Basic Functions in Projects

Let us have a look at some of the basic functions in the projects module.

In this page…

Enable Time Tracking

Before you can start creating projects, you will have to enable the Timesheet module. Here’s how you can do it:

Enable Projects

Create Project

To create a new project in Zoho Books:

Create Projects New Projects

Billing Method

The billing methods that you can use are:

Fixed Cost for Projects

Fixed cost for projects sets a fixed rate for the project. The project will be invoiced for the amount set in this field.

Fixed Cost Projects
Fields Description
Total Project Cost Enter the project’s total cost for which you will be billing your customer.
Users Select a user to work on the project. You can also add an extra user by clicking + Add User.
Tasks Enter the tasks that need to be done to complete the project. You can add more tasks by clicking + Add Task.
Tasks can also be created later for the project.

Based on Project Hours

 This option will calculate the number of hours spent on a project and the customer will be invoiced accordingly.

Projects Hours

At the completion of the project, you can charge your customers based on the number of hours logged for the project.

Based on Task Hours

The project will be billed based on the hourly rates of the task and the customer will be billed accordingly.

Task Hours

At the completion of the project, you can charge your customer based on the tasks completed.

Based on Staff Hours

The project bill will be calculated based on the hourly rate of the staff and the customer will be invoiced accordingly.

Staff Hours Projects


Cost and Revenue budget

Add Projects Cost and Revenue Budget

Entering a budget will help you analyse the actual amount spent or earned from the project when compared with the estimated budget. You can also evaluate the project’s performance and progress under the Profitability Summary section of the Project Overview page.

Budget Type

If you have any budgetary constraints and would like to have a report based on the allocated cost or hour and the cost or hour actually spent, you can do it in Zoho Books. Here’s how:

Add Projects Budget

Total Budget Cost

Enter the estimated amount you’ll be spending on this project. You can then view the estimated amount and the amount spent in the Project Summary.

Total Project Hours (HH:MM)

You can set the number of hours that can be logged for this project. You can also view the budget hours vs the logged hours in the Project Summary report. This will help you understand if the budgeted hours meet the actual hours and you can plan accordingly.

Hours Per Task

You can allocate the number hours that you want to assign for a particular task.

Hours Per Staff

You can add users and allocate the budget hours for each user.

Account Level Budgets

By creating account level budgets, you can plan the amount that you intend to spend on each area of the project. Creating a budget at the account level helps you compare the budget versus actuals for a particular account. You can choose to create an account level budget or multiple account level budgets for a project in Zoho Books.

Scenario: Brandon is a client for whom you’re working on a web development project. He wants you to create an account level budget for this project, as he wants to know if he will exceed the amount that is allocated for this project. In this case, you can select the project and create an account level budget for the project. When transactions are recorded, the amounts are tracked under the respective expense and income accounts for the project. When the project comes to a close, you can run the Actuals versus Budget report. This report will help you know the profit or loss incurred under each account for that project.

Create Account Level Budget

You can create an account level budget for a project you’ve created. To add an account level budget:

Create New Budget Add budget Budget Overview page

Insight: You can create multiple account level budgets for a single project in Zoho Books.

Pro Tip: You can clone an account level budget to create a duplicate version of the account level budget.

The budget you create will be listed in the Account Level Budgets tab when you select the relevant project.

Budget versus Actuals Report

This report helps you see the difference between the budget and the actuals for each account based on the transactions that were recorded for the project. To view the report:

Project Overview Budget

You will be navigated to the report. You can use the customization options to customize the report and view it.


A project can comprise of a single or multiple tasks that need to be completed. You need a task associated to the project before you log time. To add a task:

Add Task Add Tasks

Import Projects

If you already have a list of projects and tasks in your existing accounting system, you can import them into Zoho Books in the CSVTSV or XLS format.

Import Projects

Insight: The file size cannot be more than 1 MB.

Insight: Character Encoding is used to pair numbers with characters. By default, the Unicode Transformation Format (UTF-8) encoding is used which supports a wide range of characters that go beyond 8 bits.

Import Projects Import Projects

Similarly you can import tasks. Here’s how:

Import Tasks

Insight: Zoho Books will auto-match the file headers of the imported file to the closest matching field in Zoho Books. You can manually edit each field to match the headers, and save these preferences. On proceeding, Zoho Books shows you any unmapped field you may have left out or could not match. You can map these by adding new fields with matching headers.

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Functions in Projects


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