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If you need to give a large number of employees access to your accounting software, Clear Books may be a good option for you. This is because every plan comes with unlimited users, with full customisable access, at no extra cost.
All Clear Books plans are Making Tax Digital (MTD) compliant. However, only the Medium and Large plans allow you to submit VAT returns directly to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Certain features, such as multi-currency accounting, expenses and time tracking, are only available in the most expensive Large plan, while you won’t be able to forecast your cash flow regardless of which tier you sign up for.
» MORE: Best accounting software for small businesses
- Making Tax Digital-compliantAll Clear Books plans are MTD-compliant. However, you can only submit VAT returns to HMRC with the Medium and Large plans.
- Unlimited usersRegardless of which plan you pay for, you can have unlimited users with fully customisable permissions per user.
- Self-assessment tax returns generationThrough your Clear Books account, you can automatically generate, and then amend, a self-assessment tax return form based on your accounts.
- PayrollIf you want to add payroll to your Clear Books account, it starts at £2.70 per month per employee (pre-VAT), for a minimum of two employees.
Clear Books accounting software pros & cons
- All Clear Books plans are Making Tax Digital-compliant.
- Clear Books Medium and Large plan users can submit VAT returns directly to HMRC.
- Every Clear Books plan allows for an unlimited number of users.
- You can automatically generate your self-assessment tax return through your Clear Books account.
- You cannot submit your VAT returns directly to HMRC if you are on the Small plan.
- Clear Books’payroll function is at the more expensive end of the spectrum when compared to other accounting software providers.
- Multi-currency accounting is only available for Large plan users.
- Clear Books does not offer cash-flow forecasting.
The pros and cons featured here are chosen by us based on our expert, research-based opinions. They are unlikely to be the only product features and restrictions that you should consider. Pros and cons are subjective and you should align them to your own personal and business circumstances. Information was correct at the time of publication but may have changed since.
Clear Books accounting software full review
Founded in 2008, Clear Books is a UK-based company providing accounting software to over 13,000 businesses.
All Clear Books plans are compliant with Making Tax Digital. It is now required by the UK government that you use MTD compatible software when submitting returns as a VAT-registered business. Further MTD rules will be introduced around income tax returns in April 2026 and 2027.
There are three Clear Books plans to choose from: Small, Medium and Large. These are outlined below, excluding VAT and other discounts:
- Small: This plan costs £13 a month and, among other features, you can create and send invoices and quotes; automatically import your bank feeds; generate a variety of financial reports; generate your self-assessment tax return; and create dividend vouchers. However, you cannot submit VAT returns directly to HMRC.
- Medium: This plan costs £28 a month andincludes everything found in the Small plan, as well as the ability to submit VAT and Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) tax returns to HMRC, among other features.
- Large: This plan costs £34 a month and includes everything found in the Small and Medium plans, alongside project accounting; multi-currency accounting; expenses tracking; and fixed asset and auto-depreciation tracking, among other features.
On top of this, you can also add payroll, starting at £2.70 per month per employee (for a minimum of two employees, pre-VAT).
Clear Books accounting software features: at a glance
|Monthly fee (pre-discounts, pre-VAT)||£13 (Small)|
|Free trial||30 days|
|Making Tax Digital compliant||Yes|
|Submit VAT to HMRC||No (Small)|
Yes (Medium and Large)all other plans)
|Payroll costs per month (for five employees, pre-discounts, pre-VAT)||£13.50 (£2.70 per employee)|
|Multi-user access||Yes (unlimited for all plans)|
|Multi-currency accounting||Yes (Large)|
|Customer service||Online contact form|
0203 475 4744
Where Clear Books stands out
Free trial and discounts: You can sign up for a free 30-day trial before deciding whether you want to commit to Clear Books accounting software. Clear Books also offers discounts, which can vary depending on when you apply. At the time of writing, you can receive 50% off for the first three months, as well as a further 10% off if you pay annually, or 20% off if you pay for two years up front.
Making Tax Digital-compliant: All Clear Books plans are compliant with the government’s Making Tax Digital requirements.
Unlimited users: Unlike many other accounting software providers, every Clear Books plan allows for an unlimited number of users. Not only that, you can customise exactly what each user can see or do.
Self-assessment tax returns: Every plan allows you to automatically generate a self-assessment tax return form, which may make it faster to complete and submit your full tax return. You can view a breakdown of your transactions, and manually make any adjustments you need to.
Where Clear Books falls short
Not all plans can submit VAT returns: You cannot submit your VAT returns directly to HMRC if you are on the Clear Books Small plan. You can with the Medium and Large plans.
Payroll: At £2.70 per employee per month, e.g. £13.50 for five employees, pre-VAT and any discounts, Clear Books is at the more expensive end of the accounting software providers that offer their own payroll function. However, at the time of writing, you do get 50% off for your first three months, following a 30-day free trial.
Multi-currency accounting: You can only access multi-currency accounting if you pay for the most expensive Large plan.
Expenses: You can only create employee expenses, or allow employees to make their own expense claims, on the Large plan.
Cash-flow forecasting: Clear Books does not offer automatic forecasts of its cash flow on any of its plans.
Clear Books customer reviews
Clear Books customers have left reviews on a range of sites. Generally, these reviews are mixed to positive. However, it is important to note that Clear Books has far fewer reviews than its competitors.
- App Store: 3.3 out of 5, based on 10 reviews
- Google Play: 3.3 out of 5, based on over 10 reviews
- Trustpilot: 4.4 out of 5, based on over 240 reviews
This information is correct as of 19 September 2023.
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