(Aldershot, UK) Online accounting software company Clear Books has secured 50 paying customers in its first month, spurred on by a bet between the founder and a former colleague.

Launched on the 1st of July 2009, Clear Books is a complete online accounting software package with all the features to rival accounting software market leaders, and more, but at a fraction of the cost.

When chartered accountant and former KPMG employee Tim Fouracre left his city job to start Clear Books one of his soon-to-be-ex colleagues, David Brockton, challenged him to a bet – that Clear Books wouldn’t have 50 paying customers in its first year, with the winner being treated to dinner by the loser.

The company was formed in July 2008, and the bet, sealed on a scribbled and signed Post-it note, spurred Tim on to sign up the first beta testers for free in December 2008 and complete the entire system in just 11 months.

Clear Books only started accepting paying customers at the official launch on 1st July 2009, but despite that (and with just 11 hours and 30 minutes to spare) Clear Books got its 50th paying customer on July 31st, just after noon.

The number was undoubtedly boosted by a special launch promotion, whereby customers could sign up for the premium package, normally £15 per month, for just £5 per month for the first 6 months, a saving of £60.

After the success of the bet, and the launch promotion, Tim has decided to ‘double or quits’ – the discounted rate will stay in place provided the signup numbers double each month.

New customers will be able to sign up for the premium package for just £5 per month for all of August, and if at the end of August Clear Books acquires another 100 paying customers the promotion will run over to September, where the target will be 200 customers.

Clear Books’ decision to publish sign up numbers is part of a wider mission to be Open for Business.

Clear Books founder Tim Fouracre said: “The bet was for dinner and I expect my friend David will arrive with egg already on his face. Joking aside, this small milestone is extremely rewarding for everyone involved in the Clear Books project. It’s just the beginning of our journey to develop the easiest and best value online accounting system out there with improvements to our service coming through new features and enhancements every day.”

Notes to editors

Clear Books is an online accountancy software system to provide small businesses with a complete accountancy solution.

Clear Books officially launched to paying customers on July 1st 2009, after beta testing opened in December 2008.

Clear Books’ founder Tim Fouracre is a chartered accountant and former KPMG employee.

Louise Doherty

Clear Books

Posted by Tim Fouracre

Tim founded Clear Books in 2008. Like many small business owners he worked from home for 15 months to get his startup off the ground. Today Tim enjoys helping Clear Books, its customers and its growing team innovate and achieve. Tim did his GCE O Levels in Ghana.