Zoho Books Accounting Software Review

An all in one accounting software package for businesses. Excellent features and good value for money.

Zoho Books Review Logo

Read our review of Zoho Books to find out if Zoho Books is right for you, and discover:

– How Zoho Books works

– Features and summary

– Pricing information

– Pros and cons

Zoho Books Online Accounting Software for Small Business

Zoho Books is an online accounting software package that can help small businesses to manage their business finances.

It is part of a complete business suite, which integrates 40 different Zoho products, including sales, marketing, support, finance, HR, Legal, email, IT and project management.

Zoho Books Software Features

Zoho Books has many features; here is a quick rundown, and an in-depth look is further down in this article.

Banking – Connect your business bank account or PayPal to import transactions.

Chart of Accounts – Add to the chart of accounts.

Construction Industry Scheme – If you are part of the construction industry, CIS it is included.

Stock or Inventory – This is an add on but free for up to 50 orders per month

Mobile App – All the features you would expect from a mobile app

Reports – All the main financial reports available

Sales – Produce estimates, sales invoices, email direct to customers

Purchases – Record purchase invoices and keep track of when they are due for payment.

Expenses – Record and keep track of supplier bills.

Time Tracking – If you work on several different projects and invoice by the hour or day, a time tracking system will save time and ensure that you have a good record of the time worked. It is essential, especially if the client has a query about the time spent.

VAT – Making Tax Digital Compliant includes Accrual, cash and flat rate.

Add Users – It is easy to add additional employees and invite a bookkeeper or accountant as a user.

Support – Contact is made through online chat in the software, telephone or via email.

How to choose the Best Accounting Software for my Business?

When looking for small business accounting software, you need to know the features required for your business.

Some providers keep the software simple and don’t include all the features that you may need.

Zoho Books is an excellent option for most, as not only does it include most features needed, but it has lots of finance apps, add ons to expand the software.

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks

Zoho and QuickBooks have very similar features. Below is a table comparing the two online accounting software products side by side. We are using QuickBooks Essentials as it has similar features to Zoho Books.

Zoho BooksQuickBooks Essentials
Free versionRevenue up to £35,000 X
Pricing from £ per month£12£20
Number of users33
Mobile applicationMini Green Tick Stamper - SuperStickersMini Green Tick Stamper - SuperStickers
SupportChat, email and telephoneTelephone
InvoicingUp to 5000 invoicesMini Green Tick Stamper - SuperStickers
BillsMini Green Tick Stamper - SuperStickersMini Green Tick Stamper - SuperStickers
Tracking TimeMini Green Tick Stamper - SuperStickersMini Green Tick Stamper - SuperStickers
Payroll X £4 per month per employee
StockAdditional app X – In plus version
Mileage TrackingAdditional AppIn App
ReportsOver 60Over 70
ProjectsMini Green Tick Stamper - SuperStickers X
MulticurrencyMini Green Tick Stamper - SuperStickersMini Green Tick Stamper - SuperStickers

When you compare Zoho Books vs QuickBooks, they are very similar in features and both have a good mobile app.

To decide which is the best software for your business, you will need to sign up for a trial.

Zoho Books UK Pricing and Free Plan

One of the advantages is their pricing structure. As a business, you may start on the free plan, and as the business grows, you can upgrade the software rather than switch to another package.

Zoho Books have built a package especially for the United Kingdon, ensuring that they meet all the regulations of HMRC and GDPR.

Is There a Free Version of Zoho Books?

The free version includes the basics for bookkeeping up to £35,000 for a business or 1000 sales invoices. You can even invite your accountant.

It includes all the features that a small business needs for its accounting.

Even their standard package monthly fee is only £12 and includes some additional features. It is cheaper than the leading accounting software providers, including Xero and QuickBooks.

Below is a table showing the monthly pricing structure and standard features.

Pricing Table for Zoho Books

Free


£0 / month

  • 1 User + Accountant
  • Invoices up to 1000 pa.
  • Multi-lingual invoicing
  • Recurring Invoices.
  • Customise Invoices
  • Expenses.
  • Mileage Tracking
  • Bank Rules
  • VAT MTD
  • Email support
  • 40 Zoho Apps
Visit Zoho Books

Standard


£12 / month

  • As Free version plus
  • 3 Users
  • Invoices up to 5000 pa
  • Bank Feeds
  • Timesheet and billing
  • CIS
  • Recurring Expenses
  • User roles
Visit Zoho Books

Professional


£24 / month

  • As standard plus
  • 5 Users
  • Sales approval
  • Sales Orders
  • Purchase Orders
  • Multi-currency
  • Stock Tracking
  • Timesheet approval
Visit Zoho Books

There is also a premium version at £30 per month, which includes 10 users, branches, budgeting and more.

Zoho Books Pros and Cons

Pros

Zoho Books is an online accounting software package that helps small businesses to track their finances. It integrates with bank accounts so you can link up your business bank account and import the transactions.

Zoho Books makes it easy to manage your invoices and send reminder emails when an invoice due date comes up.

As they have 40 Zoho packages, you can expand the software to include other business activities.

Cons

Unlike some of their competitors Xero and QuickBooks, there is no payroll available. There are other options of running a payroll service elsewhere and transferring the figures.

Online Accounting Software Security

QuickBooks have invested a lot of time and money into security for their software, which means your data is safe.

As it is an online software keeping clients information, they have to ensure that the data is secure. They have taken the following steps:

  • Their servers are in secure locations with total security
  • Firewall protection
  • Anti-virus software
  • Restricted staff access to both physical locations and software

Zoho Books Set Up

Signing up for Zoho books is simple, and once you have registered a login, a welcome screen appears to get you started.

Zoho Books Introduction

What is good about the introduction screen is that it includes easy access to each section but also links to their resources, including videos and instructions. Their videos are short and straight to the point.

Zoho Books Features in Detail

We will now look at some of the significant features of the software.

Zoho Books Dashboard

As with all online accounting software packages, Zoho has an easy to navigate dashboard.

There is a navigation menu on the left, as well as links to add invoices and bills on the dashboard.

The dashboard is created to show a quick glance of income and expenditure, as well as other useful features.

Zoho Books Dashboard

Invoicing

Invoicing is one of the crucial elements of your accounting system. It would be best if you had an invoice with your business brand and well laid out.

They have 17 built-in templates, so you should find one to suit your business. For this example, we will use the standard template.

Zoho Books sales invoice

It is easy to create a new sales invoice, and you can add or edit the customer details within the invoice section.

To save time, you can also set up products or services within the software to use again and set the pricing and VAT.

As with most of the cloud accounting packages, you can add payment gateways for online payments.

Recurring billing is easy to set up; either use the button at the bottom of the invoice or the tab for setting up a new one. Here is an example of a recurring invoice. When I set it up, I received an email notification.

Zoho Books recurring invoice

See Zoho Books for yourself with a free trial.

Bills or Purchase Invoices

Keeping on track of your supplier purchase invoices and when they are due help to organise the business finances better.

Zoho Books offers an easy to use billing feature.

The billing section includes adding the invoice details and uploading them directly to the software. You can even send the bill to colleagues for approval.

Bills can be viewed by all, outstanding, draft, pending approval, unpaid and paid, making it easier to see the information required.

The software includes purchase orders; these are ideal for sending to suppliers to confirm an order.

Zoho Mileage

One feature that is useful for a freelancer is a mileage tracking application.

Although there is not one built-in, they have an additional application in both the Android and Apple stores. It is free to download.

It will track the mileage using GPS, ideal for recording all your travel.

Banking

Zoho Books uses online banking; you can add transactions manually or import a statement from the bank. Connection is quick and easy. Bank feeds is not available in the free version.

One thing that I found challenging, as self-employed business money is taken out as drawings on the equity. Unfortunately, you can’t post directly to equity accounts, so you have to work around it by creating an expense account. A journal is then created, transferring it from the drawing expense to drawing equity.

As you can see from the transaction below, I had already set up a rule for foreign bank fees, and when viewing the transaction, it showed the allocation, one-click, and it was added. It is worth taking the time to set up bank rules.

Zoho Books Bank Feed

Zoho Books – Reporting

One of the essential tasks on accounting software is reporting. It is no good to spend hours on data entry and then find that the report the company needs is not included.

Looking at the list of reports available, they have everything a business needs.

Below are some of the financial reports :

Zoho Books report for management

One of the features that I like with their data reporting is automatically scheduling weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual reports to email. Ideal for management meetings.

All reports are customisable and available to email, export as PDF or Excel.

Zoho Books have got the reporting feature well set up for any small business.

VAT Returns

Once the VAT is set up on accounting software, producing a VAT return is straightforward.

It accepts the VAT schemes accruals, cash and flat rate.

Zoho Books is registered under the scheme Making Tax Digital and your returns are submitted directly through the software.

Chart of Accounts

zoho Books Chart of Accounts

As with all accounting software, there is a chart of accounts built-in.

My accounting is simple, but I found a few accounts not listed, including computer assets, computer depreciation, legal and insurance; these are codes that most businesses will need.

Adding a new code is very easy and allows you to have all the codes a small business requires.

Zoho Books – Mobile Application

Zoho Books have designed their mobile application to look similar to their desktop version. This makes it easier for a user to find their way around it. The design has been well thought out and will allow you to complete any financial tasks.

You can invoice on the go, meaning customers can get their invoices quicker, track time, create expenses and keep updated on the bank.

The app is available for both Android and iPhone.

Zoho Online Accounting Software Support

Zoho Books support is available online through the software, email, online forum and telephone.

They have lots of resources within the software as well as a link to all their support.

The online help includes FAQ, documentation, videos, blog, business guides, and accountants’ directory.

I checked out the forum, and there are posts every day, all of which had a response.

Zoho Books Conclusion

In this review, we have looked at some of the basics features of Zoho Books, but there are additional features that you can unlock in preferences.

Zoho Books is a complete cloud accounting software package suitable for both self-employed and Limited companies.

Using Zoho is ideal for keeping stock, tracking projects, CIS, VAT, and expenses.

If you are new to accounting software, you may find it complicated to start with, but you will save both time and money by following the online guides.

The free version is a great starting point for any small business with an income below £35,000.

With the 40 integrated tools available, Zoho offers a complete accounting software package.

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