Straight Talk on Quicken Flavors - dummies

Straight Talk on Quicken Flavors

By Stephen L. Nelson

Do 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, and then there are those “special flavors” for small business owners and real estate investors. The following are some tips to help you pick the right version of Quicken for your needs:

Tip #1: Real estate investors choose Rental Property Manager

This is the most expensive flavor of Quicken (at the time of this writing, you’re looking at something over $150, maybe plus sales tax and shipping). Yes, that’s pricey. However, if you’ve invested tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in real estate, you probably need a tool like Quicken Rental Property Manager.

If you’re a real estate investor, Quicken Rental Property Manager can give you a much better handle on the rental income the properties earn and the rental deductions the properties produce.

Tip #2: Use Home & Business if you’re a business owner.

Quicken’s big brother, QuickBooks, is a great small business accounting solution. But if you’ve got a small, no employees, no inventory service business, Quicken Home & Business is great choice for you.

The Home & Business flavor of Quicken is probably the right accounting software for most microbusinesses, and the optimal flavor for you if you’re using Quicken for business bookkeeping.

Note: 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.

Tip #3: Starter Edition is friendly on the budget

If you don’t have small business or rental property, the choice of “which version” gets trickier. But if you’re trying to decide, heck, start by trying the cheap “Starter Edition” of Quicken first. At the time of this writing, the list price on the Intuit Quicken site 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.

Tip #4: Flip a coin to choose between Deluxe and Premier

Deciding between Deluxe and Premier 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.

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