Zoho Invoice — the Review

Web designers, writers, photographers, and other freelancers often find themselves having a hard time about invoicing and tracking. Traditionally, if there are not a lot of clients, they can simply create customized invoices using templates from Microsoft Word or Apple Pages and send to their clients by email. This one way action is simple and direct, but no easy way of tracking also. Once you have more than 50 clients and hundreds of bills payable to manage, it will become a horrific nightmare to organize so many of billable invoices and keep everything on track. If things starting to get messy, your cashflow will be affected and thus become a burden for your business to grow even larger.

Zoho Invoice is an online invoicing application made by business software giant Zoho. You can easily build professional-looking invoices and estimates, send automated payment reminders and setup recurring payment profile, and track your expenses, time, as well as projects. You can build estimates, invoices, expense even when you are on the go, accessing all your data on your mobile phone or tablet since every bit of your data is securely saved on the cloud. It solves the pain point for many freelancers and small business owners so that they can focus their time on providing better products and services without worrying about the invoicing and tracking.

Interface

Zoho Invoice’s interface is clean and easy for users who did not have much accounting knowledge to get start with. The interface present every features on the left side bar like an email reader, so new users can easily browsing and playing through them and get used to the product. It is also easy to use, understand, and setup. You can follow the steps to jump right into the account and create your first invoice within 5 minutes.

Zoho Invoice has also offered mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. The app is well designed and easy to use for users to access data on the go. Users can also create invoice, record expenses, log working time, and read reports on their mobile devices.

Invoice

You start building invoices by selecting an invoice template from the template gallery and customize it, customization including fonts, logo, colors. You carefully craft your invoices, estimates, and receipts to fit your brand. You can use their templates to create professional-looking invoices and estimates for your clients. Sending out professional estimates, invoices, and receipts is good for building credibility and trust with your clients and Zoho Invoice has done a good job in this specific category. It might not be the best-looking invoices, but they are professional enough for freelancers and small business owners to impress their clients.

You can send your invoices directly by email or be printed out to send through postal system. If your customers are located in other countries, you can send invoices based on their currency, while Zoho Invoice will automatically make the base currency adjustments to allow you analyze the balance without the hassle of currency exchange.

Zoho Invoice now supports 10 different languages — German, Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Swedish, and Japanese.

Estimate

The same as invoices, you can use Zoho Invoice to create profession-looking estimates for your clients. It starts with the same process as picking a template and customize it to your personal touch of your brand. Your clients will be able to access the estimate in their Client Portal and review it to either accept or reject the estimate. If your client accept the estimate, you can directly convert it into an invoice, without having the need for duplicate entry.

Expense

You can record and manage your reimbursable expenses by taking photo of your receipts and upload them to Zoho Invoice. This is especially useful for users who usually have a lot of paper receipts. Furthermore, you can set up a recurring expense profile to track expenses that need to be recorded periodically, such as rent.

Integrations

Although Zoho Invoice can be well integrated with its Zoho family products, including Zoho CRM, Zoho Projects, Zoho Books, and Zoho Expense, the other useful third party integrations are somehow limited comparing with other invoicing and accounting software products in the market. We think this is strategically concerned since Zoho products are bond together with each other to create a business software environment of “Zoho only”. However, this will drive away some users who are seeking an independent invoicing products to start with their business. Although Zoho Invoice has already been a great independent product, the lack (and some how on purpose) of integration with other apps may hurt its attractiveness to potential users.

There are only 9 payment gateways for Zoho Invoice’s users to connect with, including PayPal, Stripe, and 2Checkout. If you are a freelancer or small business owner, the payment gateway selection is enough for you to start accepting your first online payment.

Time tracking

Zoho Invoice allows you to log and track time spent on tasks. You can start by creating a project and billable tasks that are required to complete the project. You can then invite coworkers to the project and assign tasks to them.

It is easy to log your billable hours from your mobile phone or on desktop. Whenever you start working on a certain task, simply log the time and every billable minute will be captured. When you are ready to bill your clients, it will automatically add the unbilled hours and billable expenses to an invoice.

It is crucial to keep in mind that accounting applications available in the market hardly satisfy every aspect of your need. Some applications may be hard to jump start but are full-feature product that can solve almost every problem. Others may strive for building a easy-to-use products but lack of many complicated features that have been necessary for experienced users. Zoho Invoice is great for freelancers and small businesses owners to creates professional-looking invoices as well as manages payments and get paid with its automatic settings.

You can sign up for Zoho Invoice for free, without signing any contract or providing your credit card information. Its free plan is a forever free plan for 1 user to send invoice for up to 5 customers per month. It’s very helpful for freelancers who do not have a lot of clients to get used to the platform and the process of invoicing and tracking payments. Once the quota of free plan is not enough for you, upgrading is as easy as a click of button within your dashboard. There are $7, $15, and $30 monthly plans available with different number of users and customers.

ALSO: Read our interactive reviews on images here.

Features

  • Send invoices, automate payment reminders, and accept card payments online
  • Automate recurring invoices for 10 languages
  • Set up payment gateway and charge your clients automatically
  • Send estimates to your clients, turn estimates into invoices, and track estimate history
  • Client Portal allows clients to access their estimates, invoices, and time sheets in a single platform
  • Get detailed reports of sales, expenses, and tax summary
  • iOS and Android apps available

Pricing

  • Free plan for 1 user with invoice for up to 5 customers.
  • $7/month Basic plan for 1 user with invoice for up to 50 customers.
  • $15/month Standard plan for 3 users with invoice for up to 500 customers.
  • $30/month Professional plan for unlimited users with invoice for unlimited customers.