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Quicken vs. QuickBooks: A “Quick” Comparison


If you’re looking for accounting software that makes doing your own business accounting easier or looking to replace your accountant, both QuickBooks and Quicken are tried-and-true options that can’t be overlooked.

But which is better? And how do you know which is specifically better suited for your needs? 

That’s the purpose of this guide: to give you a detailed breakdown of both QuickBooks and Quicken so you know what their strong points are and which you should choose. 

Table of contents:

  1. QuickBooks vs. Quicken: A “Quick” Summary
  2. When Quicken is better
  3. When QuickBooks is better

QuickBooks vs. Quicken: A “Quick” Summary

Before we dive into our detailed review, for those who want the summarized version (or a “quick” summary– pun intended), we’ve broken down the essential points below.

If you rather not wade through a list of benefits and features and just want to get the short of it, this is for you: 


When to use QuickBooks

QuickBooks is by far the more robust accounting software. If your only reason for needing business accounting software is for, well, accounting, then QuickBooks is the better option by far.

QuickBooks is perfectly suited for small businesses while also having the necessary features to support you as you grow, no matter what direction your business goes. 

Check out QuickBooks.


When to use Quicken

While QuickBooks is the more expansive business tax software, Quicken has a niche that is sure to be attractive to some small business owners: it’s a great personal finance tool.

If you’re a sole proprietor, or just a solo business owner, an accounting + personal finance software might be a good fit for you. 

Quicken is also well-suited for those who own rental property as it gives you the ability to track tenants and manage your lease terms and rental rates. 

However, if these odd benefits aren’t of value to you, QuickBooks is hands-down the better software. 

Check out Quicken.

Quicken vs. QuickBooks: A summary of features

Here’s a breakdown of all key features available with QuickBooks/Quicken: 


Quicken Home & Business

Quicken’s Home & Business version is ideal for small business owners who need basic business accounting software but who also want to take advantage of Quicken’s useful personal finance features. 

On the business accounting side, Home & Business offers reports such as profit & loss and cash flow, helps you maximize tax savings, and will categorize your expenses. 

In addition to these business accounting features, you’ll have an effective personal finance manager as well. You’ll be able to create personal budget goals, track your spending, and even manage any financing you have.

Quicken Home & Business has one version and costs $100 for one year, as opposed to QuickBooks’ monthly setup. 

QuickBooks Small Business

QuickBooks Small Business, or QuickBooks Online, is the online version of QuickBooks accounting software. As opposed to Quicken’s Home & Business version, which offers a balance of basic personal and business features, QuickBooks offers a comprehensive suite of business features. 

There are several versions of QB’s online software, each proceeding plan offering a few additional features you may or may not care for, from adding additional users onto your account to printing 1099’s.

Depending on which plan you go with, QuickBooks by intuit will cost from $20 to $150 per month, including a $25 Simple Start, $40 Essentials, $70 Plus, and a $150 Advanced plan. 

Quicken vs. QuickBooks: When Quicken is better

So far, we’ve summarized the main takeaway of the comparison between QuickBooks and Quicken. 

However, if you’re looking for a more specific breakdown of what key benefits and drawbacks each software has, we’ll cover that in these next two sections. 

First, here’s where Quicken shines over QuickBooks:

Quicken is more affordable

One of the biggest differences between Quicken and QuickBooks is the fact that QB charges monthly, while Quicken’s software is an annual license.

What that means is you’ll only be paying $100 a year for Quicken’s Home & Business, but you’ll need to purchase it every year. However, with QuickBooks, you’ll likely be paying between $25-70 each month, which can quickly add up to far more than what you would pay with Quicken.

Quicken can track your finances (both business and personal)

If you need, or want, a single software that tracks both your business and personal finances, Quicken is a great option. 

With its mix of key personal finance and business accounting features, if you’re a solo business owner that works from home (or some equivalent), Quicken might give you everything you need in a single software. 

With Quicken, in addition to its basic accounting features, you can track investments, loans, and spending while managing your business accounting, though only if you do a few minor transactions here and there (otherwise it can get very messy). 

Quicken vs. QuickBooks: When QuickBooks is better

While Quicken is more affordable and offers the ability to track personal finances and do your business accounting in one place, QuickBooks stands above it in most regards.

Here’s when QuickBooks is better: 

QuickBooks has more robust accounting features

While Quicken has some definite positives, if you’re looking for a true business accounting software, it falls short in many ways.

QuickBooks offers business accounting features such as payroll, time management, inventory management, purchase orders, and automated invoice features.

In addition to these features, with QB you also have access to a slew of integrations for various accounting software that can make the software even more powerful. 

QuickBooks has better accessibility and usability

Of the two, QuickBooks is generally the more polished. The interface is cleaner and simpler and it’s easier to find what you need. 

Quicken, on the other hand, can seem a bit busy mostly because of its personal finance features, which just become an obstacle to wade through if you have no use for them. 

In addition to this, QuickBooks lives in the cloud, whereas Quicken is a basic desktop software. That means whatever happens to your computer, your information is safe. It also means you can access your software with QuickBooks even if you’re offline, something you can’t do with Quicken.

Quicken or QuickBooks: What is better for your business? 

Whether Quicken vs. Quickbooks is better mostly depends on how much use you can get out of their personal finance features.

If you have no use for personal accounting features, and instead just want the best business accounting software available, QuickBooks is the perfect option.

However, if you’re a solo business owner who manages all their own finances, something like Quicken can be incredibly useful in bringing everything together into one interface, making it easy to manage everything. 

Just make sure to remember the importance of keeping your business and personal finances separate. 

How Business Financing Changes During the Business Life Cycle

Finance has an integral part to play in a business. At a basic level, sufficient financing ensures that businesses have enough cash flow to maintain daily operations. This also assists in investment-related decisions, and facilitates smooth spending. A business’s ability to secure financing is essential for realizing tactical and strategic objectives.


Money greases the wheels of all businesses; it’s imperative that finances are carefully managed to ensure uninterrupted business activity, access to capital, and the ability to leverage opportunities as they arise. In an ideal world, businesses would generate sufficient revenue streams from sales of goods and services to cover costs. Businesses routinely face challenges in the marketplace, particularly with capital investments which require loans and other forms of financing.


The infancy stages of a business

Companies either succeed or they fail. What happens is largely dependent on a business’s ability to finance itself during the different stages of its life-cycle. There are typically 3 phases in a business life-cycle, notably the start-up phase, the growth phase, and the maturity phase. During the start-up phase of a business’s operations, financing comes from a variety of sources notably the owner/founder’s personal savings account, assistance from friends and family, small bank loans, and even credit cards.


If the business plan is ironclad, the business owner may be able to attract significant investment from angel investors, venture capitalists, and other sources of financing. For example, an entrepreneur may be willing to relinquish equity in the company for capital financing. This is a commonly used method by business owners who have a great business plan and investors who are eager to hitch their wagon to the business.


The growth phase of a business

During the growth phase of the business life-cycle, financing is equally important. Growth a.k.a. expansion necessitates significant investment in a business’s operations. Further, human resources are needed and this requires significant investment.


It is possible for businesses to tap into cash flow, but this precludes shareholders from taking dividends. External capital sources are essential during this phase of operations. Several options currently exist, including venture capital firms, but they can be detrimental to the owner’s equity and control over the company.


Fortunately, entrepreneurs who opt for this method of financing will receive a substantial advance upfront. Other options include bank loans. It is worth pointing out that interest can be deducted from all taxable income, meaning that debt-financed capital is inexpensive. If a business is listed on the stock exchange, the issuance of shares serves as an effective way to generate a stash of cash. A word of caution is advised: the business must be a proven performer.


During the growth phase, there is another method of generating financing, particularly for companies involved in selling high-end products including vehicles, machinery, equipment, luxury goods and the like. Unlike a convenience store cash business, luxury items or big-ticket items are typically paid off over time.  Assuming an invoice value of $100,000 on day 0, a company may not want to ‘carry’ the customer’s debt obligation for several weeks or months.


An effective way to obtain financing during the growth phase and the mature phase of a business is invoice financing. This financing method is primarily geared towards B2B organizations where the terms are 30, 60, or 90 days in duration. Invoice financing is a product of the invoices that are due to be paid to a business.


It is highly effective at maintaining a stable cash flow. Invoice financing comprises multiple different products for financing accounts receivable. This typically takes the form of invoice factoring – a form of invoice financing. Assuming a company is owed $100,000, invoice factoring can ensure that 80% of that amount is paid upfront by the invoice factoring company ($80,000) and the balance is paid back over time (30, 60, or 90 days) less the factoring fee (for example 0.5% – 2%).


The reason why businesses use invoice financing is to boost cash flow immediately so that day-to-day operations can be taken care of and the business doesn’t run into a negative cash flow situation. Invoice financing isn’t that difficult to implement, provided the debtors are trustworthy and have an established and verified relationship with the SME.


The mature phase of a business

During the mature phase of a business’s life-cycle, it typically has a proven track record of performance. This means that it is likely a creditworthy business, and able to tap short-term capital loans and financing from a variety of sources. If the business has a healthy balance sheet and income statement, it is much easier to access capital from a variety of markets such as equities markets, capital markets, and bond markets.


Other forms of financing such as peer-to-peer financing and investment financing remain on the table. As a rule, you can expect the infancy stage of the business to be funded primarily by the owner, close friends and family. As the business grows, other financing options open up, including bank loans, business loans, non-bank lenders, angel investors, and invoice financing options too. Once a business has an established presence with credible clients, invoice financing is a particularly attractive option available to business owners.

How General Contractors Benefit From Contractors Insurance

Working as a contractor has a lot of things going for it. You get to work flexible hours, the income is typically better, and you’re basically your own boss.


As a contractor, you also happen to carry specific responsibilities, among them purchasing contractors insurance.

Some states and industries may not require contractors insurance, but if you care about your business, you should get insurance protection regardless of whether it’s a requirement or not.

And if you’re a general contractor, then it’s even more imperative to have contractors insurance coverage. As the prime contractor of a construction project, a general contractor stands to benefit immensely from having the right contractors insurance policies.

The responsibilities of a general contractor

The overall operations of a construction site fall under the supervision of a general contractor. The management of employees,  acquiring construction business loans , dealing with contractors and suppliers, and reporting on a project’s progress to those that commissioned the project are also part of a general contractor’s responsibilities.

Being the one in charge of an entire construction project means a general contractor is responsible for lots of workers, subcontractors, equipment, tools, and materials. The job is so massive in scope that not getting the proper type of contractors insurance coverage for any of them would be the height of irresponsibility, at the very least.

So what benefits can a general contractor get from contractors insurance?

Protection from claims

Construction is one of the most dangerous professions in the world. Thousands of construction workers worldwide suffer injuries while on the job. Workers can also cause injuries or property damage to third parties within the construction site when, say, a tool slips from their hands. If you’re the general contractor of a project when the things mentioned above take place, you can expect claims and lawsuits to head in your direction.

However, if your company has workers’ compensation insurance, any employee injured while working for you won’t have to worry about the expenses for their medical treatment. And if they lose wages because of their inability to work, workers’ compensation will cover it. With workers’ compensation, there would be no need for you to pay what is due them out of pocket.

As for third parties that suffer injuries or sustain property damage in the middle of your construction project, any claim they make can be paid for by general liability insurance, if you have one. Even if claims turn into lawsuits, your general liability policy will cover your legal expenses as well as the compensation the court might award your employees if it rules in their favor.

Protection for tools, equipment, and materials

The tools, equipment, and materials in a construction site can prove to be tempting for thieves. In fact, theft is not uncommon in construction sites. You wouldn’t want to lose them to these people. You wouldn’t want them to suffer any kind of damage as well. You are, after all, responsible for all of them, being the general contractor.

However, if you have a builders risk insurance policy that provides protection for tools, equipment, and materials, you will have one less thing to worry about. Builders risk insurance also provides coverage for the structure itself. So if fire, wind, lightning, hail, explosion, vandalism, and vehicles or aircraft cause any damage to the structure, you can rest assured that most builders risk insurance policies will pay for it

Compliance with state requirements

As mentioned above, not all states require contractors insurance, but most of them do. As a general contractor, you would want your entire project to be compliant with regulations set forth by the state within which you’re operating. Having general liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and other types of contractors insurance is resounding proof that you are, indeed, following state laws.

Reputation boost

Clients, in general, will always want protection for any project they’re paying for, and that’s why they usually hire contractors with the proper insurance coverage. In all likelihood, they’ll only choose from a pool of insured contractors, and ignore everyone else. Having the right contractors insurance policies assures you then that your company’s name will be in that shortlist for any major construction project.

Peace of mind

Few things can give a general contractor peace of mind better than proper contractors insurance coverage. Considering the risks involved in construction, you’ll be more at peace knowing that if anything untoward ever happens with your ongoing construction project, your contractors insurance provider will always have your back.

While no one purchases contractors insurance and actively wishes that they get to use it, having that kind of coverage prepares you for any complications that might take place. In an industry that can be particularly stressful for its players, having contractors insurance policies can make you feel confident that your business will go on, even when somebody gets hurt or property gets damaged, stolen or lost.

Understanding Your Business Credit Report


Why should you check your business credit report?

Unlike your personal credit report, business credit is a bit more of an unknown.

How does it work? When does it come into play? How do I read my business credit report (because, if you haven’t seen yours yet, it’s somewhat different from a personal credit report)?

Your business credit report works largely the same way your personal credit report does: it serves as a tool for obtaining financing, in this case for your business, and sometimes for obtaining supplies from vendors. 

For those reasons alone, your business credit report is critically important to your business. 

Without a good business credit score, it will be much more difficult to obtain funding for your business when it needs it and it could cripple your ability to obtain supplies at ideal prices depending on your industry and type of business. 

So, you should not only check your business credit report now for potential errors and so that you understand what might be affecting your score, but make it a habit of checking up on it annually. 

But you probably have a few more questions about how your business credit report works. So, below, we’ll be covering:

  1. The 3 major business credit reports
  2. How to pull your business credit report
  3. Reading your business credit report 
  4. 3 Tricks to improve your business credit

First, let’s talk about the 3 major business credit bureaus and how they score your business.

The 3 major business credit reports

When it comes to your business credit report, there are 3 primary agencies and their associated credit reports: 

  1. Dun & Bradstreet
  2. Experian
  3. Equifax

Each of the above agencies provides a form of business credit report to gauge your business’ creditworthiness. However, each does so a bit differently (with its own entirely unique scoring model), and that’s really where business credit reports vary from personal credit.

Here’s more information about each agency and how their scoring system works: 

Dun & Bradstreet

Dun Bradstreet, or D&B, offers a comprehensive report that offers your D&B rating and D&B PAYDEX Score in addition to several other metrics. 

PAYDEX is D&B’s business credit scoring method, which uses a number system from 1 to 100, the higher the score the better. 

Preferably, you want a score of 80 or above, which means that your business generally makes payments on time and is in good standing. If your score is 49 or below, you’re considered a high credit risk.


Experian has several reports including its Business Credit Advantage Report, which provides financial scores, payment history, and even tips for improving your score. 

No matter which report you get, they use what they call their Intelliscore system, which uses a similar 1-100 scoring model as D&B’s but takes into account a wider range of factors than either D&B or Equifax:


However, these differences aside, a score of 76 or higher– almost identical to D&B’s 80– is the number to shoot for as it signifies that you’re at a low risk of defaulting on your loans. 

Experian also offers a financial stability risk score, which scores your business from 1 (best) to 5 (worst) based on the stability of the business as a whole:



Equifax’s Small Business Credit Report collects your company’s payment history, credit utilization, score, and other information. 

Their scoring model is more similar to the personal credit scoring numbering system in that numbers range from 101-992, the higher the number the lower the risk and therefore better. 

Similar to Experian financial stability risk rating, Equifax also offers a Business Failure Score that measures how likely your business is to close within the next 12 months, with scores ranging from 1,000-1,880. Again, the higher the number the lower the calculated risk, so you want as high a number as possible for both scores. 

How to pull your business credit report

Unlike personal credit, there is no federal program in place that requires agencies to offer you one free credit report annually.

That means you’ll need to pay for your business credit report no matter how you slice it, but the process is simple and straightforward and you can obtain it directly from each of the three reporting agencies. 

Alternatively, you can sign up for free updates to your business credit report in many places (such as D&B here). However, you’ll probably still want to get that first business credit report copy so you know how you’re looking. 

Reading your business credit report 

All three main business credit reporting agencies offer some form of business credit report which you can obtain at a price. 

No matter which agency you go with, they’ll include mostly the same basic information, though there will be some differences.

Keep in mind that if your business is too recent, there may be no information listed. Similar to 9002 or 9003 credit with personal credit reports, you may simply not have enough credit history to have generated a score yet. 

Here’s an overview of the primary information you should find on your business credit report no matter who you go with:

Company information

Your business credit report will typically list information such as your business name, address, phone number, type of business, and parent companies.

However, in addition to that information, you’ll also find SIC/NAICS codes that specify your industry, key employees, and annual revenue/sale volume numbers.

Payment history

Your payment history will likely be separated into several sections such as commercial payment history (loan payments, leases, insurance) and supplier payments, though it may also be a summary:


Just as with your personal credit, your payment history plays a critical part in calculating your business credit score. Which, in turn, affects your ability to be approved with lenders. 

For that reason, this is one of, if not the, most important section to pay attention to. What does your payment history look like? Are there any smudges? Does everything show as on-time or do you have payments that show as past-due or, worse, in collections? Are you being consistent in paying down any balances? 


No matter what your situation, work on getting back to current and stay there with all your vendors, lenders, and other payments.

Public records

Another important part of your business credit report that mirrors a personal credit report is public records.


This includes items such as:

  • Judgments
  • Liens
  • Bankruptcies
  • Lawsuits

Each of these can negatively affect your business credit, so it’s important to which of these items you can take care of, which it’s having the item removed, paid off, or other. 

As with your payment history, public records and legal issues are used to determine your risk status for financing, so make sure to clean up or get rid of any of these that might show up as soon as possible. 

If you have any kind of lien of bankruptcy on your report, lenders may use that as an automatic rejection or, if nothing else, it may serve as a major check against your perceived creditworthiness. 

3 Tricks to improve your business credit

Now that you have all the information you need to get up to date on your business credit, it’s time to turn your attention to what steps you can take to make improvements. 

Here are 3 tricks you can use to improve your business credit: 

1. Use vendors that report to the business credit bureaus

It’s harder to find ways to improve your business credit than it is with personal credit. With personal credit, anything you finance is likely going to be reported to the major credit bureaus. 

However, with business credit, that’s not necessarily the case. 

The answer? Search out vendors in your industry who are known to report to the business credit bureaus.

Most industries have at least one major vendor who reports. For example:

  • Cintas for restaurants, healthcare, and more
  • Snap-on for automotive and other mechanical industries
  • John Deere for landscaping
  • Uline for shipping supplies
  • Quill for office supplies

By ordering the supplies your business needs regularly from a company that reports to the business credit bureaus, you can start building your credit through purchasing the supplies your business needs to operate on a regular basis. 

2. Open a business credit card 

Personal credit cards improve your personal credit. Business credit cards do the same for your business credit. 

If you’re running a business, it’s best to take advantage of every benefit available to you. Business credit cards often have special perks that personal credit cards don’t have. 

Plus, while many credit card companies that offer business credit cards also report to the personal credit bureaus, some don’t. That means you can safely work on your business credit without risking your personal credit. 

To find out more about the best business credit cards and which report to the personal credit bureaus, read our guide on the best business credit cards

Learn more about the different types of UCC liens in our guide.

3. Have old UCC’s removed or terminated

A UCC lien is typically filed on your business when you receive a business loan or other type of financing. Simply, a UCC lien is a claim on certain assets by a lender in the event that you can’t fulfill your debt.

In particular, pay attention concerning any UCC liens on your business credit as these may be there in error. 

If the lien is for a debt you’ve paid off, your lender may not have requested the removal of the UCC filing from your report. In that case, it’s a simple matter of requesting its removal

Stay on top of your business credit

Business credit is foreign to most new business owners, and because it functions a bit differently, it can be confusing.

However, the basic idea is the same: your business credit is an important factor that will determine your ability to obtain financing (in this case, for your business). 

As a result, you should do everything you can to not only find out what the condition of your business credit is but take steps to improve it and then continue to monitor it for changes moving forward. 

To succeed in business, you need every edge you can get. Staying on top of your business credit is an easy way to do just that. 

To learn more about improving your credit to get approved for business financing, read What are the 4 C’s of Credit For Getting a Business Loan?