For more information: Each year Intuit introduces new versions of Quicken and QuickBooks, and the features offered in the various "flavors" of both products usually get shuffled around a bit.
A particular reporting feature available only in QuickBooks Premier last year might be included in QuickBooks Pro this year. In other words, the mix of features offered in different versions changes so frequently annually that it's difficult to stay ahead of them. Where product feature differences are mentioned, understand that the information may not necessarily be current, particularly if it's been a while since this article's most recent revision date shown above.
For specific feature comparisons between the various Quicken and QuickBooks versions, I suggest you go directly to the respective product sites: Why Quicken? Why QuickBooks? They enjoy wide popularity mostly because they are easy to use as accounting systems go at least yet are flexible and capable in the sense of allowing users to do a good job of accounting in keeping with generally accepted accounting principles. Another benefit is the broad support these programs have among business- and computer-related professionals like accountants, tax preparers, CPAs, and computer consultants.
This is especially true for QuickBooks, and a bit less so for Quicken. For example my company, Flagship Technologies, Inc. Other firms specialize in property management, auto repair shops, medical office billing systems, and so on.
Why is there less business-specific support for Quicken? But don't let that label fool you! Quicken is fully adequate for many small businesses, and most people find it easier to learn--especially if you're someone not very familiar with computerized accounting systems. Finally, there are literally thousands of professionals available for general end-user support, and an equally large number of Internet resources: Have a question? There are dozens of Quicken- and QuickBooks-oriented message forums where you can post a question and get an answer in usually less than a day--sometimes less than an hour.
One of my favorites has been forums. It's a non-Intuit-operated forum with a lot of message traffic from QuickBooks professionals. It's searchable set of "historic" questions and answers continues to be excellent resource, too. Intuit's own forums at community.
Finally, Intuit's fee-based telephone product support is another option. To sum up: What do I get with the more expensive versions? So what are the differences? In Quicken, the main difference between Quicken packages is the number of additional software applications included--things like home inventory, tax planning, and so on. Quicken Rental Property Manager for instance, has special added features for property managers QuickBooks edition differences are a bit more complicated to describe.
What differences will you encounter as go up the price scale? Here are some of them: The the number of inventory items the program can handle is higher in the higher-end editions, and this is true of some other lists as well. Most users never run into QuickBooks' capacity limits; however, if you do, a more expensive version is likely available to solve that problem. Number of simultaneous users. If you're running QuickBooks in a multi-user environment this is important.
The number of simultaneous users allowed also increases with price. In general, the bigger your company the more QuickBooks users you have or the more complex your accounting needs requiring more advanced features , the more likely you'll need a higher-end edition of QuickBooks.
Quicken vs. QuickBooks Deciding between Quicken and QuickBooks is easy if you're running a medium-sized or larger business: If you want double-entry accounting capability, go with QuickBooks.
If you want simplicity and single-entry or checkbook accounting try Quicken. However, QuickBooks' double-entry features are "disguised" well enough that many people essentially use it as a single-entry accounting system without even considering the difference.
What are your accounting goals? Will you be keeping cash-basis records? If so, Quicken and QuickBooks don't really differ much in what they offer. I say this because, though QuickBooks has a lot more features, the features you're actually likely to use are substantially the same in either package. Do you hire employees? QuickBooks comes with a complete payroll system, and can print the required quarterly reports, etc. Quicken does not have payroll features. Quicken users who pay employees either do the payroll calculations manually or purchase separate payroll software, then enter the payroll figures manually.
Do you have a sideline business? Quicken began and remains to this day as software primarily designed for personal financial management--keeping track of income and expenses, balancing a checkbook, monitoring investments, etc. QuickBooks, on the other hand, was designed to streamline the paper flow and accounting needs of a small business. If you do much invoicing, or need to keep track of accounts payable and receivable, or collect and report sales tax, or send customer statements, then QuickBooks is usually the better choice.
Where will you get support? Especially if you're new to using a computer for record keeping, your choice may be influenced by where and from whom you can get your questions answered. If your computer-expert friend uses QuickBooks, it might be your best bet. If the local computer store specializes in Quicken and holds Quicken classes during the winter, that might be the better place to start. QuickBooks is preferred by many tax professionals: While the same is possible with Quicken, fewer tax professionals support Quicken in the same way.
Fewer of them have Quicken installed on their computer systems; meaning they'll be unable to open your Quicken data files. However, many tax preparers don't really have a preference--they're just as willing to work with paper reports.
Is there an "upgrade path"? Suppose you think you'd prefer QuickBooks, but maybe you're a novice computer user or just aren't comfortable with the idea of learning QuickBooks. A good approach in that case may be to start with Quicken instead. Many concepts in the two programs are similar, so you won't be wasting time by learning Quicken, even if you choose to upgrade to QuickBooks later.
Nor will you be wasting much money, given Quicken's low cost. And if you later decide that you really do need QuickBooks, you can upgrade easily. QuickBooks directly imports Quicken records--even several years of Quicken records will import just fine. None of your effort in Quicken will have been wasted, and you'll have a head start at learning QuickBooks because of your experience with Quicken.
It's important to note that you cannot go the other way: QuickBooks records cannot be imported into Quicken! Do you need access to your accounting records from other locations? Quicken is a desktop application only; that is, it's installed on your personal computer. But QuickBooks has desktop and online versions. The desktop versions can be used stand alone or installed on a networked server for access by multiple users.
The online version of QuickBooks can be accessed from anywhere--from any computer connected to the Internet. But the distinction between "desktop" and "online" versions is less important than it used to be.
You can now access desktop versions of either Quicken and QuickBooks over the Internet if you hire a hosting service paying for a monthly fee for such access. This topic is discussed more farther below. General feature differences. Here are some of the differences in the two packages as they relate to accounting and various goals you may have: Quicken Easier to learn and simpler to use fewer options. More features and options but more difficult to learn. Basically a single-entry accounting system; fine for simple checkbook-based income and expense records.
Essentially a double-entry accounting system, but can be used for either single- or double-entry bookkeeping.
Many users use QuickBooks as a single-entry system. Plenty of reporting capability for most users. More extensive reporting capabilities, including more "standard" accounting reports. More capabilities for exporting reports and data, such as to Microsoft Excel, where you can create your own specialized reports. Supports a more professional uses of classes, because it allows for multi-level parent and child classes, up to five levels deep.
Third-party add-on software for handling classes as profit centers and cost centers is available. Has features to track stocks and other investments.
No investment tracking features. No inventory system. Has an inventory system, but with significant limitations for many types of business. QuickBooks' inventory system is a good match for most retail businesses; a poor match for manufacturing-type businesses. Be sure to you No payroll capabilities.
Quicken Starter Download Quicken. Quicken for Windows can access the updated version of the software throughout their membership. Quicken is a personal finance management solution that is ideal for individuals who want to manage their money better. My computer died and had to get a new one.