Price, Features & What’s Best in 2023

The main difference between Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online is that Zoho Books has a free plan for companies with revenue of less than $50,000, making it better for freelancers and part-time businesses. QuickBooks Online is more expensive, but it stands out with its number of integrations and vast network of QuickBooks ProAdvisors, which lets you find a local bookkeeper easily if you need support.

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks at a Glance Comparison

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online Quiz

Need help choosing between Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online?

Question 1

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Which set of accounting features matters most to you?

Question 2

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Do you have employees and need a payroll solution?

Question 3

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Do you want easy access to a huge network of local bookkeepers who can help you manage your accounting tasks?

Question 4

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What is your forecast highest annual gross receipts for the next three years?

When To Use

  • Freelancers and very small businesses with a few clients: Zoho Books is free for companies with less than $50,000 annual revenue and those that require fewer than 1,000 invoices per year. QuickBooks Online doesn’t offer a free plan.
  • Mobile accounting: The Zoho Books mobile app has more features than the QuickBooks Online app. For instance, it lets you record bills and bill payments, whereas QuickBooks can’t. This is one of the reasons why it makes Zoho Books our overall best QuickBooks alternative.
  • Businesses using other Zoho products: Zoho Books is one of the apps within the Zoho suite. If you’re already using its other platforms, such as Zoho Expense and Zoho CRM, choosing Zoho Books is more practical because it’s easier to work with interconnected apps.
  • Users who need a client portal: You can use the client portal to let customers view and manage their transactions. You can also see your accounts, accept or reject estimates, and pay invoices. QuickBooks doesn’t have a similar feature.
  • Manufacturers who want to track high-value items: Manufacturing firms needing to monitor individual items rather than groups, such as consumer electronic manufacturers, can upgrade to Zoho Books’ Elite plan for serial inventory tracking.

For more information, read our Zoho Books review.

Visit Zoho Books

  • Businesses that need easy access to local bookkeepers: A remarkable feature of QuickBooks Online is that it has a vast network of QuickBooks ProAdvisors, making it easy to find a local bookkeeper in case you need one. This is one reason QuickBooks Online is our overall best small business accounting software.
  • Processing your own payroll: QuickBooks Online integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks Payroll, which lets you pay employees, compute and withhold payroll taxes, and account for employee benefits in any state. Zoho Payroll is only available in New York, California, Texas, Florida.
  • Integrating with third-party tools: QuickBooks integrates with more than 650 business apps. This vast range makes QuickBooks easy to implement in businesses using software services like customer relationship management (CRM), ecommerce, and many more. Zoho Books focuses on Zoho One apps rather than third-party integrations.

Check out our QuickBooks Online review to see if it’s suitable for you.

Visit QuickBooks Online

  • Companies that require fixed asset accounting: Neither Zoho Books nor QuickBooks Online can monitor fixed assets. Xero has a fixed asset manager that allows you to track fixed assets, such as vehicles and equipment, and set up depreciation schedules. Read our Xero review for an in-depth guide on its features.
  • Businesses that want desktop software: Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online are both cloud-based. If you prefer locally installed desktop software, consider QuickBooks Pro, Premier, or Enterprise. Our QuickBooks Desktop versions comparison can help you decide which best fits the bills.
  • Businesses that need to send unlimited invoices for free: Zoho Books’ free plan only lets you send up to 1,000 invoices a year. If you have many customers and need to send a high volume of invoices, Wave issues unlimited invoices for free. Check out our Wave review to learn more about this free alternative.

Fit Small Business Case Study

To make it easier for you to choose between these two powerful accounting programs, we compared Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online in our internally developed case study. The results are summarized in the graph below.

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online Case Study

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Click on the graphs above to interact

  • Zoho Books
    $0 to $249 per month

  • QuickBooks Online
    $30 to $200 per month

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online: Pricing

Zoho Books is more affordable than QuickBooks. If you have a small business with five users and need inventory management and project accounting, you can save with Zoho Books’ Professional plan at $24 per month, compared to QuickBooks Online’s Plus at $85 per month. Another important consideration is that Zoho Books has a low fee for adding extra users ($3 per user per month). When we do the math, a total of 15 users in the Professional plan would cost over $50 per month, compared to QuickBooks Plus at $85 a month but with only five users.

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online: Features

Banking & Cash Management

Despite a few limitations of Zoho Books, we consider this section a tie. They’re both capable of importing bank transactions and reconciling bank accounts, which is what’s important for businesses.

Accounts Receivable

QuickBooks Online and Zoho Books are equally great in terms of accounts receivable (A/R) management. Both come with powerful invoicing features, which are far more commendable than other similar software programs.

However, QuickBooks Online is preferable when you collect taxable payments in different states, as it calculates sales tax automatically based on your customer’s address. It also allows you to refund a customer’s credit balance with a check, which is something you can’t do with Zoho Books.

Accounts Payable

QuickBooks Online is slightly better than Zoho Books as some of its accounts payable (A/P) features are easier to use. For instance, you can apply vendor credits when paying a bill instantly, unlike Zoho Books, which requires you to enter a vendor credit in a separate screen from paying the bill.

Inventory Management

Product-based businesses will find both Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online reliable for inventory management. Both let you create an inventory item and manage and track inventory and make any adjustments easily, if needed.

Given that, your choice may boil down to pricing. If you have five users, for instance, then you might choose Zoho Books. Inventory management is available in QuickBooks Online’s Advanced at $85 per month, whereas in Zoho Books’ Professional plan at only $24 per month—both of which include up to five users.

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online: Ease of Use

Both are generally easy to use, but Zoho Books is a bit easier to set up. It involves several steps to set up a company in QuickBooks Online, while you can create a new company file in Zoho Books just in a few steps.

Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online: Integrations

Zoho Books and QuickBooks have ample integrations, which are useful for automating different business workflows, like time tracking and payment processing. The better choice depends on the kinds of integration you need—but overall, both are already functional, and the integrated apps are only a bonus.

  • Zoho Finance Plus: Invoice, Books, Inventory, Subscriptions, Expense, and Checkout
  • Zoho People Plus: People, Recruit, Expense, Collect, Cliq, Sign, Vault, Payroll (California and Texas only)
  • Zoho CRM Plus: Sales, Marketing, Help Desk, Visitor Tracking, Social Media, Projects, Surveys, Analytics, and AI [artificial intelligence]
  • Zoho Workplace: Mail, WorkDrive, OfficeSuite, Cliq, Meeting, Connect, and ShowTime
  • Zoho One: 40-plus Zoho Apps

While most integrations for QuickBooks come from third parties, there are a couple of very important integrations directly from QuickBooks, including:

  • QuickBooks Payroll: Payroll functionality can be enabled from within QuickBooks Online with the click of a button.
  • QuickBooks Time: With the QuickBooks Time mobile app, users can track time that can be billed to customers and used for payroll within QuickBooks Online. Advanced features of QuickBooks Time include GPS tracking of employees, geofencing of worksites, and timeclock terminals with facial recognition.

With QuickBooks Online’s vast selection of third-party apps, you can:

  • Track time: TSheets, ClockShark, and eBillity
  • Monitor inventory: eBay by OneSAAS, Shopify by OneSAAS, Amazon Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) & Seller Fulfilled Accounting by Entriwise, and Katana Inventory and Manufacturing
  • Make and receive payments:, Deluxe eChecks, Plooto, and Veem
  • Manage customers: Method:CRM, Insightly CRM, WORKetc, and Capsule CRM
  • Manage projects: BigTime, ServiceTrade, Jobber, Corecon, and Knowify for Contractors
  • Perform analytics: Syft Analytics, Qvinci, Fathom, and LivePlan
  • Run payroll: Gusto, ADP, and Paychex

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online: Mobile App Functionality

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online: Assisted Bookkeeping

QuickBooks Online has the upper hand, with its huge network of local bookkeepers compared to the 500 Zoho Books Advisors in the United States. This means it’s generally easier to find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor than a Zoho Books Advisor.

If you need a live bookkeeping service, you can activate the QuickBooks Live add-on within the QuickBooks Online software. Available for an additional fee, this feature gives you access to a dedicated bookkeeper who’ll own your books and manage them for you.

Another alternative is to find a local QuickBooks ProAdvisor. One of the biggest benefits of QuickBooks Online is that it’s popular and commonly used by many businesses and accountants. You won’t have any problem finding a local bookkeeper near you, and if you need a guide, see our piece on how to find a QuickBooks ProAdvisor.

Prices for QuickBooks Live depend on your monthly expenses.

  • Low-volume bookkeeping: $200 per month—for businesses with $25,000 in monthly expenses
  • Medium-volume bookkeeping: $400 per month—for businesses with $25,001 to $150,000 in monthly expenses
  • High-volume bookkeeping: $600 per month—for businesses with $150,001 or more in monthly expenses

Meanwhile, Zoho Books users needing assisted bookkeeping can contact an independent Zoho Books Advisor. These advisors are professional accountants, bookkeepers, and tax professionals who have completed the certification requirements set by Zoho Books. To find one, you should check out Zoho Books’ online directory of independent accountants, bookkeepers, and financial advisors.

In addition to QuickBooks Live, QuickBooks Online integrates with several bookkeeping providers. Below is a list of bookkeeping providers and whether they integrate with QuickBooks, Zoho Books, or both.

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks: Customer Support

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online: User Reviews

Many satisfied QuickBooks Online users like that the higher subscriptions support multiple users and that it has a self-service payroll. Others are delighted that they can connect their bank account, helping them manage their various transactions. However, some users who left negative reviews complained that they sometimes have difficulty asking for help from a customer service representative.

Meanwhile, one of the things users like about Zoho Books is that it’s easy to set up and use, making it accessible for all users regardless of accounting experience. Others are glad that they can call Zoho’s customer support directly for complex issues. Some negative reviews we found are about the limited reporting feature, which upsets some because they can’t run complex management reports.

Here’s how Zoho Books and QuickBooks Online are rated by some review websites:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Zoho Books offers many of the same features found in QuickBooks Online at a lower price, making it a great QuickBooks alternative. Also, Zoho Books is preferable if you are a freelancer or a very small business owner who needs a free solution or an app with strong mobile accounting capabilities.

QuickBooks Online is more suitable for businesses that need a vast support network of independent bookkeepers. Companies with many employees should also consider QuickBooks as it has an integrated payroll system through QuickBooks Payroll.

If you can’t decide between QuickBooks and Zoho Books, then check out our evaluation of the best small business accounting software.

Bottom Line

When comparing Zoho vs QuickBooks, Zoho Books offers many of the same features available in QuickBooks but with more affordable plans and an unbeatable mobile app. However, if price isn’t an issue and you want easy access to a local bookkeeper who can provide accounting support for your business, then QuickBooks Online may be the better option.

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