How Workflows and Automation Customize Your Accounting in Zoho Books

Nearly every industry has its own “special” accounting practices that go above and beyond what traditional accounting software allows for. As a result, each accounting package needs some level of customization in order to make it work for each business. So far, Zoho Books is the only accounting package which allows for this kind of customization without add-ons. 

Custom Workflows & Webhooks: the hidden superpower of Zoho Books

Custom workflows are the pathway to success in Zoho Books and other Zoho apps. Much like programming, rules are triggered based on conditions. And you can set them up for pretty much anything. If, for example, an expense is over a certain amount in a specific category (e.g. Meals & Entertainment), you can set up a workflow to have the manager of the person submitting the expense sign off on it before it is approved. 

You can also do things like have copies of estimates for certain products or over a certain dollar amount be emailed to a sales manager. You can see where custom workflows can save an enormous amount of time and streamline your operations – especially when you are working remotely. 

If you are using Zoho Books in conjunction with Zoho CRM as a part of the Zoho One apps suite, you can have workflows that cross applications. If, for example, a lead converts in Zoho CRM, you can automatically create a customer record in Zoho Books. 

Webhooks are a subset of workflows which integrate with third-party web applications to communicate something to your customers. They could be used, for example, to trigger a text message as a thank-you for a payment of any invoice over a certain amount. You could, for example, set up a workflow in which when past due invoices are paid, an email goes out to the sales manager of an account to let them know that the account is in good standing again, while a webhook sends the text message to the client to thank them. 

How to set up custom workflows in Zoho Books 

Setting up custom workflows in Zoho Books is easy enough that anyone can do it. However, if you want a series of advanced workflows, you may want to consider hiring a Zoho Advanced Partner like ion8 to ensure that everything “fires” properly. If you just want to set up simple workflows, such as emailing management whenever an estimate over a certain dollar amount is created, those are simple enough to do yourself. The instructions from Zoho can look intimidating, but they are there to walk you through any kind of workflow from simple to complex. 

Zoho has also created a number of Workflow Scenarios which walk you through how to do some of the simpler workflows, such as updating fields or email notifications. 

Customized accounting for your industry 

Does your industry have odd “rules” that you need to apply every time you generate an invoice? Chances are you do. If you have to build custom estimates every time for things like decks, pools, or cabinets, you can customize your estimates – and invoices – easily with custom workflows. This way estimates are always accurate. Using the same industry example, you may have a particular product with a very tight margin. With a custom workflow, you can prevent discounts from being applied to this product by overzealous salespeople. 

Smart notifications, workflows and rules mean that the software works for your business, and you don’t work for your software. And with automation, you can even free up time and improve your cash flow. 

When do you start looking for help with workflows? If you don’t think you have the time to put them together, or want to set up multiple cascading conditions with workflows, you may want to turn to a Zoho Advanced Partner. 

As an Advanced Zoho Partner, a large part of our job is setting up custom workflows for our clients in Zoho Books, Zoho CRM, and other programs in the Zoho One suite of apps. We have the expertise to go deeper into the code level with the programmers on our team in order to further customize your software – that’s part of the secret sauce that makes ion8 a better match for businesses than any other Zoho Partner. Contact us today to find out how you can get a fully customized accounting solution.