Quicken Alternatives: Your Top Six Options

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Nick Zaryzcki

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May 21, 2019

This article is Tax Professional approved

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Quicken lets you track your daily spending, helps you keep an eye on important tax deductions, puts all of your banking and credit card information in one place, and makes planning your small business’ finances easier.

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At least that’s what it used to do, back when it was the best-selling accounting software in America. But over the last decade, Quicken’s gone downhill, and users have found themselves searching for alternatives. Things got worse when the company that first created Quicken back in 1983 (Intuit) sold the brand to a private equity firm in 2016. Many users saw that as the final nail in the Quicken coffin.

Thankfully, many great apps pick up right where Quicken left off. They’re all a little bit different, so we’ve sorted them into six categories: best for personal budgeting, best for tracking personal expenses, best for business, best direct Quicken replacement, best open source solution, and best spreadsheet solution.

Best for personal budgeting: You Need a Budget (YNAB)

If you mainly use Quicken (or whatever your current accounting solution is) for budgeting, or are new to the idea of financial planning in general, You Need A Budget is the app for you.

YNAB is easy to set up, syncs with all your bank and credit card accounts, and will literally guide you through the process of creating your first budget if you want it to. Wirecutter says it’s “the closest thing to having a positive-minded professional help you make your own budgeting spreadsheet,” and “the only budgeting app we’d spend our own money on.”

YNAB

If you’re looking for ways to get your company’s financial act together, but have no idea where to start, start with YNAB. They offer a free 34-day trial, and the service is $84 a year if you sign up for the full version.

Pros:

  • Full suite of budgeting tools, including goal tracking, reports, and tips
  • Compatible with basically every major operating system and browser
  • Syncs automatically with most banks and credit cards, and makes it easy to sync manually with smaller institutions
  • Excellent in-app and technical support

Cons:

  • Takes time to set up and get used to
  • Expensive compared to other similar apps ($84/year)
  • No support for multiple users

Best for personal expense tracking: Mint

Mint is smart and fast. When it first launched back in 2007, it immediately leapfrogged more established competitors like Quicken Online and Microsoft Money by providing a user-friendly dashboard that took minutes to set up, rather than hours.

And while other personal expense trackers let your “uncategorized” expenses pile up in a big heap, Mint changed the game by using algorithms to automatically categorize them. (Mint founder Aaron Patzer explains how they did it here.)

mint mobile

If you’re looking for a financial planning tool that is quick to set up and is strong on the expense-tracking front, it’s hard to beat Mint. It lives online in your browser, puts all of your financial accounts in one place, and lets you add new accounts in seconds. Plus its free! (Give it a spin here.)

Pros:

  • Easy and fast set up
  • Automatically categorizes expenses that other apps leave uncategorized
  • Will send you weekly email summaries of your finances, notification reminders for unpaid bills
  • Credit score tracking
  • Budgeting

Cons:

  • Not designed for small businesses
  • No bill payment function
  • Users report occasional problems with bank account synching
  • Can’t generate reports or financial statements in-app

Best for business: Bench

YNAB and Mint are both great at what they do, but neither one is built with small business owners in mind.

If you run a business and want an expense-tracking tool that also categorizes your expenses for you, try Bench (that’s us). With Bench you get a real team of bookkeepers who do your books each month, simple software to view your financial reports, and a brand new feature called Pulse—you can think of it like Mint for businesses.

Pulse screenshot

Pulse lets you stay on top of your business’ cash flow and see where your money is going in real time with a feed that updates every three hours. All your bank accounts and credit cards are brought together in one simple dashboard.

And once your transactions have been reviewed by your Bench bookkeeper, you can take a broader, long-term view of your financials using Bench’s straightforward financial statements.

Take Pulse for a spin by signing up for a free trial of Bench here.

Pros:

  • Designed with small business owners in mind
  • Track transactions from all your credit cards and bank accounts easily
  • Track transactions in real time (automatically refreshed every three hours)
  • Filter your transaction list to find transactions quickly
  • Easy-to-digest, actionable reports
  • Zoom out and get the bigger picture with Bench’s powerful financial statements

Cons:

  • Not (yet) available on mobile

Best direct quicken replacement: CountAbout

If you’re an absolute Quicken fanatic and don’t want to spend a lot of time transitioning to a new tool, check out CountAbout.

CountAbout offers many of the same features as Quicken, including account reporting, budgeting, account reconciliation, recurring transactions, and invoicing. And it’s one of the few financial planning apps out there that actually lets you import data directly from Quicken. They offer a 15-day trial, and the Premium version is $39.99/year.

countabout

Pros:

  • Can import data directly from Quicken
  • Offers many popular Quicken features, including split and recurring transactions, account reconciliation and invoicing
  • Browser-based and accessible on mobile
  • Excellent reporting tools
  • Ad-free (unlike similar browser-based tools)

Cons:

  • Not designed for businesses
  • No bill payment function
  • Not free, like similar tools ($39.99/year)

Best open source solution: GNUCash

Not interested in flashy design? Work with a bunch of developers? Want something free and open source? Then GNUCash is the financial management and accounting solution for you.

GNUCash’s strength is that it lets you do basically anything you want. Whether it’s budgeting, expense tracking, reporting, double-entry accounting, GNUCash probably already has the tools to do it. It’s also secure and malware free, and the team behind it has consistently released new features since the project was first launched in 1997.

The only downside to GNUCash is that it isn’t very intuitive or pretty to look at.

GNUCash

But if you don’t have money to spend on a budgeting, expense tracking or accounting tool, want to support the open source community, and are willing to climb the GNU learning curve, download GnuCash 3.5 here.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Open source
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Full suite of accounting and financial planning tools (including double-entry bookkeeping, budgeting, expense tracking, financial statements, etc.)

Cons:

  • Unintuitive
  • Steep learning curve
  • Need to know double-entry accounting to use it

Best spreadsheet solution: Google Sheets and Tiller

If you’re tired of using financial planning apps in general and just want to see all of your numbers in one place on a spreadsheet, Tiller can make it happen!

google-sheets-tiller

Tiller takes all of your information—your bank accounts, credit cards and investment accounts—and feeds them directly into a Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets file. From there, you can design your own spreadsheets to your own liking, or use one of Tiller’s pre-made templates. Tiller offers a 30-day trial here, and the full version costs $59/year.

Pros:

  • Saves you hours of work by importing all your data automatically
  • Provides daily activity summaries
  • Good for security-conscious businesses that don’t want their data on the cloud

Cons:

  • Requires knowledge of spreadsheets
  • No app interface to rely on
  • Costs $59/year
Essential reading for tax season
This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. Bench assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.
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