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Zoho Books – The Complete Breakdown of Features and Plans

Zoho Books is a cloud-based, smart accounting software that takes care of all your accounting needs and is easily accessible via your web browser. Android and iOS apps are available at no extra cost if you want to access Zoho Books while on the go.

To access Zoho Books software, you need to sign up for a 14-day Free Trial first. Then, you can test out this amazing software to see if it fits your business needs. Keep in mind that the Free Trial version has all the features of the Professional version. Once you decide that you want to implement Zoho Books in your business, you can choose between Basic, Standard and Professional packages.

Let us break down the main features and functionalities to see what makes it the accounting software of choice for many businesses around the world.


Customers and Vendors

Zoho Books allows you to add customers and vendors who represent companies dealing with you in your business. When you add customers, you can create estimates, invoices, sales orders, and other sales transactions. On the other hand, adding vendors allows you to create purchase orders, bills, and other purchase transactions.


Client Portal

The client portal enables your clients to track all the transactions that have taken place between them and your business. This allows for more efficient collaboration and the elimination of lengthy emails. The first thing that you will see when you set up your client portal is the dashboard. You can see some important details such as estimates, invoices (outstanding and retainer invoices), payments made, projects, and statements.


Items

Items can be any goods or services that you are dealing with in your business. The items you create can be used in any type of transactions your business has with customers or vendors. The item details like name, description, and SKU will be populated automatically. You can both create and import items for your business.


Price Lists

All businesses have differences in their sales strategies. Price lists can be used in cases you want to provide different discount levels to your customers based on the level of revenue they generate for you. For example, you have multiple resellers and each level of reseller can be assigned a particular discount level. Another common use for price lists is for creating seasonal discounts. Besides for your customers, you can also apply price lists for your vendors. Price Lists allow you to set custom rates for the items that you will either buy or sell. You have the option of changing the item rate by a specific percentage or by setting up a custom rate.


Item Groups

Item Groups is a module related to Zoho Inventory. You can enable it by integrating Zoho Inventory with Zoho Books. This module saves time for you and allows you to create a set number of similar items together, based on their shared attributes, without a need to create them individually. For example, if you want to create a shirt with different colors and sizes. You would just have to enter all the colors and sizes once. Item groups functionality would create all the possible variations for you along with details like name and SKU.

Composite Items

This module allows you to bundle different products together as one item. This is also a module related to the integration of Zoho Inventory with Zoho Books. For example, if you have shirts and shorts in your offering you could bundle them together to create a composite item.


Estimates

Zoho Books allows you to make an estimate that you send to your customers, detailing all the items with their pricing and delivery details. Depending on your processes an estimate can be converted into a sales order or an invoice after the customer accepts it.


Sales Orders

This is a document that is sent to your customer, confirming the items, taxes and delivery pricing. It is usually created after the acceptance of an estimate by your customers and when the ordered items are ready for shipping or delivery. You can convert a sales order to invoice to record this business activity in Zoho Books.

If a situation occurs that you have created a sales order for your customer, but do not have sufficient items on the stock, then you have the ability to create a purchase order. The purchase order is sent to your vendors for ordering the items for your stock. Like with invoices, it is very simple to convert a sales order to the purchase order in Zoho Books. 


Invoices

Invoices indicate that a supply of goods or services has been agreed between a vendor and a customer. You can manually record payment for the invoice once you receive your payment from the customer. If needed you can generate credit or debit notes out straight out of invoices.


Purchase Orders

With Zoho Books, you can also make purchase orders. This feature comes in handy if you want to create a standardized document detailing order information from your vendors. Once a purchase order has been accepted by the vendor you can convert it into a bill.


Credit Notes

A credit note is issued when a complete or partial refund is made for goods or services which were invoiced. That can occur due to several reasons, such as damaged goods or unsatisfactory services. The credit note is used to reflect the value of the refund.


Templates

Zoho Books allows you to change the visual feel of numerous sales and purchase transactions to reflect your brand better with the templates module. You can either customize a pre-loaded template or create a brand new one.

There are numerous options when it comes to adjusting the templates. You can change the overall look of your template in template properties. If you want to reflect your brand better through the header section, you can do so with this module. Also, you can customize the looks of item tables, such as changing labels or layouts. You can adjust the looks of the template by customizing payment details, notes, and footer sections.


Banking Module

Zoho Books has a banking module that helps with the automation and optimization of the financial processes of your business. Your bank feeds are synchronized with Zoho Books, so there is no need for manual data entry. You can also retrieve or import live bank feeds and match them with your transactions instantly. 

You can add your bank, credit card, or Paypal account in this module. Once you add one of these accounts, you can import the account feeds automatically or manually in Books. After that, you will be able to match Books transactions with your bank transactions. 

The bank feeds are retrieved every 24 hours in your account automatically. That is true for the banks that don’t require multi-factor authentication or MFA. If you cannot retrieve feeds from your bank, you can either enter the transactions manually or import them.

Zoho Books currently supports five file formats namely CSV, TSV, OFX, QIF and CAMT.053 for statement import. You can import statements if your bank provides statements in any of these formats.


Accountant Module

This handy module allows you to manage your accounting processes. Here, you can also create manual journals to make adjustments to your accounts. The manual journal is used to record unique financial transactions that cannot be recorded with other journal types (for example, depreciation rates for a particular month).

Sometimes, making numerous journal entries for accounts that are repeated over and over again can be tiresome. To solve this problem, Zoho Books allows you to make journal templates to save time and reduce entry errors.

With the accountant module, you can also create recurring journals that essentially create manual journals for account events that are recursive (such as asset depreciation or employee wages). Automating journal creation can further save you a substantial amount of time and reduce the possibility of human error.

Another useful feature of the accounting module is the base currency adjustment. You can get an insight into the profit or loss generated when transacting with customers dealing in foreign currencies. This feature can help you measure the risk of dealing in foreign currencies due to the regular fluctuations of exchange rates.


Currencies and Exchange Rates

Zoho Books allows you to create all the sales and purchase orders in different currencies that aren’t specifically your base currency. The base currency is usually tied to the primary country from which your business operates.

If you are dealing with foreign customers and vendors, you probably would want to know more about exchange rates. Zoho Books can automatically fetch exchange rates for various currencies and update them each day. Zoho Books fetches up-to-date exchange rates from Open Exchange Rates. You have the option to manually enter exchange rates as often as you need.


Financial Reports

This module includes all the reports related to your business, taxes, and accounting. Reports are divided into multiple categories including sales, inventory, purchases, currency exchange rate effects, payables, and receivables. The built-in reports in Zoho Books provide a great amount of information on which you can make informed business decisions. If you want to take reporting even further consider integrating Zoho Books with Zoho Analytics. In the following section, we will discuss the available reports for each category.


Business Overview Reports

The business overview report section a snapshot of every business. It includes three report types:

Profit and Loss

Cash Flow Statement

Balance Sheet


Sales Reports

Sales reports in Zoho Books are divided into three types:

Sales by Customer

Sales by Item

Sales by Sales Person


Receivables Reports

In this section, you can find all the reports that show the money that you are still to receive from your customers. You can find seven types of reports in the receivables section:

Customer Balances

Aging Summary

Aging Details

Invoice Details

Retainer Invoice Details

Sales Order Details

Estimate Details


Payments Received Reports

This section incorporates all reports related to payments received from your customers. There are four types of reports in the payments received section:

Payments Received

Time to Get Paid

Credit Note Details

Refund History


Inventory Reports

The inventory report section includes extensive reports that are related to the complete inventory of your business. There are three types of reports in this section:

Inventory Summary

Inventory Valuation Summary

FIFO Cost Lot Tracking


Activity Reports

Activity reports is a section where you can see detailed records of all activities carried out in your Zoho Books organization during a specific time period. It provides:

  • Details of the users who performed specific actions
  • The time and date of the action
  • The descriptions of accomplished actions (updating a bill, creating an invoice are such examples)
  • Details on where the specified action was performed (Bank Feeds, Invoices, or Integrations)

Automations

Automations allow you to create sets of rules for various modules featured in Zoho Books. Based on the rules you set, appropriate action is performed. For example, you can send a complimentary e-mail to your team members automatically when a $500 estimate for goods gets accepted by a client. There are three types of automations in Zoho Books:

Workflows

Recurring Invoices

Payment Reminders


Integrations

Zoho Books allows you to integrate different applications inside the Zoho package. This will give you better reach to potential customers and markets as well as establish you as the go-to vendor for your customers. Here are some of the most useful integrations for Zoho Books:

Zoho CRM

Zoho Inventory

Zoho Subscriptions

Zoho Projects

Zoho Analytics

Zoho Expense


Plans Comparison Table

We hope that you have a better understanding of the main features, automations, reporting capabilities and various integrations you get with Zoho Books software. It surely has numerous features with pricing plans that are ideally tailored to the scale of your business.

Check out the following tables below that summarize the discussed features of Zoho Books, divided into the three pricing plans.

BasicStandardProfessional
General Features
 Users 2310
 Customers & Vendors 50500Unlimited
 Client Portal Yes Yes Yes
 Custom Client Portal Domain NoNoYes
 Estimates & Invoices YesYesYes
 Sales & Purchase OrdersNoNoYes
 Financial ReportsYesYesYes
Automations
 Workflows 5/module10/module10/module
 Recurring InvoicesYesYesYes
 Payment RemindersYesYesYes
Integrations
 Zoho CRMYesYesYes
 Zoho InventoryYesYesYes
 Zoho SubscriptionsYesYesYes
 Zoho ProjectsYesYesYes
 Zoho AnalyticsYesYesYes
 Zoho ExpenseYesYesYes

For a more detailed comparison of Zoho Books plans check out this link.


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