Quicken’s fast facts
Starting price: $3.99/mo.
Quicken is an excellent accounting software title for tracking your personal finances. Indeed, its 40-year history dating back to the 1980s has made it a household name. Beginners, in particular, enjoy its user-friendly approach.
But small businesses may feel disappointed. Even sole proprietors with more straightforward needs are underserved. There are no payroll functions, for one downside.
Meanwhile, the title’s age has arguably limited its evolution. For example, Quicken is still an on-premises software, so you won’t get any of the advantages of cloud operation. And its mobile app remains limited and poorly rated.
Still, it excels at many personal needs. Let’s find out if Quicken is right for your situation.
Users rejoice at the platform’s transparent, simple pricing structure. And thankfully, there are subscriptions tailored to both individuals and more complex small businesses.
The software title splits subscriptions between two categories: Simplifi and Classic. As the name implies, the former option focuses on automating simple tasks for individuals. For example, Simplifi can send you mobile notifications when your bank balance runs low.
Meanwhile, Classic boasts the most powerful functions. This category sports three subscription tiers: Premier, Deluxe and Business and Personal. Each plan targets more advanced uses with increasingly challenging needs.
Compare Quicken subscription plans and features
|Starting price per month
|Includes advanced reporting
|Robust mobile app available
|Individuals with simple situations
|Individuals with investments needing analytics
|Individuals planning for future goals
|Classic Business and Personal
Quicken’s key features
Specialized business tools
For desktop computer users, Quicken Classic Business and Personal adds functionality tailored to small-business needs. This array of perks includes custom invoicing; separation of personal, corporate and rental revenue; and property value tracking via Zillow. It also prepopulates business-related tax schedules and tracks tenant payments, which saves plenty of time.
In-house bill paying
Quicken Classic allows you to pay bills directly from its dashboard, a convenient feature for users wishing to centralize their financial activities. Netflix, AT&T and mortgage lenders are just some of the payees available. This one-click payment tool makes staying current on obligations a snap.
Lifetime financial planning
Quicken’s planning and reporting tools, including its “Lifetime Planner,” are integral features for those looking to manage their finances comprehensively. For reference, many competitors focus on shorter-term horizons, often a year or two out. But Quicken Classic boasts a lifelong timeframe. For example, the platform analyzes your progress toward retirement and significant life events like buying a home or having a child.
The software package can also explore various ‘what-if’ scenarios. For example, small business owners can forecast how their business might perform in a recession. The reporting aspect of Quicken is extensive, offering customizable reports that give detailed insights into various financial areas.
Simplified personal and business use
While many accounting software titles exclusively serve businesses or individuals, Quicken caters to both. The appropriately named Business and Personal plan specializes in this marriage. This subscription choice lets you quickly switch from documenting business purchases to monitoring your personal entertainment budget.
This financial combination is highly convenient and beginner-friendly. Plus, you won’t have to pay more for separate business software. So, it’s also good for your wallet.
Comprehensive financial overview
Quicken conveniently provides a centralized overview of your financial accounts in one place. This bird’s eye view includes bank accounts, investments, bills and credit cards. Armed with this broad array of data, you can generate reports to nail down where every last cent goes. This single source of truth is handy because many competitors mandate that you manually input such information.
Novice-friendly educational resources
Quicken boasts a range of educational resources and customer support, which can be invaluable for users new to financial management. The platform provides guides, tutorials and even online forums to assist users. And if you need help setting things up, the company promises free, one-on-one live onboarding support. Combine this helpful support system with its intuitive, user-friendly interface and the software is excellent for novices.
No double-entry accounting support
Quicken doesn’t function as a double-entry accounting system. This absence is a potentially disqualifying shortcoming for those who need advanced accounting capabilities. Even if you don’t have complex finances, the lack of a double-entry system could hinder future growth. For example, many accounting firms and lenders require this more complex ledger style. As a result, the software title may not jibe with your long-term growth goals.
Limited mobile app
If you love on-the-go productivity, then sadly, Quicken isn’t ideal. The platform’s Classic version is for on-premises use only, so you’d have to have the laptop you downloaded the platform on to use it — no borrowing a friend’s laptop or using an alternate device if you leave your computer at home. There is a limited mobile app, but it offers nearly no functionality beyond simple tasks like checking bank balances. Through and through, Quicken Classic is a desktop-first solution.
Lack of expandability
Due to its focus on personal finance, the platform lacks scalability for businesses.
For example, the platform does not offer payroll support. In contrast, many competitors, like QuickBooks and Zoho, include an add-on paycheck-cutting option. Quicken also can’t connect to banks outside the U.S. and Canada, among other hindrances to business growth.
Tax season also suffers from similar limitations. There is no in-house tax filing feature. Instead, you’ll have to export data to a third-party platform. And frustratingly, although Intuit TurboTax can directly pull data, you’ll need the desktop version of TurboTax. The online option, which is arguably more commonly used, doesn’t support this seamless connection.
Bottom line, Quicken isn’t built for ambitious growth. So, if you wish to expand your business or personal wealth dramatically, consider a different platform.
Alternatives to Quicken
QuickBooks Online stands as a robust alternative to Quicken. Specifically, this more comprehensive competitor is ideal for small-business owners craving more extensive features.
Unlike Quicken, which is more suited for personal finance management, QuickBooks Online offers a comprehensive set of tools tailored for business accounting. This platform allows users to track sales, expenses and profits in real time, providing a clear financial picture at any moment. Its integration with numerous business applications and banking systems makes it highly efficient for managing cash flow and payroll.
The platform offers various plans, making it scalable for businesses as they grow. Plus, its cloud-based nature ensures accessibility from anywhere, a crucial feature for today’s mobile entrepreneurs.
Xero is another excellent alternative to Quicken. The title is a favorite among freelancers and independent contractors thanks to its simplicity and user-friendly interface.
While Quicken serves personal finance primarily, Xero targets small businesses. It includes profit-minded tools that simplify invoicing, bill payment and expense tracking. Its cloud-based platform ensures that financial data is accessible from anywhere, a key benefit for freelancers who often work remotely. Additionally, the title stands out for its robust collaboration features. Accountants and clients can seamlessly view and work on financial data simultaneously. This feature and its real-time reporting capabilities set Xero apart from Quicken.
FreshBooks ranks as yet another compelling alternative for freelancers and small-business owners. Unlike Quicken, FreshBooks streamlines the invoicing process. It offers customizable invoice templates, automated billing and the ability to accept online payments directly through invoices, features that are essential for small businesses and freelancers.
Additionally, FreshBooks excels at time tracking, allowing users to record billable hours and automatically include them in invoices. This seamless integration of time tracking and invoicing is a distinct advantage over Quicken. Finally, its user-friendly interface and excellent customer support make FreshBooks a suitable choice for beginners and experienced users alike.
We carefully reviewed Quicken’s value for money and the number of features included in each tier. The needs of individuals and businesses alike were considered. We also analyzed customer feedback, ease of use, competitor offerings and the educational resources included in the platform, among other factors.
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