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- Date Established
- Free pricing plan
- Well-designed UI
- Numerous features
- Good customer support
- Easy to use
- Limited invoice customizations
- No inventory
- Limited mobile apps
This software (launched in 2015) may have arrived a little late to the cloud accounting scene, but ZipBooks is living up to its name by zipping to the top with strong features, affordable pricing, and consistent updates.
The company, run by former small business owners, makes a point to simplify the confusing lingo and complexity of accounting by automating as many processes as it can. This accounting solution offers intuitive, color-coded design with a number of features, including invoicing, contact management, project management, and time tracking. ZipBooks is uniquely programmed to give you business advice and health scores based on the data you’ve entered. There is also a great free plan as well as excellent customer support and a unique marketing add-on to help your business grow.
Since the software is new, it’s not surprising that there are a few kinks to work out. Currently, there are hardly any invoice template customizations or integrations, and there’s no real inventory feature. However, the company is good about listening to customer feedback and has addressed several of the complaints we had during our previous review, such as the lack of an items list.
ZipBooks’ software is without a doubt worth following as it continues to grow and improve, but is it the right choice for your business? Continue reading to find out.
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Table of Contents
ZipBooks offers four pricing plans, including a free option. Payments are made monthly, and plans can be canceled at any time. There is a free 30-day trial of all plans (except the Services plan). No credit card information is required.
The Starter plan costs $0/month and includes these features:
- Unlimited invoicing
- Custom quotes and estimates
- Contact management
- Live bank feeds for one bank account
- Business health scores
- One user
The Smarter plan is priced at $15/month and includes everything from the Starter plan, plus:
- Recurring invoices
- Unlimited live bank feeds
- Time tracking
- Items list
- Project management
- Basic intelligence
- Multi-currency support
- Chat support
- Up to five team members
The Sophisticated plan costs $35/month and includes everything from the Smarter plan, plus:
- Class tracking
- Document sharing
- Advanced reporting
- Advanced intelligence
- Unlimited users
The Services plan starts at $125/month and includes everything from the Sophisticated plan, plus:
- Advanced accounting
- Personal bookkeeper
- Tax support
ZipBooks offers an incredibly unique tool called Growth Plans. Growth Plans are one of the coolest features in ZipBooks. These plans are designed to help businesses expand and improve their internet presence. You can invite customers to leave reviews, track how your company ranks for keywords, sync online listings, and manage leads. Plans start at $49/month. Contact ZipBooks for details.
When you sign up for a Growth Plan, ZipBooks automatically creates a webpage to host customer reviews and information about your company. Here’s an example from a sample company:
Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed
ZipBooks is cloud-based software, so no downloads or installations are required.
Hardware & Software Requirements
As cloud-based software, ZipBooks is compatible with nearly any device so long as you have internet access. The company offers an iPhone app (9.1+). There is no Android app at this time (despite claims made in 2017 that an Android app was coming soon).
Specific Size Of Business
ZipBooks was designed by small business owners for small business owners. ZipBooks is a good fit for the everyday freelancer, entrepreneur, and small business owner needing an easy-to-use accounting solution with excellent customer support and unique business insights. The free Starter plan is particularly beneficial for new businesses or businesses that are trying to save a little money without losing capable accounting. There’s also the Services plan, which provides a personal bookkeeper if you’d rather pay someone to handle your small business accounting for you. The optional Growth Plans make the software ideal for businesses that want to manage their accounting and grow and market their business more successfully.
The software offers unlimited users for its Sophisticated and Services plans, making it ideal for growing small businesses. While there aren’t extensive user roles, you can control which features your users can access. Without some of the more advanced features, such as inventory, budgeting, or payroll, ZipBooks is not ideal for medium or large-sized businesses.
The software works in many countries, although the program is only available in English at this time. The company does not support multiple companies, so you’ll have to sign up for separate subscriptions for each business. However, you can connect multiple companies using the same email to help you handle all of your companies in one place.
ZipBooks uses both cash-basis and accrual accounting; the cash-basis accounting is limited to choosing to run reports as cash-basis or accrual.
Ease Of Use
ZipBooks has a beautifully designed interface that is generally easy to navigate. The software is well-organized, and there is a decent amount of support in case you get stuck. ZipBooks also has fast loading times, which makes it a joy to use.
ZipBooks offers traditional accounting features along with unique business advice tailored specifically to your company. Below is a basic synopsis of the features available. You can take a full feature tour or schedule a demo with ZipBooks.
- Dashboard: The dashboard is set up well with charts, such as Financial Performance, Accounts Receivable, Business Health Score, Transactions, and Recommendations.
- Invoicing: Using the invoice feature is quick and easy. You can set default notes, terms, and email messages to accompany each invoice. With ZipBooks’ Smarter and Sophisticated plans, you can send invoice reminders and set recurring invoices as well. The best part about ZipBooks is that it will give you an invoice health score, which shows you how strong your invoices are and in what ways they can be improved. However, there is only one invoice template, and there are hardly any customizations available.
- Estimates: Estimates are created in a similar fashion as invoices; you can set default notes, terms, and email messages. Once a customer accepts your estimate, you can convert it to an invoice with the click of a button.
- Client Portal: Customers can receive invoices and quotes in a client portal where they can accept or decline estimates as well as view and pay for invoices. If you purchase the ZipBooks Growth Plan, users can leave a review directly from the client portal.
- Contact Management: You can add contacts to ZipBooks. You can add a good amount of information, and you can add multiple people to each contact if needed. When you select a contact, you can see their total revenue, total expenses, contact information, invoices, estimates, and recurring profiles. The software will also automatically categorize contacts as customers (when you send them an invoice) or vendors (when they charge you an expense, or you create a bill).
- Expense Tracking: You can add transactions individually, import a bank statement, or connect your bank account. There is no auto-categorize transaction feature and no custom bank rules. You can add attachments to each transaction and split transactions as needed.
- Bank Reconciliation: You can easily reconcile bank accounts in ZipBooks.
- Categories: ZipBooks has renamed its chart of accounts feature to Categories. Apart from the name, the chart of accounts is almost exactly like you’d expect. Categories are organized into Assets, Liabilities, Owner’s Equity, Revenue, and Expenses. Each group is color-coded as well. On the Smarter and Sophisticated plans, you can customize your chart of accounts.
- Accounts Payable: You can create bills in ZipBooks. However, you can only put in the amount for each item; there is no way to adjust the quantity.
- Items List: Previously, this feature was completely missing from ZipBooks, so I was glad to see the company add an items list. You can add items and include their description, price, SKU, default category, and type (invoice or bill). An item can’t be used on both invoices and bills; you’d have to create separate items for both purposes. There is also no inventory tracking available.
- Time Tracking (Smarter & Sophisticated Plans Only): You can enter time manually or use a built-in timer. With each time entry, you can add notes, and you can easily attach hours to projects and tasks.
- Project Management (Smarter & Sophisticated Plans Only): ZipBooks has project management and basic job costing. You can add a contact, billing method, budget, and description to projects. You can break the budget down into tasks and attach expenses and time to each task. You can also assign projects to employees and invoice by the project.
- Reports: ZipBooks offers up to sixteen reports (depending on your plan). While this number is still small, ZipBooks only had five reports during our last review, so these new additions are welcome. The reports that are offered cover most key accounting reports and provide basic insights into your business.
- Journal Entries: ZipBooks does not support traditional journal entries, although you can access a general journal report to view the transactions you’ve created or imported into the software.
- Purchase Orders: You can create purchase orders in ZipBooks.
- Sales Receipts (Smarter & Sophisticated Plans Only): When payment for an invoice is recorded, ZipBooks automatically sends a receipt.
- Class Tracking (Sophisticated Plan Only): You can manage multiple locations and create custom tags to filter transactions and gain more detail on reports.
- Default Email Messages: You can create default email messages for estimates and invoices.
- Business Intelligence: This is probably my favorite part of ZipBooks. Not only does the software help you organize and analyze past transactions, but it also helps you look to the future with the business health score, invoice health score, and recommendations feature (Sophisticated plan only). The business health score can be found on your dashboard and is a quick look at the financial success of your company. The invoice health score rates your invoice’s chance of success in real-time. So if you add online payments and payment terms, you can watch your score increase before your eyes, indicating how likely it is that customers will pay you quickly. The recommendations section is a bar that runs along the bottom of your screen, and after you’ve used the software awhile, it will fill up with business advice to help you grow.
- Sales Tax: You can add as many sales tax rates as you would like, and you can run a tax report at the end of the year to see how much you’ve collected. ZipBooks also supports VAT and many other sales tax standards in various countries, including Canada.
- Multiple Currencies: ZipBooks offers multi-currency support for over 160 different currencies. Exchange rates are updated automatically.
- Importing & Exporting: While you still can’t import items, ZipBooks has improved its importing and exporting options since our last review. You can import contacts, bank statements, invoices, and a chart of accounts; you can export transactions and reports.
Customer Service & Support
ZipBooks provides great customer support with a good-sized collection of learning and support resources. In-software chat is available during business hours, and, in my experience, responses are quick and thorough — albeit a bit unprofessional (if you like memes, then you’ll like ZipBooks’ support). I never had to wait for an email response for longer than a day, and several inquiries were responded to within an hour. Generally, phone support is reserved for users on the Services plan.
Here are all of the support options available to ZipBooks users.
- Phone: Phone support is available to users with the Services plan. The company also has been known to occasionally call users if a problem is too hard to solve or explain via email or live chat.
- Email: You can email the company for help.
- In-Software Support: There is a chat feature within the ZipBooks software. The company usually responds within minutes to inquiries made during business hours.
- Help Center: ZipBooks offers a help center with tons of how-to articles and an FAQ section. While the help center is well-developed, I wish there was a way to access it from directly within the software.
- Schedule A Demo: If you’d like to learn more about the software, you can schedule a demo with ZipBooks.
- YouTube: ZipBooks has a YouTube channel, but it only has nine videos on it.
- ZipBooks Blog: Zipbooks has an incredibly expansive blog with brilliant articles regarding accounting, small business advice, taxes, and more. Unfortunately, these bits of wisdom are hard to find, as there is no search bar.
- Social Media: ZipBooks maintains active Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
ZipBooks’ reviews are almost entirely positive across the board. There are a few complaints about the software, though, that are worth mentioning.
- No Items List: Previously, users complained about not having an items list or inventory section. The company has added an items list, but users are still left wishing for inventory functions.
- Missing Features: The most common complaint I saw was that the software was missing certain features that small business owners want. The main issues were the limited reports and invoice customizations. Previously, users complained about the lack of purchase orders, but ZipBooks has since added this feature to its software.
- Mobile App Issues: Users dislike the lack of a mobile app for Androids. Some users also complain that the iPhone app doesn’t always work correctly.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
Overall, ZipBooks receives positive feedback across the board. The software has earned 4.8/5 stars on G2Crowd (based on 78 reviews) and 4.5/5 stars on Capterra (based on 92 ratings). Here is a collection of the most common points of praise.
- Easy To Use: Again and again, users say how easy ZipBooks is to use. They like that the software is easy to learn and fast in terms of run time — and that it doesn’t require a background in accounting to understand.
- Nice Interface: Users like the design of ZipBooks, both for its organized simplicity and its aesthetic appeal.
- Good Customer Service: Many users report positive interactions with the customer service team at ZipBooks. Representatives are said to be kind and responsive, and users feel like the company actually listens to what they want when updating the software.
- Free Plan: It comes as no surprise that users like saving money with the free plan.
Here’s what a few users are saying:
I switched to Zipbooks from another accounting platform and was amazed at how simple and well-thought-out it is. And for free! I was able to get set up in less than an hour, and it lacks nothing I need for estimating and invoicing for projects. It’s also nice to have the time-tracking and project-tracking functions for the future.
Very simple to use and intuitive. I’m amazed how easy they’ve made invoicing. Not to mention it’s 100% free, which makes it a no-brainer choice for me. I’ve been impressed with the customer service and how quickly they’ve been adding features.
As an IT consultant I am always looking for better solutions for myself as well as the clients I consult for. ZipBooks meets my needs 100%. It is a simple to use fast to learn billing and time tracking system. I love how easy it is to create great looking invoices, track expenses by customer and keep track of receivables.
Note: ZipBooks is only free for users on the Starter plan.
Integrations & Add-Ons
ZipBooks only offers six integrations, including Square, PayPal, Stripe, WePay, Gusto, and Slack. This sampling is incredibly small compared to the competition. API is available for developers.
Are you interested in accepting online payments from your customers? Read our comprehensive merchant account reviews to learn the pros and cons of popular providers and see which payment processing option is best for your business.
ZipBooks uses data encryption, redundancy, risk mitigation, and regular inspections to ensure security and prevent data loss. ZipBooks uses Google Cloud for its web hosting. You can read more about ZipBooks’ security on its website.
ZipBooks has a lot of great things going for it: beautiful design, fast software, good customer service, positive user feedback, and a large selection of features. I was pleasantly surprised to see such features as time tracking, project management, and basic job costing offered at an affordable cost (with QuickBooks Online and Xero, you’d be looking at paying $60/month or higher for these features instead of $15/month or $35/month).
However, there are a few drawbacks to the software. There are limited invoice templates and customizations, and the software lacks inventory and traditional journal entries. There are minimal integrations, which may rule the software out for larger businesses. There is also no Android app at this time. Despite these drawbacks, it’s worth noting that ZipBooks has significantly improved its software since our last review and has addressed several of the issues we previously had with the software by adding an items list, more reports, and improved importing and exporting.
The company’s constant updates give me hope that this good software will become even better in the future, and its recent improvements have made ZipBooks a more viable small business solution than ever. Overall, the software offers good features, strong customer support, competitive pricing, unlimited users for paid plans, and unique business insights. Schedule a demo or test out the software’s free trial to see this software for yourself.
We've done in-depth testing of each and confidently recommend them.
We've done in-depth testing of each and confidently recommend them.