Quickbooks vs Excel - [5 Main Features You Must Consider]
Microsoft Excel and Quickbooks are two software designed, on a general basis, for data storage and management. Of course, each of them is outlined correctly for a specific purpose. For instance, Excel spreadsheet heavily focuses on data analysis, dashboards, and reports.
Instead, Quickbooks is a bookkeeping software focusing on accounting (aka manual data entry) and preparing financial statements. In this Quickbooks vs Excel article, we’ll learn the main differences and similarities between both programs. This way, you can find out the best for your business needs.
Table of Contents:
What is Quickbooks?
Quickbooks is a business accounting software. This modern accounting software makes it easy to track your business income, outcome and expenses, assets and liabilities, and bank accounts to reduce losses within your company. Besides, this software's projection tools help your organization stay organized. Accounting software Quickbooks is great to:
- Manage income.
- Manage sales.
- Track bills and expenses forecast.
- And project future earnings.
- Run payroll.
- Expense tracking.
- Manage tax payments.
- Track inventory.
- Accept online payments from vendors and customers.
- Scan receipts.
- General small business bookkeeping.
- Reconciliation reports.
What is Microsoft Excel?
As you can know if you use Excel on a regular basis, Excel is a spreadsheet software by autonomy. MS Excel is used by small business owners to register and store their data and analyze it to make marketing decisions.
Excel spreadsheets are commonly used to:
- Perform mathematical calculations, both simple and complex.
- Accurate financial reports through dashboards.
- Data analysis for small businesses.
- To a lesser extent, store historical data.
- Generate graphs and tables from an existing Excel document.
A weak point of Excel compared to Quickbooks is that it becomes impractical when getting a clear and ever-present report for understanding your company’s finances. Next, we’ll see the similarities and differences between these two accounting software programs, one more than the other.
Quickbooks vs Excel - Key Similarities and Differences
You can use both software for financial management, store and analyze data. But to be more specific, Quickbooks is mainly used by many business owners for accounting purposes. Let’s take a look at the key similarities and differences. Maybe you’ll find a few reasons to moves from one software to another.
Although both programs are very useful for small and medium businesses, each has specific applications, tools, and functions for different purposes.
Excel gives results quickly since it delivers numbers and calculations in a matter of seconds, regardless of the complexity or the number of figures. Besides, these calculations are very easy to implement if you, as a business owner, know basic accounting in Excel.
Quickbooks is more for middle-sized businesses since it can manage a large amount of data easily. Of course, Excel can also manage a huge quantity of info, but Quickbooks helps grow your business, regardless of the business size. Thanks to Quickbooks, you can perform business planning, track cash flow and transactions, and check categories such as accounts payable or accounts receivable.
Accessibility and Connectivity
Both Excel and Quickbooks are very intuitive, i.e., you can learn the basics quickly. Their learning curve is short and quite flat.
Regarding Excel, it performs great connectivity since you can grab documents from the cloud and share them with your colleagues, team members, or external users. This way, you and your colleagues can edit and download from anywhere in the world and even track the history of the project.
Besides, this spreadsheet program has hundreds of templates on the Internet. They can serve different purposes, for example, to identify financial trends or track transactions, which makes the software perfect for the business world.
Quickbooks is very intuitive too. This financial system focuses on business growth and business finances, and it was designed so entrepreneurs can carry out their accounting operations. Thanks to this software, business owners avoid manual labor to organize their books, even for those who know nothing about accounting.
Furthermore, both software boasts high accessibility from any device. You can access your Excel features from your mobile phone and laptop wherever you are if you have the app installed on the device. With Quickbooks, you can access your business’s finances from anywhere on multiple devices as well.
Collaboration and Sharing
Shareability is closely related to connectivity and accessibility. In these terms, both products are great for remote collaboration and sharing since you can access files from anywhere.
Excel cloud functionality is essential for your team members to edit, modify, and enter data. Thanks to this, the efficiency of your business and projects will enhance due to work never stopping.
Quickbooks is very similar to Excel in this regard. You can easily migrate from Quickbooks desktop to Quickbooks online. At the same time, all you collaborators can enter your files from any device and edit files thanks to the user-friendly interface.
Price and Availability
Quickbooks has three different plans for you. Each of them boasts interesting features. Of course, the most expensive plan includes the most features, such as tracking inventory and managing budgets. The starting price is USD$17 per month for the simple start plan. All plans include:
- Free iPhone and Android Apps.
- Free support.
- Secure cloud storage.
- Accountant access.
- Reports and dashboards.
- Unlimited invoices.
Regarding Microsoft Excel, you can get it by acquiring Microsoft 365, Microsoft Office 2021, or the Standalone version.
You can purchase Microsoft 365 from the Microsoft Store at a Starting price of $6,99 per month.
But, being honest, the best alternative is to purchase the Microsoft Office suite from a reliable third-party seller.
In this regard, head to RoyalCDKeys and check all the offers regarding this product. Here you can buy a legit copy of several Microsoft Office products, from Microsoft Office 2019 Professional Plus Retail Key to Microsoft Office 2021 Pro Plus Key Retail Global.
Interface and Functionality
Although Excel is very intuitive from scratch, Quickbooks is a bit more user-friendly than its Microsoft competition. Excel is very easy to utilize if you just use the spreadsheet’s basic functionalities and interface. Besides, Excel makes it easier to identify data thanks to its columns and rows structure.
Quickbooks interface is straightforward since it displays all its functions on a single menu located to the screen’s left. The menu features options responsible for bank statements, taxes, and accounting. Quickbooks focuses on automating aspects, so it will display the accounting information directly in a new window with columns and information.
When Should I Use Quickbooks?
- When you’re a freelancer or have a small business. In short, QuickBooks is for accounting needs. So, if you are a small entrepreneur that frequently invoices clients, the bookkeeping system of Quickbooks is what you need.
- When you’re an eCommerce retailer. We recommend Quickbooks online since it’s a robust feature in accounts payable, accounts receivable, and banking.
- When you have a company that needs a balance sheet. Quickbooks desktop automates the double-entry bookkeeping system. This will help you to save time and resources, assuring your entries and accurate.
When Should I Use Excel?
- When you’re a bookkeeper with Excel expertise. If you have experience working in Excel and you know how to manage bills, formulas, and functions, then you can use this spreadsheet software for income statements.
- When you seek schedules to support QuickBooks Online. Excel is great for medium-sized businesses that need to support their bookkeeping software rather than replace it. Excel can support the info you get through Quickbooks and create charts or graphs to display this information.
- When you create a team whose members want to collaborate easily. Excel is an easy-to-use program from the point of view of collaboration. Excel provides core functions to access data from the cloud and share them with other members of the team and external users.
- Easy to use. Unlike Excel, specifically its advanced features, Quickbooks is made for entrepreneurs of all levels. The motive of Quickbooks is to provide all the accounting tools to make bookkeeping tasks easy. This is great for every bookkeeper who want to start in some accounting software.
- Great at what it does. Quickbooks is an automated software since it has a working accounting backend. In other words, you don’t have to correct formulas or inconsistent spreadsheets. The only way of getting inappropriate reports is by inserting misplaced data.
- Great interaction with other apps. Quickbooks lets you use other financial apps to enhance the reach of your business. For instance, you can invoice customers via email from this accounting tool itself.
- Everything is one place. You can manage bills and invoices with the help of the trial balance, income statement, cash flow statement, and balance sheets.
- A more secure software. With Quickbooks, you can import your transactions automatically, which reduces the risk of manual errors. This is relevant to prevent legal complications regarding taxes.
- Receive the help of a certified Quickbooks ProAdvisor. This professional can help you to customize your Quickbooks account and prepare your finances confidently.
- It’s pretty stiff. As Quickbooks is built from the beginning, there is little space for modifications. For example, you’ll be limited to using the invoice templates that developers have prepared for you.
- Functions and formulas. You can use predefined formulas to avoid the manual labor required to organize your data. You can also design any accounting model since Excel delivers calculations easily. Just focus on inserting functions correctly.
- Visualizations. Regardless of the spreadsheet format nature of Excel, this software stands out for its charting features. You‘ll be able to track daily transactions and accounting background and display the information through easy-to-understand graphs and charts.
- Slice and dice your financial data. As you can use free templates, you have the freedom to do anything you want, which can be great for your financial health, of course, if you know how to manage large amounts of numbers.
- Great shareability. With Excel, other users may have access to your saved workbooks easily. This way, Excel is a clear solution for teamwork. Your team members can edit files from anywhere while keeping track of edit history.
- Excel is thought for new technologies. Excel heavily supports touchscreen technology, thus it can be used on more laptops, phones, and desktops.
- Prone to data entry errors. Since Excel requires you to do everything, you likely make some mistakes when you insert Excel formulas or data in spreadsheets effectively. Excel leaves room for human error exists as well as broken formulas, lost files, etcetera. Quickbooks eliminates this risk.
- Requires knowledge about financial models. Unlike Quickbooks, Excel is not an automated software for accounting. Such as, if you need to use it for these purposes, you’ll need to learn advanced functions to reach your business goals.
- Security issues. All members of your organization can have access to your accounting information. They can manipulate data, modify, edit, and even delete information. Of course, if they gain access to do it. You can prevent this if you have complete control over your files.
Both Quickbooks and Excel are great software for managing data, accounting and automate some tasks, such as categorizing transactions. And being realistic, the first is designed for those specific purposes; thus it wins so far. But Excel is a very versatile software, thus you can use it equally to control your bank account or interpret data via its visualizations. There are other alternatives, such as Google Sheets, but this is another question.
To summarize, if you like the freedom to do whatever you want and develop your own process when you manage your financial data, then Excel is your choice. This, plus a few more reasons, such as visualizations and sophisticated graphs, turns it into a good alternative. However, if all you want to do is simply input your financial records, send invoices, and guarantee your audit trail, then choose Quickbooks.
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