Snowball Perduejn, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia CommonsZoho continues to extend its financial applications with more customers and more functionality. In the last year, the Zoho Finance Platform has grown by 50%, contributing to the company’s $1 billion in revenues recently revealed at its Zoholics conference in Delhi.

Sridhar Vembu, co-founder and CEO, commented, “Fundamentals matter now more than ever, and our industry has to learn to lower the friction of technology, so that technology becomes far more affordable.”

Finance platform expands

While the 55+ applications that Zoho develops and sells provide point solutions to organisations globally, finance it as the heart of those organisations and is an area in which Zoho is a relative latecomer. To truly compete in the mid-market and enterprise space, it is slowly extending the functionality of its finance platform. It has not yet reached the functionality of ERP solutions, but it is getting much closer.

Its finance solution has also expanded from the accounting solution provided by Zoho books to Zoho Finance Plus, an integrated Financial solution that includes invoicing, order management and more. Zoho is also extending the localisation of Zoho Books and Zoho Finance into more countries. It has now launched Zoho Books in Mexico. This is the latest expansion following its entrance into Kenya earlier this year.

Sridhar Iyengar, head of Europe and UK, Zoho (Image Credit: LinkedIn)
Sridhar Iyengar, head of Europe and UK, Zoho

Sridhar Iyengar, Managing Director, Zoho Europe, commented, “There are not many finance platforms in the market that support growing global businesses. We have invested efforts in understanding accounting laws and tax regulations in these markets as part of our long-term investment. This requires supporting multiple countries, ensuring compliance with the constantly evolving tax and regulatory rules, and more.

“We will continue to be innovative, challenge the conventional wisdom and raise the bar in the industry on what a finance platform can be and how businesses in the UK and globally can benefit from it.

“In a market where vendors are consolidating and moving out of countries, Zoho is doing the opposite: expanding our reach offering a strong platform for businesses globally. The breadth of the suite, the depth of the platform and the unified set of integrations —internal and external— along with a strong set of native mobile and desktop applications makes it attractive to businesses in the UK and worldwide.”

Zoho Books Growth

Zoho Books is also seeing significant growth. In the UK, for example, it achieved 34% growth in the last year. The solution now has 14 editions and continues to expand across the world. The 14 editions are:

  • The Global edition
  • Australia
  • Bahrain
  • Canada
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Kuwait
  • Mexico
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • UK
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States
  • Zoho also lists South Africa. but this is a pricing edition rather than a fully localised version

Correction: The above list was corrected following information received from Zoho

It supports 180 currencies and 17 languages. It is tax compliant in the UK with MTD, Saudi Arabia (ZATCA), UAE (FTA) and India (GSP). With the HMRC closing the old VAT portal on the 1st of November, VAT-registered businesses must use MTD-compliant software to file VAT digitally. Zoho Books is already listed as an MTD-compliant solution by HMRC.

Zoho Books provides an end-to-end accounting solution integrated with other Zoho applications. There is a free 14-day day trial. Pricing ranges from £12 per month (£120 per year) for a single user to £165 per month for up to 15 users at the Ultimate level, with additional features for each of the five different pricing levels.

For organisations adopting Zoho Books, the real advantage lies in its extensibility. Zoho Books provides an entry point to the wider Zoho platform. Organisations, on average, add two other Zoho applications by the end of the first year of usage. Organisations can also extend their Zoho Platform beyond Zoho Applications using integrations and third-party solutions found on the Zoho Marketplace.

Beyond Zoho Books, Zoho Finance Plus starts at £199 per organisation for 10 users (£169 billed annually). It also adds subscription management. The full high-level feature list includes the following:

  • Contact Management
  • Sales and Purchases
  • Inventory and Warehouses
  • Expense Reporting and Reimbursements
  • Manage Subscriptions – MRR/ARPU/LTV
  • Accounting and Online Payments
  • Tax Compliant – VAT/GST/Sales Tax
  • One-time and Recurring payment pages

Zoho Drives Customer Success

Zoho also has many happy customers wanting to share their experiences of its solutions, with Zoho Books being no exception.

In the UK, Adam Petyt, Director, Element Packaging, LTD UK, commented: “Zoho Books and Zoho Inventory systems are well integrated which ensures that no orders are missed and that accounting is centralised for the company. The Zoho Finance suite of products has turbocharged our ability to track real-time data about our business. Having all of our departments seamlessly integrated together allows us to respond quickly and make the right decisions every time.”

In Canada, Anand Pandarinath, CFO of Liberty Security, commented: We use Zoho Books to manage our own backend accounting and to send insights to our parent company. We have a very complicated general ledger that we have set up and during month-end reporting we do a lot of rearranging and adjustment journal entry recording, which is now simplified in Zoho Books. We’ve been able to handle the acquisition effectively because we can give insights that cover our whole workflow.”

Companies are switching from Xero to Zoho Books, with Ken Grace, Director at South-Australian-based business Interquip Healthcare commenting, “Interquip Healthcare is a products- and service-based company, which means that our business operations have to be efficient. As our business grew and our requirements evolved, we were in search of a financial software solution that could keep up with these changes, particularly one that was broad and user friendly for a growing business.

“Our previous platform, Xero, no longer catered to our requirements. Zoho Books, however, gives us good control of our business within a unified system, as well as the flexibility to use third party logistics and drop ship options much more easily than Xero. And with easy integrations, it means that we need not rely on complicated siloed solutions. Switching to Zoho Books adds that missing link to our business operations.”

A growing and enthusiastic partner ecosystem

Zoho is also building its partner ecosystem, winning over accounting firms such as ABA Advisors, which uses at least 22 Zoho apps to power its business. In Diginomica, COO Robert Craig explained how the company grew to 86 employees in 15 states, with over 2,000 clients from coast to coast.

A spokesperson from ABA Advisors noted, The time saved from using the Zoho Finance Platform would be incalculable. We can perform functions previously not possible and communicate with clients at a scale and frequency that would have taken weeks and additional staff would have been required. Since moving to Zoho One in 2019, our revenue has gone from $8M in 2019 to $11M in 2021, going from 600 to 2600 customers.

“This growth happened with only word of mouth marketing, but our software use has been able to scale with our company. No other software had this capability, nothing was detailed enough or gave us enough visibility. Our old software definitely wouldn’t do it. For the first time this year, we can see exactly where we are on every project and next year we’ll leverage that into a customer portal so they can see this info as well.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

Zoho has quietly built up a presence in the financial solution market that will rival many of the more established and well-known players in both the small and mid-sized business markets. Whilst it may not have the same vertical industry capabilities as some of the more established players in the market, it has other functionality that will appeal to many other sectors.

Will its huge investment in R&D also see it compete in the more traditional industry verticals such as manufacturing? Only time will tell. What those other vendors cannot ignore is the price point offered by Zoho, nor the way it can completely take over the software architecture one application at a time.

What Zoho does differently is rather than spend huge sums on marketing, it slowly builds up its presence with customers and channel partners.  Its success has seen it attract the attention of the large SI’s, and now what was once a small firm is a billion-dollar business. Rather like a snowball rolling down a snow-covered mountainside, it is growing larger and gaining momentum.


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