Running your small business doesn’t leave you much time to do anything but run your small business. Oftentimes, that line dividing personal from business becomes blurred, leaving you to sift through a mountain of receipts at the end of the year to justify miscellaneous expenses. Quicken Home and Business is billing and invoice software designed to make that task easier. Its mix of personal and small-business accounting functions not only help you manage your accounts receivable, but it also serves as an effective tool in tracking your personal and business expenses.
In just a few simple steps, you can connect Quicken Home and Business to your online financial accounts to track loans, credit cards, checking accounts and related personal investments. The invoicing software side of this application can be used to create estimates and invoices as well as calculate tax, accept payments and track mileage. Between the two functions, it is capable of separating your purchases to identify miscellaneous expenses so you will be ready for taxes at the end of the year or quarter.
While Quicken does not have an invoice creator tool to design your own templates beyond adding a logo, it does create attractive, professional estimates and invoices with the capability of converting one to the other. With your input, this billing software becomes a highly automated application that populates essential fields for your billing to include more than just names, titles and addresses, even calculating tax and finance charges. For your clients and vendors it can also produce summaries, accept partial payments, process credits and pay from deposits.
Quicken is designed to help you manage your one-person operation. It lacks a few important automated features that would normally help you when working for long-term customers or infrequently recurring clients. It does not support automatic billing, and there are limitations on extended customer profiles. There are a few simple, built-in workarounds, though, including automatic payment reminders you can use to remind your customers, and synchronization with Microsoft Outlook, where you can maintain your client database. While it may not be the ideal answer to your business needs, this hybridized approach may be what you need to separate personal from enterprise finance.
To help you better keep your financials separate, Quicken goes where you do by integrating with your technology to make itself a part of your day-to-day life. The desktop-based application can be extended to your smartphone, tablet or both through your secure internet connection and Quicken’s firewall protected cloud service. Secure socket layer (SSL) technology with 256-AES encryption protects your data during transmission, while Quicken's Password Vault manages and protects your stored passwords so you can log in to your personal network using just one password with complete security.
Along with its attention to your financial integrity, Quicken makes itself very user-friendly with intuitive interfaces and plain language, so you won’t feel lost in endless reports. Your data is impressively displayed in bright, easy-to-read charts and graphs that let you know what your money is doing for you. Quicken is also loaded with options when you have questions. A blog, online community forums and help center can often provide the immediate answers you need, while free email, telephone and chat options can get you through more pressing problems.
How far you are willing to take your small business should be something you consider when looking at Quicken Home and Business. It can be great if you are just starting out with a low familiarity of accounting best practices, but this software will not grow with you if you bring on new employees or take on multiple and long-term clients.
Quicken Home and Business is a great place to start if you’re having trouble separating your personal and business finances.
This software is not scalable, so you will need something else if you plan to grow beyond the walls of the home office.
If you’re just starting out with a plan to be your only employee, ever, then Quicken Home and Business is a great set of training wheels that can carry you well into the future. You might want to look elsewhere, though, if your plan is to go from entrepreneur to enterprise.