Client Portal

The Client Portal in Zoho Books is a dedicated space for your customers to view and manage all their transactions. It provides them more control over actions such as accepting estimates or paying invoices, from one place.

Once you set up the client portal, you’ll be able to:

Configure Client Portal for Customers

The Client Portal will be available for your organization by default. You can view (or change) the URL to access the portal in Preferences. To provide your customers with access to the Client Portal, you have to configure the portal for each contact person individually in Zoho Books.

Prerequisite: The Client Portal can be configured only for customers who have an email address.

To configure the portal access for a customer:

Configure Client Portal Enable Client Portal

Insight: If you do not set a password, an auto-generated link will be sent to your customer’s email address, using which they will be able to configure their password.

Pro Tip: To enable the client portal for multiple customers at a time, you can select the required customers from the list view in the Customers module, click More Actions, and select Enable Portal. (Ensure that all the selected customers have an email address)

Logging in to the Client Portal

Once the client portal has been enabled for a customer, they will receive an email invitation. You may request your customers to check their email and accept the invitation to access the portal. This email will contain the following:

Your customers will be able to change their password for the client portal after they click the Accept Invitation button. They can then enter their username and password to log in to the portal. When they login successfully, the homepage of the client portal will be visible.

Pro Tip: If your customers missed the portal invitation email by any chance, you can send it to them again by clicking Reinvite under the customer’s details in the Overview tab.

Functions in the Client Portal

Transactions that you have created for your customers will be visible for them in the client portal. Let’s take a look at the various actions your customers will be able to perform in each module.

Home

The Home or Dashboard is the first screen that your customers see when they login to the client portal. It gives them an overview of the transactions that took place between you and your customers. They can view the following details on the dashboard:

Apart from the above details, the home page also displays your customer’s account details, their contact persons, and your organization’s contact details.

Client Portal Home

Accept Estimates

You can negotiate with your customers over the value of a product or service you’re selling by sending them an estimate. In the client portal, your customers can view the list of estimates they’ve received from you in the Estimates section. They can click on an estimate to view its details. They can also filter the list to display a particular type of estimate by clicking the drop-down menu above the list.

Estimates

If they are satisfied with the price and deal, they can accept the estimate. Here’s how:

Accept Estimate

Your customers can decline an estimate if they aren’t okay with it and want a better offer, by clicking the Decline button. They can negotiate with you through the comments. You can then reply to the comments from your Zoho Books organization (Mark the Display in portal option to make the comments visible in the portal), edit this declined estimate to make a promising offer, and submit it again for approval.

Insight: You will receive a notification in your Zoho Books organization whenever a customer views, accepts, or declines an estimate in the client portal.

Pro Tip: You can get your estimates signed by the customer right from the client portal, by integrating with Zoho Sign.

Pay Invoices

Your customers can view the list of all their invoices and retainer invoices in the Invoices section of the client portal. They can click on an invoice to view its details. If the invoice is unpaid, they can choose to pay for it instantly by clicking Pay Now. Customers can choose to filter the list to display a particular type of invoice, or sort the invoices by clicking the drop-down above the list.

Invoices

Prerequisite:Your customers can make an online payment for an invoice only if you have associated a payment gateway for that invoice. Zoho Books can be integrated with multiple online payment gateways.

Insight:You will receive a notification in your Zoho Books organization when your customer views an invoice for the first time in the client portal.

When your customer clicks Pay Now for an invoice, the payment page will open up. If you have enabled partial payments for that invoice (in the invoice creation screen), then your customer can enter the amount they wish to pay now. Otherwise, they will have to pay the full invoice amount.

Invoice Payment

Customers can make payments by choosing their preferred mode of payment (The payment methods available depends upon the configured payment gateway). You can provide various payment gateway options to your customer while creating an invoice for them.

Card Payments

For making payments using Credit/Debit card, customers can enter their card number, CVV, expiry date, billing address and the country to make payment. They can also save the cards and use them while making payments for future invoices.

ACH Payments

In order for customers to make ACH payments, you need to enable Allow this customer to pay via their bank account option for them under the Other Details section in the customer creation screen. Customers can choose to save their bank account details for future transactions by checking the Use this account for future transactions option.

Track Payments Made

In the Payments Made section in the client portal, your customers can track all the payments they have made towards your business. This includes both the online payments as well as the offline payments you’ve recorded for them in Zoho Books. Customers can filter the list to view only invoice payments and also sort the payments by Date or Amount.

Payments Made

They can click on a particular payment to view its payment receipt, and also check the details of the invoice or retainer invoice for which this payment was made. Your customers can click the Download PDF or Print button to keep a copy of the receipt.

View Sales Orders

Prerequisite:To let your customers view sales orders in the client portal, you have to enable this option in the client portal preferences.

If you have created a sales order for your customer to confirm the items and price of a sale, they can view it in the portal under Sales Orders. To drill down on a particular sales order’s details, they can click on the sales order number. Along with the order’s details, customers can also view the details of the invoice associated with a fulfilled sales order.

Sales Orders

Insight:You will receive a notification in your Zoho Books organization when your customer views a sales order for the first time in the client portal.

Manage Timesheets

Prerequisite:To let your customers view projects and timesheets in the client portal, you have to enable this option in the client portal preferences.

Projects

Your customers can view the list of all their active projects in the Projects section of the client portal.

Projects

To check more details of a particular project, they can click on a project name. They can view the following details of the selected project:

Project Details

Timesheet

To let your customers know the exact time spent working on a project (so that you can bill them accurately), you can get your timesheets approved by customers. For this, you have to create a client approval in Zoho Books.

Your customers can then view all the timesheet approvals you have sent them under the Timesheet section in the client portal. They can also filter and view the approvals based on the approval status.

Timesheets

Customers can click on a particular approval to view its details. If satisfied with the time entries, they can approve the submitted approval by clicking the Approve button. If not, they can Reject it and provide the reason. They can also communicate with you through the comments.

Timesheet Approval

Insight:You will receive a notification in your Zoho Books organization when a customer views, accepts, or rejects an approval and also when they view it for the first time in the client portal.

Generate Statement of Accounts

A statement of accounts is a document that lists out all the transactions that took place between you and your customer over a particular period of time. This statement lets your customer know the total amount that they owe you for the sales that took place during that period.

Customers can generate this statement in the client portal to view their outstanding balance. Here’s how:

Statement of Accounts

Share Documents

Estimates, Invoices, and Sales Orders in the client portal can be printed, downloaded as PDFs, and forwarded to other contacts by your customers from the options provided inside the More icon.

 Share Documents

Notes:Once your customer forwards a transaction to a contact, that contact gets added up as a contact person for that client in your Zoho Books organization.

Get Notified

The Client portal is a great way for you to check if your customers have viewed your transactions. Once a customer views your estimate or invoice in the portal, you will be notified about it with a ‘Viewed’ icon on the specific estimate or invoice in your Zoho Books organization.

Get Notified

A notification email will be sent to your primary email address in Zoho Books when your customer:

Accepts or declines an estimate. Adds a comment on an estimate, invoice, or timesheet. Makes a payment for an invoice. Updates their details.

Pro Tip: You can choose when you want to be notified, in the client portal preferences.

Client Details

Update Account Details

If your customers have changed their personal or company details, they can update it in the client portal. Here’s how:

They can also change their address by clicking the pencil icon next to the address.

Account Details

Insight: All the changes made here will be updated in your customer’s corresponding details in your Zoho Books organization.

Edit Card Details

Customers can view their card details in the client portal if:

Customers can edit their card details anytime. Here’s how:

Change Password

To safeguard their transactions, customers can regularly change their password for the client portal. Here’s how:

Other Actions

Send Email

Customers can contact you directly from the portal by sending an email to your registered email address in Zoho Books. Here’s how:

Send Email

Write Review

Gauge your customer’s satisfaction with your business by asking them to write a review. You can market or publicize positive reviews and identify areas of improvement from the constructive criticism. Here’s how your customers can write a review:

Insight: When a customer submits a review, it will appear in Zoho Books in that contact’s Overview page under Client Reviews

Logout

To logout from the client portal, customers can click Logout from the left sidebar.

Disable the Client Portal for Customers

If you have stopped doing business with a particular customer, you can disable their access to the Client Portal from Zoho Books. To do this:

Disable Client Portal

Troubleshooting

Your customers might face the following errors when they try to make payments through the client portal:

Error Code What went wrong? What can you do?
CP1003 Your customer’s client portal might be associated with a deleted customer contact. Verify that the associated customer contact still exists.
CP1004 Your customer’s client portal might be associated with a deleted recurring profile. Verify that the associated recurring profile still exists.
CP2001 You have not set up default taxes for your organization. Go to Settings > Taxes and create a default tax.
CP3001 You have not enabled reference transactions in your merchant account. Enable reference transactions in your merchant account.
CP3002 You have configured the payment gateway with invalid credentials or have made recent changes to your merchant account. Re-enter the correct credentials in Settings > Integrations.
CP3003 The payment has been declined due to the fraud detection filters that you’ve set up in your merchant account. Verify if the transaction was fraudulent or not. Moderate your fraud filters, if necessary.
CP3004 The transaction has been declined as the payment gateway couldn’t verify the address of your customer. Configure the address fields for your payment pages in Settings > Customer Payments > Card Verification Settings.
CP3005 A transaction with the same amount and card details was made within a few minutes of the previous transaction. Ask your customer to try again after a few minutes.
CP4001 The transaction amount is less than the minimum amount allowed by the payment gateway. This may be due to the discounts or credits applied. Make sure that the transaction amount is greater than the minimum transaction amount.
CP4002 Payment gateway that you’ve configured doesn’t support recurring payments. Configure a payment gateway that supports recurring payments.
CP4003 The payment gateways that you’ve configured don’t support the transaction currency. Configure a payment gateway that supports the transaction currency.

Let your customers access all their transactions and make payments, all in one central place, with an online customer portal.


Want a feature?
Suggest
Switch to smart accounting software. Switch to Zoho Books.   Start my free 14-day trial
Zoho Books

VAT compliant accounting
software for small
businesses.

Maybe Later