By Daniel Lewis,
/ Advertising Disclosure

Here we’ll take a closer look at two accounting platforms, Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online, and we’ll make a side-to-side comparison of the main features of each of these. Both accounting platforms have well-designed features that help a small business run its books without hiring professional help.

Below I’ll outline the main features of both Zoho Books and QuickBooks and will highlight the differences and similarities between these two platforms.

Short on Time? Quick Comparison

CRITERIA

Zoho Books

Zoho Books

Quickbooks

Quickbooks

Customer Service

Superb customer support

Good, some complaints on slow service

Range of Services

Accounting services Full-service accounting software
Online Security SSL certificates, backup is AES-256 encrypted

SSL and RSA certificates, 2-Factor Authentication

Reports

Incredibly customizable and detailed Customizable reports
Pricing plans Startup plan is free, 1 user+1 accountant; for businesses with <50K yearly turnover

Startup plan is $25/month: 2 users

Ease of Use

Intuitive use Easy to use, some aspects need getting used to
Payroll Integration Limited with Zoho People and Zoho Payroll

Seamless QuickBooks Payroll integration

Mobile App

Mobile Accounting App Mobile Accounting App
Additional integration Many additional integrations

Plenty of integrations

Automation Several automation processes

Automation of transactions

Expert help

YouTube series, live webinars, Twitter and Facebook accounts, knowledge base, live chat, phone, email

Online help center, webinars, and online knowledge base, no talking to a real person

Website

Review Full Zoho Books Review

Full QuickBooks Review

Zoho Books Pros

  • Affordable prices
  • Excellent interface and easy to use
  • Excellent mobile application
  • Plenty of integrations
  • Unmatched customer service

QuickBooks Pros

  • Many functionalities
  • Sleek user interface
  • Great payroll support
  • Customizable reports
  • Seamless integration with the other QuickBooks services

Zoho Books Cons

  • Not suited for large businesses
  • Limited payroll service

QuickBooks Cons

  • Limited online help
  • Steep learning curve

Differences between These Accounting Services

Here are the main differences between these accounting platforms:

  • Zoho Books is an almost all-inclusive platform with plenty of functionalities very suitable for a small business. The interface is sleek and user-friendly, and the only aspect where Zoho Books fails is the lack of a payroll system.
  • Zoho Books is most suited for small businesses that need extensive accounting features but don’t require payroll.
  • On the other hand, QuickBooks is suited for small and more significant businesses that use the other QuickBooks services and need payroll integration.
  • QuickBooks is one of the most well-known online accounting platforms, and it has plenty of features that allow a seamless user experience. In addition, the platform is easily integrated with the other QuickBooks services like QuickBooks Payroll for a more inclusive service.

Generally speaking, Zoho Books and QuickBooks are both platforms with good functionalities aimed at the small business’s needs. However, the pricing plans of these vary greatly, with Zoho Books having really affordable pricing plans, while QuickBooks offers far pricier plans.

Zoho Books Vs. QuickBooks Overview

Zoho Books

Zoho Books is a part of the Zoho Finance Apps family, and as such, it is designed by experts to meet the accounting needs of small businesses. The Zoho Books dashboard is sleek and user-friendly, and the accounting platform includes many valuable features. Of course, the features depend on the pricing plan you select. Still, they include many basic functionalities like bank reconciliation, custom invoices, expense tracking, projects and timesheets, sales approval, recurring transactions, and more.

Quickbooks

As a part of the Intuit QuickBooks family of financial apps, the QuickBooks accounting service is quite well organized. The QuickBooks user interface takes some getting used to, but all the other functionalities are well-organized. Of course, the specific features depend on the price plan you select. Still, they all include income tracking, expenses, invoices, estimates, automated transactions, basic reports, sales and sales tax, paper receipts, 1099 contractors, and third-party integrations.

Zoho Books Features

Zoho Books has an impressive set of features that are accessible via a nicely organized dashboard. Here is a list of the core Zoho Books features; still, the particular ones depend on the pricing plan:

  • Invoicing
  • Estimates
  • Client Portal
  • Expenses
  • Banking
  • Projects
  • Sales Orders
  • Inventory
  • Automation
  • Tax
  • Online Payment and more

Zoho Books is an excellent accounting software platform. It has many functionalities that make it simple for a small business owner to deal with all the critical issues regarding bookkeeping. The transaction types provided by Zoho Books are unmatched in any other accounting platform. For example, Zoho Books offers standard sales forms, but it also includes retainer invoices, delivery notes, and packing slips. The other types of transactions like invoices, expenses, bills, purchase orders, and others are also very detailed.

The other functionalities include timekeeping and project management, which many customers find pretty helpful. Also, the Zoho Books reports are impressive: each report comes with an incredible amount of customizable criteria and can be quite detailed. The reports can be imported/exported from the platform and used where you need them.

During my research for this comparison review, I noted that Zoho Books is arguably the most flexible and robust accounting platform online now. When paired with the relatively affordable price, the Zoho Books platform comes close to perfect. However, the lack of payroll integration is a real issue, as many businesses need a payroll service integration for proper management of their accounts.

QuickBooks Features

The QuickBooks Online accounting platform is one of the pioneers in online accounting. As such, it has been unmatched in features and functionalities for years. Here is an overview of the core QuickBooks Online features:

  • Tracking income and expenses
  • Track mileage
  • Bank connection
  • Send quotes and invoices
  • Cash Flow management
  • Insights and detailed reports
  • Seamless QuickBooks Payroll integration

I’m impressed by the sheer number of valuable features from all the things I learned about QuickBooks online. For example, the basic pricing plan comes with a good collection of features that can help small businesses seamlessly keep their books in line. The parts where QuickBooks excels are invoices, expenses, time tracking, contact management, inventory, and sales overview.

However, many other users and I have found that the QuickBooks dashboard can be a bit confusing. In addition, it has a steep learning curve, meaning people with limited accounting knowledge will need to consult the QuickBooks expert for help for some matters.

The reports created by QuickBooks Online are excellent in terms of functionality, details, and customizations. Another point plus for QuickBooks is their payroll integration. Because the QuickBooks Payroll is a part of the same family of financial apps, the payroll integration is fully integrable in a seamless process.

Zoho Books Vs. QuickBooks Pricing Plans

Now let’s get a closer look at each accounting platform’s pricing plans and what each of them provides.

Zoho Books has four pricing plans for its US-based customers:

  • Free – $0, only for businesses with less than $50K turnover per year. This plan includes one user and one accountant access; managing clients and invoices, client portal, online and offline payments, automating the payment reminders, multi-lingual invoicing, credit notes, recurring invoices, expenses & mileage tracking, add multiple bank and credit card accounts, import bank and credit card statements, bank rules & reconciliation, chart of accounts, manual journals, reports, invoice customization, managing 1099 contracts, and payment gateways. This plan supports integrations with ZohoBooks and other apps like GSuite, Office 365, Slack, Zapier, Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, and OneDrive, and only supports email support.
  • Standard – $15/month per organization, billed annually. The standard plan gives access for three users, includes everything from the free plan plus: managing up to 5,000 invoices, recurring expenses, automatic bank feeds, predefined user roles, tracking project expenses and invoices, bulk updates, transaction locking, custom views, custom fields, reporting tags, tracking of sales tax, and payment gateways. This plan also supports additional integrations with Avalara and Zendesk and has email, voice, and chat support.
  • Professional – $40/month per organization, billed annually. The professional plan includes everything from the standard plan, additionally, with inviting five users, sales approval, retainer invoice, bills, payments made, vendor credits, recurring bills, sales orders, purchase orders, purchase approval, multi-currency handling, automatic exchange rates, currency adjustments, stock tracking, price lists, landed costs, custom roles, time tracking & billing, timesheet approvals, timesheet client approvals, retainer invoices for projects, project profitability, journal templates, recurring journals, up to 10 workflow rules, email alerts, in-app notifications, and field updates. In addition, this plan offers email, voice, and chat support.
  • Premium – $60/month per organization, billed annually. The premium plan has access for ten users, includes everything from the professional plan, plus: custom domain, vendor portal, budgeting, Zoho Books Sign integration, Twilio integration, custom buttons, validation rules, related lists, web tabs, custom functions, custom schedules, webhooks, and up to 200 workflow rules. This plan also comes with the Zoho Books email, voice, and chat support.

All the Zoho Books plans provide access to the Zoho Books mobile app available for both Android and iOS users. Also, clients can select three additional add-ons to each plan: adding an additional user for $2.5/user/month; advanced auto-scans $8/50 scans/month; and snail mail option for $2/credit.

Same as Zoho Books, QuickBooks Online comes with four different pricing plans for its US-based clients:

  • Simple Start – $25/month, paid annually. This plan includes sending invoices and accepting payments, tracking income and expenses, maximizing tax deductions, running profit & loss expenses, balance sheets, basic reports, sales & sales tax, data import, paper receipts, time tracking, and access to one user. In addition, the plan comes with basic online support.
  • Essentials – $40/month, billed annually. This plan offers all the functionalities from the Simple Start plan, plus: add up to three users, manage and pay vendor bills, enter/schedule bill payments ahead of time, tracking billable hours by client/employee, TSheets integration, and more.
  • Plus – $70/month, billed annually. The Plus plan has all the functions from the Essentials plan, with access to five users, managing inventory, tracking project profitability, running enhanced sales, profitability, template-based reports, and more.
  • Advanced – $150/month, billed annually. The Advanced plan has all the Plus features with 25 plan users, business analytics & insights, batch invoice & expenses, custom dashboard & reporting, automating workflows, and premium support and training.

All the QuickBooks plans come with a 50% discount for the first three months. However, there is a 30-day free trial for each plan, but you are not eligible for the discount if you opt for it.

To get a better grasp at the different features offered by Zoho Books and QuickBooks, I’ve made the following comparison table, outlining the features that come with their basic plans:

CRITERIA

Zoho BooksZoho Books QuickbooksQuickbooks
Price for core plan $15/month

$25/month

Invoices

Yes (up to 5,000) Yes

Sales Tax

Sales tax tracking

Sales tax tracking

Support Email, voice, chat

Email, voice, chat

Bank account integrations

Yes Yes
Mobile App Yes

Yes

Reports

Basic

Basic

Budgeting

Yes Yes

Receipts

Yes, paper receipts possible

Yes, paper receipts possible

Winner: Zoho Books

Comparison Between User Experience

Zoho Books

The Zoho Books accounting platform has a very smooth user experience. According to many online reviews by users, Zoho Books possibly offers the best user experience from all online accounting platforms. The level of available functionalities is impressive, and it has intuitive navigation and is easy to handle, even by beginners.

Each part of the platform is easily reachable and manageable; the platform comes with step-by-step instructions and straightforward tutorials. The Zoho Books mobile app follows the same user-friendly design. Each functionality of the online version is also available in the mobile version of the Zoho platform. The mobile platform is optimized for mobile use, so some aspects may not be as detailed as the online app. Still, the Zoho Books mobile app is a great option to use when on the go, but you need to stay on top of your bookkeeping.

Quickbooks

Unlike Zoho, QuickBooks lacks in terms of user experience. This platform has a steep learning curve, and even though the interface has a sleek design, it takes a while to get used to it. However, many users have reported that QuickBooks Online is not that difficult to manage once they surpass the learning stage.

QuickBooks falters when it comes to managing transactions, as each needs to be entered manually. However, the QuickBooks mobile app is available for iOS and Android users, and it has the same functionalities as Simple Start, their cheapest pricing plan. Unfortunately, all the additional features are only available on the web app. Also, the mobile app has only primary functions and limited reports.

Winner: Zoho Books

Zoho Vs. QuickBooks Customer Service and Support

Zoho Books

Zoho Books is known for its impeccable customer service. The customer support agents are available from Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 9 PM Eastern Standard Time; they make sure they respond to each client’s inquiry within hours of receiving it. In addition, all the customer support staff is knowledgeable, polite, and friendly.

In addition to their customer support agents, Zoho Books also has other online support options. There is a YouTube series, live webinars, Facebook and Twitter accounts, a knowledge base on the website, and phone and email support.

It is rare for a company from this sector to have such a dedicated customer support service. However, from reading the online reviews, the main note is the lack of payroll service.

Quickbooks

QuickBooks has good but somewhat slow customer support. They don’t have live customer support but rely on extensive online support with a good knowledge base and email support. There is an 888 phone number with a recorded message stating that you will not talk to a real person. Instead, you’ll be offered chatbot help, online videos, webinars, and help from the QuickBooks community.

The slow customer service may be a concerning issue for QuickBooks Online, as if a client runs into an issue, they may have trouble resolving it. However, the core features are well-designed, and it is not often that people run into complex problems.

Winner: Zoho Books

When to Choose Zoho?

Zoho Books is a well-designed online accounting platform with incredible functionalities. The platform’s user-friendly interface and intuitive navigation are excellent for small business owners who need a streamlined accounting experience. Each aspect of the platform is impressive, and all the provided functionalities are very well balanced.

Zoho Books is a perfect choice for small businesses that don’t need a payroll feature and deal with limited budgets, as the pricing plans are very affordable and well-balanced. Zoho Books is also very easy to learn and is a good fit for people who are not very tech-savvy and need a simple-to-manage accounting platform,

When to Choose QuickBooks?

QuickBooks Online is among the most well-known online accounting platforms. As one of the oldest suck services, QuickBooks offers an incredible array of convenient features for different businesses. It has a steeper learning curve, and it takes a lot of time to learn each feature, but once the users get used to the platform, it becomes easy to use.

QuickBooks Online is a good choice for any small business that needs a complete package of accounting functionalities and has the budget to afford the heftier price. It is especially suitable for businesses that use the other QuickBooks services like QuickBooks Payroll.

FAQs

How Safe is Zoho Books?

Zoho Books is a safe and secure online accounting platform. They’ve taken the user’s data security to the max, as they use military-grade encryption to store their backup data, and they have all the online security certificates in place.

How Safe is QuickBooks Online?

QuickBooks Online is a safe online platform, as it has taken many precautions to keep user data safe and secure. For example, they offer Two-Factor Authentication, as well as having every online security certificate in place.

Does Zoho Books do Payroll?

At this time, Zoho Books does not have a complete payroll feature. However, a limited Zoho Payroll feature is a part of the Zoho People platform, a part of the Zoho family of financial apps.

Does QuickBooks Online do Payroll?

QuickBooks Online does not have a built-in payroll feature, but it is seamlessly integrated with QuickBooks Payroll for a complete accounting service.

What Payments Does Zoho Books Accept?

Zoho Books accepts many payment gateways; here are some of the payment processors accepted by Zoho Books: Stripe, PayPal, Payflow Pro, Authorize.net, Payments Pro, 2 CheckOut, Braintree, Forte, ACH Payments, WePay, GoCardless, and Mercado Pago.

What Payments Does QuickBooks Accept?

QuickBooks accepts several payment gateways, but it seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks Payments as it is a part of the QuickBooks family of financial apps. The accepted payments are bank transfer, debit card, credit card, and Apple Pay.

The Bottom Line: Optimization For The Accounting Platform That Fits Your Needs

Here you have it, a comprehensive comparison between two well-known accounting platforms, Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online. Both services have well-rounded functionalities aimed at the needs of small businesses.

Zoho Books has more comprehensive accounting features with excellent user experience and impressive customer support. This service is best suited for a small business with a limited budget that needs an accounting platform with easy handling and doesn’t require an integrated payroll feature.

QuickBooks Online is one of the best-known and overall best accounting platforms online. All the QuickBooks features are excellent, but the initial setup and learning of the platform can be tedious for many users. They could work on improving the customer service and adding live chat.

Therefore, QuickBooks Online is a good choice for small businesses that need many functionalities and already use other QuickBooks apps, and of course, don’t mind the higher price.

Daniel Lewis
Daniel Lewis is an MBA accredited investment professional who wants to assist small business owners to gain access to finance. After going through many channels for funding, Lewis has found that getting the first loan right is vitally important for future success.

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