Zoho Books is small business accounting software from Zoho, a business software company that also offers CRM, help desk and app-building software. Like all of the accounting software we reviewed, Zoho Books is an online application you can use from any browser. Its affordable pricing and ease of use make it the best accounting software for very small businesses.
Three service tiers are available: Basic, Standard and Professional. You can subscribe month to month, but the price is discounted if you subscribe annually.
- The Basic plan costs $9 per month and supports two users – you and your accountant. You can add 50 contacts and create five automated workflows. You can use it to create invoices and projects, track expenses, and reconcile your accounts.
- The Standard plan costs $19 per month and supports three users, 500 contacts and 10 automated workflows. It includes all the features in the Basic plan and allows you to track bills and print checks.
- The Professional plan costs $29 per month and supports an unlimited number of users and contacts, includes all the features in the Standard plan, creates purchase orders, and tracks inventory.
This accounting software for small businesses integrates with other Zoho programs and several third-party programs, including payment gateways and tax programs. Zoho Books is easy to use and offers nearly every feature we looked for in accounting software.
Ease of Use
Like all online accounting software we reviewed, Zoho Books is easy to set up. You provide basic information about your company, choose which modules (features) you want the system to include and connect your payment processor. The Getting Started button at the top right of the dashboard has a video that walks you through the software's main features. It also prompts you to create your first transaction, connect your bank account and set up your system preferences.
The interface is logical and attractive. The dashboard displays graphs and charts that show you an overview of your cash flow, receivables, payables, expenses, projects and bank accounts. You can change the time period for the charts, but you can't rearrange the cards on the dashboard. When you click the tabs on the menu bar, each screen includes a Page Tips button that opens up a fly panel with a search bar, short video and a list of related topics that link to the knowledgebase.
Here are some of this software's capabilities that help you complete your accounting tasks quickly:
- You can convert an estimate or sales order to an invoice, a retainer invoice or a recurring invoice with just a few clicks.
- If you want to rearrange the product rows on an estimate or invoice, you can drag and drop them into place.
- You can email your invoices as soon as you create them, or schedule them to be sent later.
- You can create projects, set tasks and track the time you spend on them. Invoice customers for billable time, and track and invoice billable expenses.
- You can schedule payment reminders to be automatically emailed to customers and create multiple messages that are sent at different times. For example, you could create a payment reminder email and send it a week before the invoice is due, send a second email on the due date, and send a third email if you haven't received a payment a week after the due date.
- If you connect your account with a payment processor, you can accept invoice payments online and get paid faster. Compatible payment gateways include PayPal, Braintree, Stripe and Square.
- Mobile apps are available for iOS and Android phones, tablets, and smartwatches. It also has an app for Windows phones. With the app, you can create invoices, run reports, capture receipts, record expenses and track billable time no matter where you are.
- Keyboard shortcuts allow you to quickly move through the software and create new transactions.
- Zoho's client portal makes it easy for your customers to view their invoices and pay their bills online. Use it to send quotes and discuss them with your client in the program rather than via email, text or phone. The software alerts you when your customer views a quote or invoice, accepts or declines a quote, or makes a payment.
- The template gallery has more invoice customization options than most. You can choose from 16 templates, several languages and multiple fonts. Add your logo and a background image, and select colors for the background, accents, your company's name, your customer's name and the rest of the text on the page. You can also choose which fields to include and change the text of each field as it appears on the document.
- When you view a transaction, you can see a history of when it was created, if it was converted to or from another type of transaction, and if the transaction has been updated, sent or paid. It notes the user's name along with the date and time, and you can add comments to the transaction.
- With the Professional tier, you can set up the system to track inventory. It shows you the available quantity when you enter the item on an invoice. If you enter a higher number than you have on hand, the number turns red. You can set up the system to email you a notification when the inventory drops below a certain number or reorder point.
- More than 50 reports are built in to this accounting software, including a general ledger, profit and loss, sales by item, timesheet details, and aged receivables and payables.
- The system supports barcode scanning, and you can create price lists, which is a useful feature if you offer special pricing to certain customers.
- With the Standard and Professional tiers, you can manage vendors, track bills and print checks.
- When you connect your business bank and credit card accounts, the bank feed updates daily. If you need to see a current transaction, you can refresh the bank feed, though you can only do this once a day.
- It includes a bank reconciliation feature that suggests possible matches, though it doesn't feel as polished as those of Zoho Books' top competitors.
- The software can support multiple businesses, but you need to pay a separate subscription for each organization.
- If your inventory needs are more advanced, such as if you need to bundle items, you can add the Zoho Inventory app to the program for an additional cost.
- If you need accounting education, you can read the company's Essential Business Guides and its blog, register for its weekly webinars, and watch its demo videos. The company has a user forum where can share feedback or submit your feature ideas to the company.
- You can contact the company by phone, email or live chat 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday, for free, unlimited customer support.
- You need the Professional tier to create purchase orders and track inventory.
- Zoho Books doesn't include fixed asset management features that calculate depreciation for computers, equipment and office furniture. ·
- It doesn't integrate with as many third-party apps as some of the other accounting software we reviewed. However, Zoho offers many of its own business apps, which are compatible.
Zoho Books is among the best small business accounting software applications we reviewed and is particularly well suited for microbusinesses. You can use it for invoicing, bookkeeping, purchasing and inventory. It includes automated features, such as recurring invoices and automatic payment reminders, and has client portals, which makes it easy to follow up with your customers on quotes and payments. It includes nearly every accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory and banking feature we looked for, with the exception of fixed asset management.
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