Are you overwhelmed by the different accounting software options on the market? Whether you're managing personal finances or your small business, it's easy to get flummoxed. Accounting software can make managing your finances simple, but picking the right one for your needs and budget isn't always easy.
Two popular options are Quicken and Banktivity. Quicken is often the go-to because it comes from Intuit, an industry leader in accounting software. Banktivity, on the other hand, is loaded with features that are available immediately upon purchase.
Which is better? I've taken a look at both to help you determine which option is right for you.
Overview of Banktivity and Quicken
Unique Banktivity Features
Unique Quicken Features
Banktivity allows you to manage the following types of accounts:
For more complex situations, you can also manage different aspects through account grouping. Once you have your information imported and synced to the system, you can set up online bill pay and schedule transactions.
There are particularly robust features for investment management and analysis. With this software, you can do the following:
Accounts can sync to an iOS app on both your iPad and iPhone or iPod.
While Quicken does have many of the same basic capabilities, its account management features aren't quite as robust. The system can manage your checking and savings, loan, and credit card accounts. But with retirement and investment accounts, it can only show your balance. There's also no grouping management.
When your accounts are integrated, you can schedule both simple and complex transactions. There isn't an option for automated bill payment, though.
There are some investment management features, but these are limited as well. You can retrieve quotes and view your pricing history. You can also get an ongoing analysis of your portfolio value. But more complex analysis and reporting isn't available.
Banktivity allows for full management of more types of accounts. It has more involved investment management and analysis options. In addition, the software allows you to set up online bill paying and sort accounts by groups.
Banktivity has a number of different reporting features.
There are basic income and expense reports with details of broken-down categories. There's also payee summary technology that gives you information about the receiver of different transactions.
In addition to this, the system can calculate your net worth. It can also give a birds-eye investment portfolio summary, which is an attractive option for those with more complex investments. There's a debt summary report as well, plus financial forecasting tools to predict how your personal or business finances will change in the future.
Also part of the system are budgeting options. You can incorporate multiple budgets and generate reports for all of them. The system will give you a summary of your actual spending versus your budget, so you know when you have a surplus or deficit in any given area. You can also use an envelope budgeting option.
Quicken does have some reporting functions. For those with simple financial management needs, they cover the basics. They aren't as comprehensive as the competition, though.
Quicken's reports include:
However, there aren't the same debt and investment reporting templates, nor are there the same budget tracking and reporting options.
Banktivity has significantly more reporting templates. There are also more options to customize your reports and use the data for specific analytics. For those with simple needs, though, Quicken does cover the basics.
Ease of Use
This software comes with a few different features that make it easy to use. For one, you can download an iOS app and have all your data synced between your computer and smartphone. The system will also integrate with your web browser.
You can customize different rules to organize the transactions you import. They can be tagged with different categories and cleaning tools. You can also import from Quicken and Microsoft Money.
The system has available workspaces and support for multiple currencies. In addition, it can maintain documents for multiple users, making it ideal for businesses with multiple employees. You can print checks, export to TurboTax, and export to QIF.
As for support, you have unlimited email support, free live chat, online forums, and searchable help files both in the software and in the online knowledge base. Plus there's a user manual and video tutorial.
Quicken has fewer ease of use features, but it does offer:
Banktivity comes with all the same ease of use features as Quicken and then some.
Banktivity's pricing structure remains the same regardless of whether you purchase through the internet or the Mac app store. The current software version is Banktivity 7.
If you're upgrading from the 5 or 6 version, you can get the newest version for $34.99. For new users, the price is $69.99. This gives you access to all the basic features, since there aren't multiple pricing tiers.
Quicken has three pricing tiers:
For people without very complex financial management needs, the Quicken Starter system has the basic features you need without a huge price tag. This makes it a friendly option for those who are purchasing their first software. People who already have Banktivity can upgrade for around the same price, but first-time purchases cost twice as much.
Pros and Cons of Banktivity
Pros and Cons of Quicken
Final Thoughts: Which is Better?
Ultimately, Quicken is a good choice for first-time buyers on a tight budget. If you're getting software to manage basic finances, the basic package comes with everything you need.
However, if you want the more robust features, account management, and reporting tools available, your best option is Banktivity. It comes with significantly more capabilities than its competitor.