GnuCash vs QuickBooks – Which Software Is Right for Your Business in 2021?

As a business, sooner or later, you feel a need for a software application to track and manage your accounting and financial processes. The options in the software market are overwhelming and choosing the best one can get daunting. It further gets complicated to choose between two core accounting software programs that both claim to solve the accounting needs of your particular business. Today, we are going to compare GnuCash with QuickBooks based on their features, benefits, pricing, and more to help you make a smart decision to run your business in 2021.

Who Uses GnuCash?

GnuCash is an open-source accounting software that helps you manage accounting and finances. It offers you a checkbook-style register and efficient tools for double-entry accounting and account reconciliation. The software is available for on-premises installation on different systems including Linux, Mac, and Windows. It allows you to track income and expenses, bank accounts, and stocks. With a set of decent features, GnuCash can be suitable for solopreneurs, freelancers, and micro-businesses.

Who Are the Right Candidates for QuickBooks?

QuickBooks is a popular desktop accounting application with features for bookkeeping, income and expense tracking, billing, invoicing, banking, and more. There are multiple versions of QuickBooks Desktop, such as Pro, Premier, and Enterprise, to meet a wide range of business needs. The higher versions of QuickBooks also provide features for processes outside accounting and finance. The software easily fits into the requirements of all micro, small, and mid-sized businesses.

How Do GnuCash and QuickBooks Compare?

The following points highlight the major differences between the products in the comparison.


GnuCash has received multiple updates in recent years and now includes many new features to support small businesses. However, it is still much behind QuickBooks with no features for tax planning, scanning receipts, and inventory management. QuickBooks, on the other hand, provides an extensive range of business management features such as intelligent inventory management, automated receipt entry, payroll, tax planning, and industry-specific capabilities for retailers, e-commerce, manufacturing companies, and many other sectors.

Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use, both programs have their own pros and cons. Though GnuCash has a simple interface, to maintain your books with double-entry accounting in GnuCash, you will have to invest a considerable amount of time to get the grip of the software. QuickBooks offers a vast range of features and flexibility, which may result in a steep learning curve. But QuickBooks does offer an intuitive user interface and remote access via hosting, making it much easier to manage your accounts.


GnuCash doesn’t integrate with other software applications for functionality or performance enhancement. In contrast, QuickBooks allows hundreds of native and third-party integrations. There are several QuickBooks connected services designed to meet various use cases and solve the toughest challenges of your business. QuickBooks allows you to add services to your desktop software and connect with external CRM and ERP software if necessary.


GnuCash reporting features are limited to income and expense reports, while QuickBooks offers hundreds of reports for different purposes including analytics and informed decision making. Both GnuCash and QuickBooks allow users to build their own custom reports. However, creating reports in GnuCash is a complex process and even GnuCash doesn’t recommend beginners to do it.

Template Customization

GnuCash doesn’t currently allow you to customize forms and templates. On the other hand, QuickBooks doesn’t only allow customization of forms such as invoices but also allows you to create your own forms.


GnuCash is for personal use and very small businesses. It cannot grow beyond a single-user application. QuickBooks scales with your business and allows you to add multiple users for efficient accounting and collaboration.


Generally, pricing plays an essential role in helping you determine which accounting software to purchase. However, just because a product is free doesn’t mean it can solve the challenges of your business. GnuCash is free, which may sound tempting at first, but the thorough study of various features required to run and grow a business makes the price tag of QuickBooks justifiable.

Apps4Rent Helps You Host Your Accounting Software in the Cloud

With the points made in this article, it should be easier for you to determine which software application addresses the needs of your business more effectively. If you choose QuickBooks, Apps4Rent can host it in the cloud to grow along with your business today and in the future. As an Intuit Authorized QuickBooks Host, we offer our expertise and experience in hosting QuickBooks in a robust and secure cloud environment. We can also host GnuCash on our virtual desktops to increase the privacy and security of financial data. We ensure you get high-availability and low-latency for your software with our SSAE 16 compliant data centers and Azure. Contact us via phone, chat, or email for strategic consulting and hosting plan inquiries today.

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