What is the best accounting software for professional firms?
Quicken and QuickBooks are great tools for accounting and bookkeeping, but based on the feedback we get from customers who switch to Bonsai, their features are overkill for what you need. If you are a freelancer or self-employed worker looking for accounting and bookkeeping software that better suits your unique workflow, Bonsai has you covered.
What is Quicken?
At its core, Quicken is the perfect personal finance management tool. It focuses on budgeting, bill paying, tax deductions, and transaction categorization. However, you can upgrade to Home and Business to access tools for rental property owners. In addition to tracking personal finances, you can manage rental properties, analyze investments, and generate tax reports.
What is QuickBooks?
QuickBooks Online is a powerhouse in the world of accounting software. It has a diverse set of financial management tools best suited for small businesses. QuickBooks users benefit from inventory management, accounts receivable, sales tax reports, and more. However, the software currently doesn’t allow you to manage personal finances.
Quicken vs QuickBooks vs Bonsai
Quicken vs QuickBooks: An honest review
Set Up Process for Quicken vs QuickBooks Online
As the name implies, QuickBooks Online is a web-based accounting software. That means that you can access your accounting tools from any device as long as you have an internet connection. Standard Quicken is a locally hosted software, so you will have to download it onto your Mac or PC. Quicken Home and Business is only available for Windows operating systems. Your subscription does come with a Quicken mobile app, however, so you can access select features on the go.
Comparing Accounting Tools
Quicken Home and Business offers basic accounting solutions beyond the personal finance features of standard Quicken. When combined, the two software provide side-by-side management for your personal budget and investment accounts. On the other hand, QuickBooks Online keeps all personal and business finances separate, but you get a more robust accounting software for your small business.
Quicken and QuickBooks Online Pricing
Since Quicken vs QuickBooks is more of an apples-to-oranges comparison, it should be no surprise that their prices differ. As a locally-hosted application, Quicken is paid for on an annual basis. The Quicken Home and Business software is currently priced at $99.99 per year. QuickBooks comes in four different plans with varying features, so you could pay anywhere from $25 to $180 for a monthly subscription.
Support Available for QuickBooks Online and Quicken
Whether you need help generating a cash flow report or you’re struggling to import transactions, it’s crucial that you choose software with excellent customer support. Quicken offers phone support Monday-Friday 5 AM-5 PM PT. You can get chat support throughout the same hours, seven days a week. QuickBook offers phone and chat support Monday-Friday 6 AM-6 PM PT and 6 AM-3 PM on Saturdays. 24/7 support is offered for advanced plans.
Quicken Ease of Use vs. QuickBooks Online
Quicken beats out QuickBooks in ease of use simply because it is a more basic software. Customers love that it doesn’t overcomplicate things. As you add more tools and features with QuickBooks Desktop, you add more to your learning curve. Fortunately, both solutions offer video tutorials and guides to help you. Of course, you may be able to disregard some of the more complex features if they don’t apply to your small business.
The Alternative to Quicken Home & Business and QuickBooks Online
Before we continue with our honest, in-depth comparison of Quicken and QuickBooks below, let’s look at why over 500,000 self-employed business owners choose Bonsai to manage their accounting, bookkeeping and expenses, but also their business as a whole.
Are you looking for more tools and self-employed tools than Quicken Home and Business offers? Do you feel QuickBooks Online offers more features than you would ever need? If you answered yes to either question, then we have an alternative for your small business.
Bonsai is an excellent solution for freelancers and the self-employed. It provides enough tools to accurately manage small business finances, track income, automate invoices and protect you when tax season rolls around. At the same time, it doesn’t overwhelm you with unnecessary bells and whistles.
What Makes Bonsai Different?
Bonsai is more than just a basic small business accounting software. Unlike Quicken and QuickBooks Online, Bonsai was designed to be an all-in-one tool for your entire business. In addition to managing finances, taxes and business reports, you can take advantage of our:
Fully customizable contracts
Contracts are a crucial part of any freelance business, but creating them for new and existing clients can take too much time. Our software gives you access to 80+ fully customizable contract templates so that you can:
- Gain Automatic Approval Via E-sign
- Send Automatic Reminders
- Protect Your Business with Vetted Templates
To win more clients, you need striking proposals that look professional. Sending out mass, generic proposals doesn't cut it anymore. With Bonsai, you can send out personalized proposals for every client. With more than 130 templates, you can easily find the right fit for your business.
- Flexible Template Formats and Branding
- Service Package Options for Clients
- Instant Approval Notifications
Intuitive Tax tools
Though taxes are a necessary evil for everyone, self-employed taxes create unique challenges to freelancers who don’t have a dedicated accounting department. Bonsai takes the pressure off of your shoulders, though. Instead of stressing over calculations and complicated tax forms, our software can help you:
- Maximize Deductions
- Estimate Quarterly Taxes
- Automate Expense Tracking
On top of these key features, Bonsai also offers all of the below in the workflow planf:
- Time Tracking
- Client Management (CRM)
- Expense Reporting
- Form Builder
- Task Tracking
- Mobile App
- And More!
The goal of Bonsai is to make sure that freelancers like you have every tool you need in one place. You no longer have to manage multiple software subscriptions or risk manual data entry errors. Instead, you can keep all of your business processes in one cohesive software from proposal to payment.
Imagine saying goodbye to the multiple app and software subscriptions you’re paying for, to have everything your business needs under one roof… that’s Bonsai. But don’t just take our word for it!
Best of all, you can save money by eliminating other software subscriptions. You can easily personalize your subscription with two different plan options and add-ons to fit your business structure. At a basic level, Bonsai costs as little as $19 per month, but you can also pay annually to save.
See what our customers have to say
We could talk for hours about the differences between Quicken, QuickBooks and Bonsai, but we’d rather let the users speak for themselves.
Can I Use QuickBooks Online with Bonsai?
Yes! Bonsai can handle all your small business accounting needs, but it also works well when integrated with QuickBooks. Together you get more well-rounded business tools that can help with everything from proposals to self-employed tax preparation.
Can I Do Everything Through the QuickBooks Mobile App?
For the most part, QuickBooks mobile app has the same features you would find in the QuickBooks desktop version. However, the layout of the mobile app is optimized for smaller screens, so it may seem different at first.
Why Can’t Freelancers Just Use a Personal Finance Tool?
A Keeping your business income separate from your personal finances is good business practice. While there is no rule saying you can’t use a personal finance management tool, accounting software solutions allow you to keep your business expenses separate from your personal expenses. They also let you track income so that you can prepare your tax forms more easily.
Which Accounting Software is Scalable Enough to Adapt When My Business Grows?
Unfortunately, there are no upgrade options beyond Quicken Home Business. Therefore, small business owners would want to consider QuickBooks as their primary tool. Not only can you update plans as your business grows, but you can also add additional products, including Intuit Online Payroll, inventory management, and more. These options are great for freelancers who are looking to start their own agency one day.
The Final Showdown: Quicken vs QuickBooks
As you can see, Quicken and QuickBooks don’t have much in common aside from their names. While Quicken Home and Business serves a unique demographic of rental property owners, QuickBooks Online provides several features of small businesses in any industry.
Let’s break it down further, though, so you can find the right fit for your freelance needs.
Quicken Home Tools for Personal Finance and Rental Properties
Quicken does a great job of providing very specific tools for rental property management. In addition to the basic features for managing personal finances and budgeting, the upgraded version of Quicken Home Business includes:
- Separate Categories for Personal and Rental Property Transactions
- Direct Emails and Business Reporting for Rentals
- Rental Income Tracking
- Lease Term Management
- Rental Rates and Deposit Management
- Business Tax Deduction Assistance
- Customized Invoices with Reminders
- Cash Flow Reports
- Updated Account Balances
- Tools to Track Investments
If you are a freelancer, Quicken might be okay in the beginning, as long as you don’t have a lot of business expenses to track separately from your personal expenses. In comparison, the more advanced Quicken Home Business probably won’t be worth your money if you don’t need rental property management tools.
So what about QuickBooks Online? How will that benefit your freelance business?
QuickBooks Online for Freelancers and Small Business Owners
With its many plans and add-ons, QuickBooks Online can easily be customized to meet the needs of each small business. Although, most of the tools are beyond what the average freelancer would need for tracking business income. Not to mention, they come with a hefty price tag, so you end up paying far more for tools you won’t use in your accounting processes.
It’s worth noting, however, that QuickBooks Online is generally better suited for a broader classification of small businesses than Quicken. This is primarily due to its extensive list of features, which include:
- Time Tracking
- Project Profitability Tracking
- QuickBooks Payroll Services
- Mileage Tracking
- 1099 Contractor Management
- Integrations with Online Banking
- Check Printing
- Online Payments
- Receipt Capture and Organization
- Customizable Invoices
- Automatic Transaction Sorting
- Sales Tax Reporting
- Mobile App
If you think that those tools sound like overkill for your small business, you’re not out of options. You might also consider QuickBooks Self Employed. It is designed to fit the unique needs of freelancers and contractors.
The most basic version available is more affordable than standard QuickBooks online, so you could pay as little as $15 per month. With this accounting software, you can still send invoices, separate personal expenses from business expenses, and maximize tax deductions.
Using Bonsai with Quicken Home Business or QuickBooks
If you’re set on sticking with QuickBooks or Quicken, you’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to use them exclusively. Bonsai works really well in collaboration with the two accounting solutions.
QuickBooks and Bonsai
For example, Bonsai excels in creating proposals, contracts and smart invoicing for small businesses. Not only can you quickly create new documents, but you can also use your own branding to look more professional and win clients. QuickBooks has been known to have more outdated and “clunky” invoices, so Bonsai can certainly pick up the slack in that area.
QuickBooks complements Bonsai by giving you more in-depth accounting tools, specifically in the tax area. It also allows small agencies to manage payroll for employees. Together, Bonsai and QuickBooks Desktop solve your accounting problems and manage the chaos of your daily operations.
Quicken and Bonsai
Bonsai can serve as a business accounting solution, but it doesn’t offer any personal budgeting tools. Instead, it allows you to focus on your business expenses separately from your personal expenses. The basic version of Quicken lacks in these areas, so it would be beneficial to use the Quicken mobile app for personal finances while using Bonsai for your business transactions.
If you happen to own rental properties on the side of your freelance business, then we strongly recommend using the Quicken Home and Business plan along with your Bonsai account. Since Bonsai is designed for freelancers and contract workers, it doesn’t have the tools you would need to manage rental rates and those kinds of contracts.
Choosing the Accounting Solution for Your Freelance Business
If you are still undecided between Quicken vs QuickBooks, we recommend that you try them out and see which is the right fit for your needs. We can go into great detail about all of the benefits and features of each product, but it’s best that you see them for yourself.
Bonsai’s accounting software has more than enough features for you to manage your self-employed business seamlessly. We currently offer a 14-day free trial for both the Workflow and Workflow Plus plans. Therefore, it’s easy and risk-free to see how the software works.