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Category : Zoho Integrations

designing solutions to business problems with Zoho

How to Design Solutions to Business Problems for Every Department with Zoho

Regardless of your industry, there’s a good chance your organization has multiple departments working together to keep business rolling ahead. This includes Operations, Finance, Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, and maybe you have others, too. We’re here to share that it’s more straightforward than you might have thought to implement or design solutions to business problems for every department with Zoho applications.

 

You’ll see here an overview of the Zoho solutions offered for each department of your business; however, this quick article is just meant to get thoughts flowing. In other words, it’s just the start of what Zoho can do.  

 

If you could solve your business problems head on with a Zoho solution, how much time would open up for innovation in your organization?

 

Let’s take a look at what Zoho has to offer for each department in your organization:

Operations

It’s a hefty lift finding an all-in-one solution for operational problems; however, within Zoho’s more than 40 applications they exist. Certainly, there’s a good chance that you don’t need  – or really want – that many apps to run your business. This is where Zoho One comes into play. 

While the 40+ integrated applications encompass everything from CRM, finance, email newsletters, and 

documents, to project management, inventory, and more; you can choose which fit your business needs. You simply need a username and password, integrate your applications, and you’re set; one dashboard to rule all. In your operations department some highlight features include:

  • Project management style flexibility lets you choose from waterfall, agile, and kanban task boards. 
  • Team communication, collaboration, and client portal options ease keeping in touch with dispersed teams and customers.
  • Order fulfillment, multi-channel selling, and warehouse management tools.
  • The ability to create apps that meet the needs of specific business processes, like a  Zoho ERP app developed on Zoho Creator.
  • And we’ve only scratched the surface…

 

Finance

Zoho Books offers tax compliance, and is integrated with 40+ of Zoho’s applications – or whichever you choose to use –  for visibility across your business. You’ve got the basics and more covered in this full-scope solution including being able to see those details about your contacts, time tracking, banking, inventory, payables, receivables, and robust reporting.  

 

zoho sales toolsStreamline all of your back office duties with Zoho Books and organize all of your transactions in one place. If this isn’t the solution for you, Zoho also integrates with other solutions Quickbooks, but given this set of features you may want to take a closer look at Zoho Books:

  • Collect online payments securely and quickly.
  • Keep records of all your invoices, estimates, credit notes, and even recurring invoices in one place.
  • Convert estimates to invoices in just a few clicks.
  • Automatically remind overdue clients with payment reminders.
  • Never lose a minute of billable hours by monitoring and tracking how labor is spent in your company.
  • Manage inventory and even automate redundant tasks
  •  Capture and view all financial information related to your asset, liability, revenue, or expense accounts and organize them how you want.
  • Simplify tax season in just a few clicks to generate tax reports so you are set when tax season arrives.

Customer Service

Zoho Desk customer service app provides the platform you need for customer support teams ranging from startup to enterprise. Scaled capabilities make it easy to get the basics like customer feedback and a ticketing system, with the option to grow and add more. With small business features you gain even more capability such as:

 

  • Automate routine tasks using blueprint, 
  • Optimize resource management by connecting clients with the proper support agent, 
  • Improve customer experience with team collaboration,
  • And just like every Zoho app, the data is there and ready to meet your insights and analytics needs. 

marketing tools from Zoho

Marketing

Marketing departments are often called upon to design solutions to business problems, and the tools from Zoho certainly help! You’ll find an arsenal of applications in Zoho to support your marketing efforts from website creation and testing, to email marketing and social media. And because they integrate with CRM and the rest of the Zoho One suite, you’ll also get end-to-end data for a full story of lead to sale for every contact. With this sort of insight, Zoho makes answering big questions about your marketing strategy – and any adjustments you should consider – very direct. Learn more about marketing tools in Zoho One.

Sales

If your sales department is like any other we’ve met since starting ZBrains in 2012, you’re putting a lot of eggs into any CRM solution you choose. Don’t dig around looking for solutions only to wonder if they’ll work. We strongly recommend a partner for any CRM implementation involving this aspect of your organization and avoid common pitfalls:

  • Starting an implementation project without a planning roadmap in place.
  • You’ve got a new tool, but user adoption is poor.
  • You don’t have support – and this means internal training and external partnership.
  • You’re trying to do it on your own and it’s just not working out.

 

Trust in Zoho-certified CRM consultants at ZBrains to help you implement your new system and Zoho CRM in a way that truly complements your business. Our goal is to really invest time in getting to know your business so you get you all the tools you need to succeed. We even invented a name for how we do it – Business Process Analysis. Imagine the power you can put behind your sales team when a correctly implemented CRM is in place to foster your sales process from lead to sale, to cross-selling and upselling opps!

 

We hope this high level overview explaining how Zoho apps, and Zoho One can help you design solutions to business problems for every department in your organization has been informative. And as always, if there’s something you read that sparks an idea, there’s a pretty good chance that Zoho has a solution. At ZBrains we love the opportunity to address and solve those big questions whenever we partner with a new client. How can we help you?

 

Connect with a Consultant

 

zoho for manufacturing and distribution

How Zoho Can Solve Business Problems for Manufacturing and Distribution Companies

In this article, we’ll look at how to solve business problems around three common issues we’ve seen impact others in your industry and share some ideas that have been successful for them. Zoho solves business problems for many types of businesses, but Distribution and Manufacturing by the nature of their industry are especially suited for the use of Zoho CRM and other Zoho applications.

You might spend time trying to solve for traveling work orders, time tracking, asset management, RMA and MRP requirements. If you’re encountering them, these problems can take up a lot of time and inhibit innovation.

You’d rather be focusing on hard numbers, actionable steps, and measurable KPI efforts like:

  • operating efficiency
  • utilizing capacity to the fullest extent
  • keeping a keen eye on profitability
  • working to ensure that your shipping is staying on time

These days you may also be looking for even more in-depth functionality in order to do more with existing resources, including redeploying talent, improving productivity, and shifting operations. Let’s take a closer look at three problems in manufacturing and distribution that Zoho can help you solve.

Problem 1: You’re aiming for Lean Manufacturing goals and falling short

Lean manufacturing goals with ZohoAs a decision maker in the manufacturing industry you need to introduce and foster ideas and methods to increase sales, manage orders and the warehouse, and more. You do all of this while trying to keep a pulse on the end-to-end tracking of your process, too.

Zoho Inventory helps here:

  • So you can manage inventory in multiple warehouses.
  • It integrates with Zoho CRM and Zoho Books to automatically sync contacts and your orders.
  • You get a few steps closer to the financial data you need, while addressing lean wastes of waiting and extra processing.

Zoho Inventory not cutting it? No sweat, tools like FieldTech have been produced for more robust ERP requirements using Zoho Creator for things like inventory management, and to optimize your production routing.

These ideas scratch the surface of the data you can access with the Zoho ecosystem.  How else could organized and actionable data provide information to help guide your lean manufacturing efforts as you solve business problems you encounter?

Problem 2: Forecasting for your business is a foggy endeavor

forecasting for distribution and manufacturingYou need visibility to what’s being produced, purchased – and when –  in order to make the best inventory management decisions. And if you can get the information in a tidy dashboard with less data input, even better!

Zoho Inventory provides data-driven insights to help you understand your customers in a meaningful way. You gain a more accurate forecasting for production material needs.

Add Zia’s prediction tool in Zoho CRM to take advantage of key business indicators such as the likelihood of a lead converting to a deal, revenue forecasts, and how likely a site visitor is to purchase. Zia predictions can be implemented for both standard and custom modules so your business can take advantage of this tool.

What predictors would be most meaningful for your organization?

Creating a prediction using Zia is relatively straightforward, but you can also work with a ZBrains Zoho Certified Consultant to get a head start on taking advantage of your data.

Finally, in addition to predictions, Zia also looks for trends. Using the data you have, Zia relies on past experiences to offer predictions. Receive alerts for spikes or dips without having to check on a dashboard daily. Decide if you want notifications about leads, contacts, deals, tasks, events, calls, email, or something different depending on the components you select for Zia to watch.

Having the power to forecast and even predict business events in distribution and manufacturing is essential to smooth operations.

Problem 3: You need solve business problems more quickly and spend more time on innovation

people meeting with laptopUntangling from daily business operations and on-the-fly problem solving in your organization can be a daunting undertaking. In other words, it’s time to start solving those issues more quickly. You want to resolve them completely so you have time to devote to innovation.

Naturally, this is where a business can cut even more of the lean wastes. They can spend money less on operations, and begin to excel. If you had the time, what innovation would you put into place immediately for your organization?

Having a plan to remain adaptable, and the visibility to metrics you need to communicate for success starts with information architecture. Zoho’s CRM and streamlined ERP solution to manage your inventory and orders, along with the multitude of possible integrations to fit your process is a great place to start your journey. Consider this change if you currently:

  • Pay for several systems wherein a change to one affects the others resulting in development expenses.
  • You manage multiple vendors, and spend a lot of time reiterating the same business needs and goals.
  • Your teams are working from siloed data.
  • Existing systems make global reporting cost-prohibitive and time consuming.

Start with a Zoho solution that gives end-to-end visibility to your organization. Quit struggling to track, report, and act on data. Finally start solving problems for good so you can achieve a better, leaner business.

Begin solving business problems for your manufacturing or distribution organizations with Zoho solutions.  Don’t put it off any longer, contact us for an assessment that’s geared specifically to your business – our ZBrains team of Zoho Certified Consultants are eager to help!

Connect with a Consultant

The ZBrains Zoho Integration for Exact Online has finally arrived.

ZBrains Zoho Integration for Exact Online

Bridge the Gap Between CRM and ERP: The ZBrains Zoho Integration for Exact Online

Those who love the powerful accounting tools of Exact Online will appreciate the Zoho Integration for this popular ERP/Accounting suite. Zoho integration for Exact OnlineThe wait is officially over, Zoho can now communicate directly with this ERP. Any business owner can openly admit how much they love increased efficiency. But, the unfortunate truth is that Zoho and Exact Online have historically not communicated well. Efficiency is lost through double data entry, which creates errors and hampers the overall flow. The good news is that we at ZBrains completely eliminated this problem. The ZBrains Zoho Integration for Exact Online joins our growing ranks of supremely useful Zoho integrations.

Save Time and Increase Efficiency with Bidirectional Sync

If you use Zoho CRM and Exact Online, odds are two elements of your business do not communicate effectively. No one likes extra steps or work, which is why the ZBrains Zoho Integration for Exact Online is so valuable. Save time, avoid the headaches, and enjoy the beauty of these two pieces of software working in sync. We anticipate an organization license of 100-499 (per month). The integration will operate as both a cloud-based and on-premise planning solution.

Create Invoices in Zoho to Push to Exact Online

When you combine the capabilities of Zoho and Exact Online, the most useful end product is the invoices. Create invoices with ease within Zoho and then push them to Exact Online. Enjoy the best of both worlds: the elegant simplicity of Zoho and the processing power of Exact Online.

Exact provides world class business software for Finance, ERP, HRM, and CRM processes. All fully integrated in one front and back office system across all locations, including business analytics and mobile applications. On-premise or in the private cloud.

Key Features of the Zoho Integration with Exact Online

Although the pricing of this integration has not yet been released, we can reveal the key features to expect. The Exact Online Integration boasts integrations with the following:

Zoho Applications: Zoho Books, Zoho CRM, Zoho Creator ERP

                                            -Sales Orders                     –Invoices

                                            -Purchase Orders             -Customers

                                            -Payments                          -Items

                                            -Bills

The Bottom Line for Fans of Exact Online

Zoho integration for Exact OnlineExact Online gives sales people more access to valuable information, which adds to their sales arsenal. Not only can they discover the top, most profitable customers, they can also see when a customer last ordered. This detail is crucial, because it helps the salesperson better plan when to reach out for another sale.

Bottom line, the Zoho Integration for Exact Online is significant. It is such a useful tool that we are confident it will appeal to companies of multiple industries. From manufacturing and wholesale, to distribution, marketing, sales, logistics, and finance/accounting. This new bridge is bound to help companies of all these various industries.

Not sure if Exact Online is for you? Itching to learn more about Zoho CRM and what it can do for your business? Look no further, as our Zoho consulting team features a healthy roster of seasoned vets eager to help you make smart technology investments. In the end, we want to help you save time and money. Whether you will gain the most from a comprehensive Business Process Analysis, some Enterprise Resource Planning Consult work, Gap Analysis or CRM consulting, we are happy to help.

Contact us today for more information about the Exact Online integration with Zoho.

Why do business owners need a CRM?

Why Do Business Owners Need a CRM?

What is CRM? A way to Save Time, Money, and Gain Functionality

As the saying goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Unfortunately, that phrase fails to address which way is best. Over time, business owners have found countless ways to run their companies, using a various combination of roles, software, and automations to increase their bottom line. In the end, business owners often fail to optimize their strategy for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they figure they don’t have the time to optimize. Maybe they are set in their ways and are not open to change. This leads us to the question:

‘What are the benefits of CRM?’

As you can expect, our answer is multi-faceted. Put simply, a CRM (customer relationship management software) benefits a business by saving time, saving money, and adding functionality to it. Read on to learn about all the ways a CRM can benefit your business in the short and long term:

Organize Data and Prioritize Efforts

A solid CRM organizes your effortsBusinesses of multiple industries can benefit from CRM software. The simple act of organizing data into one centralized location will tremendously help you, your employees, and your overall process. In essence, the more you know about your customers the better you can serve them. Imagine arming yourself with knowledge of all their pain points, their inefficiencies, and archaic practices. Your employees can readily retrieve any and all information about each client, including purchases, preferences, and all other pertinent details.

CRM Software Helps You Gain Visibility

When you nurture a better understanding of your customer needs and behaviors you are better equipped to identify the correct time to promote your product. In this way you give yourself the best possible chance at increasing your revenue. Solid CRM software helps you achieve this better understanding, to the benefit of your entire team. If you are interested in learning more about Zoho CRM and how it can help your business our team of Zoho Consultants is more than happy to help!

Automate and Optimize

We live in a world that is more automated by the day, and it behooves you to follow suit to survive. Fortunately a CRM is the perfect tool for establishing multiple useful automations. It is especially useful for automating all the smaller tasks associated with a sale. Your team will appreciate the automated forms, reports, and follow-ups, taking these burdens off their collective shoulders. Furthermore, this allows them to devote more time to closing deals, resolving customer pain points, and upselling when appropriate.

Zoho CRM Integration with Other Applications

Ultimately, the integrations we’ve created for Zoho CRM make the software that much more valuable. From QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online and Sage Intacct to Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, and a host of other integrations, there is a growing list of useful integrations that are bound to make your life easier.

Whether you are a veteran of CRM software, or a complete rookie, learning Zoho CRM can be a daunting task. Luckily, the ZBrains team is here to help! Take advantage of our Zoho CRM Training and enjoy 90 minutes of private training on Zoho CRM and all the applications that connect to it.

The Decline of Sage 100

What to Do When Looking to Transition Off Sage 100

The Decline of Sage 100

migrate off sage 100

Sage 100 has been on the forefront of accounting software for over three decades. But the unfortunate truth is that Sage Group is coming out of one of its most brutal years to date. For years Sage has worn their perceived “boring” company label as a badge of honor. Until recently they were one of two firms on the London Stock Market that achieved 10 years of uninterrupted earnings per share growth. A slow start in January 2018 coupled with a profit warning mere months later have spelled the beginning of the end for the once dominant Sage 100.

Reasons for the Decline

It took many years for the decline to really manifest, but longtime users of Sage probably could have seen the writing on the wall.  Sage took the plunge into cloud-based software relatively late in 2016 with Sage Live (now called Sage Business Cloud Financials), and, like relative newcomer QuickBooks Online, Sage Live did not have nearly the feature library as did its on-premise brethren.  It was simply a case of too little, too late.  Sage’s bread and butter was and still is this on-premise software, and once the last users migrate away, Sage won’t have much to show for their efforts over the years.

The decline of Sage likely has many long-term Sage users wondering: now what? Fortunately, Zoho Corporation entered the cloud-based software game years before Sage did, all the way back in 2005 (with a rival to the Microsoft Office Suite; Zoho CRM was launched in 2006).  For that reason, Zoho has had much more time to build out their list of features, expand their applications, and offer a piece of software that can hold its own against many other cloud-based – and even on-premise – accounting systems.  Zoho Books, Zoho’s accounting system, offers a host of great features to meet your basic and advanced accounting needs. The following is a road map to help you know your options when looking to transition off Sage 100 and onto something a bit more modern.

The Zoho Advantage

Zoho Books has multiple significant advantages over its Sage 100 competitor (which we discussed in our Zoho Books vs Sage 100 comparison). The Zoho accounting software is easy-to-use, inexpensive, and cloud-based. Though it may not be capable of handling Payroll in all US states just yet, Gusto is a viable option. Moreover, the built-in API makes Gusto an alternative we can integrate with. (Currently Zoho only handles Payroll processing in California, Texas, and Indiana).

What’s more, Zoho offers greater mobility, with a corresponding mobile app for each of its applications, including Zoho Books. Zoho Books can also handle multiple currencies, a feature that Sage 100 lacks, at least without the help of an expensive upgrade. Plus, perhaps the most significant benefit of the Zoho suite of applications is its inexpensive nature, especially in comparison to Sage 100. The bottom line is that with Zoho you get the valuable combination of saving money and gaining functionality. It’s a win-win that is hard to beat!

ZBrains Answers to Common Questions

Seasoned users of Sage 100 know that it can handle Work Orders and Material Resource Planning (MRP), while Zoho cannot. But what they may not know is that we at ZBrains offer Zoho ERP software that can do both of those things. This means you can manage them via Zoho without breaking a sweat.

Some users of Sage may be concerned about Zoho’s lack of fixed asset depreciation functionality. But the fact is that most small and medium sized businesses simply send their fixed asset depreciation information to their CPA. Maybe you utilize your own fixed asset depreciation software, in which case you can continue to use it because of Zoho’s shortcoming in this regard.

Next Steps

Ultimately, Zoho has a full arsenal of applications to help in your transition from Sage 100, whether you choose to do so now or later. (Learn more about what others are saying about Sage 100 here)

migrate off sage 100

Zoho Books, Zoho Inventory, and Zoho Creator all provide the same functionality lost when switching off Sage, at a fraction of the price. 

Still not convinced? Contact our Zoho consulting team to learn more and discover all of the top notch functionality of Zoho, in an effort to land on the answer to the eternal question: What can Zoho do for you?

And, if all else fails and you still feel the need to keep your org on Sage 100, there is one other thing you can do: use our Zoho CRM Sage 100 integration.

Zoho Books vs Sage 100

Zoho Books vs Sage 100

Zoho Books vs Sage 100: A Tale of Two Software Programs

Tax season is upon us, which means tracking down all financial statements and ensuring your accounting needs are fully met. Whether you are evaluating your current financial software for deficiencies or simply looking to manage your finances better in 2019, we hope this comparison of Zoho Books vs. Sage 100 is beneficial. Follow along as we evaluate the features of these two pieces of software and provide insight into their similarities and differences. Tax season may be upon us, but hopefully one of these programs can help make your life that much easier.

The End of an Erazoho books vs sage 100

Sage 100 appears to be on its final legs, a quiet exit from center stage on its descent into obscurity. This software used to be the cream of the crop, known as MAS 90 (Master Accounting Series of the 90s). Given the typical shelf life of 10 years for an ERP, this software has been around for 3 lifetimes! Given that extended time on the market and the lack of new features, the writing is on the wall. Sage 100 will soon be put out to pasture.

Where Sage 100 Went Wrong

That decline in popularity raises the question: Where did Sage 100 go wrong? For starters, Sage 100 is overblown for many smaller businesses, which means companies are not often implementing it new. Not only is it an on-premise software, but it is overwrought, and more expensive than Zoho Books. Zoho Books has multiple advantages, being inexpensive, easy-to-use, and cloud-based. On top of all that, Sage continues to increase maintenance prices year over year, making it increasingly and frustratingly more expensive.

The Major Differences for Zoho Books vs. Sage 100

There are multiple significant differences between these two pieces of software:

zoho books vs sage 100Mobility: Everything Zoho does has a corresponding mobile app; unfortunately Sage 100 is noticeably lacking in this arena.

Native Integrations: Zoho Books again has an edge, boasting the ability to integrate with Amazon, eBay, Avalara, and other payment gateways. With Zoho, you can avoid kicking everyone out before installing.

Multi-currency: Quite simply, Zoho Books operates with multiple currencies and Sage 100 does not.

New Features: Zoho is known for their innovation, their push towards a better, more efficient product. They unveil new features on a regular basis, whereas Sage is once again bringing up the rear. Sage is happy to announce a new feature that adds very little value such as adding character limits to a custom field.

Overall Comparison: Zoho Books vs. Sage 100

In the end, it is clear that there are stark differences between these two pieces of software. Sage 100 is in the sunset of its run and Zoho Books consistently churns out new inventive features.  (Of course, if you’re trapped between a rock and a hard place and need to stay on Sage 100 no matter what, we offer a Zoho CRM Sage 100 integration, too.)

Whether you are a seasoned user of Zoho or branching out to find a CRM that works for your business, we at ZBrains are happy to help. Allow one of our Zoho experts to analyze your company and determine the strengths and weaknesses with a comprehensive business process analysis (BPA). With the power of Zoho consulting, we can help you use Zoho Books to your advantage and enjoy all of the functionality and benefits of the Zoho system.

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online: Two Titans of Accounting Software

It’s true every tax season and usually the times in between, managing your finances has never been more important. But how do you tackle such a task? QuickBooks Online is used by more than 2.5 million companies, an impressive number. However, how many of those business owners are truly satisfied? How many are getting the most out of their accounting software? Zoho Books offers a few very useful features that QuickBooks lacks, especially when under the larger umbrella of Zoho Finance. Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online is a veritable clash of titans, and both bring particulars to the table that appeal to wide audiences. 

Our goal is to help you make a more informed decision about your accounting software. Whether you are buying for the first time, re-evaluating your current tools, or simply seeing what else is out there, we hope this comparison makes your job easier. Join us as we navigate the waters of financial software:

Comparing the Significant Features of Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online

A great place to begin when comparing and contrasting these two is their nuts and bolts; in what they do best and offer to the customer. The three things that QuickBooks (QB) offers over its Zoho equivalent are:

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online

  1. Payroll Processing
  2. Budget and Forecasting
  3. Online Bill Payments

Conversely, Zoho Books provides its own slate of unique features that do not exist in QB:

  • Workflows: Create different workflows based on your needs
  • Create Users: Add users to your organization for easy collaboration
  • Client Portal: Not only allows for communication with customers in an interactive portal, but you can also send them sales orders once they accept your estimate! Plus, this feature allows you to collaborate with clients by sending messages through the portal.

The Sales Orders issue is incredibly crucial, because QuickBooks Online is severely lacking in this arena, which translates to an inventory tracking system that is not robust. In this sense, the “inventory tracking” feature boasted by QB Online is misleading, because the software simply offers no way to reserve inventory! This inability to create sales orders and therefore an inability to track orders placed by customers is a not-so-subtle blemish on the QuickBooks image/brand.

There are a few other noteworthy Zoho features worth mentioning:

  1. Integrates with multiple shipping options out of the box, including FedEx, UPS, and USPS
  2. Offers a useful multi-currency option for balance sheet accounts (assets, liability, equity)
  3. Zoho Books allows for use with 6-10 payment gateways
  4. Zoho Books includes a Retainer Invoice- affords you the ability to track prepayments

Price Comparison of Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online

Zoho Books vs QuickBooks OnlineAny comparison is incomplete without evaluating pricing differences and similarities. In this case, if we view the price of Zoho Books on its own, it clearly is more cost-effective. Zoho Books’ standard price is $19 per organization per month, which includes 500 contacts, three users, and 10 automated workflows. Meanwhile, the “Essentials” package for QB Online is $35 per month, their equivalent of the Standard package. Therefore in this specific price comparison, Zoho Books has the edge.

However, if you crave the full accounting power from Zoho (which includes a fleet of applications: Invoice, Books, Zoho Inventory, Subscriptions, Expense, Checkout), you will need Zoho Finance. Operating with the integrated capabilities of Zoho Finance does require a more substantial investment, to the tune of $149 per month. This price includes 10 users and a slew of other fantastic features, all of which you can explore here.

*An important note about pricing: QB charges additional fees for data migration, Zoho Books does not.*

Overall Comparison

Ultimately, one of the most difficult hurdles for users of QuickBooks is to even consider a switch to another software. Fans of QuickBooks often believe that a transition to another operating platform will be too much of a hassle (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!). But the truth is that Zoho Books has more than its fair share of advantages over QB Online, and the integrations with other Zoho software make it that much more valuable.Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online

Plus, a nifty bonus of Zoho Books is that the mobile features can be accessed on phones from Apple, Android, and Microsoft, as well as Kindles (QB can only handle Apple + Android).

In the end, Zoho Books offers a reliable way to completely migrate off QuickBooks. Not completely sold? Check out our Zoho QuickBooks Online integration, which allows you to continue to use QuickBooks Online and share that data with the Zoho CRM.  Our team of Zoho consultants can tell you the best way to set it up based on how you conduct business.

The Joys of Using TaxJar are numerous, a fact which every accountant can get behind.

The Joys of Using TaxJar Part 2

Establishing Nexus and Complying with State, Local, and County Tax Laws

In Part 1 we covered why you should want TaxJar, how the ZBrains CPQ tool integrates with TaxJar, and who TaxJar is for. Join us as we move towards a greater understanding of TaxJar:

When it comes to calculating your taxes and taking advantage of the joys of using TaxJar, tax nexus is vital. Determining nexus is an important element of tax compliance, and how you establish nexus can vary from state to state. Most definitions of nexus include the terms “doing business” or “engaged in business.” This blog details all the specifics regarding the various state laws.

The significant questions to ask yourself are:

  1. Do I have a location, warehouse, or other physical presence in a state?
  2. Do I have an employee, contractor, sales person, installer, or someone else working for me in a state?
  3. Do I have products stored in a state?
  4. Do my sales or number of transactions in a state exceed that state’s economic nexus threshold?
  5. Do I have a drop shipping relationship with a vendor in a state?
  6. Do I have an affiliate program with affiliates in various states?
  7. Do I cross state lines to sell my products at a trade show, craft fair, or other event?

Of note are the most common items that may not be taxable in some states:

-Grocery food

-Clothing

-Certain books (textbooks, religious books, etc.)

-Prescription and nonprescription medicine

-Supplements

-Magazines and subscriptions

-Digital products (books, music, movies, etc.)

Other Noteworthy Tax Nexus Issues

Once nexus is established it is crucial to do these three things:

-Register for a sales tax permit in that state

-Charge sales tax to customers in that state (regardless of how you sold them a product, or from where that product was shipped)

-File sales tax returns in that state

Perhaps the most obvious hurdle is the variability among state laws. For example, if you do not use TaxJar and have nexus in multiple states, you are forced to research the laws for each state on your own. This process can be tedious, especially when considering state, local, and county tax differences. Given all of this, the TaxJar automation of sales tax computation is truly an invaluable resource.

*Sometimes an identical product may be taxable in one state and non-taxable in another. A product may also not be taxable at the state level, but still taxable at the local level. *

Drop Ship, Ship Direct, and Multiple Warehouses with TaxJar

There are a few important scenarios to address when it comes to tax compliance. Drop shipping occurs when you use a vendor to ship an item directly to a customer. For example: you sell phone cases through your website and use a third party printing company to print designs on the cases before they are shipped to the customer.

Three things happen in this process: the customer buys the item from you, you buy the item from the vendor, and the vendor ships it to the customer. If your vendor has nexus in your state they must charge you sales tax on that purchase, unless you issue a resale certificate! The resale certificate indicates that the item you bought is for resale. This is where it can be complicated: you may be required to charge sales tax to your customer, and concurrently your vendor may need to charge sales tax to you.

Conversely, when shipping directly to the customer, you simply have to determine the sales tax in the buyer’s ship-to address.

Last but not least is the multiple warehouses scenario, which dictates that you must charge sales tax to buyers living in every state where your inventory is warehoused. A great example where this law may be overlooked is when sellers put their products Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon). It is easy to forget that you need to charge sales tax for buyers living in each state that your goods are warehoused through Amazon FBA.

API and Customer Service

One beauty of TaxJar is the SmartCalcs Sales Tax service, which is very easy to utilize using modern restful APIs. Once integrated, it can easily determine if, when, and how much sales tax to collect. Collect the right tax amount every time you sell a product! It also makes sales tax reporting and filing easier for you or your merchants. The SmartCalcs Sales Tax service is clearly one of the best joys of using TaxJar.

The New Kid on the Block: Economic Nexus

As of June 21, 2018, a new law went into effect: Economic Nexus. This nexus law requires that sellers collect sales tax in a state because:

-They make a certain dollar amount of sales in that state (most common threshold is $100,000 per year)

-Have a certain number of sales transactions in that state (most common is 200 per year)

Approximately half of the states with a sales tax have economic nexus laws, and more states have announced they will soon also pass economic nexus laws or regulations.

The Shortcomings of TaxJar

Although this blog explores the joys of using TaxJar, we would be remiss if we did not mention any of the problems. Despite all of the areas in which it excels, there are some caveats. Most notable is that it is not very flexible. The good news is that within Zoho Creator, you can perform your tax reporting without going to TaxJar. From drag and drop reporting and ad hoc reports to all the transactions in Creator, the bottom line is that it is easier to use than TaxJar. Simply use TaxJar to acquire accurate percentages, and then store that data back in Zoho Creator to generate your own reports.

Whether you are trying to determine tax nexus or simplify your tax compliance process, TaxJar can get you there. Explore this handy software for yourself and ensure you calculate your taxes with accuracy.

The Joys of Using TaxJar are felt by multiple departments and numerous employees

The Joys of Using TaxJar

The Joys of Using Tax Jar: Why You Should Want It

Maintaining sales tax compliance is not an aspect of running a company that business owners often get excited about. Fortunately TaxJar handles the mundane parts of the tax compliance process. TaxJar is a phenomenal way for business owners to spend less time on sales tax and more time growing the business they love. It is designed for those on an E-commerce platform, and is especially effective for businesses with nexus in multiple states. Join us as we explore and illuminate all the Joys of Using TaxJar!

Nexus, for those who are unaware, is a presence or connection in a state significant enough for you to be required to comply with sales tax law. It is precisely the differences among the 45 U.S. states (and D.C.) that make complying with sales tax laws such a hassle. The good news? TaxJar is not only easy to use, it is cost-effective, and using it as your tax compliance software affords you top notch customer service. The best way to enjoy all the aforementioned benefits is to integrate TaxJar with Zoho. That’s precisely where we come in. 

How ZBrains CPQ Combines with TaxJar

A great integration couples two parts of your business with ease, providing synergy that makes your job easier. Thus is the case with our Configure Price Quote (CPQ) and TaxJar. Generate sales quotes quickly and easily using our CPQ. The resulting process means you rely on just one system rather than an array of programs and personnel.

Here are the important facts about our CPQ:

-All your SKUs update automatically, no more looking through hundreds of defunct item codes

-All your item descriptions and pictures (if necessary) are up to date

-Your quotes come with a configurator: never search through line items that have nothing to do with the items you sell

Who is TaxJar For?

Although the design of TaxJar caters to eCommerce businesses, the software helps businesses everyday of all types and backgrounds. Versatility is undoubtedly one of the best joys of using TaxJar. It calculates tax for companies in any U.S. location as well as Canada, Australia, and the EU. Rest assured that if you have sales tax issue(s) to rectify, TaxJar can ensure your problems are a thing of the past. 

Use TaxJar to calculate sales tax for each state your business is in or where you have already been collecting taxes. It determines what taxes should be collected, and whether tax has been over or under collected. Discover those details by determining in which U.S. Sates you have nexus, a major topic in the second half of the Joys of Using TaxJar blog.

In addition to our TaxJar Integration for Zoho, we have numerous other Zoho Integrations to make your life easier.

This is part one of a two-part series.  Check here for Part 2 of The Joys of Using TaxJar.

Comparing and Contrasting TaxJar vs Avalara

TaxJar vs Avalara

TaxJar vs Avalara

Determining the best Tax Software for your business is a crucial step in the evolution of any company. A good sales tax compliance software is a cinch to implement, easy to use, and ultimately solves your problems so you can get back to running your business. To compare TaxJar vs Avalara, we evaluated each SaaS (software as a service) on: Ease of Use, Customer Support, Pricing, and Overall Customer Satisfaction. We hope this comparison article helps you make an informed decision about the best tax software for your business.

 

Ease of Use

Since the dawn of software solutions people have put a premium on usability. What good is a software if it takes months or even years to master the nuances? In terms of the customer/user experience, TaxJar is simply easier to use. TaxJar is built for multi-channel sellers, who can easily import data with a few clicks from Shopify and Amazon. By contrast, Avalara users are forced to download CSVs (comma separated values) and re-format them to meet AvaTax requirements. In the end, you don’t have to take our word for it when it comes to the functionality of each SaaS, you can look what customers are saying for yourself!

 

TaxJar vs Avalara Pricing

When evaluating on price we considered the offer of a TaxJar free trial, the contract differences, and the extra fees charged by Avalara. A good first impression goes a long way, which is why TaxJar provides potential customers with a 30-day free trial. According to their website, this trial does not require a credit card. Plus, new customers to TaxJar do not face setup fees, cancellation fees, hidden fees, or forced annual contracts. From our research we found that annual contracts are the standard for Avalara customers: some being multi-year. Meanwhile, TaxJar proudly offers monthly plans because they stand behind their service rather than rely on contracts to keep customers around.

Last but not least are the fees built in to each software. Our research indicates that a typical 20K transaction year with TaxJar will cost $2,150, a pittance compared to the $12,515 price tag for Avalara customers. The combination of an activation fee, annual connector fee, annual license, and monthly billing (among others) from Avalara contributes to this hefty final figure. All of this information illustrates why TaxJar is the more cost-efficient model.

 

Customer Support

Another pillar of great software is strong customer support, and unfortunately for Avalara customers, this is where they fall significantly short. The Avalara adage of ‘Tax compliance done right’ does not accurately reflect their customer support services. Time and time again customers have complained about the abysmal support from Avalara. The general consensus among TaxJar customers is positive for their customer support. Calculating accurate taxes is important and the consequences can be more than a bit frustrating. As a result, TaxJar’s solid reputation of good customer support is so integral to the overall customer experience.

 

Overall Customer Satisfaction

No matter which software you choose, we hope this comparison has been useful. Although both serve the same purposes, our ZBrains Tax Jar integration provides all the benefits of TaxJar without the price tag of Avalara. As an added bonus, if you use Magento to help sell, TaxJar offers free sales tax calculations!

Long-time users of TaxJar and brand new customers alike can benefit from our Zoho Integration for TaxJar. Discover the benefits of this and all of our Zoho integrations!

Questions? Our Zoho Certified Consultants are ready to help.

 

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