Just in: Tax Groups in Zoho Invoice & Zoho Books

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Join us in welcoming tax groups to Zoho Books and Zoho Invoice. Tax groups will revive the way you work with your taxes.

When
there’s a need to use more than a single tax to your line items, you
have the option to group those taxes into a tax group and associate
that tax group to the line items, instead of the individual taxes.
For
example: In the US state of Alabama, a federal tax, a state tax and a local  tax are applicable. For ease of use, the three taxes could be grouped together into a tax group named “Alabama Taxes”. While invoicing customers in Alabama, this tax group would be used in place of three separate taxes.

In the example above, if the Federal tax is 15%, the state tax is 5.6% and the local tax is 3.5%, the tax group “Alabama Taxes” would impose a 24.1% tax on a line item. Besides this, you could also mark one of the taxes in the tax group as a “compound tax”.

Here are some FAQ which we presume would help you get started with using tax groups.

What if you use only one tax?

If you deal
with just a single tax, you can apply the tax directly to your line
items. Things change only for those who deal with more than a single
tax.

Why tax groups?

To make your invoicing simpler and to avoid any errors
while associating taxes. Earlier you’d have selected from two
drop-downs a tax 1 and a tax2. Now, you’ll have one drop down to select
from. Your tax selection could either be an individual tax or a tax group.


Here in our example, though the effective tax rate is 24.1%, on the invoice you’d see a clear break up of each of those taxes. 

How easy is it to set up tax groups?

Very easy, we would say. We’ve provided an interactive wizard within your account, to help you set up tax groups. This
wizard will show you the combination of taxes that you’ve used in your
invoices. You can name and create a tax group out of each of those
combination.
Now that’s
more than what you bargained for, right?

Wait no more, head straight to your Zoho Invoice or Zoho Books account and set up your tax groups.

If you haven’t been following us on twitter it’s high time you did because we’ve been tweeting some all our updates there by the day.

Maximize Your Productivity With Zoho Mail For Business

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As Business-Owners or Professionals, we’re constantly looking for ways to enhance our work productivity by accomplishing more in lesser time. A recent article at GigaOm, titled ‘15 Tips For Accomplishing More In Less Time‘ gives some advice on how this can be achieved. Many of the tips mentioned in the article talk about how email can affect your productivity. With the right features, of course, email can be transformed into a powerful Business tool that helps you maximize work productivity. This was also the main objective with which we recently launched Zoho Mail for Business, a powerful hosted email solution that includes several inbuilt productivity-oriented features.

Today, we’d like to highlight Zoho Mail’s Business features that go hand in hand with GigaOm’s productivity tips:

  1. To start with, Zoho Mail can help you stay focused on the important work with its integrated Tasks app. ​The Tasks app lets you add or assign tasks with options to include start/end times, not just dates and set reminders by pop-up or email. Task-tracking is made highly effective with features such as color-coding, status-tagging and a compact graphical report of the overall status of tasks. Here’s what one of our users, Angela had to say about the Tasks app..”I have been searching for a task management software and found some really expensive ones that are not nearly as effective a tool as the Zoho email task app. I love this system!

  2. Using Keyboard shortcuts for 35 commonly-used actions in Zoho Mail can save you quite a lot of time from not having to maneuver your mouse around, enabling you to check, read and respond to messages faster. You can even customize these shortcuts with your own keystroke definitions in the Mail Settings section.

  3. Unlike many other webmail interfaces, Zoho Mail supports multi-level folders and its Filters feature includes additional options such as ‘Begins with’, ‘Is not’, ‘Ends with’, etc. By being able to filter incoming messages and automatically organizing them into specific folders or sub-folders, you can spend more time focusing on critical stuff.

  4. More often than not, as you tend to respond to messages one at a time, the most important messages get lost in the Inbox pile, which builds up to an unmanageable scale. With Zoho Mail, you can take immediate action on every email by assigning flags and labels, moving them to archives or other folders with a simple drag & drop. By effectively utilizing the three types of flags, that is Info, Important and Follow-up, you can greatly simplify categorization of your messages.

  5. The Integrated Calendar app with shareable calendars helps to keep people together and up to date with important events, within teams or with customers. The app includes features such as the ability to check when people are free / busy while scheduling events, a smart add that automatically fills in available slots in your calendar with a single line input as well as email reminders for events. Together, these features help ensure that you can be in control of your calendar and stay organized while handling events.
  6. Ever been overwhelmed with situations where you had to interact with individuals from different teams or projects within a particular company? With Zoho Mail, you can now work in chunks and focus better by creating a main folder with the company name and sub-folders within this folder with the team names. Then, you can filter and organize incoming messages to these sub-folders and manage them more efficiently, one team at a time. Additionally, you can create email templates for different situations, common questions and insert relevant template chunks at compose time.

  7. When it comes to keeping it simple, Zoho Mail is equipped with features that simplify many otherwise complex tasks down to a click of a button. The best example of this is the ‘optional’ conversation view that unveils the history of a thread in a neat tree format, saving you the burden of manually searching for related messages. Also, the ‘Edit as new’ feature, that makes it easy to pick up and edit a previous email. Zoho Mail includes many such easy-to-use but powerful shortcuts for important actions.

So, those are 7 tips / features that make Zoho Mail an ideal choice for your Business communication needs. We hope you found these tips and features handy. If you haven’t already looked at Zoho Mail for your Business, now would be a good time to give it a try! To receive more updates and productivity tips, connect with Zoho Mail on Facebook and Twitter.

IT company Ondimar uses Zoho CRM + Google Apps to run its business

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The challenge for small business owners has long been finding a CRM application that is both effective and affordable. One such business is Ondimar.com, a Brazilian information technology company owned and
operated by Ondimar Jose de Morais. The company specializes in
demonstrating systems, training users, and presenting IT alternatives to its client base.

Ondimar realized that the effectiveness of any CRM installation depends on the users’ ability to understand the process flow, share knowledge, and understand the utility of CRM as a fundamental business process. Meanwhile, the company’s CRM users were often spread thin engaging a variety of clients and business partners.

Ondimar.com started working with Zoho CRM two years ago and is quite happy with the decision. The company is now taking advantage of Zoho CRM’s integration with Google Apps.

“Zoho CRM has assisted me in tracking tasks,” says Ondimar. “We use Gmail, so I can monitor all requests that come to my team via email. Then, I can email the file after it is resolved. By integrating with Google Apps, Zoho CRM lets me share without difficulty or duplicating effort.”


Continue to read
 on how Zoho CRM’s straightforward interface helped Ondimar.com’s employees.

If you’d like to share your Zoho CRM story too, write in to us at support@zohocrm.com, We look forward to hearing from you!

Zoho Docs Gets A Fresh New Look And Feel

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You probably must have noticed the changes in the Zoho Docs UI by now. In an update done yesterday, we’ve completely redesigned our user interface with a fresh new look to improve navigation and to easily manage your documents in the cloud. The new Zoho Docs UI has a cleaner, sleeker interface that will make it easier for you to navigate through your Folders, Workspaces etc.


 


Let us look in detail at what is new in this update

Easy-to-use Navigation
The new navigation system is simple and intuitive. It focuses on things that users do most often like say, going to a specific folder, workspace or group.


Drag-and-Drop Files
Uploading files to Zoho Docs just got easier. You can now upload files by just dragging and dropping them from your desktop on to the desired folders in the “Personal Folders” section. You can also drag multiple files at once. There are no plugins needed for this feature to work. This new feature uses HTML5 and so will work in browsers that support HTML5, like Firefox 3.6+ and Chrome 6+.


Attach From Zoho Docs
We love listening to our customers and quite a number of you had told us that finding documents when using Zoho Mail’s

Attach from Zoho Docs
was not flexible enough. We have now provided more options to easily find and attach the documents from Zoho Docs.

 

Other Enhancements

  1. If you have documents shared to you, which are not relevant to you anymore, you can use the new Remove Share option to remove the sharing. An email notification will be sent to the author of the shared document.
  2. Using the Unsubscribe option, you now have control on what Workspaces you would want to view in your Workspace section.
  3. You can now email documents present in Workspaces using the Send Mail option.

Like Mark Ford who tweeted the below, we hope you too like the new look and feel of

Zoho Docs
 :)

 

Please do share your views and suggestions by dropping us a comment here.

Break Free Alliance manage their information repository using Zoho Creator: A success story

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Break Free Alliance is a program of the Health Education Council, and is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are using Zoho Creator for their online data collection, sharing and collaboration needs. Lisa Houston, the Program Administrator of Break Free Alliance was more than happy to explain how Zoho Creator was deployed for their requirements. Even if not directly, we are extremely privileged to be associated with this healthy initiative.

Disadvantaged populations are the ones suffering the most from tobacco-related diseases. The primary motive of Break Free Alliance is to ensure that every person has access to tobacco education resources, cessation support and prevention programs, regardless of education level, income or occupation. They do this with the help of states, national organizations, researchers, community-based agencies, medical experts and volunteers, who help advocate policies and programs that help the poor quit tobacco and prevent youth from starting.




Their repository of endless information was previously maintained in hardbound files on their computers. Some were essential to program-organizers and some were needed by participants, so user role-based sharing had to be implemented, keeping it accessible at the same time.


“Before, whenever people asked for contact information and resources, I
would have to ask a staff person to search through files in order to
send them the information. I was not aware of web-based applications for
this kind of data management then.” – Lisa Houston

Lisa embedded all the required information on their website, which made it much easier to direct users to the repository than looking around for the information in their files. They like it that Zoho Creator is easily searchable. Lisa had built all four applications by herself, of which three are embedded on their website. She appreciated our support team too, saying I
got some great support from Zoho Creator. Whenever I couldn’t figure
something out myself, Zoho staff got back to me right away.

She had seen Zoho Creator being embedded on the website of The National Latino Tobacco Control Network, yet another national network like Break Free Alliance. Both their requirements were similar, so she considered trying Zoho Creator. They ended up liking it. Well, we couldn’t be happier.

If you have a Zoho Creator success
story to share, write to us at creator-marketing@zohocorp.com; we’d
love to feature it here!

7 Reasons For Self-Employed Professionals To Choose Zoho Projects

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In a recent article titled ‘

Seven Keys To Productivity In The Human Cloud
‘, 

Business Insider
shared a set of productivity tips for independent consultants and freelancers; self-employed professionals who generally work from their home offices, collaborating with multiple clients and juggling multiple projects. According to the article, these tips should be used by professionals in leveraging the power of cloud-based tools for attracting and delivering better business. We offer one such cloud-based tool, Zoho Projects, which is ideal for this purpose especially since its features match all 7 criteria suggested by the article.

We’ll take Business Insider’s 7 criteria into account, to explain why Zoho Projects is the perfect choice as a tool for self-employed professionals:

#1 In accordance with tip 1, Zoho Projects is a 

Collaborative workspace which functions as a conference room where clients can easily review documents, mock-ups, share comments or check on project status
. Project members can

easily add and share project-related documents
, spreadsheets, videos, etc from within the Project. These documents appear in the document tab where they can then be reviewed by clients.

#2 Tip 2 suggests that you use ‘ an end-to-end project management solution that gives you integrated, seamless access to all aspects of your projects ‘ and that doesn’t require you to login separately to a document sharing program such as Google Docs. With Zoho projects, you get

inbuilt access
to task management, bug tracking, time tracking, project reports, meetings, project wiki and more. You can also upload documents directly from Zoho Docs or Google Docs. Read more about the Google Apps Integration that also lets you add users from Google Apps, add tasks and events in Google Calendar and view project information in Google Mail. 

#3 Tip 3 stresses the significance of staying organized by maintaining all communications, documents, tasks and milestones in a central place and of selecting a solution that supports email collaboration. Zoho Projects includes separate tabs for organizing and maintaining all your documents, tasks and milestones within your project portal. It also includes powerful email collaboration that lets you add new tasks, forums, documents, comments and status via email.

#4 Clients should be empowered to find answers to their questions and not have to rely on back-and-forth communication, says Tip 4. Zoho Projects makes all these answers easy to find with a comprehensive project dashboard that lets you view status of tasks at a glance, and keeps documents, milestones and conversations all in one central location making them easy to track. Another aspect of Zoho Projects that enables easy access to answers is the visual representation of project and task status in the Projects Reports feature. The inbuilt forums and Project Wiki also help in quickly accessing information or answers.

#5 Tip 5 talks about the importance of supporting a flexible work environment that makes it easy to invite people, control access limitations and track work-hours and expenses. Zoho Projects offers all of that flexibility; inviting users is easy, client access controls and project user access controls are seperately defined and timesheets allow project users to log their hours for tracking and billing.

#6 Invoicing, can be better aligned to purchase output if done directly from within the project workspace, says Tip 6. And of course, Zoho Projects comes with inbuilt timesheet and billing software that lets project users log and track time, record billable hours, generate customized billing reports, export timesheets and create invoices to bill your clients.

#7 Tip 7 explains why maintaining a consistent branded look with logo and colors, is important so that clients can be made to feel comfortable about your Project workspace presence. With Zoho Projects, a project team can create that consistent branded look by adding their own logo, customizing the layout, changing timezones and setting the language according to their preference.

So, if you’re a self-employed professional, you now have above 7 reasons to start using Zoho Projects. Here’s what one such professional, Raphe Patmore, experienced when he started using Zoho Projects:


My client had never used Zoho before. Once I’d set up the whole project on Zoho I shared it with him. His response after visiting Zoho was, “I knew straight away this was going to be a well managed project”

Read what some of our other customers said about Zoho Projects or share your own experience with us by writing in to support at zohoprojects dot com. If you liked this post, please share it with those who you think will find it useful.

Zoho CRM Case Studies in Marketing and Distribution Industries

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Aviation, Business Services, Technology, Financial Services, FMCG, Wealth Management … this is just the beginning of the list. Zoho CRM is used successfully in diverse industries. Today, it’s the story of how Zoho CRM helps to Build, Maintain and Strengthen Customer Relationships in the Marketing and the Distribution industries. Here are the stories right off our customer’s mouths.

T3 Direct, a direct and telemarketing company, had previously been using disparate systems to manage their contact database, collaboration and sales activities. With multiple systems to update, sales executives were finding it difficult to keep track of all their data resulting in a total chaos!

Zoho CRM was the answer to all their chaos and the results they achieved after switching to Zoho are increased revenue, lower costs, and lower risks. According to Jonathan Mason, Director of Marketing, T3 Direct:

 We get an eagle’s eye view of all our clients’ activities and can
determine which leads are most costly to generate, which campaigns are
the most productive and profitable and can provide amazing real-time
statistics on our clients’ market demographics.

Read the complete story here. T3 Direct also has a video on their usage of Zoho CRM.

How is Zoho CRM implemented in the Distribution Industry? Teco Pneumatic, Inc. tells you.

 Zoho CRM is better than their competition and 75% less expensive. Our
adoption has increased by 300% and the migration executed by ViWo* was
flawless.” says Karl Anderson, President of Teco Pneumatic, Inc.

TECO, a full line supplier of fluid and motion control products, needed a seamless solution to communicate and register activities with customers. Zoho CRM integrated with GMail provided them the solution that they were looking for. For TECO’s staff, customer information is now at their fingertips and can provide better service to their customers.

There are some more benefits that TECO is enjoying after switching to Zoho CRM with GMail. Read about them here.

If you have a story to tell us, let us know. We are on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn too !

* About ViWo:

Virus Woman Inc. (ViWo) is the premier Information Technology service provider operating as a contractor and subcontractor. VoWo is a Zoho Alliance Partner Program member, and implemented Zoho CRM for TECO Pneumatic, Inc.