Quicken and QuickBooks are two of the most popular bookkeeping software packages used by small to medium sized businesses today. Picking one or the other just by looking at feature lists can be a little overwhelming, as they’re both very in-depth pieces of software. So which one’s better for you and your company? Let’s compare the two.
==> The Basic Distinction
First and foremost, it’s important to realize that these two programs have very different roots. Quicken started out as personal finance management software, designed for everyday people. QuickBooks started out as an accounting program designed for small businesses, then expanded from there.
The history of these two programs is still apparent in their performance. As a rule of thumb, Quicken is simpler and easier to use, whereas QuickBooks is more complex to learn yet more versatile.
Small businesses that just want to get simple things done should use Quicken, while larger companies or companies with complex issues should use QuickBooks.
Here are some of the most important specific differences between the two.
==> Payroll Management System
Quicken does not come with a payroll management system. QuickBooks comes with an in-depth and relatively user friendly payroll management system. If you’re not outsourcing your payroll, this could be an important distinction.
==> Accounts Receivables
QuickBooks and Quicken both have accounts receivables features. Quicken’s features are relatively limited, allowing you to do basic invoicing only. QuickBooks can track more complex terms, track expected cashflows from receivables, print customer statements and more.
==> Reporting and Export
As far as business reporting goes, both of these programs are about on par. Both of them can give you detailed financial statements, balance your budgets, do cashflow analysis and more.
Both systems can export to Excel format. QuickBooks requires the pro version for most export functions.
==> Detailed Forms
Quicken has two of the most basic forms you’ll need: invoices and checks. It doesn’t do much more than that.
QuickBooks has a much wider array of forms. You can print purchase orders, receipts for payments, custom statements, accrual accounting statements and more.
==> Inventory Management
Quicken has no inventory management. QuickBooks has an inventory system that’s adequate for most basic inventory needs.
==> Third Party Add-Ons
Quicken doesn’t have an API or programming language. QuickBooks on the other hand has a robust programming interface and a vibrant development community that has built all kinds of tools you can use to add on to QuickBook’s functionality.
Quicken will cost you between $40 and $80, while QuickBooks will cost you between $150 and $400 depending on which version you opt for.
In short, small businesses with basic accounting needs should use Quicken, while larger and more complex businesses should use QuickBooks.