Intuit vs Quicken – A Detailed Comparison of Accounting and Personal Finance Software
Both Intuit and Quicken are well-known providers of accounting, tax preparation, and personal finance software. With millions of users worldwide, these two brands have become household names for managing finances, tracking expenses, filing taxes, and running small businesses.
This article provides an in-depth, side-by-side comparison of Intuit and Quicken’s key products, features, pricing, and target users. Read on to learn which software may be the better choice for your financial management needs.
Overview of Intuit
Founded in 1983 and based in Mountain View, California, Intuit is the developer of popular software products like TurboTax, QuickBooks, and Mint. Here’s a quick rundown of Intuit’s key offerings:
– QuickBooks – Intuit’s flagship small business accounting software. Offers tools for invoicing, payroll, inventory, reporting, and more.
– TurboTax – DIY tax preparation software that guides users through filing federal and state returns.
– Mint – A free personal finance app for budgeting, managing bills, tracking spending, monitoring credit scores, and more.
– Credit Karma – A free credit monitoring service that provides credit reports and scores from TransUnion and Equifax. Intuit acquired Credit Karma in 2020.
With over 50 million customers worldwide, Intuit targets a broad range of users from individuals to small business owners. Its products are available for Windows and Mac computers as well as mobile apps.
Overview of Quicken
Quicken was founded in 1983 by Scott Cook and Tom Proulx and has gone through several ownership changes over the decades. Here’s a quick primer on Quicken:
– Now owned by Rocket Mortgage, part of Rocket Companies.
– Known primarily for Quicken personal finance software.
– Key products are Quicken Starter, Quicken Deluxe, Quicken Premier, and Quicken Home & Business.
– Offers features for managing budgets, forecasting, tracking investments, monitoring bills, banking, and more.
– Available for Windows and Mac. Mobile app available.
– Around 10 million active users.
Quicken focuses specifically on individual personal finance and small business use rather than a broader range of tax and accounting capabilities. It faces stiff competition from apps like Mint.
Now, let’s dive into a detailed feature-by-feature comparison of Intuit and Quicken’s offerings.
For Personal Finance
For individual users looking to manage their personal finances, Intuit offers Mint and Quicken provides its flagship Quicken software.
– Mint and Quicken both allow users to create budgets and set spending goals. Mint offers more flexibility for custom categories while Quicken provides visual charts.
Bank/Credit Card Transactions
– Mint and Quicken can automatically import and categorize transactions from thousands of financial institutions. Mint connects to more banks compared to Quicken.
Bill Pay & Reminders
– Both programs enable setting up bill reminders and payment capabilities. Mint offers free access while bill pay is only in premium Quicken plans.
– Quicken users can track various investment accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs. Mint provides this for premium subscribers.
– Mint comes with free credit score monitoring and alerts through TransUnion. Quicken does not offer built-in credit tracking.
– Mint and Quicken offer easy-to-use mobile apps for iOS and Android. Mint has more robust mobile features including better transaction management.
– Mint provides free access to financial calculators, budget software, and credit tools. Quicken requires upgraded Premier or Home & Business subscriptions for deeper reporting and analysis tools.
– Mint is 100% free for personal finance features. Quicken starts at $34.99 per year for its Starter plan.
For personal use, Mint provides a powerful set of money management features for free while Quicken is more limited unless users pay for premium subscriptions.
For Small Business Accounting
For small business owners, Intuit’s QuickBooks product line is a robust accounting solution while Quicken offers Quicken Home & Business.
Invoicing & Billing
– QuickBooks enables creating invoices, tracking payments, and automating billing. Quicken’s billing capabilities are more limited.
– QuickBooks Payroll is a full-service payroll system that handles payroll taxes, payments, reporting and more. Quicken does not offer payroll services.
– Both programs allow users to manage accounts receivable, accounts payable, and general ledgers. QuickBooks has more advanced tools and customization.
– QuickBooks provides detailed inventory and order management. Quicken lacks small business inventory features.
– Employees can track business expenses in both programs. QuickBooks offers more advanced reporting and integration capabilities.
Chart of Accounts
– QuickBooks enables customization of the business chart of accounts. Quicken uses a standardized chart of accounts system.
Additional Small Business Tools
– QuickBooks has over 100+ integrations with third-party business tools. Quicken integrations are limited in comparison.
– QuickBooks starts at $25/month for its Simple Start plan. Quicken Home & Business costs $49.99 per year.
For managing small business finances and accounting, QuickBooks clearly provides a much more robust set of capabilities versus Quicken. Intuit wins out for serious small business needs.
For Tax Preparation
Both Intuit TurboTax and Quicken offer DIY tax filing software. Here’s how they compare:
– Both handle basic 1040 filings for individual federal taxes, itemized or standard deductions, income, deductions, credits, etc.
State Tax Returns
– TurboTax and Quicken integrate state tax return preparation and e-filing. TurboTax has guaranteed accurate calculations.
Tax Form Guidance
– Step-by-step guidance for completing tax forms available in both programs. TurboTax provides more detailed Q&A guidance.
Importing and Retrieving Data
– TurboTax and Quicken can auto-import tax documents from financial institutions and prior years’ returns.
Tax Planning and Estimates
– TurboTax offers better tax outcome scenarios planning and income tax refund estimators.
– TurboTax provides guidance and audit assistance from tax professionals (for a fee). Quicken does not include audit support.
Filing Deadline Reminders and E-File
– Both programs provide filing deadline alerts and enable e-filing returns with the IRS and state agencies.
– TurboTax DIY federal filing starts at $0 (free file eligible) to $39.99. Quicken Deluxe with tax support is $49.99.
TurboTax provides a more refined, user-friendly, and fully featured tax preparation experience compared to Quicken. Intuit’s deep focus on tax software gives it the advantage here.
Ease of Use
In terms of ease-of-use and user experience, here’s how Mint/TurboTax/QuickBooks and Quicken compare:
– Quicken aims to provide an intuitive interface but has faced some usability complaints over cluttered screens.
– Intuit products benefit from clearer workflows for managing finances versus Quicken.
– Mint and TurboTax in particular are easy for beginners through the use of plain language, step-by-step guidance, and educational overviews.
– Intuit offers phone, chat, email, and social support along with an extensive knowledge base and user community. Quicken’s customer support options are more limited.
Overall, Intuit products appear to provide simpler, more intuitive interfaces that enhance usability for personal and small business users alike.
Conclusion and Recommendations
When weighing Intuit against Quicken, Intuit comes out ahead for individuals and businesses:
– For personal finance, Mint is an easy pick for its free tools, robust features, and smooth user experience compared to paid Quicken software.
– For small business accounting, QuickBooks is far superior to Quicken’s limited business tools.
– For taxes, TurboTax is the leader in DIY tax prep with a stronger track record and reputation than Quicken.
Here are some final recommendations based on key needs:
– For basic personal finance, choose Mint for its free access to budgeting, transaction tracking, credit monitoring, and money management.
– For more advanced reporting and analysis, select paid Quicken options like Premier.
– For small business accounting and payroll, only QuickBooks provides enterprise-grade capabilities missing from Quicken.
– For taxes, opt for TurboTax over Quicken for a smoother, guided tax preparation experience.
By matching specific features to needs, both Intuit and Quicken can provide financial organization and savings for individuals and businesses. Carefully weigh the key differences outlined here when selecting between these two trusted software suite brands.