Quickens software packages have long been held in high regard by small business owners, sole proprietors, independent accountants, and independent tax professionals. Quicken offers basic accounting packages that can meet the needs of many, from heads of households to independent freelancers and consultants to small and mid-sized businesses going through growing pains.
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In addition to being able to sort, manage, and analyze transactions, Quickens software provides users with tools for financial analysis. Numerous graphs, charts, and projections are available within the software to help users analyze their cash flow and money management in the past, present, and future. The software suites dashboard allows users to be able to use several tools at once to get a clearer view of applicable income, current bills due, and long-term expenses.
Budgeting and Household Management
With more recent versions of Quicken (most notably, 2010 to present), it is much easier to pull in checking account information from a users bank to the Quicken dashboard. Upon installing the software, a user will enter their banking information and be able to automatically retrieve their transactions from their financial institution directly into the software program. In previous versions, users would have to import their transactions through Microsoft Excel or another program using a .csv file, and then upload them into Quicken and hope everything matched up correctly. In recent versions, this is no longer a concern.
In addition to downloading transactions”deposits, electronic payments, debit card payments, checks, wires, and others”users are also able to download information regarding bills due and their payees. A user can now not only view the transactions that have already occurred or are in the midst of going through their account, they can also set up payments on bills that are due every month”mortgages, car loans, utilities, credit card payments, and more. It is also easy to add new payees within the software, or to import payee information from online banking profiles a user may have already set up.
Once done, its quite easy for payments to be set up for all those expenses, recurring or one-time, through the Quicken software suite, making the task of managing household expenses much easier. It is also very easy to view summaries of these transactions in pie charts, tables, or graphs in order to analyze where money is spent in a clear, easy to read format, letting users easily see where their money is going.
Quicken does not just look backwards to record transactions that have already come through, nor does it fail to look beyond the present in helping to manage household budgets. It also allows users to develop savings goals for the future.
The most notable savings goal falls under retirement, of course. Quickens savings modules allow users to see how much needs to be saved up every week, month, or year in order to meet retirement goals. And of course, it can assist with setting those goals in the first place. Users can model different kinds of savings accounts”401(k) accounts, pensions, assumed Social Security payments, individual retirement accounts (IRA), certificates of deposit (CD) and more”to determine what may be the easiest or best method to meet those goals. They can even set up automatic transfers to those desired accounts within the Quicken software suite to begin working towards their goals. With automatic transactions, users can save towards retirement without having to consciously worry about setting money aside; it is already taken out of sight and out of mind to help them meet those goals.
Quicken will also let users set up goals for saving toward other notable purchases, such as cars, real estate, college, vacations, and more. Even better, the program can help users set up plans for paying off current debt. Users can set up plans to reduce and eliminate debt over time within Quicken. The bill information is already imported along with monthly expenses, allowing users to determine what can be set aside for debt reduction. For younger users or for users with significant personal or business debt, Quickens software can be a helpful aide in establishing where monies can be found to reduce debt.
These tasks arent useful just for household management. Importing this information and setting these goals are also vitally important for anyone seeking to set up or manage their own business. Freelancers, sole proprietors, and small business owners and accountants can use Quickens accounting features to set up any number of journal accounts and ledgers in order to efficiently manage their affairs.
The software allows for the easy entry of revenues received and expenses incurred. It also allows for the entry and depreciation of assets that might be related to running a business or performing freelancing work: automobile depreciation, computer depreciation, inventory management (including cost of goods sold), and more. Quicken can automatically calculate the expenses incurred from any items related to a business venture, and correctly apply them in putting together business statements that reflect the profitability of a business venture.
In addition to managing business transactions, Quicken can also make developing financial statements easy. Beyond the charts and graphs typically available, Quicken can create financial statements that accurately reflect profit and loss, cash flow, and investment information (if applicable) that can be distributed to investors or filed with the appropriate legal authorities.
The program can also interface with Intuits TurboTax product to make filing tax returns a breeze for a small business venture or for freelancing work. Data can be easily exported from Quicken to TurboTax for completing the necessary tax returns on an annual basis, while helping users see if they need to pay any quarterly employment taxes or self-employment taxes based on business activity.
Quicken remains easily the most common and the easiest to use personal finance product available for individuals and small business owners. The software is easy to install on computers, and beyond the initial setup of accounts most of the analysis and planning is done by the software itself. Quicken can provide users with a lot of relief from the stress of managing everyday expenses, debt, savings, and goals.