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Differences between Quicken and QuickBooks

Quicken uses terms familiar to anyone who has used a checkbook. QuickBooks uses a few terms that are standard in business bookkeeping and terms that reflect the increased power and convenience of QuickBooks for business.

There are features that exist in both Quicken and QuickBooks, but in some cases, they work differently.

Terminology and feature differences

QuickBooks is based on four key concepts: Customers, Vendors, Items, and Accounts. If you take two minutes now to understand these basic concepts, you'll be able to get started quickly and correctly with your company information.

Customer: A customer is anyone who pays you. This can mean patients, donors, members, legal or consulting clients, or a typical retail customer.

Vendor: A vendor is anyone you pay, except for employees. This can mean subcontractors, utility companies, your landlord, tax agencies, or suppliers.

Item: An item is anything you want to put on an invoice. This includes parts, services, labor, discounts, and taxes.

Account: There are two types of accounts—real world accounts, such as checking accounts, and income and expense accounts (synonymous with categories in Quicken) that you use to group transactions for reporting purposes. For example you may want to create expense accounts to track office supply purchases separately from advertising costs. All accounts are listed on your chart of accounts.

New and renamed balance sheet accounts

Balance sheet accounts (assets, liabilities, and equity) are those accounts with balances that affect your balance sheet report. QuickBooks and Quicken have similar kinds of balance sheet accounts, but QuickBooks adds some and uses different names for some account types. When you convert a Quicken file for use in QuickBooks, QuickBooks creates a balance sheet account of the type closest to the Quicken account type.

  • In a few cases, you may not want to continue using the account that QuickBooks created automatically. For example, in Quicken, equity type accounts are other liabilities. In QuickBooks, you can make them equity accounts.

  • QuickBooks changes your Quicken categories and subcategories into income and expense accounts with subaccounts.

Opening Bal Equity account

QuickBooks creates an Opening Bal Equity account. When you create new accounts and enter their opening balances, QuickBooks automatically enters the amount in the Opening Bal Equity account, so that your accounts balance. You can leave the Opening Bal Equity amount, or you can distribute the amount to other equity accounts.

When you convert from Quicken for Home & Business

After you've converted your Quicken for Home & Business data file to QuickBooks, you'll notice the following changes:

  • The Invoice Items list is now the QuickBooks Items list

  • Each existing Invoice/Receivables account is converted to a QuickBooks Accounts Receivable account of the same name.

  • Existing invoices are converted to QuickBooks invoices. However, they will be rearranged in chronological order.

  • Existing estimates are not converted.

  • Transactions linked to each customer remain linked.

  • Sales tax amounts linked to each invoice convert accordingly.

  • All tax accounts in Quicken for Home & Business are converted to a single Sales Tax Payable account in QuickBooks. For each sales tax account in Quicken for Home & Business, QuickBooks creates a tax item of the same name on the QuickBooks Item list.

About payments, credit memos, and refunds.

  • Converted Quicken payments are always applied to the customer's oldest outstanding invoice, so the payment links to invoices may be different after conversion.

  • Credit memos and refund checks, like payments, are also applied in chronological order based on invoice dates, so their links may also be different after conversion.

See also

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