One of the most important decisions you will make is which accounting software to use for your small business. The good news is that you’ve got it narrowed down to two; Zoho Books vs. QuickBooks. In this guide, we give you the lowdown on how Zoho Books matches up to QuickBooks and what’s the best.
When to Use QuickBooks
In most situations, QuickBooks is a better accounting software for small businesses vs. Zoho. Overall, it is the number one accounting software used by more than 2.5 million companies. It’s easy enough to use yourself, but it’s also has a network of accountants or CPAs that can help. Click here to save up to 50% on your QuickBooks Online subscription.
When to Use Zoho Books
If you currently use a Zoho app and you are looking for an accounting software that will work with your existing Zoho app, then Zoho Books might be a better fit. Unlike QuickBooks, Zoho has created a suite of apps that integrate seamlessly with each other. Let’s say, for example, that you are currently using Zoho CRM to manage your customer contacts. You can connect Zoho CRM to Zoho Books and save a lot of time by transferring all of your customer data.
Zoho Books vs. QuickBooks Online Features & Pricing Table
|Who It’s Best For|
|Online Bill Payments|
|Number of Users Included|
|Ease of Setup/Use|
|Integrations with other Systems|
Credit Card processing : Intuit Merchant Services
Ecommerce : Shopify, Square
Check out the Apps center for the complete list
Payroll : N/A
Credit card processing : Paypal, Stripe
Ecommerce : Shopify
Check out the full suite of Zoho products and the Zoho marketplace for a complete list.
Why We Chose QuickBooks over Zoho Books
In addition to the large network and ecosystem of pros that QuickBooks offers, there are a few more reasons why we chose QuickBooks over Zoho Books. The QuickBooks suite of features and services is larger and more robust than Zoho Books. QuickBooks also integrates with a lot more third-party apps than Zoho Books.
1. More Features Than Zoho Books
QuickBooks top tiered plan includes the ability to budget/forecast so that you can easily compare your budget to actuals and gain insight into how your business is doing. QuickBooks also allows you to pay your bills with ACH, debit or credit card directly within the product using a service called Bill.com.
2. Integrated Payroll Processing
Unlike Zoho Books, QuickBooks top plan comes with payroll processing capabilities. When you are ready to hire & pay employees, you simply click a button to turn on the payroll feature.
3. Integrated Credit Card Processing
Similar to the payroll features, QuickBooks top plan includes credit card processing. When you are ready to accept online payments from customers, simply 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.
Head over to the QuickBooks Features section to learn more about the key reasons why QuickBooks is typically a better fit than Zoho Books.
What QuickBooks Is Missing
While QuickBooks is our choice over Zoho Books in most situations, nobody’s perfect. The two primary drawbacks to using QuickBooks – especially it’s top plan – is the hefty price tag. Every QuickBooks plan is almost double the cost of a comparable Zoho Books plan. Check out our Pricing section for more details.
Additionally, if you need to create sales orders to track orders placed by your customers, QuickBooks does not have this capability; Zoho Books includes the ability to create sales orders.
When You Should Consider Zoho Books Over QuickBooks
You should consider Zoho Books instead of QuickBooks if you currently use other apps in the Zoho suite of products. It will be a piece of cake to connect Zoho Books to the other apps you are using so that you can transfer data between apps. In fact, we recommend Zoho CRM as one of the top small business CRMs.
While QuickBooks does offer more features than Zoho Books, there are a couple of unique features that not many accounting software programs (including QuickBooks) come with. Automated workflows are included in all three Zoho Books pricing plans. It allows you to automate routine processes that would normally be completed manually. You can learn more about workflows in the.
Another unique feature that Zoho includes is a client portal. Within the client portal your customers have access to all of the transactions that have been created, 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 Books vs. QuickBooks
To assist you with your decision, we are going to provide you with detailed info on price, set up, features and product integrations. In addition, we will cover the mobile app and customer support options. Please note that we looked at Zoho Books Professional and QuickBooks Plus when comparing features.
Features: Zoho Books Professional vs. QuickBooks Online Plus
Both Zoho Books Professional and QBO Plus include the following features:
- Customer invoicing
- Create estimates
- Track bills & vendor credits
- Connect bank/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
- Manage 1099 contractors
QuickBooks Online Plus Features
In addition to the features listed above, QuickBooks Online Plus includes the following features:
Online Bill Payments
QuickBooks Online (QBO) Plus includes an integrated bill payment service called Bill.com. This feature allows you to pay your bills directly in QBO Plus with a debit/credit card or ACH. If you want to go the snail mail route, you can also mail by check. There is an additional fee to use this bill payment service. Check out our How to Pay Bills in QBO video tutorial to learn how it works.
When you are ready to hire that first employee, QBO Plus comes with a built-in payroll processing capabilities. To get started, you just go to the Employee Center and click the “Turn on Payroll” option to get started. QBO Plus will calculate paychecks and payroll taxes and allow you to pay/submit payroll tax returns electronically, all within QuickBooks Online. Payroll plans start at $25 per month.
QuickBooks Online (QBO) Plus includes a budgeting/forecasting tool while Zoho Books does not. It can be very beneficial to create a budget and start running reports to see how your actuals compare to what you expected to earn (income) and pay (expenses). This can be an important tool in recognizing trends that will help you make good business decisions.
Zoho Books Professional Features
In addition to the features listed above, Zoho Books also includes the following additional features:
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 rep each time they create an invoice or receive an approved estimate over a certain dollar amount (i.e. $10,000).
Automated workflows can save you a lot of time that you would have normally 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 (QBO) Plus.
Create Sales Orders
You can create sales orders in Zoho Books. In general, a sales order is created once your customer has approved your estimate. It includes the details of a customer’s order such as quantity, description, cost and delivery details of the products and services ordered. Unfortunately, you cannot create sales orders in QBO Plus.
As discussed, Zoho Books has a client portal which 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. They 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
The least expensive plan for Zoho Books is the Basic plan at $9 per month vs the QuickBooks Online (QBO) Simple Start plan, which is $15 per month. The high-end plan for Zoho Books Professional is $29 per month vs. QBO Plus is $50 per month. This is a whopping $21 per month difference, which means you would be saving more than $250 per year if you opted for Zoho Books Professional.
QuickBooks Online Pricing
QuickBooks Online offers 3 pricing tiers:
- QBO Simple Start – $15 per month
- QBO Essentials – $35 per month
- QBO Plus – $50 per month
The primary difference between the three plans are the features included in each. QBO Simple Start offers the least amount of features, which is why it is priced at $15/mo. It only includes one user and you cannot manage accounts payable. The only difference between the Essentials and Plus plans is that Plus includes inventory tracking, 1099 tracking and budgeting/forecasting, while the Essentials plan does not. New customers can get up to 50% off of QuickBooks Online by clicking here.
Zoho Books Pricing
Zoho Books offers the following 3 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 the cost – the more features included. Zoho Books Basic offers the least amount of features which is why it is the least expensive at $9 per month.
One of the reasons why Zoho Books is priced a lot less than QuickBooks Online (QBO) is because you are limited in the total contacts (customers) that you can have in Zoho Books. The Basic plan limits you to 50 customers, Standard is 500 and the Professional plan is unlimited, whereas all three QBO plans allow you to create unlimited customers.
In addition, the number of users that you can give access to your data is another key difference between QuickBooks vs. Zoho Books. The Zoho Books Basic plan includes three users (QBO Simple Start has one), Zoho Books Standard includes 5 users (QBO Essentials has three) and the Professional plan includes 10 (QBO Plus comes with five). You get almost twice the number of users with each Zoho Books plan vs. QBO.
Ease of Use: Zoho Books 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.
1. Left Menu Bar – From the Dashboard, you can access just about any tasks from the left menu bar; including create invoices, bank accounts and reports.
2. Invoice – In this section, you can see the amount your customers owe you (accounts receivable); as well as the total customer payments collected as well as what you have deposited vs undeposited funds.
3. Expenses – In this section, total expenses for a selected time period along with the top 3 categories (i.e. Maintenance & Repairs, Job Expenses, Cost of Goods Sold etc;) appear here.
4. Profit and Loss – Keep tabs on your profit/loss from the dashboard without having to run a report!
5. 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 Book Dashboard. In addition, we have provided some details of the information that you can expect to see on this page.
1. Left Menu Bar – Easily navigate to different areas of the program from the menu bar, such as Contacts, Banking and Sales.
2. Total Receivables – Stay on top of the money owed to you by your customers.
3. Total Payables – Keep tabs on the money that you owe to vendor suppliers.
4. Cash Flow – Easily 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 3rd party to create an app, Zoho has their own suite of apps that integrate seamlessly with each other. While QBO does not have its own suite of apps, it does integrate with over 400 third-party apps.
QuickBooks Online Integration
As mentioned, QuickBooks Online (QBO) integrates with several hundred apps. For example, if you have an e-commerce business, you can connect Shopify or Square to your QBO account to keep track of your sales and online payments.
Unlike Zoho Books, QBO Plus has built-in payroll and credit card processing features. When you are ready to hire that first employee or accept online payments from customers you simply turn that feature on, no app required but additional fees may apply. Be sure to check out the complete list of apps.
Zoho Books Integrations
As discussed, Zoho Books has a suite of products that you can 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 laptop computer but you can also use your tablet, cellphone or any mobile device with an internet connection.
QuickBooks Mobile App
The QuickBooks Online (QBO) mobile app is compatible with all iOS and Android devices. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with Windows devices like the Zoho Books mobile app. You can take care of almost any task using the QBO app, including but not limited to the following:
● Create/manage customers
● Create/manage vendors
● Create customer invoices
● Create vendor bills
● Reconcile bank/credit card accounts
Zoho Books Mobile App
The Zoho Books mobile app allows you to take care of most of your daily business transactions and your data will sync across all devices. This app is compatible with all iOS, Android and Windows devices. Below are just a few of the things that you can do on the go with the Zoho Books mobile app:
- Create/manage customers
- Create/manage vendors
- Send invoices and statements
- Pay bills and manage expenses
- Track mileage
Customer Support: QuickBooks vs. Zoho Books
When it comes to providing support to customers, both QuickBooks and FreshBooks 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. Their learn & support page includes articles and videos on FAQs. If you can’t find the answer to your question, there is a section on the website where you can submit a detailed question to the support team. You can generally expect to receive a response within 48 hours.
If you prefer to speak with a customer service rep, you can do so via chat directly from within your QBO account or give them a call at 1-800-488-7330. Unlike Zoho Books, they are not available 24×5. However, you can reach them between 6am-6pm PST Monday through Friday; and 6am-3pm PST on Saturdays.
Zoho Books Customer Support
If you prefer to try and troubleshoot issues on your own, you will like the variety of options that Zoho Books offers. The Help documentation section allows you to search for the answer to your question by typing in a few keywords; they also have a list of Frequently Asked Questions that you can find answers to most of the common question.
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 24X5 (Monday through Friday) at 1-844-316-5544.
Similar to QuickBooks, they do have certified Zoho Books Advisors that can assist you with Zoho Books. However, since most of them are not located here in the United States you will most likely have to get assistance virtually and unfortunately it may not be during normal US business hours.
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 around poor customer service. Read on to learn more.
QuickBooks Online Reviews
Similar to Zoho Books, QuickBooks has had mixed reviews when it comes to their 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 really well for staying on top of their day to day bookkeeping while on the go.
For more information, you can read our QuickBooks review page.
Zoho Books Reviews
To summarize Zoho Books users, they 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.
For more information, check out our Zoho Books review page.
As promised, we have given you all of the info that you need to make your decision. The bottom line is when it comes to price, Zoho Books is the clear winner. However, if you need a software that your accountant/bookkeeper is most likely familiar with or you need to find a local expert, then QuickBooks is the best choice.
If you decide to go with QuickBooks, 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.