Update: This article was last updated on 24th Jan 2020 to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.
Accounting operations are no more about paperwork. Software programs have taken center stage and depending on the requirement, users are picking different accounting solutions. Since the range of accounting software available in the market is massive, picking the right solution can be confusing.
A similar type of confusion occurs when choosing between Quicken and QuickBooks.
Why is there a confusion between Quicken and QuickBooks?
Apart from the similarity with the initial half in the name as ‘Quick,’ both the accounting software were introduced in the market by Intuit Inc. Quicken made it to the market and gained popularity much before QuickBooks.
Both of them are accounting solutions and have managed to gain substantial success in their respective segments. Being commonly known, owned by the same company, having similar names and fairly identical in operation, individuals get confused about Quicken and QuickBooks and perceive them as the same product.
Making a choice with the software that fulfils your needs between the two is not as confusing if you can understand the difference between them.
Quicken, released in 1983, is a personal finance management tool. Consider the choice of word with that – ‘personal finance management tool,’ which implies Quicken targets to help with the finances of individual users.
The software follows a single-entry accounting capability with its processes and is capable of serving personal accounting needs such as tracking and listing financial transactions for users with comfortable ease.
With Quicken, you can manage your rental property, create custom invoices, handle taxes, and track your investments, among other functions. However, it is not designed to handle the operations of SMBs.
Later in 2016, Intuit sold Quicken to a private equity firm, H.I.G. Capital.
There are multiple versions of Quicken – Starter, Deluxe, and Premier for both Windows and MAC and Home & Business versions for Windows only. Quicken Deluxe is the most popular among all the versions.
These desktop-based Quicken versions can be hosted on the cloud servers of a third-party cloud service provider to enable remote access and multi-user collaboration.
QuickBooks was launched by Intuit Inc. in 1998, more than a decade after Quicken. QuickBooks is an accounting software targeted to serve the complex accounting requirements of the small and mid-size businesses.
Available in various versions for startups, SMBs, and enterprises – Pro, Premier, and Enterprise is among the major ones.
In addition, Intuit also launched its cloud-based solution- QuickBooks Online. With QB Online, the users do not need to install the desktop software on their local systems. QuickBooks Online gives them the ability to access QuickBooks through the web browser with mobile device devices such as smartphones.
Another way of accessing QuickBooks remotely on the cloud environment is to opt for a third-party service provider authorized by Intuit itself as per their Intuit Authorized Commercial Hosting Program.
QuickBooks comes with versatile features and options to streamline the entire accounting operations, such as – preparing taxes, maintaining payrolls & invoices, tracking inventory, and advanced reporting.
QuickBooks commands an impressive 85-90% business accounting market in the USA.
Comparing Quicken Vs. QuickBooks
|Current Owner||H.I.G. Capital||Intuit Inc.|
|Supported OS||Windows & Mac||Windows & Mac|
|Current Versions||Quicken Starter, Quicken Deluxe, Quicken Rental Property Manager, Quicken Premier, and Quicken Home & Business||QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier, QuickBooks Enterprise, QuickBooks Accountant|
|Recommended For||Personal Finance Management||Small & Mid-size Business Accounting Operations|
|Accounting Capability||Single Entry||Double Entry|
|Cloud Version||Quicken Hosting is available||Available as QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Hosting|
|Invoice and Tax Feature||No||Yes|
|File Format||*.QDF||*.QBM, *.QBA, *.QBW|
Are Quicken and QuickBooks the Same Thing?
The answer is No; they are not.
Quicken and QuickBooks are different software programs with a completely different set of features and operations. Quicken is more focused on maintaining personal finances for the user, and on the other hand, QuickBooks is aimed to support the complex accounting needs of SMBs as well as Enterprises.
That said, just because you are a business does not mean that you must go for QuickBooks over Quicken. For certain businesses, Quicken can serve as the right solution. For businesses that do not require an advanced software solution to maintain payroll or to file taxes, Quicken can be a viable option for managing finances.
For businesses that have to prepare and send a number of invoices, Quicken will not go well, and QuickBooks will make a better choice.
Hence, it is recommended to go through the functionalities of both the software products before choosing one for your accounting needs.
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