Monday, February 5, 2007

Quicken or Quickbooks

June –

I noticed your book entitled Four Steps. I am wondering if the Quicken tweaks you write about in this book will suffice for my business? I am a consultant that builds eLearning and Web Applications. be accurate, I don't really build them...I work with the client, conceptualize them and then outsource all of the programming and sometimes graphics work to others (usually in India).

I work in a very project based manner. I setup a budget for each project that is based upon an estimate. I would like to be able to keep track of money going out and coming in based upon each project. I have recently installed the 300 buck version of Quickbooks and now, after seeing your book, I am wondering if Quicken will be able to do everything that Quickbooks can? I guess, to sum up my question, I am asking when you would recommend Quickbooks over Quicken and vice versa? Thank you for you insights and wisdom, I look forward to reading you book (SELF-EMPLOYED TAX SOLUTIONS)

Hi Dan,

I recommend Quicken [Q] over Quickbooks [QB] . It's easier.QB is a double-entry bookkeeping system. Accountants love it. Just plain folks find it overkill. The time you save with Q over QB will be well worth the money lost on your QB purchase.

Q has categories and subcategories and classes. The classes will allow you to separate expenses by project. Because you're computer-savvy I'll do a couple of shortcuts here. If you don't understand let me know.
For instance, take a look at this:

Supplies:Software/Project A
Supplies:Software/Project B
Publications/Project B

Get the idea?

Q has a lot of bells and whistles. It allows you to set up budgets so you could compare budget to actual. I don't go into that in Four Steps. Four Steps is a basic how-to – how to make Q work for a self-employed business rather than for a family with wage earners or a small business that makes widgets.

Hope that helps.
June Walker

yeah, June, that makes sense. Now...there are a variety of Q versions. Do you recommend one over the other. Because I make widgets would you recommend the premium version or does it really not matter? With regard to project based budgeting...Q used to have a very useful Budget heads up display sort of thing that you could pull up and allow to sit on top of all Q windows. The display would show you by color (green, yellow and red) and progress bar how much you had left in your budget for a wide variety of categories. I made use of this a lot in Q ’98, I believe. Does the latest version of Q have this?

Do you know what I'm referring to?

-- Dan


June Walker said...

No, I don't know the budget chart you refer to. However, I work with Quicken ‘01,’04,and ‘06. Each has what the previous had plus more. So my guess is, that it's safe to assume the later version will have it.

I have called Intuit with those kinds of questions and did get satifactory answers over the years. The Intuit # is 800.446-8848 then 3 then 3. Or their site might have the answer ...

Unknown said...

With all the Quicken choices, which Quicken version do you recommend:
- Quicken Basic?
- Quicken Deluxe?
- Quicken Premier?
- Quicken Home and Business?

I am leaning towards Home and Business, but maybe even that version runs into the same overkill problem that you were saying makes Quickbooks take so much more time to use.

What do you think?

June Walker said...

Quicken Home and Business works just fine. Check to see if it does the budgeting the way you want it.