User Interface and Experience: 4/5
Customer Support: 3.5/5
What is ZipBooks?
Headquartered in American Fork, Utah, ZipBooks is a free accounting software solution that targets small business owners and accountants, suitable also for freelancers, contractors, sole proprietors, and other small entities. It was founded by Tim Chaves, whose mission is to provide tools and intelligence to help small businesses succeed.
ZipBooks offers features such as billing and invoicing, accounting, business intelligence and reporting, expense management, and time tracking. Users have the option to add on services including payroll integrations and bookkeeping services but they must upgrade to a paid subscription. While the solution is offered worldwide, some integrations are only available in the US and Canada, and ZipBooks does not currently support bank connections in Europe, Africa, Asia, or Central/South America.
In this ZipBooks review, we'll look at the accounting software's features and pricing to help you decide whether it's a good fit for your business. We will also rate its pricing, features, user experience, and customer support.
However, it is important to note that this score is subjective and can vary depending on the needs of each business.
Pros and Cons of ZipBooks
- Affordable Pricing
- Good for US-based businesses (track 1099, bank connections available)
- Helpful Customer Support
- Time Tracker: Great for service providers charging for their time.
- Primarily created for small-businesses
- Lack of Inventory Management
- Does not currently support bank connections in Europe, Africa, Asia, or Central/South America
- Business hours of customer support (8 AM-5 PM Utah timezone only)
- Their free plan only supports one bank account connection.
Let's dive deeper into why and how the pros and cons above are justified.
Pricing is a key factor when it comes to choosing the right accounting software for your business.
ZipBooks offers a variety of pricing plans designed to fit the needs of small businesses. The pricing structure itself is pretty straightforward.
ZipBooks offers a free plan, which includes unlimited invoicing and integration with payment processors such as Stripe and PayPal. The free plan is perfect for businesses that need an invoicing solution.
For businesses that require more than just basic invoicing, ZipBooks offers the “Smarter” plan priced at US$15/month which unlocks advanced functionalities and customization options. This plan provides a valuable upgrade for businesses that need more features and flexibility.
The "Sophisticated" plan is suitable for businesses that need to use accounting tools to their fullest potential. With this plan, users can access all the features offered by ZipBooks, including accounting tools and intelligent reporting.
Finally, if you're an accountant that deals with multiple clients, you may look at the "Accountant" plan. This plan includes all the features of the "Sophisticated" plan and provides additional features to help you manage invoices for your clients more efficiently.
Below is a breakdown of ZipBooks' plans:
|Bank Account Connections||1 Connection||Multiple Connections||Multiple Connections||Multiple Connections|
|User Team Size||1 User||Up to 5 Users||Unlimited||Unlimited|
Now that we've got a clear understanding of ZipBooks' pricing, let’s take a closer look at the features that ZipBooks has to offer.
We score Zipbook’s pricing 5/5.
Their pricing structure seems to be designed to meet the needs and budgets of SMEs. Additionally, their pricing is easy to comprehend and transparent, allowing businesses to select the most suitable plan without any ambiguity.
ZipBooks Product Features
Billing and Invoicing
The billing and invoicing feature is the core feature of ZipBooks and is available on all pricing plans.
Users can create and send professional-looking invoices to clients, import existing contacts and invoices, and gain an overview of invoices and accounts receivable.
There are some notable features to point out when it comes to invoicing creation. The software automatically generates invoice numbers based on previous invoice history. For each invoice generated, ZipBooks will attribute an Invoice quality score. This feature scores the invoice quality during its creation on a scale from 0-100 based on data mined from over 250 000 invoice performances.
In terms of sending, ZipBooks offers the option to send invoices to customers via email in PDF format for easy printing and record-keeping. The software stores all customer and vendor information securely, ensuring that the data is readily accessible whenever needed.
ZipBooks also offers unlimited customer and vendor details tracking to avoid manual entries.
Under the “Smarter” plan, priced at US$15/month, users gain access to features such as recurring invoice creation, where users can create profiles for customers who are billed repeatedly. Unfortunately, these recurring profiles cannot be duplicated, and each has to be created manually.
This pricing plan also grants access to creating and sending invoice reminders, auto-billing customers, and collecting payments through integrating with Stripe and Lawpay. Finally, to maximize efficiency, users can save line items, enabling them to quickly add frequently used items to future invoices.
ZipBooks offers a fairly comprehensive accounting solution. Users can choose either cash or accrual accounting, and double-entry accounting is also supported.
Transactions can be added in multiple ways. They can be added manually or can be imported through CSV files under the paid plans. ZipBooks makes the process of adding transactions easier by having an algorithm that remembers the transaction categories and will not require manual classification every time.
ZipBooks offers other helpful features such as reconciliation, transaction tagging, recurring transaction generation, unlimited bank connections, consolidated reports for multi-location accounting, automated tracking, and more under the paid plans.
However, despite its numerous features, ZipBooks does not offer any Inventory tracking features. While it is possible to keep track of Inventory as an asset for accounting purposes, this process will not be automated.
Additionally, users can connect their bank account and avoid manual input of transactions altogether.
On the other hand, ZipBooks currently doesn’t support bank connections in Europe, Africa, Asia, or Central/South America. Therefore, if your business account is outside the US and Canada, it can become tedious to add a large volume of transactions.
⚠️Important Note: ZipBooks' free plan only supports one bank account connection.
Reporting and Business Intelligence
ZipBooks offers a range of financial reports, including income statements, balance sheets, taxes invoiced, general ledgers, and expenses summaries, to name just a few.
To generate a report, users simply need to select the desired report from a categorized list. Once generated, the report can be exported either in CSV or PDF format.
For filtering and customization, users can choose to generate reports by choosing the time frame, the column's time frame (Monthly, Quarterly, Yearly, Total), and accounting method (accrual or cash accounting).
Lastly, ZipBooks offers other notable features such as custom reports based on tags users created, as well as business health score reports and customer/vendor statements.
Projects and Time Tracking
This feature is especially beneficial for service providers, such as lawyers, architects, IT professionals, and freelancers, who bill clients based on the time spent on a project. It can also be useful for businesses that pay employees by the hour.
The time tracking feature allows users to accurately record time spent on a project using a built-in timer or manual entries. Notes can be added conveniently on the go, and time can be assigned to a specific project.
Projects are created by users and can be linked to specific customers. Once linked, ZipBooks will automatically import the time worked into a designated invoice at pre-specified hourly rates, making the invoicing process more efficient.
Depending on the plan you’re choosing, certain limitations may apply. For instance, only 1 team member profile (employee/colleague/user) can track time. However, with the "smarter" plan, users can add up to 5 team members, set different fixed or hourly billing rates for each, and manage the permissions for invoicing accounting and time tracking. In contrast, with the "Sophisticated" plan, there are no limits on the number of team members.
Supported Integrations With ZipBooks
ZipBooks is a versatile tool that can be connected and work alongside multiple solutions. This can help businesses to improve their efficiency and streamline their processes.
To make it easier for you, we’ve prepared the table below, which provides an overview of the integration categorized by their type.
|Payment Processing||• Square (US and Canada only)
• LawPay (Law practices only)
|Payroll & HR||• Gusto
• GrandMaster Suite
|Communication and Collaboration||• Slack
|Document Management and Storage||• Google Drive|
|IT Management||• Spiceworks
|Bank Connection||Connects to bank accounts in US and Canada.
Users in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand can request a move to their international bank connection provider.
They do not currently support bank connections in Europe, Africa, Asia, or Central/South America (including the UK and Hong Kong).
- Unlimited invoices
- Accept digital payments (Square or PayPal)
- Unlimited customers and vendors
- Limited reporting (P&L, Balance sheet)
Everything in the Starter Plan and:
- Accept digital payments (Square or PayPal and Stripe and LawPay)
- Recurring invoices
- More invoice customization (custom notes and terms, emails, receipts)• Save invoice line items
- Filter reporting
- Export reporting as PDF or CSV
- Customer support chat
- Time tracker
Everything in the Smarter Plan and:
- Organize books (by location, project, and custom)
- Customize categories (chart of accounts)
- Lock completed books
- More insightful reporting (industry average comparison)
- Secure document sharing
This plan includes the previous plan and management tools for keeping track of different clients.
For features, we score 4/5. ZipBooks offer notable useful features such as accounting solution, reporting and time tracking solutions. ZipBooks even considers the needs of small businesses to offers integrations with Payment processing payroll and communication tools.
However, the software lacks a real inventory management system and doesn't currently support bank connections in Europe, Africa, Asia, or Central/South America, which could be a dealbreaker for businesses operating in these regions.
User Interface and User Experience
Navigating through the ZipBooks platform is effortless and user-friendly. The different features and tasks are neatly organized into corresponding sections, making it easy to find what you need.
The sections on the website include:
- Main dashboard
- Time Tracking
Through this organization, paired with the side menu and top menu, you can most of the time find the feature you need straight away and easily navigate the platform.
The software is intuitive with elements that are placed in expected locations, making it easy for users to create their first invoice, even without prior experience.
UI & UX gets a score of 4/5. Although there might be some moments where a feature might not be immediately obvious, navigating to the solution is generally quick and straightforward.
ZipBooks Customer Support
When it comes to seeking help, ZipBooks offers several options to reach their customer support, including their chatbox, email (email@example.com), and Help Center.
The primary way to get support is through the chatbox, located on the bottom right of their website and only available under the paid plans. The chatbox's user interface is well-designed, and customers can expect speedy and clear answers to their questions.
Unfortunately, the customer support is not available 24/7. Business hours vary given that they have a small team, but they are typically available from 8 AM-5 PM Utah time zone only during the weekdays. On the Weekends and US holidays, the customer support is not available.
We score support 3.5/5. The chatbox support is quick and reactive to answer. However, the limited availability of customer support can be a concern, particularly for international customers. This drawback impacts our overall score, as it may cause inconvenience and delay for some users.
Creating An Account With ZipBooks
To use ZipBooks software, users must create an account. The process is simple and quick, allowing users to generate their first invoices within a few minutes.
When it comes to eligibility, there are no restrictions regarding entity type or geographical location when it comes to eligibility for signing up and using the solution. The limitations to certain geographical areas and entity types come in the form of feature accessibility.
To start the signup, head to their website and click to “Sign up” button.
From here, you have the option to create an account using your email or by linking any of your social accounts on Facebook, Google, or LinkedIn.
Next, you’ll have to add your company name to gain access to ZipBooks and its features.
To help with additional setup process and customization, ZipBooks provides a checklist that will guide you on the next steps, such as adding their address, phone number, or logo.
You can use the free plan or try the "smarter" or "sophisticated" plan for 30 days for free without adding credit card information.
Consider that during the trial period, if you chose the "smarter" plan and encounter any of the "sophisticated" options, your trial upgrades to the “sophisticated” plan for free.
Final Thoughts: When Should You Use ZipBooks?
ZipBooks is a solid invoicing software that comes with a free plan, with additional features available at an affordable price starting at US$15/month. If you are a small business looking for basic features like an easy invoicing solution, then ZipBooks is a good option because it has templates that you can download and customize in a few seconds.
However, if you want to use more features then this is where you can challenge the fit.
For example, the software is most beneficial for businesses based in the US and Canada due to features such as 1099 tracking and bank account connections. Businesses in Europe, Africa, Asia, or Central/South America can still use the software but may face certain some features restrictions such as the bank connection or longer wait times for support responses.
Also, ZipBooks lacks an inventory management system, making it more suitable for small business service-based such as consultants, lawyers, IT professionals, and freelancers etc., who can benefit from the time tracker feature for invoicing billable hours.
ZipBooks VS. FreshBooks VS. Xero
In case you’re looking for more advanced and comprehensive accounting features, you may consider FreshBooks or Xero which are other popular invoicing and accounting software options.
Let's take a closer look at how they compare to ZipBooks:
- Bank Connections: Not only do FreshBooks and Xero support other countries' bank connections but also their bank connection features allow you to automatically import bank transactions, categorize expenses, and reconcile your accounts.
- Expense Tracking: Both FreshBooks and Xero offer more robust expense tracking features than ZipBooks. With FreshBooks, you can track expenses by project, and Xero allows you to reconcile your bank accounts with your expenses.
- Inventory Management: Xero is the only platform that offers inventory management tools, allowing you to keep track of stock levels, create purchase orders, and more.
- Third-party Integrations: FreshBooks and Xero both offer more extensive third-party integration options than ZipBooks, allowing you to connect to a wide range of other tools and services to streamline your accounting processes.
On the whole, whether you choose ZipBooks or any other alternative, we recommend you consider the tool's capabilities and pricing to help you work more efficiently at the best possible cost.
If you found anything missing in this review, feel free to reach out to us.
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What is ZipBooks?
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