ZipBooks is a relatively new player in the entry-level cloud accounting market. What makes them interesting is that they offer their software for free. Below is a message directly from their website explaining how they are able to do this and still make money:
We make money when you choose to let us and our partners facilitate payments for you. For example, if you choose to use our Invoice Instant Payments feature, we’ll give you an advance on an invoice the moment you send it to your customer — and you pay us back later plus a small, transparent fee.
Because we can operate profitably with that revenue, we offer you our service for free — a service that other software companies, like QuickBooks Online, typically charge for.
No tricks, watermarks, or ads.
Even if you choose not to use any of our payment options, ZipBooks is 100% free.
We like this – they’re very honest and transparent up-front and apparently it’s working because there are a lot of companies using ZipBooks. However, small business owners should carefully evaluate the cost of using the built-in features where ZipBooks makes their money. For example, you can optionally get an advance on an invoice sent to a customer but that means you’re giving up a portion of the total invoice amount to ZipBooks. This might be very convenient and not as important for a very small company but could add up to a considerable amount for companies with larger invoices or higher invoice transaction volumes that take advantage of this built-in and optional feature.
ZipBooks was founded by in 2015 by Tim Chaves with initial funding from Peak Ventures but wasn’t publicly available until March of 2016.
As one of the newest entry-level products on the market (and with somewhat limited funding for development), ZipBooks doesn’t do much but what it does is good for self-employed businesses or companies with few employees who need a simple and easy to use accounting system. And customers seem to like it as it’s one of the highest rated apps in the Google Chrome Web Store and on Capterra’s extensive business software directory.
ZipBooks includes invoicing, expense management (payables), project management, team management, time tracking, credit card integration, and a very basic level of personalization (they call it customization) for things like email templates and basic system settings.
This is not an application you will want to use to manage distribution or manufacturing operations but it seems to be a nice app for the small professional services organization and you simply cannot beat the price. It is also not recommended for retail businesses or service-driven organizations as there appears to be a major gap in functionality unless you have separate systems to manage your business operations and intend to use ZipBooks only for accounting.
Note: This is not the same company or product as zipbooks.in which has completely different accounting software available from headquarters in India.
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