Developing Custom IT Modules that are Tailor Made for Your Business
Part 1: Create your Own Small Business Expense Tracking App Using Zoho CRM Custom Modules
This is the first of a two part article series about how to make the most out of flexible cloud based IT solutions, which unlike on premise software, often allow users to customise them to a high degree to match their business needs.
As with most small businesses we are always looking at ways to improve internal processes yet at the same time utilise the best technologies to do so.
Being Zoho Partners UK, we're power users of Zoho CRM ourselves of course and I was thinking of ways to improve our CRM so that it can also be used in other areas in addition to the traditional sales and marketing areas.
One such area is expense tracking.
At that point, whilst watching TV with a nice cup of coffee I wondered whether the 'custom module' function in Zoho CRM could be used for this and within this in mind I made another cup to pep myself up and set about finding out!
The 'custom module' function of Zoho CRM has been in operation a couple of months now, and it has a tremendous scope for use in small businesses as it can be used to create customised database modules that exactly match any business, avoiding the need to buy larger scale, purpose-made solutions that may be overkill or more than is required at the time.
So, back to my custom expense tracking module, after some tinkering I had created a customised Expense Tracking module that was associated with the standard Zoho CRM Accounts module, that allowed me to log expenses against Accounts of type Vendor, Supplier and so on.
I was able to add fields to the module that were standard for expense tracking plus some that were tailor made for my business, for example: Amount, Category, Paid Date, Reference etc.
The great thing about the custom module function is also that the system automatically adds it to the associated module, in my case, Accounts, so that I could then go to a specific Supplier, scroll down then find out all of the expenses that we have logged against that supplier.
The module can be used for sales expense tracking too! How? Easy, Sales Managers simply access the module and add sales expenses against our own company in the CRM. Fields can be added to cater for this, for example:
And, as it is now an operating module with its own tab in the CRM, I can also create a report for
it, so that I can report on stuff like:
- This Month Expenses
- Expenses by Month
- Expenses by Category
- Expenses by Vendor
- And so on.
OK, so this module is not a full blown expense module in an expensive Accounting solution, but it works just fine and something like this could be used until you decide on a suitable accounting tool.
We hope this will inspire you to think of other such uses for the custom modules function in Zoho CRM!
Mangoho are Zoho CRM UK consultants and have extensive experience implementing Zoho CRM in numerous businesses in a wide variety of verticals.
Contact us for more information and ideas on how Zoho can be implemented in your business.
Create a payment tracking module to allow tracking of payments against invoices!