Not everyone is born with a gift for managing money. You can learn to budget and invest through study and experience or you can hire a professional financial consultant. FinanceWorks and Quicken are finance management tools produced by Intuit, a supplier of finance and tax management software for individuals and businesses. Both tools have features that can help you become a better steward of your money.
FinanceWorks is a Web-based application for managing business and personal finances available through participating banks, savings and loans, credit unions or investment firms. FinanceWorks is free for customers, but financial institutions must pay Intuit in order to provide the service. Once your FinanceWorks account is set up, you can create a single login point for all of your credit card, investment and banking accounts. FinanceWorks helps you budget, track your net worth and pay bills. You can also export data to Intuit's TurboTax tax preparation software. FinanceWorks runs on Internet Explorer 7, 8 and 9, Firefox and Safari Web browsers. There is also a mobile version for smartphones and the iPad.
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Since FinanceWorks is an online application, there is no software for you to purchase, install and maintain. The software is kept current by Intuit. In addition, access to your data is securely controlled by the financial institution with which you set up your FinanceWorks account. More than 16,000 institutions offer access to customer data and services through FinanceWorks. Banks and financial institutions benefit by offering a valuable service to affluent customers who may purchase other services and financial instruments from them in the future.
Quicken is a personal finance computer application you install and run on your PC or Mac OS X computer. Quicken helps you organize, review and maintain your bank accounts, pay bills, prepare budgets and monitor your investments. Quicken also has a tool that lets you experiment with different methods of reducing your debt. There are several Quicken applications for Microsoft Windows only: Starter Edition, Deluxe, Premier, Home and Business and Quicken Rental Property Manager. Intuit also produces Quicken Essentials for Mac OS X.
Like FinanceWorks, Quicken lets you manage all of your accounts at participating financial institutions with a single login. If you would rather use your own software and store your financial data on your own computer, you may prefer Quicken over an online application like FinanceWorks. Unlike FinanceWorks, however, you are responsible for keeping your operating system and your Quicken software secure and up to date. Intuit frequently introduces new versions of Quicken that users must purchase in order to get the latest features.