We know that choosing your cloud accounting software is a huge decision and we’re determined to give you all of the information you need to make the best choice for you, your business, and, crucially, the people who will actually be using the software.

So, if you’re wondering what it’s really like to use Clear Books, and whether it’ll genuinely make your employees’ lives better as your business grows, we’re talking to some of the small business heroes that have real-life experience of using our software.

This week, the exceedingly lovely Kerensa Lawes, Office Manager of Emscar, asbestos removal and management specialists, was kind enough to share her Clear Books journey with us.

Thrown in at the deep end

Kerensa joined Emscar in 2014 and initially wasn’t involved in dealing with the company’s accounts, and given she had no experience at all in that aspect of business, she was more than happy with that arrangement!

However, after being in the job for a little while, Kerensa was asked to expand her comfort zone by adding accounting and bookkeeping duties to her task list: “We were using Excel spreadsheets at the time and, yes, I had a major panic about it all.

“Luckily, the accountant we had back then told me that he was moving some of his clients onto Clear Books and because it’s so great for people with no accounting experience, he recommended it for us too. And it all worked out much better than I expected, especially since I only had a few hours of training from our previous accountant before I was left to my own devices.

All change…

As if the expected general accounting tasks weren’t enough to push Kerensa out of her comfort zone, there have been plenty of new developments to keep her on her toes, such as the introduction of the Domestic Reverse Charge and having to deal with new rules regarding pension schemes.

However, because Emscar had already made the transition from Excel to Clear Books by the time these changes took effect, she’s found it relatively easy to keep up with compliance.

“Dealing with the admin involved with the pension scheme was never something I wanted to be a part of but Ian, the MD, reminded me that I’d managed everything else he’d thrown at me and reassured me that I could handle that as well.

Now the software does it all for me but it’s also nice to have backup, to know that I can just get in touch with Clear Books support if I need confirmation that I’m doing it right.

Support when you need it

In fact, having access to support whenever she needs it is one of the things that Kerensa likes best about being part of the Clear Books family.

“It’s intuitive and it’s easy to use but sometimes you do want online support — and it’s so quick! I’ve had to ask a few questions about things like payroll, just to confirm what I thought, and I’ve had replies pretty much instantly. If I were to ask our accountants, I’d probably be looking at a day or two before they could come back to me.

It’s really nice to have that backup. Whenever I’ve needed help, they’ve been there.

“I’d recommend Clear Books every day of the week.”

When asked whether she’d recommend Clear Books to other small business owners and office managers, Kerensa’s reply was emphatic:“I’d recommend Clear Books every day of the week!

“One of the biggest things for me is the time it saves. I’ve gone from having to manually extract information from the spreadsheets we were using to having so much done for me, from VAT returns that are calculated automatically to automated invoicing for customers.

And as the company has grown and changed, Clear Books has been there for every stage — so we’ll certainly be sticking with them.

Thanks so much to Kerensa for taking the time to talk to us today. We always love to find out how our customers make Clear Books software work for them, no matter what’s going on in their business, so it’s fantastic to hear that we’ve been able to support Emscar through so many periods of change.

More about Emscar

Founded by Ian Chatterton in 2003, Emscar is an HSE licensed asbestos removal contractor. Based in the Isle of Wight, Ian and his professional, friendly workforce team operate throughout the UK for both domestic and commercial clients.

If you’d like free, unbiased advice on any aspect of asbestos removal or management, Ian would love to hear from you so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Clear Books online accounting software

Clear Books is an award-winning online accounting software for small businesses. Thousands of business owners, contractors, freelancers and sole traders across the UK use our easy-to-use online accounting software to manage their business finances. All users benefit from the outstanding free telephone and email support. Clear Books was launched in London in 2008 and offers a free 30 day trial with free ongoing support and bank feeds. We’re rated as ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot.

Get a free 30-day trial of Clear Books online accounting software.

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