Zoho Books VS QuickBooks Online: Which Is Better For Your Small Business?
Both have their pluses and minuses and are solid choices for accounting, so it all comes down to what your business needs in terms of pricing, ease of use, and integrations.
|QuickBooks Online||Zoho Books|
|Ease Of Use||Good||Good|
|Reviews & Complaints||Fair||Excellent|
|Best For||Small to medium-sized businesses
in need of strong accounting
|Small businesses looking for an easy-to-use accounting software
with strong mobile apps and plenty of features
We all love a good underdog story. But when underdog Zoho Books takes on one of the biggest names in accounting, QuickBooks Online, can this lesser-known software give QBO a run for its money? That’s what we’re here to find out.
Before you drop your hard-earned money on accounting software, you want to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. Even more importantly, though, you want to ensure you’re getting the software that best fits the needs of your business. Sure, QuickBooks Online is a top choice, but is it right for you? Or would a lesser-known but growing software such as Zoho Books be a better fit?
In this post, we’re going to take the guesswork out of picking the right accounting software by taking an in-depth look at QBO and Zoho Books. We’ll dive into features, pricing, and other factors that can help you determine which accounting software is worth your investment…and which one doesn’t quite make the cut. As always, we’ve done the testing and research to give you an unbiased view of two of the top accounting software options on the market.
Let’s dive right in!
Table of Contents
Zoho Books VS QuickBooks Online
Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online each bring something to the table, but which accounting software is right for you? From features and ease of use to pricing and the quality of customer support, we’ll cover it all to help you choose the right software for your business.
Zoho Books Overview
Redesigned and relaunched in 2014, Zoho Books continues to only get better. The software offers ample features, the most beautiful invoicing out there (including the ability to send invoices in multiple languages), and strong mobile apps.
Zoho Books is ideal for small businesses looking for an easy-to-use accounting software with strong mobile apps and plenty of features. Add in competitive pricing and quality customer service, and Zoho Books is a clear contender against the biggest competitors in the accounting software space. And if you’re still not convinced? You can take a 14-day trial run of the software to make sure it’s a good fit.
- Easy to use
- Strong mobile apps
- Excellent customer support
- Competitive pricing
- Unsuited for large businesses
QuickBooks Online Overview
QuickBooks Online is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses in need of strong accounting. The software offers strong accounting, decent mobile apps, ample integrations, and beautiful invoicing. Although navigating through all of its features can be a bit tricky, the QuickBooks Online UI is quite intuitive. And if you’ve heard the horror stories of QuickBooks Desktop’s learning curve, rest easy — QBO is significantly easier to use, even for users with little to no prior accounting experience.
On the downside, though, customer support is also a bit lacking and pricing can be a bit much for businesses that aren’t taking advantage of all that QuickBooks Online has to offer.
- Numerous features
- Strong mobile apps
- Easy to use
- Numerous integrations
- Fair customer support
|Features||Zoho Books||QuickBooks Online|
Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online are mostly on par in terms of features. Each offers beautiful invoicing templates and invoicing automation, as well as inventory, contact management, expense tracking, accounts payable, and project management. While Zoho Books puts up a great effort, QuickBooks Online edges out the competition — but just barely.
The sheer number of features in Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online can be overwhelming, which is why we’re going to break down the notable differences. Keep reading to learn more about the features of each, so you can better pinpoint which is a better option for your business.
Both Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online offer advanced invoicing features that make it easy to create and send invoices to your clients and customers.
QuickBooks Online has six invoice templates that are fully customizable, or you can import your own template. Some subscription plans include invoicing features, such as recurring invoices, reminders, and batch invoicing. You can also use auto-scheduling to automate your invoicing process, and you can track invoices so that you know when your customers have seen them. Most recently, QuickBooks added multilingual invoicing, allowing you to invoice customers in six different languages.
Zoho Books has a slight edge over QBO in terms of invoicing. This software offers an impressive 16 invoice templates, each of which can be fully customized and branded for your business. Recurring invoices, auto-scheduling, and reminders are included in your Zoho Books subscription. Zoho Books also supports 13 languages and encrypts PDF invoices for enhanced security.
With QuickBooks Online, you can add multiple budgets if you subscribe to the Plus or Advanced plan — a feature not even available with QuickBooks Desktop. You can use QBO to create monthly, quarterly, or annual budgets. Data from previous years can be used to create your budget, and a number of budgeting reports are available to run.
Zoho Books recently added a budgeting feature, and it also has basic job costing.
If running payroll is part of the reason you want accounting software, QuickBooks Online has you covered. There are three different payroll plans to choose from as a QBO subscriber. It is important to note that payroll is not included in your QBO subscription and costs an additional fee.
One of the biggest drawbacks of Zoho Books was that it didn’t offer integrated payroll. Fortunately, a SurePayroll integration was recently added to cover your business’s payroll needs. Additional fees will apply if you opt to use SurePayroll.
Both QuickBooks Online and Zoho Books have secure client portals. With QBO, the client portal is fairly limited, only allowing customers to view, print, pay, or send questions about their invoices. Zoho Books offers far more in terms of its client portal. Here, customers can view documents and information, including invoices, estimates, and project details. Customers can also make full or partial payments directly from the Zoho Books client portal.
The expense tracking feature on both QuickBooks Online and Zoho Books is pretty similar. Both allow for manual uploads, live bank feeds, and receipt capture. QBO takes things a step further with automatic matching of transactions, a feature not available on Zoho Books.
If you want to manage your projects, you can use either QuickBooks Online or Zoho Books to get organized. Both programs include project creation, adding billable and unbillable hours, and tracking expenses for your project. Zoho Books lets you add tasks — a feature not found in QuickBooks Online.
QuickBooks Online and Zoho Books offer an extensive number of reports. While both have more than what you’d find with other accounting software, QuickBooks Online has more reports available — more than 80, compared to Zoho Books’ 50+ reports.
One of the most unique things about QuickBooks is that it features built-in lending. With QuickBooks Capital, you can access working capital to better manage cashflow. You can apply for QuickBooks Capital right within the QBO platform. Zoho Books does not offer built-in lending.
Zoho Books has four pricing plans ranging from $0/month to $70/month. The free plan is a new addition that is best for businesses with revenue of less than $50,000 per year. For paid plans, you can opt to purchase an annual subscription which gives you access for 12 months for the price of 10. With the more expensive plans, you get more contacts, users, and workflows, as well as access to billing, purchase orders, and sales orders. A 14-day trial of any plan is available, and no credit card is required to take advantage of this offer.
QuickBooks Online is significantly more expensive with four plans ranging in price from $25/month to $180/month. The more expensive plans support more users and have advanced features, such as automated workflows, batch invoicing, and inventory tracking. You can give QBO a try with a 30-day free trial. However, taking advantage of the free trial makes you ineligible for software discounts offered by Intuit.
There are a few additional costs associated with each software. Zoho Books charges additional fees for extra users, snail mail credits, and auto-scans; QuickBooks charges additional fees for payroll and its live bookkeeping service.
Ease Of Use
No one wants to deal with complicated, outdated accounting software, and fortunately, that won’t be a problem whether you choose Zoho Books or QuickBooks Online. Zoho Books has a well-organized UI that’s relatively easy to navigate. Some features are hidden within other features, so you may face occasional navigational difficulties. However, these issues are pretty uncommon, and Zoho Books has a number of resources to help you out when you get stuck.
QuickBooks Online is similar. While it’s mostly easy to navigate, some hidden features may be difficult to find at first. Fortunately, there is a built-in support option that helps you get back on track.
Customer Service & Support
When it comes to customer service and support, it doesn’t get much better than Zoho Books. Zoho Books offers numerous ways to get in touch or find what you’re looking for. From phone, email, and live support to extensive knowledgebase and weekly webinars, it’s easy to find the answers you’re looking for. Not only are there many ways to get in touch, but you’ll also have friendly, knowledgeable support agents, low (or no) hold times, and fast responses.
QuickBooks Online, however, falls a little short in terms of customer service and support. Though it recently has improved significantly, you may still be faced with long hold times when calling support. You may also find yourself connected with a support agent that doesn’t have the answers you need. Although there are a number of ways to get in touch and resources at your disposal, QBO is noticeably lacking email support, which could be an issue for some users.
Reviews & Complaints
User reviews for Zoho Books are overwhelmingly positive. Users most enjoy the affordable pricing, strong mobile apps, good customer support, and ease of use. However, there are a few complaints surrounding the lack of integrations, and many users would like to see enhanced features like customizable reports.
QuickBooks Online also has its fair share of positive reviews, with reviewers praising the software for its numerous features and integrations, ease of use, and mobility. But there are quite a few negative reviews surrounding its customer service, bugs and crashes, and expensive pricing.
QuickBooks Online, hands-down, takes the crown for integrations. QBO has over 650 integrations, including multiple payment gateways. While Zoho Books has added more integrations, it has just over 30. Zoho Books does, however, have multiple payment gateways and a Zapier integration that connects the software to 1,000+ apps.
The Key Differences Between Zoho Books & QuickBooks Online
While Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online have many similarities, there are quite a few differences that can help you determine which software is the best option for your business. Let’s break down these key differences.
- Integrations: If you want to integrate your accounting software with other software and apps, you won’t be disappointed by QuickBooks, which has more than 650 integrations. Zoho Books has just over 30 — significantly lower than what’s offered by QBO.
- Pricing: Zoho Books is the winner when it comes to pricing. Its highest tier plan is less than half the cost of QuickBooks Online’s Advanced plan. Additionally, a free plan is now available, although it is limited in features and is best suited for very small businesses. If you want to take advantage of all of QuickBooks Online’s features and add in payroll, the cost can get quite expensive, especially for smaller businesses or businesses that are just getting off the ground.
- Customer Support: Users that value excellent customer support will find more satisfaction by the support options and resources offered by Zoho Books. Low wait times, fast responses, and knowledgeable agents give Zoho Books the edge. A lack of email support, longer wait times, and support reps that are hit-or-miss when it comes to answering your questions are potential downfalls you may face when using QuickBooks Online.
- Lending: If you want a one-stop-shop for your accounting and lending, consider giving QBO a shot. The built-in QuickBooks Capital simplifies getting additional working capital for your business. Zoho Books does not offer a comparable product.
- Mobile Apps: Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online both have solid mobile apps, especially when compared to other accounting software. However, Zoho Books has a slight edge, as its mobile apps are available for Android and Apple products, Windows tablets and devices, and the Kindle Fire. QBO is available only for Apple and Android products. QBO’s mobile apps have also received a few customer complaints surrounding bugs and crashes.
Which Is Best For My Business Needs?
Now, you should have a better idea of what Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online bring to the table. But taking in all this information can be overwhelming, getting you no closer to deciding which accounting software you should invest in for your business. So how do you make this crucial decision? Consider the needs of your business, and then see which software is the best fit.
Choose Zoho Books If…
Zoho Books is best for:
- Businesses that want to manage their finances on the go with strong mobile apps
- Businesses that want accounting software that doesn’t cost a fortune
- Businesses that need intuitive software that’s easy to set up and use
- Businesses that require international invoicing
- Businesses that want software that comes with excellent customer support
Choose QuickBooks Online If…
QuickBooks Online is best for:
- Businesses that need integrated payroll
- Businesses that want numerous features and integrations
- Businesses that want a quick and easy lending option built into their accounting software
- Businesses that want software that’s easy to learn
- Businesses that need time-saving automations
Comparing Zoho Books VS QuickBooks: The Final Verdict
Zoho Books definitely gives QBO a run for its money. However, there are a few areas where QuickBooks Online beats out its opponent. QuickBooks Online is best for businesses that need strong accounting. This software offers more integrations and more advanced features.
However, you could save money by going with Zoho Books. This software is ideal for businesses that want easy-to-use software with strong mobile apps, excellent customer support, and lots of great features. It’s also a great choice for businesses that need international invoicing.
Or, maybe after reading this post, neither option seems right for you. Don’t worry! Our comprehensive accounting software reviews can help you find the perfect bookkeeping solution for your business. If you need extra help deciding, read our Complete Guide To Choose Online Accounting Software.