Quicken vs. QuickBooks: Which Is Best for Your Small Business?

QuickBooks Online is the go-to solution for most small-business owners.
Kelsey SheehyJul 29, 2021
Two businessmen talking at their desks

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Comparing Quicken and QuickBooks is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. Both are financial management tools and even share a few features and functions, but the two software programs are built for entirely different uses.

Quicken is a personal finance software with a few business tools tacked onto its top-tier service, Quicken Home and Business. , on the other hand, is a full-fledged with inventory management, advanced financial reporting and hundreds of app integrations.

Which one to use depends largely on the size of your business and the features you need.

When to use Quicken:

When to use QuickBooks:

Quicken Home and Business comes with a suite of property management tools. Rental property owners can track leases, rental rates and tenants. You can also accept online rent payments (via PayPal), keep tabs on security deposits, and get a full report of paid and outstanding rents across your properties. Quicken can also help you track all tax-related transactions, which you can export to your tax prep software.

QuickBooks Online can also be used to manage rental properties, but the setup is less intuitive and can take a lot of trial and error to get it just right.

Few accounting software programs allow you to manage your personal budget and investments alongside business income. But Quicken is, first and foremost, a personal finance tool, and Quicken Home and Business gives you one view of all of your finances. Simply tag business-related accounts and expenses to track profits and loss, tax deductions and cash flow projections.

QuickBooks is not set up to manage personal accounts, budgets and investments. And while you can manage business and personal transactions with Quicken, it’s still best to keep the two separate and use a and .

At $103.99 per year, Quicken Home and Business is less than half the cost of QuickBooks Online’s entry-level plan. The more affordable price tag is a draw for those with side gigs, freelancers and businesses just getting off the ground. You can still generate estimates, send invoices, accept payments, track profits and loss, and keep tabs on deductible business expenses. Quicken won’t grow with your business, though. You’ll need to switch to a full-fledged accounting software to gain deeper insights and access more sophisticated reporting as your books become more complex.

QuickBooks Online makes it easy to upgrade plans as your business grows. Simply change your subscription from Simple Start to Plus, for example, and you instantly add time tracking and bill pay functionality to your account. QuickBooks also has add-ons and app integrations to level-up your business with payroll, point-of-sale and inventory management.

By contrast, Quicken offers just one option for small-business owners, with no apps or add-ons. When you outgrow Quicken Home and Business, you need to switch services, likely to QuickBooks.

Quicken Home and Business includes basic accounting functions, like accounts receivable and payable, profit and loss reports and cash flow projections. But QuickBooks Online goes beyond basic accounting features with time tracking, inventory management, sales tax and job-cost calculations. You can also manage payments to 1099 contractors and easily share your books with an accountant.

QuickBooks’ marketplace of more than 650 apps makes it easy for users to streamline operations and tailor the service to fit their business. If you sell goods on Etsy, for example, you can use the Sync With Etsy app to automatically import transactions from your Etsy shop to QuickBooks Online. Need a payroll solution? Choose from more than a dozen payroll apps to help manage payroll, taxes and benefits. While some apps are free, others carry an additional monthly fee.

Quicken Home and Business lets you accept payments via PayPal but doesn’t sync with other tools and services.

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