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Editors' Review by the Accounting Software Review Team
Clear Books is a cloud-based accounting software designed as a user-friendly accounting solution for small businesses. Through Clear Books, small businesses will be able to efficiently take care of the finance-related aspects of their business, like tracking their purchases and expenses, creating and sending customized invoices to their clientele, creating reports and tax returns, as well as categorizing and filtering bills and invoices by supplier or customer.
In addition to the above, Clear Books users will be able to use a range of features, including fixed asset registers and a customizable dashboard to give an overview of key financial data.
Clear Books is a feature-heavy accounting software that is easy to understand thanks to its UI and the guides available on its website. Some of the different features available in Clear Books include the following:
Clear Books makes invoicing easier with templates and the capability to automatically calculate tax and total prices. It also gives users the ability to find, edit, resend, and download the invoices created through the software.
The software’s invoicing feature makes the process easier because of the recurring invoices and auto-reminder automation tools. The recurring invoices tool automatically generates invoices and sends them, while the auto-reminder tool automatically chases after unpaid ones. Additionally, the platform’s several integrations and easy completion of invoices mean that small businesses can be confident that they’ll get paid fast. Items can be marked as paid, outstanding, or overdue without the user tracking them manually.
Clear Books is partnered with the best payment providers, allowing customers to pay securely by cash, card, checks, or BACs. The different payment partners available are Stripe, PayPal, and GoCardless. Because Clear Books is partnered with PayPal, businesses will be able to manage invoices and payments in over 170 currencies.
Small businesses will be able to manage their expenses effectively thanks to Clear Books’ automation tools. These include bank feeds to stay on top of upcoming bills, recurring bills to keep users from manually returning recurring bills, employee expense management to automatically raise a business bill once approved, and more.
Clear Books can help track business bills and employee expenses via the web or mobile, making expense tracking and tax claims simple.
Linking Clear Books with a small business’s bank accounts automatically imports transactions and reconciles payments with invoices, bills, and expenses. This makes accounting easier since businesses will be able to use a secure bank feed function that updates daily to display all bank transactions, including when the business gets paid.
Submit MTD VAT returns to HMRC in three simple steps when you track your income and expenses using Clear Books. Clear Books is HMRC-recognized, and it only takes three steps to create, review, and submit VAT returns.
One of the advanced tools in Clear Books allows users to create basic and advanced management reports, like ones about cash flow, profit and loss, trial balance, project reports, margin reports, and management reports. Creating invoices or bills also automatically adds them to either an “aged debtors” or “aged creditors” report that shows when all outstanding invoices or bills will be due. Furthermore, all Clear Books reports can be downloaded as a PDF file for review or a CSV file for analysis in spreadsheet software such as Excel.
Clear Books also connects to HMRC directly, allowing businesses to submit MTD VAT returns in minutes. Construction businesses can also comply with HMRC and submit CIS returns.
Clear Books is recognized as a supplier of Construction Industry Scheme Accounting Software by HMRC and comes with several advanced CIS features that make accounting easier. Clear Books makes creating and sending CIS quotes and invoices easy by automatically calculating CIS deductions. Businesses will also be able to complete and submit monthly CIS returns to HMRC and automatically create CIS subcontractor payments and deductions.
The different advanced CIS features include receipt management, reports on profit by project, three-step VAT reporting, and payroll.
Small businesses can use Clear Books when operating from any country, as they can choose the base currency for their account. Doing so automatically sets the dashboard, invoices, purchases, and reporting to the base currency, allowing for an easier view of financial data. This also allows businesses to accept payments from international credit and debit cards in different currencies. It is also possible to import international bank statements into Clear Books.
Clear Books supports over 170 different currencies to help create invoices and track bills.
Businesses can treat Clear Books as their finance hub. All relevant data will be accessible in one place, and users can get a clear overview of the business’s performance and any actions necessary for success. Because all business admin is in one place, it will be easy to track and collect payments, pay bills, and comply with HMRC.
It will be possible to capture information using digital receipts and automated bank feeds to speed up processes and cut down on manual work and human errors.
Clear Books’ range of features makes accounting easier for many businesses. Some of the different benefits of using Clear Books include the following:
The entire accounting process can be stressful for many small businesses, especially when they don’t have enough people to handle accounting manually. Clear Books helps businesses by automating the process through several tools and a single dashboard to access all relevant data. Digital receipts and automated bank feeds can also minimize the need for manual work and reduce human errors.
Getting paid and paying bills will be faster and easier through Clear Books thanks to its invoicing software, payment partners, and support for over 170 different currencies. Both customers and the business itself can make payments faster and will be able to pick from cash, card, check, or BACs as payment methods.
When looking for an accounting software solution in the UK, it’s important to consider compliance. This is crucial, as the UK government is currently digitizing record keeping through MTD, and all VAT-registered businesses must follow MTD rules for VAT, which require digital records. From April 2026, it is required to follow rules and submit returns digitally to HMRC, something Clear Books can do.
Using Clear Books allows businesses to comply with MTD as it is a software solution recognized by HMRC. MTD VAT reporting is locked into the HMRC-recognized Large plan.
Clear Books is available in two subscription plans: Small and Large. The Small plan is relatively feature-heavy for being an affordable subscription plan at the low price of £12 per month, while the HMRC-recognized Large plan costs £26 per month.
Both Small and Large plans can be subscribed to on a monthly, yearly, or two-year basis. A yearly subscription provides a 10% discount, while a two-yearly subscription provides a 20% discount for the plans. Additionally, users will be given a 50% discount for the first three months, on top of the 10% and 20% discounts, and this will be automatically applied at checkout when purchasing the monthly, yearly, or two-year subscription plans. The 50% discount applies to new users who subscribe within 30 days of registration.
The main difference between the Small and Large plans is that the Large plan has more advanced features, including MTD VAT reporting, CIS, and multi-currency support, and is HMRC-recognized. Both plans also offer a 30-day free trial for small businesses to give the Large plan a try.
Clear Books is an easy-to-use accounting platform that is affordable when considering how feature-heavy the software is. Many businesses will find accounting easier thanks to the platform’s automated tools, which minimize human error. Being able to take advantage of automation doesn’t require subscribing to the Large plan, which is great for businesses outside the UK, businesses that are not in the construction sector, and local businesses that need a robust accounting software solution.
When choosing a Clear Books plan, a good way of figuring out which plan to subscribe to is to consider whether the business needs MTD VAT reporting, CIS, and multi-currency features. Local businesses outside the UK that don’t provide services overseas can settle with the Small plan, but the moment a business wants to offer services to other countries, the Large plan is ideal to support multiple currencies. Both plans are feature-heavy, and the only difference between the two is that one plan offers support for multiple currencies and is recognized by the HMRC.
Product recommendations, vendor rankings, market overview and tips on how to select Accounting software for business. Published in September 2023.
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