There are more than a hundred accounting softwares available in India but only a handful of them are comprehensive and can be considered worthy of being used. These accounting softwares can be broadly classified into 2 categories i.e.

  1. Desktop based
  2. Cloud based

Difference between Desktop based and Cloud based Software

Desktop based accounting software is a software wherein all the data is stored on the computer itself and can be accessed on that computer only. If you need to access this data on another system, you would be required to manually take a back up of the same and move the data from one system to another.

Thus, desktop based accounting software limits you to that specific desktop only and the data cannot be easily accessed from any other device. An example of such accounting software is the Tally Accounting Software.

However, in this digital age of mobiles, tablets, laptops and desktops – limiting yourself only to 1 system is not a viable solution. And this is the main reason that cloud based accounting software have started becoming popular and are expected to grow massively in the next few years.

Cloud based accounting software is a software wherein the data is stored in a centralised repository and the data can be accessed from any place at any time from any device. Irrespective of whether you are using your mobile or laptop, irrespective of whether you are in home or office or on a vacation – you can access this data from anywhere at the click of a button and can also make additions/ revisions in the data. Examples of Cloud based Accounting Software are Zoho Books, Quickbooks etc.

Why Cloud based Accounting Software is better than Desktop based Accounting Software?

100 years back – people used to prefer to keep their cash with themselves and not keep it in a bank. However, as the level of education started to increase – people realised that it is much better to keep the money in a bank as compared to keeping it at home as it is much safer to keep the money in a bank.

The money kept in a bank is not only safe but can also be accessed at any time from any place. Moreover, there is no risk of any loss due to theft or any other reason.

Just like it is much better to keep the money in a bank, similarly it is much better to keep your accounting data in cloud based accounting software as compared to keeping it on your desktop.

This data can be accessed through any browser and through any device. Just like Google Drive is a cloud based document keeping repository which can be accessed through any browser at any time from any place, there are several cloud based accounting software in which all the accounting data of any organisation can be kept safe and accessed at any time.

Moreover, the data kept in cloud based accounting softwares is password protected and there is a very high level of security so that no third person can get access to this data.

The major benefits of cloud based accounting software have been summarised below:-

  1. The data can be accessed from any device at any time.
  2. You don’t have to take multiple licences. You can access all the data with a single license.
  3. Whenever there is any software upgrade – you don’t have to pay again for upgrading the software. Your existing software will automatically get upgraded at the same price and you don’t have to pay extra for software upgrades.
  4. The data is properly safeguarded against malware and viruses.

The above are some of the standard benefits of using a cloud accounting software. However, each software provider may also provide with added features over the above mentioned feature. Zoho Books is one such cloud based accounting software which has been getting very popular as it offers a lot of features which have been highly appreciated by its users.

Review of Zoho Books Cloud Accounting Software

Zoho Books is a cloud based accounting software which has been growing very fast as it offers several unique features. The best part about this accounting software is that it is easy to use and a person with very less or no knowledge of accounting can also use this software.

Although a late entrant in the space of accounting softwares, it has been growing rapidly and is expected to become one of the largest cloud based accounting software in the coming years especially for small business.

Apart from managing all the financial data, Zoho Books also helps you create estimates and invoices which you can easily share with your customers. A lot of small businesses face this problem of creating invoices and this problem has been perfectly solved by Zoho Books as it offers an easy to create a customisable solution for creating invoices.

As Zoho Books can be accessed from any device at any time, it gets very easy to manage the financial data at the click of a button.

Zoho Books comes tightly integrated with Zoho CRM, Zoho Reports, and other apps from the Zoho Finance Suite. These integrations help you extend your business capabilities without any technical assistance. Using Zoho Books multi-currency feature, your clients can accept payments from customers located across the globe. Its integration with popular payment gateways like Stripe, Paypal, and Razorpay(Indian Payment Gateway) makes it a popular choice among business owners. The payments received through these payment gateways gets captured in ZohoBooks.

Another unique feature of Zoho Books which is not available in Desktop based accounting softwares is that it can fetch all transactions from your Bank Statement and thus it makes it much easier to post accounting entries. You can easily link your bank account with Zoho Books and it will fetch all financial transactions which will make it easier for you to post them in the software.

Advantages of using Zoho Books

Some of the main advantages of using Zoho Books are:-

  1. You can easily manage all the money which you have to receive from your customers and also the money which you have to pay to your vendors.
  2. You can easily create all financial reports and other custom reports
  3. The mobile app of Zoho Books is seamless and offers a great experience. Even on such a small screen, the app does not look cluttered. It has been very neatly designed offering all the major functionalities.
  4. Customisations – Invoices, Estimates and other modules can be easily customised.
  5. Banking Automation – Advantage of Bank feeds reduces manual data entry and eases the Reconciliation process.
  6. Reminders: Set up payment reminders to collect payments on time from clients.
  7. Timesheet – Do hourly billing based on the service rendered
  8. Integrated Suite: Zoho Books has seamless integration with Zoho CRM (to manage leads), Zoho Reports (Advanced Reporting Tool), and other Finance Suite Applications (to manage inventory, subscriptions, and expenses).