Best Accounting Software 2021

Zoho Books vs. QuickBooks Online

Is Zoho Books or QuickBooks Online the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best accounting software for your business.

Every business should invest in an accounting software to manage finances. This software facilitates invoicing, expense tracking, payroll, and lessens your chances of financial mismanagement. You’ll likely grant your accountant access to the software so they can keep your books balanced, prepare your business for tax season, and identify opportunities to improve the financial health of your business.

This article analyzes the key differences between Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online, two advanced accounting tools. We’ll compare and contrast their features, pricing, usability, and customer service availability. We’ll also make recommendations about who each tool is best for based on hours of in-house research and product testing.

Zoho Books & QuickBooks Online Comparison Summary

Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online were personally researched and tested by SoftwarePundit. We also interviewed current customers of both solutions to get the firsthand opinions of real customers. Zoho Books was given a rating of 89, while QuickBooks Online received a rating of 94.

Zoho Books received a rating of 89 because while it’s very powerful and has an excellent collection of features, it was the least user-friendly tool that we tested. QuickBooks Online got a slightly higher rating because it’s slightly more reliable and feature-rich, and we found it to be just a bit easier to use. The customer service availability and self-help options are also more robust.


Below is a breakdown of our four review criteria and the ratings that Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online were given in each category.

CriteriaAnalyst RatingFeaturesUsabilityPricingCustomer Support
Zoho Books8910798
QuickBooks Online94108910

Here are a few quick points to summarize who we recommend each tool for:

You'll prefer Zoho Books if:

  • You reside outside the United States
  • You work with customers or vendors in multiple currencies
  • You already use other Zoho software products

Try Zoho Books Today

You'll prefer QuickBooks Online if:

  • You want the best accounting tool for small businesses
  • You want accounting, bookkeeping, or tax services
  • You can afford to pay slightly more

Try QuickBooks Online Today


Table of Contents

Who Should Purchase Zoho Books?

If you reside outside the United States, or your business is located outside of the United States, Zoho Books is the best option because there are country-specific editions of the software. This means that your taxes will be handled differently, the base currency will update, and relevant financial specifications will be followed. This makes it easy to not only use Zoho Books if you’re outside the United States, but to work with customers and vendors from around the world.

While Zoho Books is the second-most advanced accounting platform, we found it to be the most difficult to navigate. If this does not faze you, however, then it’s still a tool that will give a boost to product-based businesses that need more than moderate functionality.

Who Should Purchase QuickBooks Online?

If you have a product-based business or want the most advanced accounting software for small businesses, QuickBooks Online is going to be the best choice. QuickBooks Online has the most varied reporting section among accounting platforms and offers all features businesses would need, including payroll, inventory tracking, and services.

Because of the high price and lack of user-friendliness, we recommend opting for a different accounting tool if you’re a freelancer or have a very small, service-based business.

Zoho Books & QuickBooks Online Price Comparison

Zoho Books is priced similarly to QuickBooks Online, though it includes fewer features. QuickBooks Online has one of the most expensive accounting plans, which costs $150 per month, which will likely be cost-prohibitive for many smaller businesses.

Zoho Books Pricing Details

Zoho Books has three plans to choose from, with pricing ranging from $20 to $70. Each plan has strict user limits, so if you choose Zoho Books, you’ll need to be aware of how many users you’d like to have using the software.

Standard Plan
  • $20 per month
  • Three users
  • 5,000 invoices
  • Manage clients
Professional Plan
  • $50 per month
  • Five users
  • Retainer invoices
  • Track and pay bills
Premium Plan
  • $70 per month
  • Ten users
  • Vendor portal
  • Zoho Sign integration
  • Custom domain

QuickBooks Online Pricing Details

QuickBooks Online is similarly priced to Zoho Books, but has a more advanced plan for $150 per month. The most expensive plan allows for 25 users, a dedicated account team, and automated workflows.

Simple Start Plan
  • $25 per month
  • One user
  • Track income and expenses
  • Manage cash flow
  • Run general reports
Essentials Plan
  • $40 per month
  • Three users
  • Manage and pay bills
  • Track time
Plus Plan
  • $70 per month
  • Five users
  • Track inventory
  • Track project profitability
Advanced Plan
  • $150 per month
  • 25 users
  • Most powerful reports
  • Exclusive premium applications
  • Customized access
  • Dedicated account team
  • Automated workflows

Zoho Books & QuickBooks Online Feature Comparison

Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online are the most similar to each other in terms of the included features. The most notable difference is that Zoho Books does not offer bookkeeping, accounting, and tax services, which QuickBooks Online does. QuickBooks Online also has more reports.

FeatureZoho BooksQuickBooks Online
InvoicingYesYes
Expense TrackingYesYes
Accounting Reports50+70+
Vendor & Client CRMYesYes
PayrollYesYes
Project TrackingYesYes
Time TrackingYesYes
Receipt CaptureYesYes
Inventory ManagementYesYes
Accounting & Bookkeeping ServicesNoYes
Mobile ApplicationYesYes
Accountant AccessYesYes

Top Features: Zoho Books

Zoho Books has one of the most helpful dashboards across accounting tools, because it shows graphs and color-coded line items for different financial categories. There are also easy-to-send invoice reports and many different payment gateway options. To read about all the features included with Zoho Books, read our full Zoho Books review.

Dashboard

As you can see from this image, the Zoho Books dashboard gives you an overview of your receivables, payables, and cash flow. There’s also a separate tab that shows any recent updates. You’ll be able to drill down into each section to learn more about what each tab means for your business.

Zoho Books Dashboard

Invoicing

There are 16 pre-built invoicing templates with Zoho Books. Creating invoices within Zoho Books is essentially as easy as it is with any other tool, but you can customize the invoices a bit more than you can with more basic tools like Wave or FreshBooks.

Zoho Books Invoice

Payment Gateways

Zoho Books includes more payment gateways than most accounting platforms offer. You’ll be able to accept payments through:

  • Stripe
  • Square
  • PayPal
  • Worldpay
  • Authorize.Net
  • WePay
  • Braintree
  • Forte
  • 2Checkout

Along with these choices, you can also accept payments through direct bank transfers.

Top Features: QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online has a multitude of strong features, including services that Zoho Books doesn’t offer. There’s also a reporting section with more than 70 reports for the ultimate functionality. To read further into QuickBooks Online, check out our full-length QuickBooks Online review.

Bookkeeping Services

You can sign up for full-service bookkeeping with QuickBooks Online. Especially if you’re a smaller business that doesn’t have an in-house expert to keep your books balanced, this is an easy way to ensure accuracy in your accounting software.

QuickBooks Online Services

Dashboard

The QuickBooks Online dashboard shows your invoices, expenses, bank accounts, as well as graphs of your profit and loss statements, sales, and time tracking. While you can’t drill down into every section from the dashboard, it’s still a significantly helpful tool.

QuickBooks Online Dashboard

Reporting

With more than 70 reports, QuickBooks Online has the most in-house reporting options across accounting platforms. This means that you probably won’t need to use other tools to analyze your financial statements, where you may need to do so with other tools. The reports can be exported as Excel documents or PDF files.

Bottom Line

Between the two options, QuickBooks Online is the slightly better choice in almost all cases because it’s more user-friendly and has better customer service. Both options have more than 50 reports and advanced inventory management tools.

Neither is ideal for freelancers or newer businesses that don’t need advanced functionality. If you fit into one of those categories, check out Wave or FreshBooks.

If you’re interested, visit Zoho Books or QuickBooks Online today to get started.

Katelyn Anderson

Katelyn is a Junior Research Analyst at SoftwarePundit, where she conducts in-depth analyses of technology markets & products and writes software-related content. She graduated summa cum laude with degrees in English and Psychology. Her main areas of interest are content creation, user experience, and search engine optimization. You can connect with Katelyn on LinkedIn.

Katelyn is an expert in several software categories including:

  • Accounting software
  • Live chat software
  • Vacation rental software

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