Straight Talk on Quicken Flavors Available for 2015

By Stephen L. Nelson

You ever find yourself wondering which version of Quicken is right for your situation? Intuit confuses us all, a little bit, right? Starter, Deluxe, Premium editions… then there are those “special flavors” for small business owners and real estate investors. Yikes.

Here are some tips for choosing the right version of Quicken:

Real estate investors choose Rental Property Manager

This is the most expensive flavor of Quicken. You’re looking at something over $150. Maybe plus sales tax and shipping. So that’s pricey.

Nevertheless, if you’ve invested tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in real estate, you need a tool like Quicken Rental Property Manager.

Rental Property Manager is actually a cheaper software solution that QuickBooks, the most expensive accounting program Intuit sells. You could spend $500 or more on that program.

Rental Property Manager is great for real estate investors. If you are a real estate investor, you can do just great at rental property accounting using the highest priced Quicken flavor.

Use Home & Business if you’re a business owner.

Many accountants prefer QuickBooks over Quicken.

But everybody has favorites. And QuickBooks is the favorite small business accounting solution for many. If you’ve got a small, no employees, no inventory service business, Quicken Home & Business is great. It’s an excellent choice for you.

The Home & Business flavor of Quicken is probably the right accounting software for most microbusinesses. And, probably the optimal flavor for you if you’re using Quicken for business bookkeeping. Do go with this flavor if you’re running a small business.

If in the future you hire employees or start buying and reselling inventory, you probably then want to look at QuickBooks… but that’s a bridge you can cross later.

If you’re on a budget, you can use Starter Edition

If you don’t have small business or rental property, the choice of “which version” gets trickier. If you’re trying to decide, heck, start by trying the cheap “Starter Edition” of Quicken first. As of fall 2014, the list price at the www.intuit.com website is about $40. And sometimes you see deals where you can get it for less.

The big benefit of Quicken is the help it provides for tracking your income and outgo by doing the bookkeeping for your bank accounts. And the economically priced Starter Edition does just that, making it a no-brainer for someone who wants this help and needs to be smart about their spending.

For what it’s worth, you can also easily upgrade to a higher-priced flavor later on if you want.

Flip a coin to choose between Deluxe and Premier

Deciding between Deluxe (roughly $75) and Premier (roughly $105) is trickier. But that’s because both are solid products.

The Deluxe flavor provides everything that Starter Edition does plus it lets you import Quicken data files from previous versions of Quicken and it lets you track loan, investment and retirement accounts. Oh, and one other thing: It includes truly useful calculators that let you plan for collect, investment stuff, and retirement.

The Premier flavor provides everything that Deluxe does plus it supplies you with some nifty if slightly over-engineered investment management tools.