Quicken and QuickBooks. Comparison of the differences between Quicken and QuickBooks. QuickBooks and Quicken Help and Support for small business.

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"What are the differences between QuickBooks or Quicken and which one should I buy? "

This article discusses the differences between QuickBooks and Quicken and in what circumstances each software is a good choice for you. Both Quicken and QuickBooks will track your income and expenses. Both Quicken and QuickBooks makes learning the basics easy.  The advanced features in both will take more time and effort to learn but the results are time savings and better information for managing your business.   

Quicken is primarily a personal finance software that will track your cash inflows and outflows by category.  Just answer yes during the set-up wizard and Quicken will get you going with a basic business category list.

Quicken makes easy work of your bookkeeping if you are a sole proprietor   paying personal funds and business funds from the same accounts.

If you are an LLC, Corporation or limited partnership your personal assets may be protected from liability. But you must keep your business and personal funds separate at all times.  If you do get sued for any reason, intermingling of business and personal funds provides ammunition for the court to go after personal assets in addition to the business assets  When its time to pay personal bills, be sure to transfer money from the business account to your personal account rather than writing the check from the business account..

The following features are included in Quicken but not in QuickBooks

  • Simple checkbook accounting
  • Track your cost basis and current market value of your investments
    (stocks, bonds, mutual funds)
  • Financial planning wizard to help you determine how much to save for retirement. 
  • Emergency files for entering household inventory  in case of fire (great feature)
  • Key contact and location information for individuals who may need to become guardians to your children or settle your estate in case of an untimely death. 

  • Track your auto mileage for substantiating automobile deductions on your tax return- (QuickBooks Pro and Premier version 2004  includes a mileage tracker, QuickBooks Basic does not))
  • Download credit card transactions for Visa, Mastercard and Discover (not available for all banks in QuickBooks. (QuickBooks will download American Express credit card purchases. There are Add-on software packages that you can purchase for QuickBooks to download all credit card transactions into QuickBooks)
  • Track your loans with loan amortization schedules (loan interest schedules) - also available in QuickBooks
  • College planner. Determine monthly savings needed for reaching college tuition goals.

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Personal Finance made easy

Pay bills with checks or online, track bank & credit card transactions in one place. Will send text or email messages to remind you to pay on time.


Personal Finance made easy

Pay bills with checks or online, create family budgets, download bank transactions, track tax data, monitor net worth and asset allocation, plan for retirement, college or new home, find hidden tax deductions


Same great features as Quicken Deluxe Plus

Analyze investments; Investment tutorials; Tools to minimize capital gains tax; Morningstar ratings on your funds; Generate schedule A, B, D tax reports


for Schedule C filers
Same great features as Quicken Deluxe and Quicken Premier Plus

Create  & customize estimates & invoices; generate business reports; track mileage; track multiple jobs per customer; accounts receivable reports; track accounts payable; guidance for starting & running a business.


Quicken for the PC - select one of the above

Mac Users click here: Quicken For the Mac


The following features are included in QuickBooks but not in Quicken:

  • Quicken home and business will allow for accounts receivable and accounts payable but it has very little of the flexibility and functionality of QuickBooks. QuickBooks, was designed to streamline the paper flow and data entry in your office. It provides fields to collect information about your customers, products, services, vendors, etc.   If you invoice your customers on account,    If you keep track of accounts payable and receivable, charge sales tax, send customer statements QuickBooks will be the best software for you.. 
  • Journal entry transactions available in QuickBooks but not in Quicken.  Making adjustments in Quicken without this feature becomes cumbersome and prone to errors.
  • QuickBooks produces a balance sheet report.   QuickBooks double-entry features work behind the scenes to produce this report (Quicken, on the other hand, can create a business balance sheet -but not easily- and requires more knowledge of accounting to make adjustments and corrections.  Errors involving balance sheet accounts are more likely to occur in Quicken than in QuickBooks). Who needs a balance sheet?  Most businesses require a balance sheet for tax preparation (except sole proprietors), banks require balance sheets to approve financing, managers need to see the overall financial health of the business.
  • The transactions in QuickBooks do not require a sophisticated knowledge of accounting . But there are choices to make when selecting a transaction. There are advantages to each and will save time and provide terrific management information, but will create some confusion without training. We recommend anyone who uses QuickBooks or the reports from QuickBooks take a full day seminar to learn how powerful QuickBooks is, and how it will benefit your position. A class will teach you to recognize when an error is made and how to make a correction.  It will also shed light on the purpose of each transaction type (check, invoice, payment, bill, etc) and how it will show up in reports.  Simple start is a stripped down version of QuickBooks, no payroll, no inventory, no online banking, no customization of forms, and no flexibility in items used to invoice customer. But it is extremely easy to use, cuts out all the choices and includes only the basic, most commonly used features.  If you are debating over Quicken and Simple Start and you do not need the personnel finance features of Quicken, Simple start is the hands down choice.  Easily upgraded to the edition of QuickBooks needed as your business grows.  Quicken is much more cumbersome to convert.
  • QuickBooks allows for multi-user access and permission based access to sensitive accounting data.
  • Payroll is integrated into QuickBooks with good payroll reports and easy to use payroll tax quarterly processing. QuickBooks will print quarterly form 941 and year end form 940.  Quicken also has a payroll module but it is not integrated and is not as powerful as QuickBooks payroll - not available in Simple start
  • QuickBooks will prints 1099s and W2s  (TurboTax for business will print W-2s and 1099s)
    Not available in Simple Start.
  • Gather the data you need in QuickBooks to managing your business.  QuickBooks has included the fields needed to sort and track company productivity, profitability by customer, productivity by employee,  profitability by job, track success rate of marketing programs, to name just a few.  (not available in QuickBooks Simple Start)
  • QuickBooks Includes customizable fields to track  information specific to your business. (not available in Simple Start)
  • Full set of business reports can be modified, filtered to your needs. Export to Excel any report with the click of a button a feature in QuickBooks Pro or QuickBooks Premier, not QuickBooks Basic). 
  • Remote access (QuickBooks Premier Versions only) When you purchase QuickBooks Simple start you have the choice to install on your desktop or use the online version which will permit you to access your records from anywhere you gain access to a computer with high speed internet access.
  • Inventory tracking (not available in Simple Start)
  • Back order tracking (Premier Versions only)
  • QuickBooks has the added advantage of offering superior customization for  your industry. Since, version 2002, Intuit has opened QuickBooks software to third party software developers. Now there exists add-on packages that brings increased efficiency and functionality to your business at a cost savings of many thousands of dollars less than  mid size accounting software that produce the same results.  QuickBooks offers an ease of use that is unparalleled. Not available to QuickBooks Simple Start
  • QuickBooks handles
    1. estimating, such as estimating construction costs to make a bid on a construction project,
    2. time tracking, for businesses that bill on the basis of time, such as an attorney or CPA,

    3. advanced job costing, to compare estimated costs with actual costs of a job, etc.,

    4. exporting data to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for further analysis, and several other features.

      QuickBooks Premier includes sales orders, remote access and inventory assemblies.

    Read more about the differences between QuickBooks Simple Start and QuickBooks Pro.  Please call us at 800-216-0763 if you would like help selecting the best software for your business tracking needs.

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Difference between QuickBooks Premier, QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Basic for the PC

All of the QuickBooks software and editions will invoice, pay bills, track receivables, sales tax, and Payroll (tax tables sold separately)  and organize all your financial information in one place so you can quickly and easily find the information you need. Each version builds (adds features, bells & whistles) to the QuickBooks Basic Version.
The following features found in Premier & QuickBooks  Pro are excluded from the QuickBooks Simple Start
  • Memorize transactions for recurring transactions such as loan payments, rent, monthly invoices to customers
  • Robust reporting capabilities. (Simple Start includes essential reports)
  • Download banking and credit card transactions
  • Password protected closing date to prevent changes to prior periods
  • Import Quicken data
  • Class/Department tracking
  • Manage Payroll
  • Industry specific chart of accounts
  • Customizing Forms (Simple Start -can only add a logo)
  • Inventory items, service items, non-inventory items, & other items for tracking product you buy and product you sell.  (Simple-start - no inventory, limited flexibility for items)

Reminder - the above features ARE NOT included in Simple Start.
Below are features unique to QuickBooks Pro and/or all flavors of QuickBooks Premier which ARE NOT included in QuickBooks Basic

All of the QuickBooks software and editions will invoice, pay bills, track receivables and organize all your financial information in one place so you can quickly and easily find the information you need. Each version builds (adds features, bells & whistles) to the QuickBooks Basic Version.  QuickBooks Premier Versions QuickBooks Pro
Email sales orders x
Tracks sales orders, inventory components and finished goods or "assemblies". Great feature for tracking backorders x  
Create forecasts and business plans x
Customize prices - up to 100 different prices levels per item by percent. Now you can assign a price for each item per customer. Use for a customer name or to a customer group x
Auto reverse journal entries x
Remote access x
Email invoices, statements, estimates,
POs, sales receipts, credit memos, reports
x x
Job costing, time tracking by job, estimate forms x x
Flexible customer statements x x
5 simultaneous user option available at additional cost x x
Integrates with Microsoft products including Excel and Word plus capable of integration with 3rd party add on software for greater efficiency x x
Create budgets x x
Calculate and track loans with loan manager x x
Vehicle mileage tracker x x

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Both Quicken and QuickBooks will

  • Pay your bills by check or through online banking
  • Track your deposits and miscellaneous bank adjustments
  • You can download American Express credit card transactions
  • Track expenses by category - Quicken 
    Track expenses by accounts in QuickBooks   (category and account are terms that are interchangeable)
  • Set up recurring transactions for bill paying (QuickBooks has a more robust functionality  permitting recurring transactions for any type such as journal entries, invoicing, credit cards and more)
  • Budgeting
  • Loan Amortizations
  • Bank reconciliations
  • Class tracking- which will produce reports by department, location or product. Or if a personal account by family member.
  • Set up multiple companies without purchasing additional licenses.

Both products are affordable and should be upgraded to the newest version at least every two years   The cost of the software should not be the deciding factor. Keeping a good set of records to manage and track your business successes plus red flag problems before they make a dent in your profits must be governing in your decision.  Next, spend some time to learn about the trademarks of a good bookkeeping system.  The rate of return over the life of your business is priceless. Understanding your business records will provide you with all the tools you need to keep your business moving forward :

  • Learn the software and its capabilities
  • Get help with the set up of the software.  Track key business stats that will keep you ahead of your competition. You will end up avoiding the common errors that occur with QuickBooks and Quicken which will cost time and much more to fix at a later date.
  • Become skilled at bookkeeping.  Balance your books, find mistakes before they cost you money.
  • Set up office procedures and internal controls.  Prevent fraud and theft and maximize employee productivity
  • Get help interpreting business results.
In most circumstances, Quicken is a better software choice than QuickBooks for FAMILY Finances!!

Lets talk about why and what you should be doing with your Quicken File and why.
  • Understanding where you spend money is a key role to your families financial well being. Quicken easily integrates with your credit card company's website, downloading and helping you categorize spending.
    After using Quicken for several months you will see spending patterns, identifying where most of your money is going, and how much that translate to spending per year and NOW you are loaded with ammunition and information to find alternative companies/stores to provide those same products and services at a better rate.
    For example, you should be shopping around getting quotes on such big ticket items such as RENT, AUTO INSURANCE, MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES, CREDIT CARD RATES, HEALTH INSURANCE, HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE, TELEPHONE AND INTERNET PROVIDER  at least once every year.  Look at spending to see if you can stretch the time periods between shopping excursions,
  • Quicken will automatically help you save by moving money from your checking to a savings. What better way to save than for each spending pattern change you make, banking those savings each year!
  • Quicken Premier will track your investments and provide in one place with nice reports on how your investments are doing and help you determine when it is time to make changes
  • Quicken will track all your families assets at todays fair market value so you get a true understanding if you are meeting your family's goals of increased wealth.
  • Quicken will track what you owe and provide insight to how quickly you are paying down debt.
  • Quicken will guide you through setting up your budget and provide reports to see if you are meeting your budget.
  • Quicken makes it easy to track expenses with little effort and provides reports a family will understand.

QuickBooks is a good software for business providing a Net Worth based on your cost, which in today's economy, where house prices and investments fluctuate monthly! Since business reporting requires reporting at COST not Fair market Value QuickBooks is ideal for tracking your business profit and loss.

Support For QuickBooks and Quicken

QuickBooks access to support

Support is just as important as features. With today's advances in technology (remote access), you can receive hand-holding from our experts no matter where in the country you are located. Look to us to support QuickBooks and Quicken. We are Certified QuickBooks Pro advisors who are recertified each year as new editions are released.  We are also Certified Public Accountants who can help customize your bookkeeping file to satisfy tax needs, management needs, and financing needs. We have been providing these services for over 15 years.

Consider hiring our services to help set-up and provide training on a task by task basis.  Through the internet and our telephone lines, we guide your through an activity, demonstrate and explain how it applies to your business,  leave you to complete the task. We review your work along the way, show you how to make corrections, and when you are ready, begin the process again for the next activity.  Its the best way to receive training.  Learn to check your books before the accountant gets them and charges to fix mistakes. Save in annual professional fees year after year.  Learn to do the bookkeeping right the first time.   Get the training you need to learn how to enter and classify transactions. Learn how to interpret the financial reports. Use the money you save in accounting fees to reinvest in the growth of your business.  Call us for more information


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Quicken Setup Manuals
Quicken Users Guides

The following PDF files are learning guides which will help you get started. Select your version below and the user guide will open using adobe reader.  Amazon sells the current version's  OFFICIAL GUIDE
Quicken The Official Guide

The following free guides will still help you to get started with the current version.
Quicken 2015 Start up Guide
Quicken 2014 Start up Guide

Quicken 2013 Start up Guide
Quicken 2012 Start up Guide
Quicken 2011 Start up Guide
Quicken 2010 Start up Guide
Quicken 2008 Users Set-Up Guide
Quicken 2008 Home & Business Users Guide
Quicken 2007 Users Set-Up Guide
Quicken 2007 Home & Business Users Guide

Quicken 2006 Users Set-Up Guide
Quicken 2006 Home & Business Users Guide
Quicken Quick Start Guide

Quicken 2005 Users Set-Up Guide
Quicken 2005 Home & Business Users Guide
Nice introduction tutorial to setting up investments in Quicken
Older Versions:
Quicken 2004 Users Set-Up Guide
Quicken 2004 Home & Business Users Guide
Quicken 2003 Users Set-Up Guide
Quicken 2002 Users Set-Up Guide
Quicken 2001 Users Set-Up Guide
Older Versions of Quicken Bridge Older Versions of Quicken, to update your outdated old  Quicken file to the current edition.  For use in converting Quicken files from older editions of Quicken to Quicken 2010. 
To print or e-mail the Quicken user guides:
Select User Guide link above >                      To email:
Click on File >                                              Type in e-mail address > click send.
Click on Print or Send.
Quicken User GuidesQuicken User Manuals

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TurboTax 2006 Premier

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Walks you sale of investments; IRA & 401K & retirement planning advise; Rental property guidance incl. depreciation.









Quicken The Official Guide
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QuickBooks or Quicken

Summary Review

Start a stellar bookkeeping system for today.  A good accounting system will red flag problems, control costs and discourage fraud and embezzlement.

  1. Easier to learn
  2. Great for tracking checkbooks. It will total by category and produce simple reports for  income and expense.  If you use multiple  checkbooks and transfer funds, reports become difficult to understand.
  3. Standard reports with sort and filter flexibility
  4. Terrific personal financial tracking software-
    Track stocks and other investments, track household inventory , emergency  tracker for describing locations of important documents, important phone numbers in case of serious accident or death,  financial planning tools to help save for retirement and children college funds.
  5. No inventory tracking
  6. Add on payroll system
  7. Home and Business addition tracks vehicle mileage
  8. Limited invoicing, receivable and payable capabilities
  9. Only one user on the software at a time
  10. No add on software available
  1. More complicated because of the business customization and sophisticated business features that are offered.  
  2. Balance sheet, journal entries, behind the scenes double entry accounting features.
  3. Better at data collection. Customized transaction fields plus customize customers and vendors, can collect data by location, department, job, repairs on equipment, referral sources, employees, salesman and much more
  4. Standard reports include full range of financial reports,  sales and expense reports, inventory and sales detail reports, time tracking and employee reports, job reports, departmental reports and much more. All can be modified and filtered and memorized for easy access in the future.
  5. No personal financial tracking features
  6. Inventory tracking is a feature, but has limited functionality.  (Average cost, no FIFO or LIFO, no serial number or expiration date tracking - to name a few shortcomings) If more features are needed, there are inexpensive software packages that will do the job plus  integrate with QuickBooks.
  7. Integrated Payroll feature is excellent for the small business. Can have unlimited state withholding but each employee is limited to withholding for just one state.  Prints 941, 940 W-2's  (additional cost for annual update approx $170per year)
  8. QuickBooks Pro and Premier have a mileage tracker.
  9. Full features for receivables and payables, invoicing and purchase orders. Includes: professional invoices, statements purchase orders
  10. Multi-user - can have up to 5 simultaneous users. Enterprise solutions can have up to 10
  11. Over 300 add-on software developers to date that integrate to QuickBooks. This combination gives the same power of similar systems selling for over $20,000.


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Converting Quicken to QuickBooks

You can covert Quicken files to QuickBooks. You cannot convert a Quicken for Dos 1-4 file to a QuickBooks file. Neither can you covert a Quicken for Mac 7 through 2001 to a QuickBooks File. Many small businesses start out with Quicken due to  time limitation.  As a business owner who wears many hats (production, marketing, administrative) you may have other priorities than setting up and learning a full blown bookkeeping system. 

The conversion process is done in several steps.  In Quicken, categories need to be changed or deleted, memorized transactions adjusted, inactive customer and vendor names deleted. Once the Quicken file is prepared, the actual conversion takes less than 5 minutes.  Be sure to copy the Quicken file before preparing the Quicken file for upgrade to QuickBooks. The new QuickBooks file will need to have adjustments to customize the software to meet your needs, correct opening balances,  clean up list items and adjust your chart of accounts.  Our conversion service is a turn key system.  Let us prepare and convert your Quicken file, set up your QuickBooks file with accurate balances, get a good starting balance to your bank reconciliation and get you the information you need today to plan for your business tomorrow.. 

You cannot convert QuickBooks  into Quicken.

Step 1.
Review the accounts in Quicken and remove those that are inactive or not business related. Delete all accounts that you do not want to import into QuickBooks. Quiken will allow you to delete accounts that have activity.

If you use Quicken on-line banking feature, check with your bank to see if the bank interfaces with QuickBooks the same way you do with Quicken.  If not, QuickBooks does offer, for a fee, on-line bill payment.  Before the file is converted, delete any repeating online payment instructions in Quicken and send the deletion instruction to the financial institution. QuickBooks does not support repeating online payments, so you cannot delete or modify once in QuickBooks. In QuickBooks you can schedule payments using memorized transactions. After the file is converted you will  need to enable your bank account for online banking. 

If you are using Quicken Home & Business, check the names in the accounts receivable register. the names used for Invoices must match the names used for payments.  Names in the accounts receivable register become customer names and transactions become invoices and payments in QuickBooks.  If the names do not match, QuickBooks will not link the invoices to the payments correctly. For example "The Widget Store" could also be listed as "Widget Store" so pick one and change the other so you are left with only one name for each customer.

If you use memorized and scheduled transactions.  Turn on the memorizing transactions option in Quicken so that the lists are updated automatically.  Organize all the transactions that you want to keep in transaction groups.  Only those transactions in groups are converted.  Include only information from the current fiscal and calendar year. 

QuickBooks does not convert recurring invoices

Step 2.  Open QuickBooks  > File Menu > Import > Convert Quicken
             QuickBooks wizard will guide you through the rest.

Step 3.  Edit the other names moving names to the customer, vendor and employee lists.
List menu > Other names  >  at the bottom of the Other names window, click on the activities button and select "change other name types.

Step 4.  Complete the company information window
Company Menu > Company information

Step 5.  Review all the preferences and set up the way you would like to use QuickBooks
Edit Menu > Preferences > Review and modify both personal and company preferences.

Step 6.  Set-up your item list that you will be using to invoice customers and purchase goods and services for resale.
Lists > Items

Step 7. In Quicken if you used  an 'other liability account' to book your accounts payable.  QuickBooks will convert to the same named account "other liability account".  To payoff these entered but unpaid transactions, use a write check form  and code to the other liability account.  For all new unpaid bills use the "enter bill" form and the "pay bill" form. Both of these forms will produce accounts payable reports and link the payments to the vendor bills for easy tracking.

Step 8.  Look through your Expense account to see if any should be edited to become asset or liability accounts.  If you do make the change, prepare a journal entry that will correct the balances (offset to opening balance equity account)

Step 9   Set up the Equity accounts on your chart of accounts
see our sample  of a QuickBooks Chart of Account List

Step 10  Edit expense accounts that represent your direct costs and make them Cost of Goods Sold type accounts.

Step 11.  Edit income accounts and make inactive any account that you will no longer be using.


Never underestimate the value of a Certified QuickBooks Professional Advisor and Certified Public Accountant.  If your business is new, there are questions you need answered to get off to the right foot at the lowest possible cost.  You may not need a CPA to prepare your tax return, but you do need to know the tax issues that affect your business. Call for a consultation.  $25 for each ten minutes.  We will help you select the right products, Quicken, QuickBooks and or Turbotax.

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