Should you use Zoho Finance, or FieldTech?
Like with all things Zoho, your software choice should depend on your business.
There’s a new player in town when it comes to the ERP side of Zoho. We released FieldTech formally several months ago, and while a good number of companies enjoy its benefits today, it isn’t always clear what the differences are between FieldTech and the Zoho Finance platform at large. So, we present this post in hopes of clearing that up.
When should you use Zoho Finance?
If your accounting and ERP needs are relatively simple–or if you don’t use inventory–you may not need anything more than Zoho Finance. Finance works well for professional services companies, as well as distributors with very light or uncomplicated inventory. For anything a little more complex, Zoho’s custom functions can transmit information between the modules of different apps, and workflow automation can speed up slow processes and prevent certain tasks from falling through the cracks.
And, for anything more complex than that, businesses can use Zoho Creator to built separate apps to then connect to the Finance platform. These apps give these businesses ways to manipulate their data that Zoho Finance could not do on its own.
The drawback to simply building your own Zoho Creator ERP apps is doing so takes lots of time: Someone has to architect your solution given the way you do business, then actually build and implement it for you. This is one of the chief reasons we built FieldTech: to address this potential need of many companies who wouldn’t be satisfied with just Zoho Finance, and who don’t have the time to develop their very own apps.
When should you use FieldTech?
Zoho Finance’s familiar array of features suits the needs of a lot of businesses. But, the suite tends to alienate several other kinds of companies inadvertently:
- Manufacturers and Distributors
- Field Services or Installation companies
- Construction companies (subcontractors)
- Technology developers
- SaaS companies
These kinds of companies depend on certain features available in ERP software that Zoho Finance doesn’t provide, or only partially provides. Things like:
- Complex, mobile quote creation on-the-fly (with a CPQ tool)
- Assisted scheduling of appointments or work orders
- Work order management, including tracking time, materials used, and equipment
- Production (manufacturing) order management
- Advanced inventory management, including MRP and an RMA module
- Job costing, factoring in both labor and materials
- Commission calculation for salespeople
And, this isn’t to say those companies with these needs can’t use Zoho Finance at all! They can, and often do–sometimes to their detriment–for years.
The point is Zoho Finance isn’t always enough for these companies.
The reason for FieldTech’s existence
As Zoho consultants, we get calls about the shortcomings of many Zoho apps, including the Finance suite, on a daily basis. Zoho Corporation is notorious for improving apps and releasing features at a breakneck pace, but this doesn’t usually translate into accommodating the sort of requests we were getting (and still get) from the kinds of companies mentioned before.
Eventually we wisened up to the fact that our customers needed more than what standard Zoho apps could reasonably offer, at the pace it was needed. So, over the course of years, we built the FieldTech platform to help address these needs.
Is it possible to use both suites at once?
As Zoho Finance isn’t always enough for some businesses, and FieldTech can supplement the Finance suite’s features, many companies find it useful to use both Zoho Finance and FieldTech together. The FieldTech suite has many standard integrations with Zoho Books, Zoho Inventory, Zoho CRM, and even Zoho Desk.
Could we cut out Zoho Finance entirely?
From time to time, people ask us why they need Zoho Finance at all, if FieldTech works so well as a sort of Zoho ERP. The answer is that Zoho Finance, in spite of its shortcomings, packs a lot of extremely useful accounting functions and third-party banking integrations. We could develop these things for FieldTech too, but, except in very extreme cases, we’d be reinventing the wheel. Better to let Zoho do what they do best.
Get the full Zoho Finance vs FieldTech Feature List
This post serves as a very general overview of Zoho Finance vs FieldTech. But, if you’d like to really dive into the weeds and explore the full feature list, we’ve got you covered. The feature list shows exactly where FieldTech shines, where Zoho Finance shines, and where the capabilities of the two overlap. It also breaks features down by category for easy navigation.