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Zoho Introduces Zoho Practice, a Developer Portal, and 230+ Extensions

Zoho Introduces Zoho Practice, a Developer Portal, and 230+ Extensions

The News: Zoho announced in mid-November an expansion to its Finance Platform, enabling more than 230 extensions in Zoho Marketplace, the availability of a dedicated developer portal, and the launch of Zoho Practice, an end-to-end practice management solution for accounting professionals. The announcements are designed to enhance and strengthen the ecosystem around its Finance Platform, enabling customers to tailor their applications more granularly to their needs and enable collaboration with their accountants.

Customers of Zoho Finance Platform can install the extensions offered in the Zoho Marketplace from within the applications. The pricing will depend on the monetization model that the developer follows for that extension. Meanwhile, Zoho Practice is available for use immediately and is free for accounting firms with up to three users. Additional users can be added by purchasing the add-on, which works up to $2.5 monthly, per user. You can read the release announcing the news on the Zoho website.

Zoho Introduces Zoho Practice, a Developer Portal, and 230+ Extensions

Analyst Take: Zoho announced several enhancements to its core offerings, including an expansion to its Finance Platform, enabling more than 230 extensions in Zoho Marketplace, the availability of a dedicated developer portal, and the launch of Zoho Practice, an end-to-end practice management solution for accounting professionals.

These enhancements are designed to help its accounting and finance customers better manage the changing nature of day-to-day work, which includes traditional accounting and finance activities such as accounting, bookkeeping, reporting, auditing, and tax-related services, along with new responsibilities, including the generation of firm-wide insights designed to reduce spending, identify new revenue sources, and drive business growth.

New Capabilities to Address the Changing Nature of Accounting

To provide more insightful and customized services, accounting professionals need tools that can offer a greater range of functionality, all within a single platform. There has been a significant amount of research around application sprawl, and Zoho is addressing the problem head-on by creating a single, comprehensive platform to handle traditional accounting tasks, and more advanced, intelligence-driven activities.

The company has launched Zoho Practice, which includes client management, document management, task management, timesheet, and billing capabilities within a single platform. Zoho Practice also includes new functionalities built for distributed firms, including AI-driven anomaly detection for client records; built-in collaboration through chat, voice, or video calls; and a unified platform to act as a single source of truth for all client services. This practice management solution is also pre-integrated with the accounting app Zoho Books and travel and expense management app Zoho Expense, thereby providing a comprehensive central data repository while enabling seamless interoperability between an accounting practice and their clients’ finances.

Expanding the Usability of the Zoho Finance Platform via Ecosystem Enhancements

Zoho announced the launch of an enterprise-grade Developer Portal, which allows third-party developers to easily build solutions that customize specific functions of their finance applications, automate routine processes, and publish the extensions in Zoho Marketplace. Customers can also leverage the portal to build their own extensions for use within their organizations. This functionality helps organizations that have bespoke situations and need to ensure they can develop custom workflows and processes while integrating them into a single platform.

Further, more than 230 extensions are available in Zoho Marketplace for the Finance Platform that go beyond the functionalities offered natively, helping customers address advanced requirements. Zoho noted a few specific common uses of extensions, including connecting to payment gateways, verifying contact details and bank account information to ensure accuracy, and synchronizing financial data with other business intelligence applications. These examples spotlight the ability of these extensions to tackle extremely granular functions.

Consolidation of Applications and Workflows Is Key to Efficient Operations

Accounting and finance teams are often overwhelmed, not only with the volume of work but also by repetitive, manual processes that can divert attention and time away from higher value and, from the perspective of workers, more interesting tasks. By implementing a platform that can help consolidate data capture, analysis, and activation, organizations can let finance professionals devote more time and resources to focusing on big-picture concerns, such as cost-cutting, improving efficiency, and driving revenue.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

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Author Information

Keith has over 25 years of experience in research, marketing, and consulting-based fields.

He has authored in-depth reports and market forecast studies covering artificial intelligence, biometrics, data analytics, robotics, high performance computing, and quantum computing, with a specific focus on the use of these technologies within large enterprise organizations and SMBs. He has also established strong working relationships with the international technology vendor community and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events.

In his career as a financial and technology journalist he has written for national and trade publications, including BusinessWeek, CNBC.com, Investment Dealers’ Digest, The Red Herring, The Communications of the ACM, and Mobile Computing & Communications, among others.

He is a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP).

Keith holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Magazine Journalism and Sociology from Syracuse University.

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