Zoho Invoice Review

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Date Established
1996
Location
Pleasanton, CA

Highlights

  • Easy to use
  • 15 invoice templates
  • Client portal
  • Strong mobile apps

Overview

In 2008, Zoho created Zoho Invoice, a powerful invoicing software that has only gotten better over the years. The company has recently revamped the entire design of the mobile apps and four new invoice templates and an in-depth template customization feature have been added to the software’s already impressive professional invoices, expenses, projects, time tracking features.

Although there are limited integrations and occasionally poor customer service, Zoho Invoice’s prices are hard to beat. In addition to the forever free plan, three other pricing plans provide an impressive number of features for a reasonable cost.

To find out if Zoho Invoice would benefit your company, continue reading.

Pricing

You can sign up with Zoho Invoice for free, no contract and no credit card information required. Zoho Invoice offers a forever free plan in addition to three other pricing options. Payments are made monthly on the paid plans; however, you can receive a discount (two months free service) if you commit to a year-long plan.

Since our last review, Zoho Invoice has dropped unlimited users from the Professional plan, which is disappointing, However, each plan does offer a good selection of features.

Free

  • $0/mo
  • Unlimited invoices and estimates
  • 5 customers
  • Client portal
  • Expense tracking
  • Project management
  • Time tracking
  • Reports
  • Multi-currency support
  • Multiple invoice languages
  • One user

Basic

  • $7/mo
  • Unlimited invoices and estimates
  • 50 customers
  • Client portal
  • Expense tracking
  • Project Management
  • Time tracking
  • Reports
  • Multi-currency support
  • Multiple invoice languages
  • One user

Standard

  • $15/mo
  • Unlimited invoices and estimates
  • 500 customers
  • Client portal
  • Expense tracking
  • Project Management
  • Time tracking
  • Reports
  • Multi-currency support
  • Multiple invoice languages
  • Three users

Professional

  • $30/mo
  • Unlimited invoices and estimates
  • Unlimited customers
  • Client portal
  • Expense tracking
  • Custom domain
  • Project Management
  • Time tracking
  • Reports
  • Multi-currency support
  • Multiple invoice languages
  • 10 users

Web-Hosted or Locally-Installed

Web-hosted. No downloads or installation required.

Hardware or Software Requirements

Zoho Invoice is cloud-based software, so all you need is the most recent version of your web-browser (Firefox or Chrome, ideally) and an internet connection. Good news for those of you with dinosaur computers like mine: my laptop runs on a much older version of iOS and the software still worked fine.

Zoho Invoice has one of the best mobile device offerings I have seen, with robust apps for iPhones and iPads (iOS 7+), Apple Watches, Androids (4.1+), Smart Watches, Windows Phones and Windows Surface (10 or 8.1), and even Kindles.

Specific Size of Business

Zoho Invoice can be a good fit for small to mid-sized businesses. The forever free plan is particularly appropriate for freelancers and microbusinesses, but the scalability of the other pricing options (and the expanse of features that come with them) makes the software a good option for many businesses.

Note: If you are considering the Zoho Invoice Professional plan, it might be in your best interest to pass on Zoho Invoice altogether and check out Zoho Books instead. You’ll receive more features for the same price. Check out our comprehensive Zoho Books review.

Ease of Use

Zoho Invoice is incredibly intuitive and easy to use. The UI is appealing and easy to navigate, even for new users with limited experience.

  • Setup – The setup process for Zoho Invoice is quick and painless. Just add a few facts about your business, choose a portal name, select a default invoice template, add your personal business logo, and you are ready to go in a matter of minutes. Zoho Invoice makes it easy to get started by providing videos and tips to explain how each function works. While you can jump right into creating an invoice after the initial set-up, I recommend spending a good amount of time in the settings section. Give attention to each tab, even if you don’t think you need to. Otherwise, you may skip something important. You’ll need to set up critical preferences, including the ability to enable retainer invoices, recurring invoices, discounts, package slips, automatic estimate conversion, and sales tax. Zoho Invoice allows you to import preexisting information easily. After filtering through settings, I recommend importing your contacts and items and connecting to your bank.

Zoho Invoice Review

  • Organization – The organization of Zoho Invoice is intuitive and easy to navigate. There are tabs on the left for Dashboard, Contacts, Items, Estimates, Invoices, Payments Received, Expenses, Timesheet, and Reports (if you enable recurring invoices, credit notes, and recurring expenses, the software will add tabs for these as well). If you hover over these tabs, there is a plus button that allows you to quickly create a new invoice, estimate, or item, etc. Everything is clearly labeled and exactly where you would expect to find it. If you are having trouble locating something, I recommend double-checking the settings menu to see if you need to enable a feature or adjust your preferences.
  • Instructions and Guidance – If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the settings menu, there are many other tools that might help. There is a getting started video within the software itself. You can also request a personal software demo. In addition, there are weekly webinars and a collection of YouTube videos that demonstrate how to work the software. For more specific questions, there’s a Zoho Invoice Help Center and an FAQ section, or you can always email the company at support@zohoinvoice.com.
  • Problems – For the most part, Zoho Invoice is incredibly easy to use. The company is constantly updating the software and fixing bugs or streamlining their interface. However, there are a few things I think Zoho still needs to address:
    • Lack of Integrations– This is the biggest problem I have with the Zoho Invoice software. There are very few integrations, especially when compared to other invoicing and accounting software providers. I expected this to some extent; Zoho products tend to have fewer integrations with third-parties in general because there are so many integrations available with the company’s own 30+ software programs. However, even  Zoho-based integrations for Invoice are limited to Zoho CRM, Zoho Projects, Zoho Docs, and Zoho People.
    • Emails Unnecessarily Complicated – I do not remember this issue at all in previous reviews, but now when I go to send an invoice, the software doesn’t automatically pull the contact information and customer email into the “send email” screen. Instead, I have to enter everything manually, which is a pain.
    • No P&L Report– For a software that offers over 25 reports, I was disappointed to see that a basic Profit and Loss Statement is not included. While this isn’t a deal breaker by any means, it does limit the project feature and makes it more difficult to get a full picture of your business’s financial state.
    • Minor Glitch – The last time I reviewed this software, I experienced a few navigational difficulties. These have since been resolved, which I am happy to see. However, I still experienced a minor glitch of a different sort. When trying to preview my invoice template design, the template was not shown in real-time and I couldn’t make certain simple changes like logo orientation.

Features

Zoho Invoice offers many basic invoicing staples as well as a few more unique features. Available features are generally easy to use and quite expansive compared to those of other software options, especially for the price. To see a full list of features, go here.

  • Dashboard – The Zoho Invoice dashboard is made up of charts and graphs that help you keep up with your business’s activity. These graphs show Total Receivables, Sales and Expenses, Projects, Top Expenses, and Sales Receipts and Dues.

Zoho Invoice Review

  • Invoicing – Every time I update this review, Zoho Invoice has added more invoice template designs. Currently, the software offers 15 templates which cover a variety of needs (displaying a large logo, long lists of expenses, sending by snail mail, etc.). Zoho Invoice offers incredible customizations. Basically, anything you want to change you can change—fonts, colors, logos, headers, footers, and more. You can set up personalized reminders, late fees, and retainer invoices under the settings tab. Zoho Invoice tracks when a client has viewed an invoice within their client portal. Clients can pay directly online through a payment gateway, with cash or by check. You can set discounts, shipping charges, and as many sales taxes as you need. In addition, all paid plans support recurring invoices. And as a recent bonus, Zoho Invoice has added the option to create and schedule invoices as drafts and then send them at a later, scheduled date. You can also attach files and salesmen to a specific invoice. There is a snail mail option available.

Zoho Invoice Review

  • Estimates – There are also 15 estimate templates. Estimates are created in a similar fashion to invoices and can be converted into invoices easily. Estimate templates and invoice templates are incredibly customizable; you can alter colors, backgrounds, fonts, and more. You can also attach files and add an expiration date for your invoices, which are nice new additions to the software.
  • Client Portal – Zoho Invoice’s Client Portal is well-developed and easy to use. Clients can view their estimates, invoices, payments, and statements directly using their personal login credentials. Clients can easily pay invoices and request estimate changes online. You can also choose to let your client view the billable and unbillable hours attached to their project so far.

Zoho Invoice Review

  • Contacts – The contact settings are particularly well developed. You can save your client’s basic information (i.e. name, business, address, etc.), but you can also assign a specific currency, sales tax, and language to your client.  Each contact name has its own small dashboard marking contact details, unused credits, outstanding receivables, payment due period, and a timeline of past transactions. If you want your contact to be able to access the client portal, make sure to check the box marked “allow portal access for this client.”

Zoho Invoice Review

  • Expense Tracking – Zoho Invoice allows you to record and track all expenses. You can create custom expense categories to easily organize your finances. In addition, you can add pictures of your receipts and generate detailed expense reports. There is also the option to create a recurring expense profile under the settings tab.
  • Item List – You can manage items in Zoho Invoice and can record the name, unit, rate, and description of a particular item. There is no way to track inventory.
  • Project Management –  While you won’t find a tab for Projects, you can still create and track projects and tasks. You can add both billable and unbillable hours to projects, assign projects to clients, and allow your client to see the hours you’ve logged so far (this feature is optional). You also have the option to attach expenses to a project and create budgets for each project to track how you are doing financially. Furthermore, you can easily convert projects to invoices. One of the coolest things about this feature is that you can assign different projects and tasks to specific staff members and set user permissions with varying degrees of strictness for each staff member.

Zoho Invoice Review

  • Time Tracking – You and your staff can log billable and unbillable hours manually or with a built-in timer. Zoho Invoice will even automatically turn unbillable and billable hours into invoices so you can bill your clients faster. If you want, you can turn billable hours into a timesheet invoice yourself.
  • Reports – Zoho Invoice is constantly adding (and removing) reports. Currently, the software offers 30 reports, which is three more than our last review. These reports are mostly sales-related and help you view your company’s activity. If you want more typical accounting and bookkeeping reports, like P&L statements, I recommend looking elsewhere. Under settings, you can also request a weekly summary report to be sent to your email.
  • Default Email Messages – Through Zoho Invoice, you can set default emails for customer statements, estimate notifications, invoice notifications, recurring invoice notifications, payment thank yous, payments initiated, user invitations, client portal invitations, and customer notifications.
  • Packing Slips – You can create packing slips with the following information: item, quantity, transaction number, description, shipping address, signature, balance due, and customer notes.
  • Customer Reviews – You can request customer reviews directly from your clients with Zoho Invoice. I absolutely love this, and I’ve only seen one other company offer this capability.
  • Sales Tax – Zoho Invoice has good sales tax support. You can set as many sales taxes (and sales exemptions) as needed and even assign a specific tax default to a contact. Zoho Invoice also integrates with Avalara, a sales tax solution that automatically calculates sales tax rates based on your customer’s location.
  • Multi-Currency – Zoho Invoice supports over 180 different currencies. You can also send invoices in 12 different languages.
  • Importing/Exporting – Zoho Invoice has extensive importing capabilities and the importing process is quick and easy. You can import contacts, items, estimates, payments, invoices, recurring invoices, credit notes, refunds, expenses, recurring expenses, projects, tasks, and timesheets via .csv. You can export all data by .csv as well.
  • API – Zoho Invoice offers API for developers.

Customer Service and Support

Generally, customer service is a weak area with Zoho products. So while I went into this review expecting poor customer service, I was pleasantly surprised to find that customer service seems to have improved since our last review (though it is still far from perfect).

Zoho Invoice offers customer support 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday. Since our last review, reaching representatives by phone has become much easier. I was always put straight through to the support team without ever waiting on hold. The helpfulness of the phone support is often questionable; a few times the representatives’ answers about the same question were completely contradictory. But for the most part, people were helpful and informed. Most emails will receive responses in a day or less. Here’s a full list of Zoho Invoice’s support options:

  • Phone – US users can reach Zoho at +1 (844) 316-5544. Australian users can call 1800 091 1076.
  • Email – Contact Zoho Invoice at support@zohoinvoice.com.
  • Chat – There’s a chat feature within Zoho Invoice that you can use to talk directly with Zoho Invoice representatives.
  • Help Center – Zoho Invoice has an extensive Help Center with a “welcome to Zoho Invoice” guide and how-to articles that cover everything. (These articles are categorized under Dashboard, Settings, Contacts, Invoice, Items & Price Lists, Estimates, Retainer Invoices, Recurring Invoices, Credit Notes, Expenses, Timesheet, Client Portal, Import & Export, US Sales Tax, Integrations, and Australia Tax.) There is a search bar, and articles are fairly helpful with detailed explanations and visuals. These articles have recently been revised with more up-to-date information and far fewer editing errors.
  • Community Forum – The community forum allows you to interact with other Zoho Invoice users by asking questions and sharing knowledge. The company also uses this resource to announce new software features and updates.
  • FAQ Section – There is a detailed FAQ section that is similarly categorized.
  • Webinar – As mentioned above, Zoho Invoice has webinars that run weekly.
  • YouTube – Zoho Invoice’s YouTube channel features some webinar demonstrations. There are also instructional videos there that teach you how to use each feature in Zoho Invoice.
  • Blog – The Zoho Invoice blog features software updates, business tips, and other small business resources that companies may find helpful. There is an estimated read-time with each article, which is a nice touch.
  • Page Tips – Within the invoicing software, a button in the top right corner acts as a sort of FAQ/guide, which provides you with tips for whichever page you are on.
  • Feature Suggestion – There is a feature suggestion area where users can voice new Zoho Invoice ideas. (Other users can vote on the suggestions they like best.) Proposed features are then marked as works in progress, planned, or released. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many suggestions Zoho took to heart (the most recent being an Office365 integration which allows users to import contacts and users).
  • Social Media – Zoho has a Facebook Page, but it is not specialized to Zoho Invoice. In addition, Zoho Invoice has a Twitter account, though the activity is very dated. I’d suggest sticking to other avenues of customer service if you have a question or concern.

Negative Reviews and Complaints

Most complaints regarding Zoho Invoice are about minor feature flaws. However, a few issues show up again and again:

  • Poor Customer Service – Several customers report poor customer service. They complain that response times are slow and that reaching a representative via phone is difficult. A few also mention that there is an occasional language barrier with their customer service representatives, though this is not always the case.
  • Hard to Navigate – Several users complain that the software is difficult to navigate.
  • Lack of Integrations – Around the board, this is the biggest complaint about Zoho Invoice. Lack of integrations is a big drawback for many, and it is hard for me to see this changing in the near future.

It is worth noting that Zoho does a good job of responding to customer reviews and complaints both quickly and kindly, and representatives do what they can to set things right.

Positive Reviews and Testimonials

Zoho Invoice receives 4.7/5 stars on G2Crowd and 4.67/5 stars on GetApp (which is more than a half star raise from our last review). The company’s website also showcases customer testimonials and case studies. The majority of customer reviews are positive, but users particularly like the following aspects of Zoho Invoice:

  • Easy to Use – Many love that Zoho Invoice is easy to use and understand. They enjoy the quick setup and the time they save by not having to learn a complicated software.
  • Powerful Mobile Apps – This is one of the most common praises of Zoho Invoice. Users like the breadth and mobility of the app’s functions. Some users especially like that they can run their business from their iPad or Kindle.
  • Professional Invoices – Users think Zoho Invoice lives up to its name in this area and praise the invoices for looking professional. Almost across the board, people consider these invoices a good value for the money and believe the invoicing software is reasonably priced.
  • Friendly Customer Service – Although some users report poor customer service, there are those who find the customer service to be friendly and helpful.
  • Good International Options – A few people mention the fact that the international currency and language options really help their business.

Here’s what a few users are saying:

This software has been a lifesaver to me and I can’t praise it enough! Also, I can’t begin to explain how great it is having mobile apps that you can actually work with! The software is very easy to use, feature-rich, and doesn’t require you to be an accountant to use it. It strikes a perfect balance between usability and simplicity, so it’s great for freelancers and consultants. – Martin R.

I love being able to create Estimates and then turn them into Invoices. I also love the layout and design. It works perfectly and is easily customizable. So many benefits, so few detriments. It’s everything you’d want in an Invoicing/accounting system, without all of the steep learning curves that come with Quickbooks!!! – Parry Heller, Mac Nurse –

When I found Zoho Invoice, I had been using another well-known invoicing solution, but was being forced to pay extra for all of the different add-ons in order to make it work the way I wanted (and who likes that?). Zoho Invoice kept coming up in my online searches, so I decided to give it a try. Making that switch is the best decision I’ve ever made. – Pamela Saxon, Saxon Creative

Integrations and Add-Ons

Despite adding a few more integrations, Zoho Invoice’s offerings in this area are limited, especially compared to other invoicing and accounting software companies. Zoho Invoice integrates with seven other Zoho Suite products, eleven payment gateways, and five other add-ons.  However, there are still a few notable add-ons that could be beneficial for your business.

Zoho Integrations

  • Zoho CRM – Strong customer management tool that features sales tracking, inventory management, and more. Read our full review here.
  • Zoho Projects – A project management tool that offers time tracking, bug tracking, file management, and chat communication. Read our full review here.
  • Zoho Expense – A customizable expense reporting program.
  • Zoho Subscriptions – Handle customer subscriptions with recurring billing.
  • Zoho Inventory – A much-needed full-scale inventory solution with order management and warehouse management.
  • Zoho Reports – Detailed reports and business analytics with customizable, collaborative reporting options.
  • Zoho Cliq – A communications platform built to increase team communication and collaboration.

Other Add-Ons

  • PayPal – Accept online payments and enable electronic payment of invoices. Read our full review here.
  • WePay – Accept payments through a personal merchant account.
  • Stripe – Process and accept credit card payments. Read our full review here.
  • Slack – A powerful communication platform for business teams. (Here at Merchant Maverick we’re a little partial to Slack, since it’s our team’s main means of communication.)
  • Avalara – Automated sales tax solution that automatically calculates sales tax from a customer’s address.

Security

Zoho uses 256-bit SSL encryption and their multiple data centers are housed in undisclosed locations. Virus scans and intrusion detection/prevention programs are run regularly. Zoho Invoice operates on multiple servers as a precautionary measure to avoid crashes (like the one they experienced in 2012). You can also add Two-Factor Authorization to your account for added security. In addition, physical security measures include security guards, video monitoring, bullet-proof walls, and more. Read here to learn more about Zoho’s security.

Final Verdict

The first time I reviewed Zoho Invoice, I was underwhelmed by how basic the invoice templates were and disappointed by the lack of custom options. However, back in 2016, the company added a much-anticipated invoice customization feature that put Zoho Invoice far ahead of most of the competition.

Although lack of integrations and the occasional poor customer service interaction could still be problems for some users, in general, Zoho Invoice is a wonderful option for businesses needing strong invoicing, expense, and time tracking features. Unique touches like an in-app timer and packing slips make the software even more functional and easy to use. Low prices are also a huge plus, although the company has downgraded slightly (the free plan used to be much more competitive, allowing for 25 customers instead of five). And most importantly, the software is constantly being updated.

If you want to find out more or test Zoho Invoice for yourself, play around with the program on the forever free plan for a bit. Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause

Head Accounting and Invoicing Writer
Chelsea Krause is a writer, avid reader, and researcher. In addition to loving writing, she became interested in accounting software because of her constant desire to learn something new and understand how things work. When she's not working or daydreaming about her newest story, she can be found drinking obscene amounts of coffee, reading anything written by C.S. Lewis or Ray Bradbury, kayaking and hiking, or watching The X-Files with her husband.
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4 Comments

    Tanel

    Nice overview!I’m just about to move my invoicing to Zoho myself. There is one really important feature. It can be set up for real multilingual sales. Possibility to translate invoice templates and most importantly the e-mail templates makes it really usable in different languages. There’s still room for improvement like selecting e-mail template per recurring invoice etc. but so far the best I have found.Many invoicing systems claim to have it but as been through more than few of them I must say it’s mostly just talk. Best you can have is translated invoice but still end up writing e-mails over and over again in different languages.Way to go Zoho 🙂

    5

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Krupa Subramanian

    Hi Tanel,

    Thank you for the really nice feedback. We are super glad to hear that you will be switching over to Zoho Invoice.

    With regards to selecting an email template per recurring invoice in Zoho Invoice, you can associate an invoice template to a customer. You can do this through the contacts section > select more > choose a template in the Invoice PDF field. This would be the default invoice template ( both recurring and regular invoice) for that particular customer.

    Hope this helps.

    If you are looking for a different functionality, please write to us at support@zohoinvoice.com. We’ll get right back to you.

    Regards,
    Krupa

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Krupa

    Hi Katherine,

    Thank you for reviewing Zoho Invoice.

    We recently made changes to the pricing of Zoho Invoice in order to encourage small business owners and freelancers to do more business around the world and not worry about the hassles of invoicing.

    In the Free plan of Zoho Invoice, you can now invoice upto 25 customers (previously 5 customers) in multiple currencies. In the Basic plan, you can invoice upto 50 customers (previously 25 customers) in multiple currencies.

    Regards,
    Krupa

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Katherine Miller

    Hi Krupa,

    Thanks for the update! I’ve adjusted the pricing in the review accordingly. If you see anything else that’s out of date, please let me know!

    Best,
    Katherine

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

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