Quicken vs. QuickBooks: Pricing, Features, Customer Reviews

Updated on September 8, 2020
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Quicken vs. QuickBooks Overview

If you’re looking for business accounting software, two brand names that likely come to mind as you start your search are Quicken and QuickBooks. Perhaps the most well-known platforms in the financial management software industry, you might be wondering if either of these solutions is right for your business.

We’re here to help.

In this guide, we’ll compare Quicken vs. QuickBooks for small business—explaining everything you need to know about these software systems—so that you have all the information you need to make a knowledgable decision for your business.

The Difference Between Quicken and QuickBooks

The biggest difference between Quicken and QuickBooks is that Quicken is designed for personal finances, whereas QuickBooks is designed specifically for small businesses. Although Quicken does include a handful of business finance capabilities within the Home & Business version of their software, these features are largely meant to accommodate professionals with side businesses or rental properties.

QuickBooks (regardless of the specific version), on the other hand, is first and foremost a small business accounting platform, with all of the functionality required for a business’s bookkeeping, accounting, and general financial management.

With this in mind then, even though there are a variety of different versions of Quicken, Quicken Home & Business is the only platform that would be applicable to small business owners. So, how does Quicken Home & Business compare to QuickBooks?

Let’s break down this accounting solution as it compares to QuickBooks Online—the most popular version of QuickBooks and one of the top business accounting platforms on the market.

Quicken vs. QuickBooks Comparison Chart

Quicken QuickBooks
Best for
Rental property owners
Most types of small business owners
Manage accounts payable
Manage accounts receivables
Generate financial statements
Create invoices
Online payments
Yes (via PayPal)
Mileage tracker
Rental property administration
Payroll administration
Manage 1099 contractors
Accountant access
Mobile app
Yes (iOS and Android)
Yes (iOS and Android)
Customer support
Phone and live chat 5 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday
Phone and live chat 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. PST Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. PST Saturday
$99.99 (Home and Business plan)
$25/month (Simple Start), $50/month (Essentials), $80/month (Plus), $180/month (Advanced)

Quicken vs. QuickBooks Features

Before we dive into the details comparing the features of Quicken Home & Business and QuickBooks Online, let’s start with some basics of each platform.

First, Quicken Home & Business is a locally hosted software, meaning it must be downloaded on your computer and installed on that machine. Although the newest version of this solution does allow some web and mobile access, you have to opt into these features to sync your data across locations. Additionally, it’s important to note that Quicken Home & Business is only compatible with Windows operating systems and not those that run on iOS.

QuickBooks Online, on the other hand, is an online or web-based software program, allowing you to use your account anywhere you have internet access. Unlike Quicken Home & Business, which only comes in a single version, QuickBooks Online has four different subscription plans—each of which includes an increasing number of features within the platform.

Quicken Home & Business Features

In essence, Quicken Home & Business is a step up from Quicken Premier, the top tier level of Quicken’s strictly personal finance software platforms. In this way, Quicken Home & Business includes all of the features of that software—transaction import and categorization, budgeting, bill pay, investment and tax tools, etc.

Plus, this version of Quicken also offers functionalities to accommodate business owners, including:

  • Categorizations for personal, business, and rental property transactions
  • Profit and loss projections and cash flow reports
  • Tools for maximizing business tax deductions and creating tax-related reports
  • Ability to email rental and business reports from Quicken
  • Ability to create and customize invoices
  • Single bills dashboard with reminders
  • Ability to create and email custom rent reminders with PayPal link for payment
  • Tracking for rental income, lease terms, rental rates, and deposits
  • Customer support via phone or chat

As you can see, most of Quicken’s business-related features are specific to those who own rental properties. However, if you’re a freelancer, contractor, or sole proprietor with a very small business, the simple tools that are available in this software may be sufficient to meet your needs as well.

QuickBooks Online Features

As we mentioned, the biggest difference between Quicken vs. QuickBooks is that QuickBooks is designed specifically for business bookkeeping and accounting. With QuickBooks Online, therefore, the features of every plan are unique to the types of tasks business owners need to accomplish.

QuickBooks Online is available in four plans: Simple Start, Essentials, Plus, and Advanced. Regardless of the plan you choose, QuickBooks Online includes the following capabilities:

  • Track business income and expenses from multiple accounts
  • Automatically sort transactions into tax categories
  • Capture and organize receipts
  • Customize and send invoices
  • Accept online payments
  • Track mileage
  • Run and export reports like profit and loss statements, balance sheets, etc.
  • Create customized reports
  • Track cash flow and reporting via dashboard
  • Customize and send estimates
  • Track sales and calculate sales tax
  • Manage 1099 contractors
  • Connect business bank account
  • Print checks
  • Download QuickBooks mobile app
  • Integrate with other QuickBooks and third-party tools
  • Grant account access to a business accountant
  • Access customer support via phone or chat

With the higher-level plans, of course, you’ll receive added functionality. The Essentials plan includes multi-user access, bill management, and time tracking. With the Plus plan, you’ll also have access to inventory and project profitability tracking. The highest level, QuickBooks Online Advanced, will offer the greatest capabilities—with batch invoicing, advanced reporting and analytics, customizable access by role, workflow management, and more.

Ultimately, with four plan options that cover a breadth of accounting tasks and functionality, QuickBooks Online can accommodate a wide variety of business owners—allowing them to manage, automate, and streamline their financial processes.

Quicken vs. QuickBooks Pricing

As you can see, comparing Quicken and QuickBooks isn’t exactly an apples-to-apples comparison because both are used for different purposes and have different features. With this in mind then, you might next be wondering what the difference is between Quicken and QuickBooks in terms of pricing.

Unsurprisingly, Quicken and QuickBooks differ quite a bit in this regard. As a primarily desktop-based solution, Quicken Home & Business operates on an annual subscription pricing plan, whereas QuickBooks Online charges a monthly fee for their subscriptions.

Quicken Home & Business Pricing

As a desktop-based software with only one version, Quicken Home & Business’s pricing is simple. You’ll pay an annual subscription of $99.99 for access to this software.

For this fee, you’ll receive all of the features that are included with Quicken Home & Business, as well as access to the Quicken companion mobile accounting app.

As the most expansive version of their software, Quicken Home & Business is also the most expensive of all the Quicken products.

Keep in mind, Quicken also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for their accounting solution.

QuickBooks Online Pricing

With four different plans to choose from, the pricing for QuickBooks Online is a little more complex. Ultimately, QuickBooks charges on a monthly subscription basis, and the price will depend on which of the plans you opt for. The cost of the four plans breaks down as such:

  • Simple Start: $25 per month
  • Essentials: $50 per month
  • Plus: $80 per month
  • Advanced: $180 per month

This being said, you can also choose to integrate supplemental QuickBooks services, like QuickBooks Payroll, TSheets, point of sale, etc., for additional costs.

While even the cheapest QuickBooks plan is 3x more expensive than an annual subscription of Quicken Home & Business, QuickBooks Simple Start includes much more specified and functional accounting tools for most small business owners.

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Quicken vs. QuickBooks Customer Reviews

Our third point of analysis between Quicken and QuickBooks Online is customer reviews. After all, customer who use either of these accounting softwares on a day-to-day basis will have the most reliable opinion on which is better. Here’s what those customers have to say about Quicken vs. QuickBooks on major customer review platforms.

Quicken Customer Reviews

Quicken is rated very highly on major customer review platforms. Many customers report that they are pleased with how easy to use the service is. This is an important aspect of picking your accounting software that should not be overlooked—accounting is complicated, and any service that can make it a little easier is well worth the investment.

Other points of praise include Quicken’s reasonable pricing, and how simple it is to create and print reports.

In negative reviews, users complain that the software and be glitchy from time to time, especially when trying to connect Quicken to third-party apps.

QuickBooks User Reviews

Customers also have high-praise for QuickBooks Online. In particular, customers say they love how many features come standard with the software, as this helps them automate their most complex accounting tasks. What’s more, QuickBooks Online also integrates with a variety of third-party apps, which streamlines processes and makes it so that business owners don’t have to repeat tasks.

On the negative side of things, customers say QuickBooks pricing can make it somewhat inaccessible, especially for very new businesses. In addition, QuickBooks’ range of functions can present a learning curve to new business owners.

How Quicken vs. QuickBooks Compare

So, based on all of this information, what does the final Quicken vs. QuickBooks comparison look like? Ultimately, there are unique benefits to both Quicken and QuickBooks.

Let’s explore where each of these solutions stands out against the other so that you have a better sense of whether Quicken Home & Business or QuickBooks Online is right for your business.

Benefits of Quicken

When it comes down to it, Quicken stands out against QuickBooks Online in two ways.

First, if you want to use a single software to track your personal and business finances, Quicken Home & Business can easily manage your personal finances, handle investment accounts, as well as provide a handful of business tools. In this way, if you only have a small number of business transactions to track and organize (especially if they’re related to a rental property) Quicken may be sufficient for your needs.

Although QuickBooks Online is one of the most functional and popular business accounting solutions, the software isn’t designed to manage personal and business finances simultaneously.

This being said, however, it’s worth keeping your business and personal finances separate—tracking both together can lead to issues with bookkeeping, taxes, and even legal problems. Therefore, if you do decide to keep all of your transactions within one system, like Quicken Home & Business, it’s a best practice to ensure that they’re distinct—with separate bank accounts and credit cards.

The other notable benefit of Quicken is its pricing. With an annual subscription of $99.99, Quicken is always going to be a cheaper alternative to QuickBooks. Once again, if you’re only managing a few business transactions, saving money by using Quicken may be worth it. However, if you truly need business-specific accounting tools, QuickBooks Online will likely be worth the investment.

Benefits of QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online stands out in much stronger ways.

First and foremost, QuickBooks is designed specifically for small business owners. Therefore, it provides a variety of accounting tools that small businesses can use to truly automate and streamline their financial processes. Whereas Quicken is limited in the business-related capabilities it offers, QuickBooks Online is known as one of the most feature-rich business accounting software solutions on the market.

Even with the Simple Start plan, business owners can manage their day-to-day bookkeeping, invoicing, payments, reporting, and more. Plus, QuickBooks Online is easily scalable—as your business grows, you can upgrade to a higher-level plan to increase your functionality. In this way, although QuickBooks may be more expensive, you’re paying for the vast capabilities you receive with your plan.

Additionally, since QuickBooks Online is designed for small businesses, the interface is much more approachable and user-friendly. On the whole, Quicken is more difficult to navigate than QuickBooks because it’s designed to track personal and business finances. Comparatively, the business-centric interface that QuickBooks offers grants you straightforward access to all of your business financial information, without personal finance features you don’t actually need.

Moreover, QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based software platform, which is ideal for on-the-go small business owners. You can access QuickBooks Online on any computer, as long as you have internet, and you can also use the QuickBooks app to access your account on your smartphone or tablet.

With Quicken, on the other hand, the main access to your account will be housed on a single computer. Although Quicken now allows you to sync your account to web and mobile versions, you not only have to enable this capability, but not all features are available through these versions.

Overall, as a business accounting software, QuickBooks Online is much more accessible, flexible, user-friendly, and generally functional in comparison to Quicken Home & Business.

Alternatives to Quicken or QuickBooks

If you’re just starting out as a small business owner, you may want to separate your personal and business finances, but you may not be ready to invest in QuickBooks Online. In that case, you might look into some other Quicken and QuickBooks alternatives.

Here are two top options worth considering:

Wave Accounting

If you’re looking for business-specific accounting software on a budget, Wave accounting is going to be one of your best options. Wave is one of the only truly free business accounting software platforms on the market. You can sign up for a free Wave account quickly and easily online and immediately start syncing your bank and credit card accounts.

Overall, Wave allows you to:

  • Track income and expenses
  • Create and send customizable invoices
  • Scan and manage receipts
  • Invite guest collaborators
  • Customize sales taxes
  • Create exportable accounting reports such as profit and loss statements, sales tax reports, cash flow reports, etc.
  • Connect with PayPal, Shoeboxed, and Etsy
  • Send bill and invoice reminders
  • View dashboards for cash balances and invoice status

Plus, although Wave can be used as completely free accounting software, you can also purchase add-ons for online payments and payroll to extend your functionality.

All of this being said, if you need a user-friendly accounting solution for your business and don’t want to pay for QuickBooks Online, Wave is certainly worth considering.

QuickBooks Self-Employed

On the other hand, if you’re just starting out as a self-employed professional—like a freelancer, contractor, or another B2B business owner—you might only need the essential tools and would prefer an accounting solution designed with you in mind.

In this case, you might look into QuickBooks Self-Employed. Although QuickBooks Self-Employed is technically still part of the QuickBooks product suite, it’s both simpler and more affordable than QuickBooks Online. The most basic version of this software, called Self-Employed, is only $15 per month and allows you to send and track invoices, separate your business and personal expenses, maximize your tax deductions, track miles, and more.

Plus, if you need additional tax assistance, you can opt for either of the higher-level plans, which offer assistance with filing and paying your business taxes.

Ultimately, even though QuickBooks Self-Employed doesn’t include as much functionality as QuickBooks Online, it’s a great alternative for business owners on a budget, who need more than what Quicken can offer, but who also want more of an invoice and tax focus than Wave can provide.

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The Bottom Line

Based on the differences between Quicken and QuickBooks that we’ve discussed above, you should have a better sense of whether or not either of these accounting solutions is right for your business.

When it comes down to it, unless you’re running a side rental business with only a few transactions to reconcile, you’ll want to opt for QuickBooks Online (or an alternative) to manage your business finances.

Ultimately, despite the affordability of Quicken Home & Business, this system is first and foremost designed for personal finances. Therefore, whether you use QuickBooks Online, Wave, QuickBooks Self-Employed, or another option entirely, it’s best to search for options that are designed particularly to accommodate small business owners.

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Stacy Kildal
Contributing Writer at Fundera

Stacy Kildal

Stacy Kildal is a contributing writer for Fundera.

Stacy Kildal is owner/operator of Kildal Services LLC—an accounting and technology consulting company that specializes in all things QuickBooks. From 2012 to 2017, Stacy has been named one of CPA Practice Advisor’s Most Powerful Women In Accounting. 

Stacy is one of the three hosts for the QB Show and has also been featured frequently on Intuit’s Accountant Blog, Community “Ask the Expert” forums, at various Intuit Academy To Go podcasts, as well as hosting a number of Intuit Small Business Online Town Hall sessions. 

She is a big fan of working mobile and has been recognized by Intuit as being an expert on QuickBooks Online, having written Intuit’s original courses for the U.S., Singapore and Canadian versions.

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