Large corporations were the first to benefit from computers, but the cloud and availability of affordable, easy-to-use software has levelled the playing field for small and midsize organizations (SMBs). Software can significantly enhance organizational effectiveness by streamlining interactions with customers and employees, supporting collaboration within departments and across the enterprise, and promote efficiency by reducing the administrative burdens of record keeping and increasing visibility into its performance and financial health. Compared to manual systems, including paper records and desktop spreadsheets, modern software enables organizations to grow and scale with agility while minimizing the administrative overhead, a key to long-term success.
Software suites that offer a broad range of functionality are especially useful to small and midsize organizations by eliminating the need to integrate processes and data across multiple systems. Suites can make it easier and faster to manage processes end-to-end than using applications from multiple vendors, ensuring data integrity, saving time and reducing errors, which is especially valuable for finance and accounting departments. For example, it ensures that the data about a customer used by sales and marketing is the same as that used by accounting for billing and tax, as well as by the shipping department for the delivery of products.
Zoho offers a suite of business management tools designed primarily for SMBs to address the needs of multiple departments, including finance, operations, HR, and IT. Zoho One includes the Finance Plus Suite, which can be especially useful for midsize organizations because of the broader set of functionality included. Finance Plus Suite offers:
- Zoho Invoice creates well-designed invoices with customizable templates, automates payment reminders, track expense and log work hours to reduce staff effort while accelerating collections.
- Zoho Books manages receivables and payables, automatically imports bank feeds and comply with tax requirements.
- Zoho Inventory handles order management including sales and purchase orders as well as inventory tracking across multiple warehouses.
- Zoho Expense manages employee purchases and reporting as well as corporate travel - from trip approval to reimbursement.
- Zoho Subscriptions automates recurring billing and invoicing to make the process faster and more accurate. It also provides subscription-specific metrics in real time to support this increasingly popular business model.
Despite the advantages of dedicated finance and accounting software, Ventana Research finds that spreadsheets are still frequently used by organizations – even with the potential for errors. Our research found that only 15% of organizations report not making errors while using spreadsheets. Time spent identifying mistakes and errors could be used for more productive tasks. Rather than spot potential shortfalls, such as in a particular product line or addressing unexpected demand, organizations without dedicated software such as Zoho One will likely face additional hurdles.
Zoho One also enables organizations to close their books more quickly. According to our research, more than one-half of organizations take more than one business week to close for the month. Similarly for quarterly closings, only 29% of organizations close within six business days. However, for organizations that automate the process, 69% of those organizations can close within six business days.
The need for software such as Zoho One becomes more essential as organizations grow. While an organization with a small number of workers, might be able to get by with spreadsheets, as the business might be adequate for a small business, but not for midsize organizations or larger. Consider the challenge of a midsize organization with multiple ongoing subscriptions. Rather than trying to keep track of all their existing subscriptions through spreadsheets, organizations can rely on a software suite like Zoho One to keep track of subscriptions that need to be renewed or canceled.
Dedicated software such as Zoho One is essential for businesses because it is not realistic to expect midsize and larger organizations to rely solely on spreadsheets to keep track of everything from invoices to subscriptions to inventory. Reliance on spreadsheets alone leads to limitations in short planning cycles because consolidating spreadsheets is such a time-consuming process.
As an accounting and financial management application, Zoho competes with similar software aimed at the SMB market from a long list of vendors, including for example Acumatica, Epicor, NXT, QuickBooks, Sage Accounting and Xero. The Finance Plus Suite enables organizations that begin with basic accounting to easily extend the functionality to handle a broader set of tasks without having to migrate to a new application. Moreover, the Zoho One suite offers a suite that manages an extensive set of organizational functions, which eliminates the need for organizations to integrate multiple applications from multiple vendors.
Ventana Research recommends that organizations using entry-level accounting software investigate the capabilities provided by the Zoho Finance Plus Suite. They should see whether this move would be Consider the cost-effective benefits of using one versus many applications, and whether the functionality of the full Zoho One software suite can improve organizational flexibility and deliver a less costly digital business strategy.