Zoho targets growing UK cloud accounting market

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Online business software pioneer Zoho has joined the stampede of developers looking to grab a piece of the rapidly expanding UK market for online accounting software.

The use of cloud tools has doubled among accounting firms taking part in AccountingWEB’s annual awards since 2015, driven largely by the planned Making Tax Digital system for quarterly online filing. The MTD effect has been noted by both Intuit QuickBooks and Xero, who are locked in a head-to-head tussle for dominance in the UK.

Now you can add Zoho to the list of international suppliers looking to capitalise on the rapid growth of cloud accounting in this country.

Costing from £6/month for 2+ users, Zoho Books has been around for more than five years. Where the big accounting engines rely on third party app ecosystems to cover non-accounting tasks, Zoho takes a more integrated approach, with the bookkeeping program linking to companion Zoho programs for stock, HR and customer relationship management (CRM).

Where in the past Zoho relied mainly on digital marketing mechanisms to attract customers, it is now taking a more content-based, accountant-focused approach, for example by taking up a tenancy in AccountingWEB’s Industry Insight section to promote its MTD-compliant suite.

In previous years, Zoho Books trailed behind the better known accounting brands in our annual software awards survey. While the size of its user base is much smaller than the likes of QuickBooks, Xero and Sage, Zoho Books achieved excellent user ratings and recommendation scores in this year’s survey.

Survey participants who reviewed Zoho Books in our survey applauded the easy to use user interface, its competitive price and support.

Accountants provide one of the most effective channels for reaching small business customers, so like its big, international rivals Zoho created an advisor program that offers accountants free use of the software, promotional opportunities on its blog and accountants directory and opportunities to network with other Zoho advisors at its regional and international events.

Zoho Books is one of 11 products that will feature in AccountingWEB’s small business accounts Software Review to be published this month. Feedback from our software awards survey (cast your vote now!) is used to document the capabilities and quirks of software products across a range of categories including practice management, expenses management, accounts production and forecasting/analysis. Keep an eye out for the forthcoming small business accounts edition, with MTD for VAT and mid-market accounting tools to follow.

About John Stokdyk

John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight

AccountingWEB’s Head of Insight has been with the site since 1999 and likes to spend his time studying accountants’ technology habits. When not nerding out, you can find him exploring obscure indie music and searching for the perfect organic sourdough loaf from his base in Brighton, UK.

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17th Jan 2019 21:48

I know of only one person who uses Zoho. I've no idea why they don't use a more well-known software. Unless Zoho spend bucket loads on marketing they haven't a hope of catching up with the market leaders.
I would have thought someone in the small company market needs to specialise heavily in eg project software or other specialist stuff to encourage clients to move to them. There doesn't seem any appetite to do this. Presumably because of cost.

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