Zoho Books Review: Is It The Best Accounting Software For You?

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Haley Updated: March 18, 2021

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Finding the perfect accounting software for your business is of the utmost importance.

After all, your chosen accounting platform will house all of your financial information and help you effectively this core piece of your business operations. So, you need a system that you can rely on, which meets your business requirements, and of course, is affordable.

With all of these things in mind, you may be considering a solution like Zoho Books.

Is Zoho Books the best accounting software for you? In this review, we’ll dive into the platform and help you decide whether it’s for you!

Let’s get started!

Table of contents

What is Zoho Books?

As part of the Zoho suite - which includes more than 40 integrated business operations apps - Zoho Books is the cloud-based accounting software to help businesses manage their finances, automate workflows, and work cross-functionally between different parts.

What is Zoho Books?
What is Zoho Books?

While most Zoho’s products are enterprise-level, Zoho Books is catered towards small and mid-sized companies. It can be outgrown when your executive and finance teams grow beyond the 10 users provided.

Since Zoho introduced Zoho Books in 2011, it’s become one of the top players in the accounting market. The platform allows you to access your account whenever you have the Internet, as well as use your mobile accounting app for iOS and Android.

Related topics:

Zoho Books key features

Zoho Books key features
Zoho Books key features

Zoho Books offers a lot of features, ranging from inventory management to a time tracker tool. This wide range of functions makes it an excellent fit for any type of business.

To be specific, Zoho Books provides the following features:

Accounts receivable

You can keep the money coming in with Zoho Books. The platform provides a powerful invoicing feature with high customization, automation, templates, encryption, and deposit capabilities. You can also generate estimates that seamlessly transfer to custom invoices or projects for added functionality.

Related topic: What is an Invoice?

Once sent, your invoice will remind clients of unpaid balances, as well as allow for easy and fast online payment with credit card or ACH through the Zoho product payment gateway. Plus, recurring invoice features and saved payment details can make ongoing client relationships even easier.

Perhaps Zoho Books has the most outstanding international accounting features, such as fluid currency and localized editions. These features are catered to your specific business location while enabling you to do business across the world. Sales tax can be quickly assigned to customers and updates with your local rates, which is useful for recurring invoices.

You can add Zoho Subscription to effectively manage your recurring invoice and ongoing customer needs. You’ll get 20 subscriptions for free, then scale your payment plan for more users, more customers, and increase workflows.

Accounts payable

With this feature, it is easy to stay on top of your payables and know where your money is going. Zoho Books allows you to manage your business expenses with purchase orders that convert to bills with just a click, recurring bill setup, and vendor credit for returns.

Sales orders, purchase orders, along with custom invoices help you manage procurement and payments for your business in a click. Besides, the automated workflow for expense tracking lets you monitor and categorize your financial transactions, while your balance sheets stay up-to-date.

Inventory management

It is hard to beat Zoho Books in tracking and managing inventory. The platform allows you to organize your own inventory with high levels of detail.

You’re able to set your reorder thresholds, and automate, so that purchase orders are sent to your suppliers when you dip below your required level of inventory. You can also adjust your inventory immediately when stock gets lost or damaged. Inventory is always up-to-date, and you can set up reports on your inventory status with a click.

Banking

Save time and frustration by allowing Zoho Books to automatically import and categorize your transactions by connecting your bank account and PayPal. Automations and bulk actions can make bank reconciliation fast and effective. The banking dashboard lets you see your finances at a glance and use visual reports to predict cash flow.

Note: Zoho Books works with Yodlee - an online banking solutions service provider - to import live bank feeds. This may violate the Terms and Conditions you have accepted with your bank. Therefore, remember to check with your banking institution to ensure that Zoho Books can access your banking before making the switch.

Time tracking

Time tracking is essential for businesses, as they need to track various contractors and the hours spent on clients for accurate billing and planning. With Zoho Books, you can either log the amount of time spent on a project daily or weekly, or use its timer widget to clock the time you spend.

Beyond time tracking, you can also use Zoho Books to manage your projects. The platform makes it possible to control multiple projects by creating new projects, adding different tasks for each project, and assigning specific tasks to your employees.

Contact management

One of the most excellent aspects of Zoho Books is the contact portal. Customers, contractors, and vendors can be carefully managed and accessed in this portal, allowing you to quickly collaborate.

The client portal lets clients view estimates, invoices, project details, and other communications at a glance. Noticeably, they can comment or pay directly in the portal. You will get notifications when clients view or pay invoices, and you can even elicit testimonials or reviews.

Reports

Zoho Books can create more than 50 business reports with your business data to streamline frequent accounting tasks. Your dashboard will instantly present relevant financial data in a helpful visual way, and then you can generate any other reports you need.

Basic reports like balance sheet, cash flow, profit & loss can be automated to run and automatically land in your email at whatever frequency you prefer. Besides, tax liability reports will make tax season easier, and custom tags let you create specialized reports for sales or audits with whatever data you need.

Mobile apps

Mobile apps of Zoho Books are positively reviewed on the App Store and Google Play. If you’re doing a lot of business on the go, Zoho Books can offer much more in the way of mobile functionality. The Zoho Books app allows for:

  • Generating and sending invoices
  • Recording expenses
  • Multiple currencies
  • Accountant access
  • Quick business insights

Because Zoho Books is a cloud-based platform, you can subscribe straight from your device and access most of the software functionality - even without a computer.

Zoho Books ease of use

Zoho Books ease of use
Zoho Books ease of use

It’s quite easy to get started with Zoho Books. During the initial setup, you will be required to enter details of your business, including industry and business type. Then, you can add tax details. Next, enable the modules you’d like to use in your business, with multiple choices available. Lastly, you can connect to a collection of online payment apps. You can go back at any time and change the information you add during the setup.

Once you complete your initial setup, Zoho Books will show the getting started screen, offering a short video overview and your client portal name. It also gives you options to set up your opening balances and configure your bank feed and charts of accounts.

There is a vertical navigation bar on the left side, which provides drop-down menu access to all of Zoho Books’ features. All data-entry screens are easily navigated, along with a brief explanation about the feature you are using, making even novices satisfied.

Zoho Books security features

Zoho Books security features
Zoho Books security features

Zoho Books takes strong security measures, including two-factor authentication, data encryption, regular virus detection, and prevention scanning. The company also complies with the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework.

Additional physical measures are also taken to ensure data security, such as 24/7/365 surveillance, bullet-resistant walls, video monitoring, and more. Zoho Books also backs up data frequently onto multiple servers in undisclosed locations.

You can visit Zoho’s website for a full list of security measures.

Zoho Books integrations

Zoho Books integrations
Zoho Books integrations

If you’re already using some of Zoho’s other platforms, such as Zoho CRM or Zoho Inventory, it is pretty easy to integrate with your existing account. However, if you hope to integrate with other third-party platforms, it may not be the best for you.

Zoho Books has various platforms it can integrate with, but most of them are in the same category, such as tax filing or online payments.

Another thing to note is that Zoho Books recently launched a payroll platform called Zoho Payroll. Nevertheless, as of January 2020, it is only available in India and two US states, Texas and California. Unlike other platforms, such as Sage and Wave, Zoho Books doesn’t offer integration with third-party payroll services.

Read more: How to Integrate Zoho Books with Magento 2?

Zoho Books pricing plans

Zoho Books offers three pricing plans, which are affordable for even the tightest budget. You can sign up for a free trial period of 14 days of any plan. No banking or credit card information is required, and you’re allowed to cancel at any time.

Plus, subscription payments are made monthly, but you can receive a discount of two free months if you commit to a year-long plan. It’s possible to cancel the subscription at any time, even year-long plans (year-long users can receive a prorated refund).

Zoho Books pricing plans are as follows:

Plan Price (per organization/ month) Key features
Basic $9 - Up to 50 contacts
- 2 users
- 5 automated workflows
- Bank reconciliation
- Custom invoices
- Expense tracking
- Projects and timesheets
- Recurring transactions
- Sales approval
- Budgeting
- Zoho Sign Integration
Standard $19 - Up to 500 contacts
- 3 users
- 10 automated workflows/ module
Everything in the Basic plan, plus:
- Bills
- Vendor credits
- Reporting tags
- Purchase approval
- Twilio integration
Professional $29 - >500 contacts
- 10 users
- 10 automated workflows/ module
Everything in the Standard plan, plus:
- Purchase orders
- Sales orders
- Stock tracking
- Custom domain
- Vendor portal

Before purchasing Zoho Books, there are several extra costs to be aware of:

  • Extra Users. Additional users cost $2/ month/ user. Or, you can pay $20/ year/ user.

  • Snail Mail Credits. This helps you send invoices and estimates by mail directly through Zoho Books. The cost is $2/ credit. One credit is needed for US mail, and two credits are required for international mail.

  • Auto Scans. This allows you to scan receipts and documents to upload and store them in Zoho Books. You can buy 25 autoscans for $15/ month.

Zoho Books customer support

Zoho Books customer support
Zoho Books customer support

Zoho Books offers a number of customer service options, with informative and quick-to-help customer service representatives. To make everything even easier, nearly every support option can be accessed directly from within the platform.

Zoho Books’ customer support is available 24/5, from Monday to Friday. Here are all of the customer support options that Zoho Books offers:

  • Phone. You can contact Zoho Books via phone. Wait times are usually short, and representatives are generally helpful.

  • Email. You can also send Zoho Books a mail for help.

  • Webinars. You can sign up for weekly webinars to learn more about Zoho Books. It’s also possible to watch a prerecorded Zoho Books demo.

  • Knowledgebase. There is a comprehensive knowledge base, which features FAQs, help articles, blogs, videos, business guides, a welcome guide, migration guides, and a community forum. All of the necessary information is accessible right from within Zoho Books, and there is also a well-developed search bar.

  • Accountant finder. Zoho Books can help you find an account near you.

Pros and cons of using Zoho Books

Pros:

  • Quite easy to use
  • A wide range of features
  • Top-notch security measures
  • Affordable for small and mid-sized business
  • Robust mobile app features
  • Various and helpful customer support

Cons:

  • Limited integrations
  • Limited integrated payroll features (available only in India and 2 US states as of January 2020)
  • No fixed asset management
  • Transaction cap of 5,000

Alternatives to Zoho Books

Xero

Xero has been one of the most common accounting platforms in the last few years. The platform offers a number of robust features that can meet your business needs. Some of our personal favorites include:

  • Easy migration. If you are looking to switch accounting software companies, Xero can simplify to get set up in a snap. The platform offers an option to convert the data from an existing account, so you can get started right away, with no need for time-consuming data entry.

  • 500+ app integration. Xero provides one of the largest collections of app and widget integrations. You can actually add in tools like Google Suite, Shopify, Square, and more.

  • Payroll. Xero also offers full payroll capabilities, so you’re able to manage your business and employees. You can set up multiple users to manage everything more easily and effectively.

All of these above features and many more are included in Xero’s offerings. The company created 3 distinct package options for you to choose from, including:

  • Starter Plan: $20/ month
  • Standard Plan: $30/ month
  • Premium Plan: $40/ month

LessAccounting

LessAccounting is a smaller company than our previous choices, making it a great resource for new entrepreneurs who are still learning. To help with that goal, LessAccounting has created a number of tools like:

  • Customizable invoices. The platform offers an invoicing feature that lets you customize your invoices by including your logo and branding.

  • Full-service bookkeeping. LessAccounting also offers a full-service bookkeeping option. You can actually add this option into your monthly subscription, so that everything can be conveniently handed in one place.

  • Personalized customer service. This feature really makes LessAccounting stand out from the crowd. With a great customer service team, the company can help you deal with your financial problems as soon as possible.

LessAccounting’s pricing plans include:

  • Invoice Only Plan: Free
  • Lite Plan: $24/ month
  • Team Plan: $36/ month

FreshBooks

FreshBooks has been around for nearly 20 years, so it’s had some time to perfect its packaging and available tools to produce a well-organized, fully functional platform.

The company offers a number of helpful features, such as:

  • Estimates: You can create and send estimates to your clients before getting started on a project. This is a vital initial step so that you can start your new project off on the right foot.

  • Per-project organization. The platform helps you stay on top of things by letting you organize by project or client. It seems like a small feature compared to things like payroll, for instance. However, these little touches really make your daily financial management that much easier.

  • Time tracking tools. Once you send out estimates, FreshBooks helps you track your time moving forward. With its time tracking tools, you can start, pause, and stop your time and eventually tack the recorded amount onto your next outgoing invoice.

While most accounting platforms charge based on features, FreshBooks charges based on the number of active clients you can add. FreshBooks has four pricing plans for you to choose:

  • Lite Plan: $6/ month
  • Plus Plan: $10/ month
  • Premium Plan: $20/ month
  • Select Plan: custom pricing

The bottom line

We have reached the conclusion of our Zoho Books review, the decision is now up to you.

Is Zoho Books the best accounting software for you?

As you understand your business best, only you can determine which accounting solution can fulfill your needs.

That being said, however, if you’re searching for a well-rounded platform that is incredibly affordable, Zoho Books undoubtedly meets these qualifications. With three different pricing plans, each giving you the ability to manage and automate your accounting and bookkeeping tasks - Zoho Books is particularly suitable for small and medium-sized businesses.

Nevertheless, if you have a larger business that can not be limited based on users or clients, or require greater integration options, you may search for an alternative to Zoho Books.

At the end of the day, though, by exploring and researching different platforms, you’re in the best position to determine which accounting software will work for your business. And don’t forget to let us know what you think of our review. Thanks for reading!

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Haley
Haley
Haley is a content creator at Mageplaza. When not working, she gets hung up on travel adventures, books, and food tasting. As growing up, she wants to read, learn, and experience more and more up-to-date things to adapt herself to this ever-changing world.
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