Quicken vs. QuickBooks | Understanding the Difference

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If you’re quickly becoming overwhelmed manually managing your books, you should definitely consider accounting software that will do all the heavy lifting for you. That being said, trying to find the right tool for your business can be a confusing process thanks to seemingly endless competition. Two of the biggest names out there that you may have heard before are Quicken and QuickBooks. But what are the differences between the two, and which one is right for your business ? We are here to give you all the information and help you make that determination. 

What Is Quicken Used for?

If you’re looking to keep better track of your personal finances , look no further than Quicken! Quicken is a downloadable software tool that helps users manage their personal finances. This tool is able to keep track of things like personal expenses, investments, and retirement accounts.  While Quicken is used primarily for personal finances, it’s also a good tool for managing rental properties. This tool is able to keep track of things like rental rates, lease terms, and tenant information. Quicken may also be used for those with “side hustles” or businesses they’re doing on the ride rather than a legitimate small business. For example, Quicken may be well-suited for freelancers like writers looking for a better way to track their financial information. 

What Is QuickBooks Used for?

On the other hand, if you’re looking to keep better track of your small business finances, QuickBooks is likely going to be your best bet. QuickBooks is an online accounting software tool that’s the most popular choice for small and medium-sized businesses. This tool can manage things like invoices, payroll, bills, and accounting books.  QuickBooks has features that make it a good fit for just about every business type out there, no matter your industry. It features a double-entry bookkeeping system that allows you to track business income and expenses while also producing financial statements that you can use to manage your business better. 

Pros and Cons of Each

  • QuickBooks offers handy features like a double-entry bookkeeping system, payroll capabilities, and inventory tracking, whereas Quicken does not.
  • QuickBooks allows access for up to 25 people, including your accountant, whereas Quicken only provides access for a single person.
  • QuickBooks allows you to generate and print income statements and balance sheets, whereas Quicken does not.
  • Quicken includes features well-suited for those involved in real estate, whereas QuickBooks does not.
  • QuickBooks is considered more user-friendly than Quicken and offers a super simple setup process and a very user-friendly platform, although it does more than Quicken does.
  • QuickBooks offers the ability to integrate with more than 600 third-party apps to make your entire business run smoothly. On the other hand, Quicken can only integrate with a few different platforms like PayPal, DropBox, and Zillow Zestimate.
  • Both Quicken and QuickBooks have mobile apps available that allow you to access the system and your information on-the-go. That being said, the Quicken mobile app does limit the tasks you can perform through this method, whereas, with QuickBooks, you’re able to do pretty much everything you can do on the actual computer.
  • Both Quicken and QuickBooks enjoy rave reviews from their users. However, Quicken tends to have issues with glitches in the program. On the other hand, QuickBooks tends to have issues with customer support responsiveness and helpfulness. 

Pricing Information

You can’t truly understand the difference between Quicken and QuickBooks without covering the pricing information. After all, you’re trying to get the most bang for your buck!  Quicken offers four different plans to choose from:

  • The Starter plan costs $35.99 a year
  • The Deluxe plan costs $51.99 a year
  • The Premier plan costs $77.99 a year
  • The Home and Business plan costs $103.99 a year

QuickBooks also offers four different plans to choose from…

  • The Self-Employed plan costs $15 a month or $180 a year
  • The Simple Start plan costs $25 a month or $300 a year
  • The Plus plan costs $70 a month or $840 a year
  • The Advanced plan costs $150 a month or $1,800 a year.

Based on these numbers, it should be clear to you that QuickBooks is more expensive. However, it’s important to remember that it’s more costly for a reason! It handles more than Quicken does and is specifically designed for business use. Businesses who use QuickBooks should look at it as an investment that ends up making their lives easier and can save them a ton of time and money come tax season. 

Accounting Alternatives to Consider

Now that you know all about Quicken and QuickBooks, you should also know that there are other options out there that can help you manage your personal or business finances. Since these two programs focus on different things, we need to talk about different alternatives for each one: Here are some alternatives for Quicken to consider…

  • You Need a Budget (YNAB): Is a budgeting tool that will help you build a budget and stick to it. This tool also provides helpful insights to help you manage your spending and meet your goals, rather than just inputting and tracking your expenses. YNAB costs $12 a month or $84 a year.
  • Personal Capital: Is a free financial dashboard and wealth planner that can help you manage investments, savings goals, and budgets. This tool is particularly useful for planning for retirement -- which is important no matter how old you are.
  • Mint: Is a free budgeting and expense tool that allows you to track things like daily expenses and other savings goals. That being said, this tool is not very useful when it comes to things like investments or retirement savings.
  • Tiller Money: Is a spreadsheet tool that will automate all your spreadsheets to help keep you more organized. This tool allows you to pull old data from other programs like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets in addition to using their program and templates to build your own spreadsheets. This tool will cost you about $79 a year.
  • CountAbout: Is a personal finance app that was specifically developed to be an alternative to Quicken and as a result, allows you to import data directly from Quicken. Transitioning from Quicken to CountAbout is super simple and will cost you $10 a year for a basic subscription of $40 a year for a premium subscription. 

Here are some alternatives for QuickBooks to consider…

  • Xero: Is a full accounting suite that can be integrated with more than 700 different apps. This tool allows you to manage invoices, double-entry accounting, project management, and budgeting features. Plans start as low as $9 a month, but the most useful plan option is $30 a month.
  • Sage: Is a hybrid application that provides both desktop and mobile access to its users. This tool allows you to manage things like customer management, sales tracking, purchase orders, and inventory management, among other things. This is a very scalable tool that’s well-suited for small and growing businesses who want an accounting tool that will grow with them. Sage plans will cost you $10 or $25 per month, depending on which option you choose.
  • FreshBooks: Is a business finance tool well-suited for freelancers and sole proprietors, but it can also be used by small businesses. This tool allows you to manage things like expenses, invoices, timekeeping, and payments. It now has a double-entry function, putting it on par with QuickBooks in that regard. Freshbooks basic plan starts at $13.50 a month, but it’s popular Plus plan costs $22.50 a month.
  • Wave: Is a free business accounting tool with double-entry capabilities. This tool allows you to manage things like sales, purchases, banking and reporting. However, this tool does not offer inventory tracking or management capability. That being said, it’s a great option for freelancers or sole proprietors looking to manage their books without spending any money.
  • Zoho Books: Is an accounting tool that’s well-suited for tech novices that are freelancers or sole proprietors. This tool allows you to manage things like invoicing, bills, vendor credits, purchase approvals, and more. There are three plans to choose from that range in price from $9 a month to $29 a month. 


Now that you know the difference between Quicken and Quickbooks, as well as alternatives for each, you can make appropriate and informed decisions on how to run your business. No matter which option you choose, make sure that it’s user-friendly and comes with the features you’re seeking. For more business advice on everything from software to small business loans, be sure to check out Seek Capital’s website for tons of invaluable information that will help you grow your business.  Sources: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-accounting-software-71524.html https://www.inc.com/guides/choosing-accounting-software.html https://www.forbes.com/sites/financialfinesse/2017/08/17/6-ways-to-track-your-spending/?sh=744ee7b54650

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