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How a certified zoho books implementation partner adds value to your zoho books journey

ZOHO BOOKS is a simple accounting software to use that makes your accounting hassle free. When it comes to implementation of zoho books there are two groups of users. One group focuses on business and goes for a certified implementation partner and the other group takes the adventurous route and goes of DIY implementation.

On the surface the software appears to be straightforward to implement, however there is a lot of dependencies between the modules and data objects which if not understood makes the DIY implementation more challenging. This article is to understand how a certified implementation partner can add value to the zoho books setup and why DIY implementation can become more expensive.


Capabilities: The implementation partners are certified by the ZOHO Corp and the certification happens only after a proper evaluation of the capabilities. The certified partners are listed on the ZOHO Books web site as CERTIFIED ADVISORS. The advanced partners come with a strong accounting, finance and technical developer's background and would have mastered the implementation process. They understand the dependencies between the modules. This helps your business take a professional and sound approach to the onboarding.

Pre-engagement process : The pre-engagement process of the implementation partners starts with DEMO, Discovery calls to understanding your asks, defining the scope and deliverables, effort estimate, negotiation and engagement. The process and checklists help you stay on the right track, understand the dependencies and save lot of time. If the initial foundation is not sound, you might have to undo the process that went wrong which may cost you a lot.

Which Plan to purchase : There are multiple pricing plans and it becomes challenging to choose the right plan for your business. The partner helps you in understanding your needs and choose the right plan.

Master Data gathering & Migration: Master data gathering may become more challenging when not done without defined checklists, process and formats. The implementation partners would come with proven formats and checklists to ease the process. For example before setting up items master one needs to understand and define the chart of accounts and mapping of the item to the relevant account type at the item master level.

Where to start ? : The implementation partners come with demonstrated experience. They can guide you properly as to which module to set up first. For example before configuring the Sales and purchase modules you need to define the payment terms first, pricing lists and need for custom fields to track additional data if any.

Data migration & Validation: This is a very challenging phase. Often users don't understand how much data and how many past years of data to bring into the ZOHO Books from their previous software. The CAs would walk you through the pros and cons and will help you take a meaningful decision. For example migrating multiple years of data into ZOHO Books might be expensive and time consuming. The CAs would give some alternatives like migrating older data into ZOHO Analytics for reports. In case your older system is like Tally, then you may need to cleanse your data before importing the data into ZOHO BOOKS.

Automation & Other ZOHO apps :The implementation partners would be equipped with a sound Business Analysts and developers team to understand your business scenarios and come up with suitable automation options to eliminate recurring transactions and manual tasks. They would have dealt with practical pain points and multiple use cases and a discussion can help you refine your business process further. Also their knowledge will be helpful to know about other ZOHO apps that could accelerate your business transformation journey.

Training & Hand holding : Usually an implementation of new accounting software might receive resistance from the accounting staff, this is understandable when a change is going to be implemented in the system. The partners would incorporate sufficient hours for training and hand holding as part of the scope document. The training and hand holding would give the necessary confidence among the staff to cope with the change easily.

Need for advanced Reports & Analytics : ZOHO Books has plenty of critical reports by default. However every business has its unique requirements and need to develop business critical reports to aid decision-making. A separate discussion with the implementation partner would help understand features on ZOHO Analytics, where and how to source data from, do possibility checks and construct the necessary reports and dash boards.

Validation, UAT, Go live & Sign-off : The partner takes a professional approach before signing off the project. They test and validate the data with the reference files and obtain a UAT from the client. This gives lot of confidence to go live with using the software.

Consequences of DIY implementation of ZOHO BOOKS
  1. Time-consuming if the system is not understood

  2. Incorrect and unreliable data issues if the setup goes wrong

  3. Loss of license cost if Books are not set up correctly

  4. Adaptability issues with the staff

  5. Inefficient solution

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