finances, investments, and rental profit or loss. You can also try it for 30 days with a risk-free trial.
Use Quicken if:
- You want personal finance software for personal accounting.
- You need to manage personal investments.
- You are a rental property owner and wish to track rental rates and income.
- You want to manage and track your taxes.
- You are a freelancer or a self-employed individual.
- You’re looking for an inexpensive and easy-to-use accounting solution.
On the other hand, if you are a small business owner and predicting a serious growth spurt, then QuickBooks will be the better choice for you.
It’s superior to Quicken when it comes to managing accounts of a flourishing small business.
Use QuickBooks if:
- You want to track your business income and losses.
- You want features like inventory and payroll services.
- You’re looking for a full-blown invoicing solution.
- You want to capture and monitor bills and receipts.
- You want to share your details with an accountant.
- You want business tools to manage 1099 contractors.
In a nutshell, QuickBooks is an all-in-one small business accounting software program, while Quicken focuses on personal finance features and rental property management.
Get started with QuickBooks.
Take a decision you won’t regret because converting data from QuickBooks to Quicken isn’t possible – and migrating from Quicken to QuickBooks is complex.
Further reading on AdamEnfroy.com: Want to learn more about other business accounting software?
Check out my comparison article reviewing Xero vs. Quickbooks for more information.