Zoho Books Review

Zoho Books Review
4.3
4.3 of 5 stars 1 review
  • Pricing
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  • Features
    (4.5)
  • Support
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Summary

For small businesses that do not require the payroll tool, however, the software has a repertoire of features that will satisfy their bookkeeping needs, and then some.

User Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Pros

  • Affordable and scalable pricing plans
  • Powerful bookkeeping tools
  • Robust project management and time tracking features
  • A well-designed client portal that improves client collaboration
  • Extensive customization options
  • User-friendly UI
  • Solid mobile app
  • Excellent customer support
  • Multi-currency support

Cons

  • No payroll features
  • Limited asset management tools
  • Limited integration options

ABOUT

From a company that began in a small apartment in Chennai, India, to one that now competes with Microsoft and Google, Zoho has undoubtedly come a long way. The company was started by Sridhar Vembu, a man who had humble beginnings himself. He hails from a modest middle-class Indian family. Since its launch in 1996, the company has released over 40 productivity-based apps.

These apps serve a variety of purposes ranging from a word-processing application, the Zoho Office Suite, to one that helps companies boost their social media presence called Zoho Social. Today, the company has over 4000 employees and 4 million users worldwide. What makes these achievements even more impressive is that this startup accomplished all this with no outside funding.

Launched in 2011, Zoho Books is its parent company’s 26th offering. It is an end-to-end accounting solution that helps businesses manage their finances efficiently. Zoho has built up a reputation for designing applications that give users robust features at a reasonable price. Zoho Books carries on this tradition in stellar fashion.

Who Is Zoho Books For

This accounting software is a good fit for small businesses. It has scalable pricing plans that can fit the budgetary constraints of a range of small companies, from solo entrepreneurs and micro-businesses to ones that have under 50 employees. While their premium plan supports only ten users, more can be added at an affordable additional rate.

Conversely, for larger businesses, the software’s lack of payroll and limited user permissions are a deterrent. Also, Zoho Books only supports one business per account, making it a poor choice for entrepreneurs with multiple companies. For small businesses that do not require the payroll tool, however, the software has a repertoire of features that will satisfy their bookkeeping needs, and then some.

PRICING

This accounting app has some of the most affordable pricing plans on the market. What’s more, users opting for the annual subscription receive an additional two months free. Along with this, Zoho Books has a 14-day free trial that users can take advantage of to see if it fits their business requirements or not. Canceling plans is also a hassle-free experience, with the software offering a prorated refund even with the annual subscription.

Zoho Books has three pricing plans:

Plans

Basic

Standard

Professional

Price/Month

$9/business

$19/business$29/business
Price/Year

$90/business

$190/business$290/business
Users2310
Contacts

Up to 50

Up to 500

Unlimited

Automated Workflows

51010

Unlimited invoicing and estimates

YesYesYes

Expense and time tracking

YesYesYes

Project management

YesYesYes
ReportsYesYesYes

Bank reconciliation

YesYesYes

Tax Support

YesYesYes

Bills Purchase approval

YesYes

Vendor credits

YesYes

Reporting tags

YesYes

Inventory

Yes

Purchase orders

Yes

Sales orders

Yes

Custom Domain

Yes

Add-Ons

  • Extra users – $2/user/ month or $20/user/year
  • Snail-mail – Users can send estimates and invoices using snail mail directly through Zoho Books. It costs $2/credit with one credit needed for US mail and 2 for international mail
  • Auto Scans – Users can purchase 50 scans per month at an additional cost of $5/month or $50/year

FEATURES​

  1. Invoicing
  2. Client Portal
  3. Contact Management
  4. Project Management
  5. Inventory Management
  6. Reports
  7. Banking Features
  8. Multiple Currency Support

1) Invoicing

The software’s invoicing tool is one of its standout features. Not only does it make creating an invoice an easy task, but it also offers users a ton of customization options with which to do just that. The software has 16 invoice templates from which to choose. Users can customize everything on these templates from their font and accent to the background color and image. Zoho Books can generate invoices in 13 different languages and allows users to add their company logo to them as well.

Besides, the software has several automation tools that can save the user’s time and effort. These include setting up recurring invoices, automatic conversion of an estimate to an invoice upon customer approval, and automated email payment reminders. Importantly, Zoho Books allows users to connect to payment gateways so that their customers can pay invoices online.

2) Client Portal

Another potent weapon in this accounting software’s features arsenal is its client portal. Just like its user dashboard, Zoho Books boasts of a well-designed client portal. The portal’s intuitive UI is easy for both the service provider and the customer to use. The forum lets users share estimates, invoices, and project details with their customers, a great alternative to sending countless email reports back and forth. The software gives users a real-time alert every time a customer views, accepts or declines, makes payments, or comments on the portal. Along with the improved collaboration this portal provides, it also is a convenient way for customers to view their transaction history with the company all in one place.

3) Contact Management

Zoho Books has excellent contact management tools. With it, users can organize, track, and manage both customers and vendors easily. Apart from capturing the general information such as the customer’s name and email address, the software gives users the option of adding up to 10 custom fields to capture any additional business information they want. Importantly, the software encrypts any sensitive contact information for extra security.

Apart from this, users can attach reporting tags and internal notes to each customer. Once saved, each contact can be viewed in a separate window. The contacts module gives users an overview of the customer along with a timeline of the customer’s interaction with them. What’s more, it displays numbers and graphs that depict various customer-related metrics such as payables or income generated.

4) Project Management

With features such as time-tracking and expense tracking, Zoho Books gives users the tools to manage the financial aspects of project management efficiently. With the time-tracking module, users can view ongoing projects or create new ones with ease.

Similarly, the intuitive UI makes it easy to assign a budget to every project. The software offers four budgeting options. Users can bill clients based on the overall cost of the project, total project hours, total task hours, or total staff hours. The time tracking feature logs time spent employee-wise and task-wise. It also records all expenses incurred and raises an invoice to send to the client.

The software’s project management features also allow users to create and assign tasks to team members. Alternatively, they can import tasks from existing projects instead of creating new ones, a great time-saving feature. Another neat feature is the client approval feature, which prevents users from creating an invoice without the client first approving the timesheet, an excellent way to avoid any future misunderstandings.

5) Inventory Management

While the software offers an essential item list for all their plans, its full-fledged inventory management features are only available on the professional plan. With it, users can capture comprehensive product details such as the item’s stock-keeping unit (SKU) number, cost, product image, and even vendor details. Like a lot of its other features, Zoho Books gives users a high degree of flexibility in this department too. They can create customized price lists, choose which item is taxable, and set a preferred vendor. Additionally, the software provides users with email alerts if the inventory drops below a set level. Once users get an alert, they can send out purchase orders and reorder items with one click.

6) Reports

This accounting app boasts of a robust reporting feature. It offers a plethora of reports in every category, from receivables to inventory and projects. Aside from basic reports such as profit and loss, cash flow, and balance sheet reports, Zoho Books has some unique ones. These include a journal report, an enhanced general ledger report, and even a report on different currencies used. In total, the software has close to 50 different reports.

Here too, customization options abound. Users can modify reports based on a variety of filters, such as the date range, transaction type, or amount earned. Additionally, users can choose which columns to show or hide on a report. Along with customization, the reports module also allows users to schedule reports on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis as required. Reports, once generated, can be emailed to customers or exported in CSV, PDF, or XLS file formats.

7) Banking Features

Like most accounting software, Zoho Books offers bookkeeping tools such as easy bank reconciliation. It integrates with several payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe to make a variety of payment options available for users to conduct all their financial transactions with. The software’s banking module allows users to automate the process of importing all transactions into the application, eliminating the need for manual data entry. Another time-saving feature is that users can complete multiple transactions in one go.

8) Multiple Currency Support

This accounting software supports over 170 different currencies. The software allows users to manage international payments and currencies with ease. Every time a user adds a new customer, Zoho Books prompts them to specify the customer’s currency. The software then automatically converts item prices from the user’s home currency to that of the customer based on the exchange rate at the time. In this way, the customer receives invoice amounts in their currency, allowing them to make the payment conveniently. Whatever currency the customer pays in, the software always converts it to the user’s base currency before generating reports accordingly. In addition, the software allows users to associate bank accounts with different currencies to their account.

INTEGRATIONS

When it comes to integrations, Zoho Books pales in comparison to market leaders such as Xero and QuickBooks, both of which have over 650 integrations. Zoho Books has only around 70 external app integrations. Importantly, the software integrates with Zapier, connecting it to hundreds of additional apps.

Of course, one reason for the slim pickings in this department is that the software’s parent company already has apps for almost everything under the business sun. Zoho Books integrates with 14 of its siblings to form one big, happy family. These include Zoho CRM, Zoho Inventory, Zoho Campaigns, Zoho Cliq, and Zoho Checkout.

More About Zoho Books

Set-Up

Setting up Zoho Books is a 5-step process. The first step is to provide basic company information. Second, users need to choose which modules or features they want in their system. The third and fourth steps involve connecting the software to payment gateways and configuring bank connections, respectively. The last step is for users to invite and assign roles to team members.

Helpfully, the software walks users through each step with prompts and how-to videos. Additionally, it gives users the option of importing data such as contact information, expense receipts, and sales transactions from third-party apps. The software supports CSV, TSV, and XLS file formats.

Ease Of Use

This accounting software sports a clean, attractive, and intuitive user interface. The vertical toolbar displays all its features such as sales, purchases, time tracking, and reports clearly and in an easily navigable manner. Each feature has a pop-up with a brief explanation of what it is and how to use it, a great tool to make beginners comfortable with the software.

In addition, Zoho Books has several keyboard shortcuts for common accounting actions that allow a user to navigate quickly through the software. For example, pressing ‘shift + b’ takes users straight to the bills tab and ‘shift + e’ to the estimates tab and so on. The dashboard also gives users an overview of the state of their business using visual tools such as graphs and charts.

Device Compatibility

Desktop Browser App

Android App

iOS App

Windows Phone App

Apple Watch App

The software’s Android and iOS apps are as well-constructed and easy to use as the desktop version. What’s more, the mobile versions have all the functionalities that its browser variant has, making it a powerful tool for businesses on wheels. These features include generating invoices, running reports, creating new transactions, and capturing receipts. Because of its integration with GPS and Apple Maps, the mobile apps even allow users to track miles traveled and add it to their expense report.

While not as robust as the Android and iOS apps, the Apple Watch app gives users some on-the-go functionalities such as sending payment reminders to customers, viewing outstanding invoices, and tracking time.

Customer Care

Zoho Books excels in the customer care department. Not only do they have several ways to get in touch with them, but the customer service representatives also have a reputation for responding to queries quickly, with knowledgeable answers to boot. The software offers 24-hours weekday customer support in the form of phone, email, and online support. The online support comes in two forms; first, users can submit a question through an online contact form on the Zoho Books website. Second, they can get in touch with a representative through the live chat feature present both on the website and in-app.

Besides these, the software has a comprehensive knowledge base complete with FAQs, installing guides, blogs, and videos. Importantly, users can access all this information from within the app using the in-app help guide. Furthermore, Zoho Books maintains a forum where users can connect with a worldwide network of its users to discuss common issues and their solutions.

Online Security

To ensure data security, Zoho Books pulls out all the stops. Its security features include:

  • Encryption of data at rest and transfer
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Security breach alerts
  • HTTPS for all web pages
  • Regular firewall and malware protection updates
  • Multi-layered intrusion detection and prevention

Apart from these network security measures, the software also performs daily and weekly data backups at their secure data centers housed at various secret locations. These data centers have 24/7/365 video surveillance and restricted access; Security grants personnel permission to enter only after a two-step authentication process, which includes biometric authentication no less. Also, Zoho Books complies with EU/US privacy standards to delete all customer data upon service cancellation.

PROS AND CONS

PROS

  • Affordable and scalable pricing plans
  • Powerful bookkeeping tools
  • Robust project management and time tracking features
  • A well-designed client portal that improves client collaboration
  • Extensive customization options
  • User-friendly UI
  • Solid mobile app
  • Excellent customer support
  • Multi-currency support

CONS

  • No payroll features
  • Limited asset management tools
  • Limited integration options

CONCLUSION

There are no two ways about it: Zoho Books is a top-notch accounting solution for most small businesses. Its robust set of features that include automated workflows, powerful invoicing, and extensive customization options make them worthy competitors to other industry leaders such as QuickBooks Online and Xero. Besides, the software’s affordable pricing plans and a stellar customer support system, and you have the makings of a bestseller.

However, Zoho Books has one glaring omission that prevents it from becoming the top dog in its category, which is the non-inclusion of payroll features. Excluding this crucial part of accounting services means that companies using Zoho Books need to purchase and integrate with a third-party payroll app to handle that aspect of their business.

That omission aside, for sales and client-oriented businesses on a tight budget and on the lookout for an accounting software that offers value-for-money features, Zoho Books certainly fits the bill. If nothing else, the software’s 14-day free trial is worth a try.

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