The Documents feature in Zoho Books will help you streamline and store all your documents in one place. You can upload any document like receipts and attach them to transactions like expenses or bills. On enabling autoscan, all the uploaded documents will be autoscanned and new transactions can be created instantly. These documents can also be sorted into folders of your preference for future use.

Highlights of the Documents feature:

Enabling the Documents Module

To enable the Documents module:

Go to documents

As you enter the Documents module for the very first time, you will be asked to enable the Autoscan option.

Enable Auto-Scan

Insight: Autoscan is a process in which every document that has been emailed or uploaded, goes through automatic data capturing process. The documents in Zoho Books will be autoscanned accurately, and the line item details will be extracted quickly. This functionality is currently available for documents in 15 languages (English, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Italian, French, German, Danish, Chinese, Norwegian Bokmal, Russian, Malay, Thai, and Vietnamese).

Once you enable autoscan feature in Zoho Books, you’ll soon be taken to the Documents Inbox in Zoho Books.

Documents Inbox and Autoscan

The Documents Inbox is the primary folder within the Documents module. It holds all documents which have been uploaded or emailed by your contacts. Once the documents are uploaded, they will be autoscanned and data like date, amount, merchant name, etc from these documents will get captured and auto-populated while creating new transactions.

As the documents get autoscanned, you will be able to observe the following status of the documents:

Auto scan statuses

Once the documents are scanned they will be listed in the Inbox based on their time of arrival. The documents in the Inbox are yet to be attached to a transaction and hence act as a reminder of the pending activities which need attention from your end.

Clearing the inbox

When a document is added to a new transaction or matched with an existing transaction in Zoho Books (expense or bills) or moved into a folder – the document will then be automatically cleared from the Inbox.

Once the document is cleared from your inbox, you will not be able to retrieve it. If you wish to store a copy of the document for future purpose, you can move the file from the Inbox to another folder. You can still associate the document from the folder to a specific transaction.

Move File from Inbox to a Folder

Autoscan Pricing

The autoscan feature is available by default to all Zoho Books users across all the plans. Once the free scans are used up, you will have to purchase an add-on (50 autoscans per month) to continue autoscanning documents.

Addon Pricing:

Edition/Country Currency Monthly Price Monthly Billed Annually Price
Global, US,
Qatar, Bahrain,
Oman, Kuwait
USD 10 8
Global ZAR 120 100
Global NGN 3000 2500
Global MXN 180 150
Global KES 850 700
Global EGP 120 100
United Kingdom GBP 8 6.5
Canada CAD 15 12
Australia AUD 15 12
UAE AED 36 30
Saudi Arabia SAR 36 30
India INR 499 419
Europe EUR 10 8

Uploading and Emailing Documents

You can upload file into your Zoho Books Documents by any of the options listed below :

To upload files, you need to click the Upload Files button. Here you will be able to choose any file from your computer or upload them from any of your online applications.

Upload File

Pro Tip: Use the Zoho Books Android and iOS apps to click photos of receipts and upload them directly.

Email files to the Inbox

Zoho Books Documents module generates a unique email address for your organisation so your customers, vendors and accountants can email documents directly to your Documents Inbox. You can also directly forward the receipts or bills you receive from your vendors to this email address.

To generate a unique email address:

Email to the ID

You can either choose to use the readily available system generated email address or get a customized email address, by clicking on “Choose your own”.

Unique Email ID

Once you’ve configured the unique email address for your organization, you or your contacts can email files to the address and it will land into your Inbox.

Set up Email

Auto-Forward Bank Statements

Downloading your bank statements from your mail and importing them into Zoho Books each time can be a bit time-consuming. Instead of importing bank statements individually, Zoho Books allows you to set up a mechanisim for automatically forwarding bank statements from your email. These forwarded emails will be available in a dedicated folder for bank statements in the documents section of Zoho Books. 

Enable Auto-Forward Bank Statements

You can auto-forward bank statements in two simple steps:

  1. Enable the feature in Zoho Books
  2. Set up auto-forwarding of statements from your email service provider 

Enable the feature in Zoho Books

Your bank statements from your email service provider will be automatically forwarded once you enable auto-forward bank statements. To enable this:

Insight: Ensure your bank supports statements forwarding via email in CSV, PDF, XLS, TSV, OFX, QIF or CAMT.053 format.

Bank Statements

Once you enable auto-forward bank statements, Zoho Books will generate a unique email address. This email address is used to automatically forward your bank statements to Zoho Books from your email service provider. 

You can edit the email address, if needed by clicking Edit. If not, click Copy to copy the generated email address to the clipboard.

Bank Statements

Set up auto-forwarding of statements from your email service provider

Once you enable the feature in Zoho Books, you can set up auto-forwarding statements from your email service provider (such as Zoho Mail or Gmail). We have provided the steps to auto-forward your bank statements to Zoho Books for some email service providers. You will be able to do the same for other providers similarly or refer to their help section for more details. 

Zoho Mail

To auto-forward bank statements from Zoho Mail

Bank Statements Bank Statements


To auto-forward bank statements from Gmail

Bank Statements Bank Statements Bank Statements


To auto-forward bank statements from Outlook

Bank Statements Bank Statements Bank Statements

Pro Tip: Ensure that you set the right criteria for your filter to avoid spam emails from unnecessary sources.

You will also be able to set up auto-forwarding of bank statements from other email services as well. We’ve mentioned a few for your reference:

Associate bank statements with your bank in Zoho Books

Once your bank statements have been forwarded/uploaded to your banking section, you will be able to associate it with your bank. To do this:

Transaction Approval

Note: Zoho Books suggests a bank automatically. If the suggestion is incorrect, you can choose a different bank from the dropdown.

Bank Statements

After you click Proceed, the bank statements will be associated to the bank you had selected above.

Folder Level Permission

You can grant access to a trusted individual, for example - an accountant, bookkeeper or business partner — by inviting that person to be a User of your organisation, who can access the Documents Module.

To add a New User to your organisation and define Roles, refer to the document on Users & Roles

Permissions in the Documents module

 Folder Access

View Documents: This is if you want a user to be able to view all the files in the Documents module. They will have access to the entire module.

Upload Documents: Enable this if you want your User to be able to Upload and View files, without the ability to Delete any document.

Delete Documents: Allows your User to be able to Delete and View files in the Documents module.

Manage Folder: This permission allows the user to create and manage a new/existing folder(s).

Managing Folders

You can organize and manage your documents into different folders within the Documents module. You can :

Creating a Folder

Only the Admin and the users with the " Manage Folder " permission, can create New Folder(s).

To create a new Folder, click the + icon next to FOLDERS on the left sidebar.

Create a new folder

In the pop-up window that appears, enter Folder name and click Save.

Name new folder

Setting Folder-Level permissions for access by users :

The user who is creating a Folder, can set permissions for other users, to whom he wishes to give access to the folder.

Folder access permissions can be set at the time of creating a new folder or for an existing folder :

To set permission for while creating a new folder :

Note: The Admin will be able to access all the Folders.

Name new folder

Moving a file from Inbox to a Folder

As mentioned earlier, once you’ve attached a file to a transaction from the inbox, the Documents module removes the file permanently. If you want to save your files in the module, or use them in multiple new transactions in future, you can simply move them out of the Inbox and into a folder.

To move files from the Inbox to a folder :

You can use the same process to move the files from one folder to the other.

Attaching Documents to Transactions

The uploaded files can be attached to various transactions made in your Zoho Books account.

There are two ways in which you can attach a file to a transaction :

A. Attach a file from the Documents module :

  1. Select the files you want to attach to a transaction, from Inbox or FOLDERS
  2. Click the Add to dropdown which appears on the top of the screen or the right of the document list.
  3. Select the type of transaction to which you wish to attach the file, from the dropdown.

Note: For Bills and Expenses, you can view the image and the transaction side by side and create the transaction.

The transaction that appears in the next page, will have pre-filled data like Date, Merchant Name, Amount, that was fetched from autoscan.

  1. You can fill-in the remaining data and create the transaction.

B. Attach a file from a transaction :

B.1. In an Existing Transaction like Quote, Sales Order, Invoice, Expense or Bill etc.:

B.2. In a New Transaction :

Attaching Documents to a Contact

Attaching files to a contact enables your client to have a record of all the files received from you. Only clients with a customer portal access can view these attachments.

To attach a file to a Contact :

Attaching Files to a contact

Viewing Documents from customer portal

Your customers with customer portal access, can view the attached files, from their portal as well.

While attaching a file to a transaction, you will have to enable the option Display attachment(s) in customer portal and emails

This option can be enabled when:

  1. You wan to attach a file to an already created/existing transaction.
  1. When you are attaching a file while creating a transaction.

You can also attach documents directly to your contacts. These documents may include Contracts, Asset & Liability reports, Product Catalogues etc. They can view these attached documents from their respective Customer Portal(s).

To attach a document to a contact:

Where can the customer view the documents in the Customer Portal?

In the customer portal, the homescreen will display these attached files under Shared Documents.

view in customer portal

To know more on setting up a customer portal, please click here.

Matching Documents to Transactions

While creating a new transactions like expense, bills the documents module will suggest the best matches based on certain match rules like Vendor Name, Date and Amount. You can review the suggested matches and attach the documents to the transactions as they’re created.

Let’s follow certain examples where the “ Matching suggestions ” come in handy, for a user.

Suggested matches in the Documents tab:

As soon as the uploaded documents go through autoscan, they are listed in the Inbox with their scan status. Once you select a document from there, a list of possible matches are suggested. These suggested matches are the transactions that are already entered into the system.

Merge matched document

You can simply click Merge to attach the document to the existing transaction.

While creating a New Invoice, Expense or a New Bank Transaction:

Whenever you create a new transaction in Zoho Books, as you begin entering your transaction values like Date, Merchant Name, Amount etc., a list of suggested matching documents will appear.

If one of the suggested results is the document you need, simply select the checkbox next to it, to attach it directly.

Associate templates

When you create a new Banking Transaction, say an expense or a bill, based on the information on your receipt, matches are suggested. Also a best match case is given, where the data is most precisely matched. You can review and select one of the suggestions and submit your transaction.

With this, you will save additional time on performance of reconciliations.

Matching Bank Statements - An Uncategorised transaction and a document:

Certain transactions in the banking module are uncategorised and they need to be matched with the appropriate receipts. To categorise this, you will browse through the suggested documents, select it and just add an account category.

The Documents autoscan, will fill in the rest of the details including amount, date, vendor name extracted from the receipt and the transaction is matched. Also, the document gets attached to that entry.

Searching the Documents Module


The Documents module provides a search option. You can use the search bar present on the top center of your Zoho Books screen to search for a particular document. The documents module will be searched from the current context.

For instance, if your are in All files tab, the files from the All Files tab will be searched. Similary for the Inbox, Folders and Trash.

The search works in the following way :

General search for documents

Advanced Search

You can perform an Advanced Search, if you know certain specific information about the document you are looking for.

In this, you will have the option to enter specific details to search for the documents like a particular Vendor name, receipt amount range etc. This will fetch the best matching results from the Documents Inbox.

Advanced Search for Inbox

Note: Currently, Advance search will have only File name field for other views.

Streamline all your documents in one place and experience better document management.

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