Zoho Books and QuickBooks are both capable accounting systems with features like the ability to invoice customers, pay bills, and run financial reports. Zoho Books is ideal for businesses wishing to integrate other Zoho apps while QuickBooks Online is best for businesses wanting a vast support network.
When to Use QuickBooks
QuickBooks Online is the choice for businesses that want a product that nearly every bookkeeper will support. QuickBooks Online is by far the most popular small business accounting software in the United States. With this popularity comes an enormous selection of independent accountants who are certified by Intuit as QuickBooks ProAdvisors. The popularity also results in many third-party add-on applications.
QuickBooks Online is also the choice for businesses that want to process their own payroll. For an additional fee, payroll can be added to QuickBooks Online that will help businesses make all the necessary tax deposits and file the necessary returns. Sign up today to save up to 50% on your QuickBooks Online subscription.
When to Use Zoho Books
Zoho Books is an excellent alternative to QuickBooks for companies looking for significantly less expensive software that still provides excellent accounting functions and features. Businesses that use other Zoho apps like Zoho Inventory, Subscriptions, CRM, Projects, and Flow will love their integration with Zoho Books.
Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online: Features & Pricing
Who It’s Best For
Most small businesses
Zoho app users
Simple Start: $25
Number of Users Included
Simple Start: 1
Maximum Customers & Vendors
Send Estimates to Customers
Send Invoices & Track Collections
Automate Recurring Charges to Customer Credit Cards
Track Sales Tax
Assign Time & Costs to Projects
Plus or Advanced only
Essentials or higher
Standard or Professional
Plus or Advanced only
Capture & Organize Receipts
Payroll Processing Integrated
Ease of Setup & Use
Integrated Credit Card Processing
Is Zoho Books or QuickBooks Best for You?
When You Should Choose QuickBooks vs Zoho Books
In addition to the large selection of third-party apps that QuickBooks Online offers, there are a few more reasons why we chose QuickBooks over Zoho Books. QuickBooks offers integrated payroll processing and credit card processing at the flip of a switch, but there are additional fees. QuickBooks also has a large network of QuickBooks ProAdvisors that can help you get the most from your QuickBooks.
Here are several reasons why we chose QuickBooks over Zoho Books.
Integrated Payroll Processing
Unlike Zoho Books, all QuickBooks Online plans (except Self-Employed) comes with payroll processing available for an additional charge. When you are ready to hire and pay employees, you click a button to turn on the payroll feature. The feature will not only help you pay employees but also pay taxes and file payroll tax returns. Since the payroll is fully integrated, all the payroll and tax transactions will be recorded in your books automatically.
QuickBooks ProAdvisor Network
QuickBooks is by far the most popular small business accounting software in the US. QuickBooks provides ProAdvisor certifications to bookkeepers that can pass an examination on the fundamentals of QuickBooks Online. Even if you plan on doing most of the work yourself, it’s nice to have a ProAdvisor on call when you have questions. Here are some tips on finding a ProAdvisor.
Integrated Credit Card Processing
Similar to the payroll features, all QuickBooks Online plans include credit card processing by Intuit Payments. When you are ready to accept online payments from customers, turn on the feature. Keep in mind that additional fees will apply. By contrast, to accept credit card payments with Zoho Books, you must add a payment app like Stripe.
Check out the QuickBooks Online Features section to learn more about what QuickBooks Online can do.
What QuickBooks Is Missing
The primary drawback to using QuickBooks Online is the hefty price tag. QuickBooks Online Plus is the most popular plan at $70 per month. The functionality is comparable to Zoho Books Professional at $29 per month. Even QuickBooks Online Essentials at $40 per month is more expensive than Zoho Books Professional.
Another weak point for QuickBooks Online is the inability to create sales orders to track orders placed by your customers. Zoho Books Professional includes the ability to create sales orders.
When You Should Choose Zoho vs QuickBooks
In addition to the price, you should consider Zoho vs QuickBooks Online if you currently use other apps in the Zoho suite of products. It is easy to connect Zoho Books and transfer data between other Zoho apps. We even recommend Zoho CRM as one of the top small business customer relationship management (CRM) software.
A couple of unique features of Zoho Books are:
- Automated workflows: Automated workflows allow you to automate routine processes that would normally be completed manually. You can learn more about workflows in the next section of this article.
- Client portal: The client portal gives your customers access to all of the transactions that have been created for them, like estimates and invoices. Instead of sending an email, you can collaborate with clients by sending messages within the portal.
Check out the Zoho Books Features section to learn more about the things that Zoho Books does well.
In-depth Comparison: Zoho vs QuickBooks
We compare Zoho Books Professional to QuickBooks Online Plus. These are the versions of each software that we feel will best fit most users’ small business needs. We provide detailed information on price, set up, and features. In addition, we cover the mobile app and customer support options.
Features: Zoho Books Professional vs QuickBooks Online Plus
Both Zoho Books Professional and QuickBooks Online Plus include the following features:
- Customer invoicing
- Create estimates
- Track bills & vendor credits
- Connect bank card & credit card accounts
- Accept online payments
- Create purchase orders
- Track employee & contractor time
- Track inventory
- Create recurring invoices
- Multi-user access
- Filter reports by location, department, or region
QuickBooks Online Plus Features
In addition to the features listed above, QuickBooks Online Plus includes online bill payments, TSheets by QuickBooks, and payroll processing.
Online Bill Payments
QuickBooks Online Plus includes an integrated bill payment service called Bill.com. This feature allows you to pay your bills directly in QuickBooks Online Plus with a debit card, credit card, or automated clearing house (ACH). You can also print a check if you prefer to mail your bills. There is an additional fee to use this bill payment service. Check out our How to Pay Bills in QuickBooks Online video tutorial to learn how it works.
TSheets by QuickBooks
TSheets is an App owned by QuickBooks that integrates with QuickBooks Online to provide more than just tracking of hours. TSheets can be used to see the GPS location of your on-the-clock employees. It can also be used for scheduling and approving paid-time-off. Prior to running payroll, the time information is approved and flows to QuickBooks Online automatically.
When you are ready to hire that first employee, QuickBooks Online Plus comes with built-in payroll processing capabilities. To get started, you go to the Employee Center and click the “Turn on Payroll” option to get started. QuickBooks Online Plus will calculate paychecks and payroll taxes and allow you to pay or submit payroll tax returns electronically, all within QuickBooks Online. Payroll plans start at $45 plus $4 per employee per month.
Zoho Books Professional Features
Zoho Books also includes several additional features not available in QuickBooks Online.
Workflows can be set up to perform tasks automatically in Zoho Books. For example, you can create a workflow that will send a congratulatory email to a sales representative each time they create an invoice or receive an approved estimate over a certain dollar amount.
Automated workflows can save a lot of time that would have normally be spent manually completing tasks. You can create up to 10 automated workflows with Zoho Books Professional. This is not a feature that is offered by QuickBooks Online Plus.
Zoho owns an incredible suite of apps that easily integrate with each other. Popular Zoho apps to bundle with Zoho Books are Zoho Inventory, Zoho Subscription, and Zoho Expense. You can even create your own Zoho App with Zoho Creator. For businesses that want to go “all-in” on Zoho, Zoho One includes all Zoho apps for $75 per user per month.
Zoho Books has a client portal that allows you to share documents and collaborate with your clients. Once they accept your invitation to the client portal, your customers have access to all transactions that have taken place between them and your business.
Customers can accept estimates, review and pay invoices and download statements. Within the client portal, you can see if a customer has viewed an invoice, and you can send messages to clients to ask them questions or get clarification on something.
Pricing: Zoho Books vs QuickBooks
Zoho Books has a much lower price tag than QuickBooks Online. All three pricing plans for Zoho Books are significantly less than the comparable QuickBooks pricing plans.
The least expensive plan for Zoho Books is the Basic plan at $9 per month vs the comparable QuickBooks Online Simple Start plan, which is $25 per month. The high-end plan for Zoho Books Professional is $29 per month vs QuickBooks Online plus at $70 per month, which is the most comparable QuickBooks Online plan. This is a $41 per month difference, which means you would be saving more than $492 per year if you opted for Zoho Books Professional.
QuickBooks Online Pricing
QuickBooks Online offers five pricing tiers:
- QuickBooks Online Self-Employed: $15 per month
- QuickBooks Online Simple Start: $25 per month
- QuickBooks Online Essentials: $40 per month
- QuickBooks Online Plus: $70 per month
- QuickBooks Online Advanced: $150 per month
The primary differences between the five plans are the features included in each. QuickBooks Online Self-Employed and Simple Start include one user and exclude the ability to manage bills. Plus includes inventory tracking and project profitability tracking while the Essentials does not. The primary advantages of Advanced are enhanced analytics and insights reporting and a dedicated account manager.
Zoho Books Pricing
Zoho Books offers the following three pricing plans:
- Zoho Books Basic: $9 per month
- Zoho Books Standard: $15 per month
- Zoho Books Professional: $29 per month
Similar to QuickBooks Online, the higher cost plans include more features. However, Zoho Books also limits the number of contacts, or combined customers and vendors, in the lower plans. The Basic plan limits you to 50 contacts, Standard is 500, and the Professional plan is unlimited. QuickBooks Online doesn’t limit the number of customers in any plan.
Ease of Use: Zoho vs QuickBooks
During our research, we created sample companies in both QuickBooks and Zoho Books to get a feel for how they work. Both Zoho Books, and QuickBooks Online have a very user-friendly interface and extensive support tools to get help when you need it.
QuickBooks Online Ease of Use
Below you will find a snapshot of the QuickBooks Online Dashboard. In addition, we have provided some details of the information that you can expect to see on this page.
- Left menu bar: You can access most tasks from the left menu bar, including creating invoices, bank accounts, and reports.
- Invoice: You can see the amount your customers owe you (accounts receivable) as well as the total customer payments collected and whether you have deposited the funds.
- Expenses: Total expenses for a selected time period along with the top three categories like Maintenance & Repairs, Job Expenses, and Cost of Goods Sold appear here.
- Profit & loss: Keep tabs on your profit & loss (P&L) from the dashboard without having to run a report.
- Sales: Keep an eye on your sales so that you can spot trends and make adjustments as needed.
Zoho Books Ease of Use
Below you will find a snapshot of the Zoho Books Dashboard. In addition, we have provided some details of the information that you can expect to see on this page.
- Left menu bar: Easily navigate to different areas of the program from the menu bar like Contacts, Banking, and Sales.
- Total receivables: Stay on top of the money owed to you by your customers.
- Total payables: Keep tabs on the money that you owe to vendors.
- Cash flow: See your cash flow status without having to run a report.
Integrations: Zoho Books vs QuickBooks
Zoho Books is one of a suite of apps created by Zoho. Instead of relying on a third party to create an app, Zoho has its own suite of apps that integrate seamlessly with each other. While QuickBooks Online does not have its own suite of QuickBooks apps, it does integrate with more than 600 third-party apps.
QuickBooks Online Integration
QuickBooks Online integrates with several hundred apps. For example, if you have an ecommerce business, you can connect Shopify or Square to your QuickBooks Online account to keep track of your sales and online payments.
Zoho Books Integrations
As discussed, Zoho has a suite of products that connect to Zoho Books to manage customer relationships (Zoho CRM), emails (Zoho Mail), and projects (Zoho Projects) to name a few. Make sure you check out the full suite of Zoho products.
Mobile App: Zoho Books vs QuickBooks
Since both Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online are cloud accounting software, you can access your data not only from your computer, but also your tablet, cellphone, or any mobile device with an internet connection. You can perform most of your day-to-day transactions like adding customers and vendors and creating invoices and bills by using the mobile app.
QuickBooks Mobile App
The QuickBooks Online mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices. It is not available for mobile Windows devices. You can take care of almost any task using the QuickBooks Online mobile app.
Listed below are the tasks that you can do within the QuickBooks Online mobile app:
- Create and manage customers
- Create and manage vendors
- Create customer invoices
- Create vendor bills
- Reconcile bank and credit card accounts
- Track mileage
Zoho Books Mobile App
The Zoho Books mobile app allows you to take care of most of your daily business transactions. This app is compatible with all iOS, Android, and Windows devices.
Below are a few of the things that you can do on the go with the Zoho Books mobile app:
- Create and manage customers
- Create and manage vendors
- Send invoices and statements
- Pay bills and manage expenses
- Track mileage
Customer Support: Zoho Books vs QuickBooks
When it comes to providing support to customers, both QuickBooks and Zoho Books have a variety of resources that you can tap into when you need help. For example, unlike many of their competitors, both QuickBooks and Zoho Books offer live telephone support.
QuickBooks Customer Support
QuickBooks offers a variety of ways for you to get assistance when you need it. Its Learn and Support page includes articles and videos on frequently asked questions (FAQs). If you can’t find the answer to your question, you can submit a detailed question to the support team. You should receive a response within 48 hours.
If you prefer to speak with a customer service representative, you can do so via chat directly from within your QuickBooks Online account or give the software provider a call. You can reach it between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Pacific time Monday through Friday; and 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific time on Saturdays.
If you wish to hire an accountant to help you, there are more than 50,000 QuickBooks ProAdvisors in the US. ProAdvisors register with QuickBooks and pass an exam to certify they are proficient with QuickBooks.
Zoho Books Customer Support
Zoho Books has a help documentation section that allows you to search for the answer to your question by typing in a few keywords. It also has a list of FAQs where you can find answers to most of the common questions.
There is also a video library that shows you how to perform basic transactions within the software. If you prefer to speak with a customer service rep, you can access one 24 hours a day Monday through Friday.
Similar to QuickBooks, the software provider has certified Zoho Books Advisors that can assist you with Zoho Books. However, as of December 2019, the Zoho Books website listed less than 100 advisors located in the US.
Zoho Books Reviews vs QuickBooks Reviews
Both Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online have mixed reviews. What’s most interesting is that the low scores for both were centered on poor customer service. QuickBooks Online customers like the mobile app and Zoho customers like the user-friendly software.
QuickBooks Online Reviews
Similar to Zoho Books, QuickBooks reviews are mixed when it comes to its customer service. Customers are put on hold for long periods of time while the customer service rep searches for the answers to questions. On the positive side, customers like the mobile app and say it works well for staying on top of their day-to-day bookkeeping while on the go.
Zoho Books Reviews
To summarize Zoho Books reviews, users feel like the product is very intuitive and easy to use. In addition, the ability to automate tasks like recurring invoices and invoicing is a big hit. However, when a customer did reach out via email or telephone to get help, the response was lackluster.
FAQs About Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online
How much is Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online?
Zoho Books has three pricing plans that run between $9 to $29 per month, and QuickBooks Online has four pricing plans that are between $25 to $150 per month. QuickBooks is pricier than Zoho Books, but it is by far the most popular small business accounting software in the US and has a large network of QuickBooks ProAdvisors to help users.
Which product Is better: Zoho Books or QuickBooks Online?
QuickBooks Online is generally better than Zoho Books in the areas of payroll, credit card processing, and support from third-party accountants. However, Zoho owns an incredible array of integrated apps that work well with Zoho Books. If you love the Zoho Apps, then you will probably like Zoho Books as well.
Do I need an accountant to use Zoho Books or QuickBooks Online?
Both Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online are user-friendly. You don’t need to use an accountant, but if you don’t enjoy accounting, it might be best to hire an accountant so you can focus on your business. However, if you prefer to do it yourself and need help, both QuickBooks and Zoho Books offer unlimited live telephone support with all of their pricing plans.
How We Evaluated Zoho Books vs QuickBooks
There are minimum requirements that any small business accounting software should include. Important criteria are cost, ease of use and setup, invoicing capabilities, managing bills, giving other users access to your data, and customer support options available.
The following criteria were used to conduct our evaluation of Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online:
- Cost: Offers a pricing plan that is affordable for most small businesses
- Ease of setup & use: Provides minimal setup time, and no accounting background required
- Manage accounts receivable: Allows you to create invoices and track customer payments
- Manage accounts payable: Able to enter and track unpaid bills and payments made
- Give other users access: Allows you to give other users, such as a tax preparer, access to data
- Customer support: Several support options available when you have a question
After taking both QuickBooks and FreshBooks for a test drive and evaluating their ability to meet the above minimum requirements, we have chosen QuickBooks Online over Zoho Books. While Zoho Books performed well on all the criteria, the customer support network provided by QuickBooks ProAdvisors put QuickBooks Online over the top.
When it comes to price, Zoho Books is the clear winner. However, if you need a software that your accountant is most likely familiar with or you need to find a local expert, then QuickBooks is the best choice.
If you love the other Zoho apps, then you should add Zoho Books to your collection.
If you decide to go with QuickBooks for the exceptional support network of ProAdvisors, you should check out our free QuickBooks Course. It includes video tutorials that will show you step by step how to set up your business in QuickBooks. Also, don’t forget that you can get 50% of your QuickBooks subscription to see how easy it is to get your business up and running.