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Quicken vs. QuickBooks for Small Businesses

Updated on:
Content was accurate at the time of publication.

The best accounting software program for you comes down to the type of small business you run. Quicken Business & Personal (QBP) may work for a small side business, but QuickBooks products are designed for entrepreneurs who need a more comprehensive accounting toolkit.

QBP is ideal if you’re seeking a central location to manage your personal finances and sole proprietorship income and expenses. However, since it lacks payroll capabilities, it might not be a good fit for small business owners with employees.

That said, QBP’s price point of $10.99 per month (billed annually) is occasionally discounted, which makes this software an affordable option, even if you need to add a separate payroll service.

Both Quicken and QuickBooks offer several different versions to meet the needs of a diverse customer base. Below, we’ve compared a few of the most popular programs from Quicken and QuickBooks.

Quicken Business & PersonalQuickBooks Simple StartQuickBooks Plus
PriceFull price of $10.99 per month; occasionally discounted for the first year$15 per month for 3 months; $30 per month after that$45 per month for 3 months; $90 per month after that
Free trial No 30-day free trial 30-day free trial
Available on both Mac and PC? Yes Yes Yes

 Supports budgeting and cash flow tracking

 Can export business data to TurboTax for tax preparation

 Connects to bank account to automatically track transactions

 Track business miles with smartphone app

 Inventory tracking features

 Ability to track profitability by project


 No inventory tracking features

 Only annual billing is available

 No accounts payable or time tracking features

 No inventory tracking features


 Doesn’t support fixed asset accounting

Multi-user capabilities No 1 user and 2 accounting firms Includes 5 users
Mobile app Yes Yes Yes
Payroll No Available for an additional fee Available for an additional fee
Inventory tracking No No Yes
Scalability No Yes Yes
Ease of use Yes Yes Yes
Receipt capturing Yes Yes Yes
SupportPhone, live chat and community forumPhone, live chat, community forum, video tutorialsPhone, live chat, community forum, video tutorials
  • PayPal for collecting payments
QuickBooks integrates with over 750 popular business apps (some may not work with Simple Start)QuickBooks integrates with over 750 popular business apps (some may not work with Plus)

Quicken Home & Business is just one Quicken version available to users. Here’s a look at the various Quicken plans available to customers and who they’re best suited for.

Quicken Business & Personal

  • Good for: Sole proprietors, owners of rental properties
  • Bad for: Business with employees or lots of inventory
  • Price: Full price of $10.99 per month; occasionally discounted for the first year

Despite the product’s name, Quicken lists Quicken Business & Personal as a personal finance product. That’s because the company focuses on individuals who want to manage their household finances but may also have a few rental properties or a side hustle to track.

QBP might be a good fit for sole proprietors who prefer a single place to track business and personal expenses. Rental property owners, for example, can manage lease terms, rental rates, track outstanding and paid rents and other items.

Quicken personal finance programs

  • Good for: Individuals who want a better handle on their finances
  • Bad for: Owners of businesses and rental properties
  • Price: Starting at $2.99 per month for the first year, $3.99 per month after that

Other Quicken plans track your personal finances rather than small business or rental income. Here’s a look at these options and some of their stand-out features:

  • Quicken Simplifi. Simplifi is the newest Quicken offering, designed for people who want to monitor their spending and work toward savings goals. With helpful dashboards and notifications to alert you to unusual transactions and nearing spending limits, it can help you keep tabs on your money and save more.
  • Quicken Deluxe. Quicken Deluxe offers tools for budgeting and running different scenarios to see the impact of your financial decisions, like paying down debt or contributing more to your retirement accounts. It also simplifies tax filing by allowing you to generate reports and export them to TurboTax or email them to your tax preparer.
  • Quicken Premier. Quicken Premier offers all the features of Quicken Deluxe plus tools to help you with investing decisions, more tax reports and the ability to track and pay bills in the app.

QuickBooks offers various plans to meet the needs of businesses of various sizes. However, none of its products are designed to track personal finances.

With add-on features like payroll and integrations with hundreds of other popular applications, it can meet the needs of just about any small- to medium-sized business.

QuickBooks Online Solopreneur

  • Good for: Solopreneurs with no employees or contractors
  • Bad for: Budget-conscious business owners
  • Price: Starting at $20 per month

Solopreneur (formerly known as QuickBooks Self-Employed) allows business owners to track income and expenses, document receipts, estimate quarterly taxes, manage invoices, track miles and run basic reports.

Simple Start

  • Good for: Small business owners who charge sales tax on purchases and send estimates to customers
  • Bad for: Businesses that need to track time and pay 1099 contractors
  • Price: Starting at $30 per month

Simple Start includes all of Solopreneur’s features but unlocks additional features, including the ability to manage cash flow and sales tax, generate general reports and send estimates.


  • Good for: Service-based business with multi-currency transactions
  • Bad for: Inventory-heavy business
  • Price: Starting at $60 per month

Essentials is ideal for service-based business owners who want to record transactions in multiple currencies, manage 1099 contractors and track their time.

QuickBooks Plus

  • Good for: Wholesalers and retailers that need to manage inventory
  • Bad for: Businesses with sophisticated accounting needs
  • Price: Starting at $90 per month

The price of QuickBooks Plus jumps to $90 per month. It offers useful features for product-based businesses, such as tracking inventory and monitoring labor costs for different projects.

QuickBooks Advanced

  • Good for: Larger accounting teams with more sophisticated accounting needs
  • Bad for: Very small businesses and sole proprietors
  • Price: Starting at $200 per month

QuickBooks Advanced is the top-tier version of QuickBooks Online. In addition to all of the features offered by Plus, it provides workflow automation tools, fixed asset tracking and employee expense management. It can support up to 25 users.

QuickBooks Online offers a free 30-day trial. Users may opt to skip the free trial and enjoy 50% off their subscription fee for three months.

QuickBooks Desktop

  • Good for: Owners of multiple companies
  • Bad for: Business owners on the go
  • Price: $1,922 per year

QuickBooks Desktop shares many accounting features with its online counterpart, but with slight differences. Desktop-only features include managing the accounting for multiple companies, intercompany transactions and built-in payroll, but you can’t access your account via the mobile app — a feature available with the online version.

QuickBooks used to offer multiple versions of its Desktop software. However, starting in July 2024, the company will no longer sell its desktop software to new subscribers in the U.S.

While the company will continue offering support and updates to existing users, the only option available to new customers will be QuickBooks Enterprise Desktop. This plan offers industry-specific solutions that certain businesses may find useful. For example, manufacturing and wholesale businesses can use mobile barcode scanning for picking, receiving and cycle count inventory updates.

An annual subscription to QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise runs $1,922 per year.

QBP, QuickBooks Online and Desktop are just three potential business accounting solutions among many. If neither small business accounting software company fits your needs, consider these free and paid alternatives:


  • Pro: Track an unlimited number of expense transactions
  • Con: Adding more than one user results is an additional monthly fee
  • Consider: If you need basic income and expense tracking

Like QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting software ideal for service-based businesses. After a 30-day free trial (no credit card required), a FreshBooks subscription starts at $19 monthly for the Lite Plan, which includes unlimited expense tracking. You can receive payment via credit card or bank transfer for up to five clients. You can save 10% off the monthly subscription by opting for an annual subscription.

FreshBooks’s project collaboration tools can help business owners work with their accountants for real-time financial insights. Freshbooks Payroll, powered by Gusto, a payroll and HR software solution for small businesses, is available as an add-on starting at $40 plus $6 per person monthly.

Wave Accounting

  • Pro: Free option available
  • Con: No live support unless you pay for a Pro plan
  • Consider: If you just want to invoice clients and offer simple payment terms

Wave Accounting is web-based software ideal for small businesses with limited budgets because it is entirely free (with the option to unlock additional features for a fee). For zero dollars, you can create unlimited estimates, invoices, bills and transactions, as well as accept online payments and send invoices via the Wave app. Wave Accounting also offers payroll services at an additional cost starting at $20 a month.

Sage Intacct

  • Pro: Integrated payroll and budgeting features
  • Con: Steep learning curve for small business owners
  • Consider: If you already have some knowledge of small business accounting

Sage Intacct is another online software that lets small business owners automate their accounting processes, streamline payroll and compare spending to their budgets. Sage Intacct also integrates with other common business tools and applications to reduce duplicate inputs and provide greater visibility into the entire organization.

Quicken offers software with personal finance management tools. It’s available online on your Windows or Mac computer. Quicken and QuickBooks were originally sister companies owned by Intuit until H.I.G. Capital acquired Quicken in 2016. H.I.G Capital sold Quicken to Aquiline Capital Partners in 2021.

QuickBooks is a software that offers accounting and payroll tools to small businesses, including invoice and inventory management. Depending on which product you purchase, QuickBooks can be an online cloud-based software or software downloaded directly onto your computer.

Quicken typically focuses on personal finances and is ideal for those with side businesses, including rental real estate properties. With Quicken, you can manage rental properties, create customized budgets and monitor your investments. QuickBooks is generally better suited for small- to medium-sized businesses with more robust accounting needs.

If your needs are specific to personal finance or you operate a sole proprietorship, Quicken may be easier to use, as it doesn’t contain the myriad of accounting tools that QuickBooks offers. However, both Quicken and QuickBooks may require a learning curve if you’re brand new to the software.

Fortunately, Quicken provides a Getting Started guide after downloading the software to your computer. QuickBooks offers classes and has an extensive library of online video tutorials to help you learn how to use QuickBooks online.

Choosing between QuickBooks Online or downloading the desktop version boils down to pricing and accessibility. QuickBooks Online is cloud-based, making it easy to access anywhere with online connectivity but it charges a monthly subscription. QuickBooks Desktop lets you operate the software offline.

QuickBooks was intended as an accounting solution for businesses, but it is also a possible (and more costly) option for home and personal use. Depending on which plan you choose, you can track income and expenses, organize receipts and manage cash flow.

Prices current as of publication date.