Quicken - Accounting Software Secrets
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Quicken is primarily designed to handle personal finances, including mortgage amortization and investment tracking. There are basic Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable components plus a limited number of reports.  Quicken does not have a true general ledger component.  For this reason, it is typically not the best alternative for a business except if extensive investment tracking is needed.


Quicken interchange format (i.e. QIF) files are available from many financial institutions, although the QuickBooks integration is not as wide spread.  There is an add-on product for QuickBooks that quickly and easily converts the QIF file to an IIF file via Microsoft Excel to get around this situation.


There are two situations where an Accountant may choose to have a client use Quicken rather than QuickBooks for the check register data entry:

  1. 1.      Some business clients feel more comfortable with Quicken based on using it for their personal accounts.
  2. 2.      Quicken is very inexpensive (there different versions– http://www.quicken.com/quickensw/sidexside/ and it is easy to use (a check register looks like to would if prepared manually, a check looks like a check, etc).

If this is the case and the Accountant still wants to use QuickBooks, the QIF file can be exported for a specific date range and then the QIF to IIF add-on product will permit converting the data to a format that can be imported into the QuickBooks file.  The Accountant “keeps the books” but the client can print checks, keep a running checkbook balance, and help with the data entry functions.

More information on this topic

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