ZipBooks Review: Are ZipBooks Features Worth the Pricing?
Contractors, accountants, and small business owners are always on the lookout for the best accounting software to manage their billable hours, expenses, and payments.
ZipBooks checks all the boxes as it’s many things at the same time: affordable, intuitive, and packed with useful features.
In this ZipBooks review, we’ll discuss the basics of the software and focus on the key features, the main pros and cons, and reviews from real customers.
ZipBooks review 2022: Is ZipBooks any good?
After writing this comprehensive ZipBooks review, we can confidently say that it's a great accounting and invoicing software for small agencies and contractors. The software is easy to use, offers a generous set of features, and is more affordable than any of its closest competitors.
On that note, you can see how Zipbook compares among a broader field in our accounting software comparison post. There you can check how do ZipBooks vs Quickbooks compare, as well as all the other big names in business accounting software.
To kick us off, here’s a few positives.
ZipBooks customer support gets high ratings for being very responsive and professional in answering any questions and concerns.
The free version is free forever and has plenty of invoicing and accounting features. You may never need to upgrade to a paid plan if you're a freelancer or an independent contractor. Being a lightweight solution means there's only a small learning curve.
You won't have difficulty navigating the software even if you're a newbie. But if you come across an issue, there's an extensive knowledge base containing easy-to-understand help articles that teach you how the software works.
ZipBooks pricing plans
First of all, how much does ZipBooks cost? Let’s first review ZipBooks prices:
How much does ZipBooks cost for nonprofits?
ZipBooks is free for nonprofits. Navigate over to the ZipBooks for nonprofits page on their site and get in touch with the vendor to verify your bonafides.
Are there any ZipBooks coupon codes or promo discount vouchers?
We did the research, and it seems there are no ZipBooks coupon codes or discount vouchers at this time.
ZipBooks overview: what is ZipBooks & what is ZipBooks used for?
ZipBooks is a free accounting software for contractors, accountants, and small businesses or startups. Contractors and accountants use it to manage invoicing and accounting, and accountants use it to manage clients and track time across different client accounts.
The software comes with all the features you would expect from a lightweight accounting solution, including creating and sending invoices, online payment processing, expense management, and estimates and proposals.
ZipBooks accountants can enjoy smarter bookkeeping operations such as built-in time-tracking, client texting, inventory management, and payroll integration.
Features like smart insights and reports help you retain your most profitable clients, get paid on time, and see how you’re doing compared to competitors. You can even automate everything with auto-billing and automated payment reminders.
ZipBooks free vs paid: what’s the difference?
The good news is that ZipBooks has a free plan and two paid plans. There’s an additional plan designed for accountants but there’s no public pricing available on the company’s website. The free plan, also called the Starter plan, comes with all the basic features freelancers or independent contractors would need for managing their business.
Users of the free plan can send unlimited invoices and estimates, manage an unlimited number of vendors and customers, accept digital payments, get basic reports, and connect one bank account.
The Smarter plan ($15/month) includes all features from the free plan, plus automated reminders, multiple bank accounts, account notifications, and time tracking. A major upgrade in this plan is the option to add up to five team members to use the software together with you.
The Sophisticated plan ($35/month) lets you organize books with smart tagging, customize categories, reconcile accounts, share documents, invite unlimited users, and more.
ZipBooks features list
The main features of ZipBooks are:
Reports and insights
ZipBooks comes with a good set of accounting features, including double-entry accounting. You can track your transactions, see what you owe and who owes you, and get a clear overview of how much your business is making. The software lets you link your bank account(s), eliminating the need to enter your transactions manually.
With the Accountant Access feature, you can give your accountant access to the software so they can get accurate information for filing your taxes, preparing financial reports, and giving you advice.
The bank reconciliation functionality guarantees that your accounting records match up with your bank statements. ZipBooks also uses auto-categorization that remembers how you categorize your transactions and then automates this process.
ZipBooks accurately records and reports your expenses for you to keep your business running smoothly. The software makes it easy to mark billable expenses, so you can be sure to get paid for every penny. Other features include creating receipts from your phone so you don't forget later. Additionally, you can mark a transaction as a 1099 expense.
With ZipBooks, you can create professional-looking invoices for customers. You can set up general invoice preferences, including your logo and accent color, payment options, and more. Invoices can also have notes and messages.
Once you’re done creating an invoice, the software will automatically generate a link you share with your client from which they can access the invoice. Additionally, you can choose to send the invoice via email as a PDF file or print it. You can also create invoice templates in order to avoid creating the same invoice over and over again.
4. Time tracking
ZipBooks has a built-in time tracking functionality, which makes it a suitable tool for independent contractors, consultants, or anyone else that needs to track their time. The timer is conveniently located at the top of the user dashboard. Additionally, you can assign your tracked time to a client or a project.
ZipBooks supports online payments. Customers can easily send you payments, right from their invoice, with any major payment processor. ZipBooks integrates seamlessly with Square, but you can also integrate the software with other payment providers like Stripe and Paypal.
If a client hasn't decided they want to hire you yet, you can create estimates directly from the software and send them over for an overview. Estimates can have a title, description, terms, notes, and other details. Once you're done creating an estimate, you can download it as a PDF file or send it to the client via email. Estimates can be converted into invoices.
The Projects feature is a great way to track the work you and your team members are doing for a client. Projects can have one or more projects assigned to them. Projects can be assigned to a customer or used for internal work. You can track time against projects or use them to tag transactions and monitor their profitability.
In the Contacts section, you can add an unlimited number of customers and vendors and record any details associated with them like payment history, estimates given, invoice history, and contact info. If a contact is a vendor, you’ll have the option to check the 1099 contractor box next to their name to track all of their payments and send a 1099 at the end of the tax year.
9. Reports and insights
ZipBooks has a full suite of reports and insights to keep you on track. One of the most unique features is the Business Health Score that determines the hygiene and success of your business. Based on your score, ZipBooks will give you recommendations to make your business healthier.
Another unique functionality is the Invoice Quality Score that helps you create modern, professional, and well-crafted invoices to ensure customer satisfaction. In addition, there’s a variety of reports in various categories, including financial statements, accounting and tax reports, expenses reports, and tracking reports.
ZipBooks integrates seamlessly with the world's best payroll system, Gusto. This is a good option for businesses that need to pay employees. ZipBooks also integrates with Square for accepting online credit card payments. You can also add ZipBooks functionality to Slack, from where you'll be able to track time, view income, add expenses, and track accounts receivable.
ZipBooks accounting software pros and cons
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of ZipBooks:
Generous free plan. One of the best perks of ZipBooks is that it has a generous free plan you can use indefinitely. The free plan is ideal if you run a freelance business as it comes with all the basic features for invoicing and keeping track of expenses and income.
You can send unlimited invoices and manage unlimited customers. You'll find that ZipBooks competitors rarely offer a free plan, which is one reason why you should consider giving it a go.
Low learning curve. The software is highly intuitive and easy to learn. You don't have to be an accounting pro to set up and start invoicing clients. Every feature is easy to use, but customer service is always available to help you if you encounter an issue.
Creating and sending invoices is a breeze. Invoicing clients is incredibly simple within the app. You only need to create a new invoice, choose the customer name, and the system will automatically calculate the time you spent working for the client and add it to the invoice.
You can manage work from one central place. The software lets you do everything from tracking time, creating projects, adding expenses, sending invoices, printing accounting reports, and receiving payments, all from one place. There’s no need to leave the software and use third-party tools in conjunction with ZipBooks, which can be time-saving and cost-effective.
No mobile app for iOS and Android. Unfortunately, ZipBooks discontinued its mobile app to integrate it with new features currently in development. The company hasn't announced when the mobile app will be available for download again.
It’s North America-centric. Another downside is that some of the software's features are only available in North America. For example, if you're not located in the US or Canada, you won't be able to connect your bank account to the system. However, you can always enter expenses manually.
ZipBooks complaints & praise (from real ZipBooks customer reviews)
The online reviews of ZipBooks are mostly positive. Users praise the software's ease of use, clean interface, and large set of features. They seem to like how the software helps them track every financial aspect of their businesses with features like General Ledger and Income Statements.
Other users love how the invoice notifications look like in an email, saying they look clean and modern with a large “Pay Now” button that customers can easily click on.
Another aspect of the system that gets plenty of praise is the ease of navigation when you’re logged in. They like how the side panel has a list of options you can click on to navigate different aspects of your business. Additionally, when clicking on items you have never used, the system will automatically show you a window with instructions on using the feature.
The time tracking feature is a favorite of many users who love how it integrates well with the invoicing functionality.
Some negative ZipBooks reviews revolve around the lack of invoice customization. Users complain that the software offers only one invoice template that can be minimally customized.
Other users say how the free and lowest tier options are amazing, but they lack some of the in-depth features that you're going to find with some platforms designed for experts. The higher tier options have everything you'd need to compete with any of ZipBooks' competitors, but they're a little pricier.
Review of ZipBooks support
ZipBooks’ customer support has a 5-star rating from customers. According to reviews, customer support answers all questions in real-time and quickly.
You can easily get in touch with customer support via live chat. There’s an instant chat button available when you’re logged into the software. Every time you come across an issue, you can chat with a live agent who will guide you through every problem you encounter.
Additionally, there’s an extensive knowledge base that contains 100+ help articles that explain how each one of the features works.
Is ZipBooks worth it? Final points
Let's get to the main point of this review post:
Is ZipBooks worth it?
Our answer is that ZipBooks is worth it, especially if you're an accountant, contractor, or small business that needs a more lightweight accounting solution. The software provides basic accounting features, and it's easy to use, even if you have no prior accounting experience.
Smaller businesses can start with the free plan and scale up to more features when necessary. Even the paid plans are budget-friendly as they will cost you a maximum of $35 per month.
You can always test any plan for 30 days for free if you want to familiarize yourself with the software. It might turn out to be exactly what you need for your small business.
Finally, don’t forget there are some good ZipBooks alternatives out there like Xero and FreshBooks that may turn out to be a better fit. As usual, shopping around for perspective is a good idea.