more-arw search

Q&A Forum

Quickbooks vs Quicken For Home & Business

William Washington's Profile

quickbooks vs quickenWe have a small business that is now LLC. It is a locksmith business. We have used quicken home and business for years, which is a great tool to do both personal and business. But this year I am trying quickbooks, yes both the online trial and quickbooks desktop pro 2013. The ONLY reason we are looking into quickbooks is because with our business about 90% of our business has us out in the field and we do invoices but having to do invoices in field then bringing a copy back to shop to redo into quicken is getting daunting. At this time quicken does not offer mobile invoicing. They do have mobile for phone or tablet but no invoicing. Quickbooks does. I know this is an issue with many people but at this time they are not addressing this. So with quickbooks we can do invoicing and it is already in the system. But quickbooks is primarily for business. But they state that quickbooks pro desktop is good for both business and personal. I have yet to see this. Especially in the categorizing of taxable items. In quicken it allows choice of personal or business. I know keeping business seperate from personal is way to go. But that is not happening with us. We do have seperate business accounts for banking but do sometimes purchase a personal item from that business account as we also have business card that is same way but in quicken you categorize your purchases quickbooks does not have that split in categoring from business and personal. can we categorize between home and business with We utilize turbo tax with quicken and it is awesome but not sure how well that would work with quickbooks between home and business. All this hassle would be remedied if intuit would just add mobile invoicing to quicken as they have with quickbooks. CANT figure out why they have not done this. Any help with this would be great. Thank you in advance. Bill


Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

One suggestion I have is to set up a class called Personal. Then when you have a personal expense you will just class it to Personal and you can run a P&L by class and and very easily see all personal expenses.

Topic Expert
Jaime Campbell
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Tier One Services, LLC
(Chief Financial Officer, Tier One Services, LLC) |


I must differ with my fellow Proformative member Christie. For many reasons, including the protection of the "LL" in your "LLC," you must have two separate QuickBooks files, one for your personal finances and one for your business finances.

I've served in public accounting for 10 years, published a book on QB, have given seminars and workshops for years, and have seen personal and business records in QuickBooks across a huge array of industries. My team and I routinely set up QuickBooks files for our clients with closely-held businesses and it does NOT have to be a confusing mess.

It can be simple. Straightforward. Logical. And no hassle, so you can get out from behind the computer and back into the field making money.

Start with two separate files and take it from there. If you want assistance with moving quickly from confusion to clarity and ease, contact me, but if you have enough time you can figure it out yourself.

You'll love it once you have a system that makes sense and is super-easy to use.


P.S. By having co-mingled books, and possibly (I don't know, I haven't seen the books) co-mingled cash flows, the hassle may not be present now but it comes later if someone sues Bill's Lock & Key. You very well may find your personal assets at risk. The protection of your personal assets is why you paid the money for an LLC in the first place instead of selecting a sole proprietorship.

Patricia Montour
Title: CPA, CGMA
Company: Private Company
(CPA, CGMA, Private Company) |

I agree with the responses above. The class structure is the quick fix and will provide the information you need. The legalities of separation is necessary for protection of your personal assets.

Doug Sleeter
Title: President
Company: The Sleeter Group, Inc.
(President, The Sleeter Group, Inc.) |

I agree with Jaime that you SHOULD have two separate files for home and business, but as Patricia and Christie said, you could accomplish what you want in a single file using classes and then create separate reports by class. Or, since you also have separate bank and credit card accounts for your business, you could run reports that are "filtered" to only include transactions in those accounts.

But more importantly, you really should look into an online solution. Even though you can find some solutions that allow you to do mobile invoice with the desktop version of QuickBooks, this is the ideal time for you to move to the 21st century and use an online accounting application.

Your options are plenty. See our ongoing reviews and comparisons of the different options at:

If you need help, you can reach out to one of our consultants in The Sleeter Group at


Topic Expert
Paul Benedetto
Title: CFO, Director of Finance, Consultant
Company: Nextwave Software, Rethink Fabrics
(CFO, Director of Finance, Consultant, Nextwave Software, Rethink Fabrics) |

Bill, it can be frustrating to see several answers to your question, all of which are correct! I agree with each comment provided here. Sure there is the "proper" way of doing things to protect yourself, then the quick "reality" way to get stuff done (classes to segment things out). Finally, the newer options these days to make things more efficient - leveraging cloud based apps, should be explored, by everyone.

What I find more times than not with small(er) businesses and their owners are that in the heat of the moment, they are dealing with immediate cash flow (e.g. "I have to pay for something right now, but don't have my business checkbook or credit availability on my corporate credit card, so I used my personal cards or funds"). Then a short time later the opposite happens - paying for something personal with company funds. Many times I do this myself, as well as run things through my cards for clients and then bill them back. Cash flow is a pain in the ...

Optimally, having 2 instances of your accounting system is the way to go. Sure, you "shouldn't" comingle funds, but it happens. When it does, treat these issues as loans to each other (call it Due To and Due From instead of "personal", mirroring the transactions as the opposite on each set of books). Then be sure to true things up on a consistent basis.

As far invoicing goes - Xero is a great cloud-based system with mobile apps attached for such purposes (e.g. billing customers while in the field). You can also link you bank account so you see exactly where you stand in real-time. QuickBooks Online and many others should have these features also; look for a price point and user interface that you feel comfortable with.

Jennifer Thomas
Title: Accountant
Company: Sagenext Infotech LLC
(Accountant, Sagenext Infotech LLC) |

I agree with all the provided comments. Yes, it’s necessary to have a personal and business class and you can certainly manage everything without query using any of that software. However, using QuickBooks is quite fine at times as you do not have the option of cloud in Quicken and you will also be a bit behind when it comes to invoices and taxes for your business loads. Having an online solution and using QuickBooks will actually ease your workload by two-fold, moreover, you don’t need to worry about security and data storage as they have enough storage options.

Good luck!


Get Free Membership

By signing up, you will receive emails from Proformative regarding Proformative programs, events, community news and activity. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact Us.

Business Exchange

Browse the Business Exchange to find information, resources and peer reviews to help you select the right solution for your business.

Learn more

Contribute to Community

If you’re interested in learning more about contributing to your Proformative community, we have many ways for you to get involved. Please email [email protected] to learn more about becoming a speaker or contributing to the blogs/Q&A Forum.

QuickBooks Quicker - 24 Courses Available