Up until relatively recently, I’d always done my accounting using a Microsoft Access database I’d knocked out years ago. It was pretty basic and 100% manual, but it worked. The alternative was using off-the-shelf accounting software, which all reminded me of either something out of the 1980s or someone’s school homework internet project.
To be frank, I started using Clear Books because my company, furnish.co.uk, and Clear Books share some of the same investors, and they insisted I use it (If you don’t know, furnish.co.uk pulls together home furnishings from the best interiors stores and designers onto one site so you don’t have to trawl through brochures, magazines or shops). At the time, Clear Books was still very much in beta, maybe even alpha, and was far from perfect. But it was great, because Tim was open to feedback and was modelling the user interface and functionality around the needs of those using it at the time, turning over requests very quickly.
The result is that now, to me, Clear Books doesn’t feel like accounting software at all. I find it extraordinarily simple to use, especially compared with other accounting software. I also like that it doesn’t perpetuate the perception that software that helps people manage money needs to be expensive. It’s actually rather cheap. I love the fact that it’s software-as-a-service, i.e. everything stored online rather than on my local machine. There’s no question that this approach is the future of accounting (and most other) software, plus I want the convenience of being able to work on accounts from anywhere. Basically, it’s a perfect fit for me.
I have now started using an accountant who works with Clear Books. All I do is automatically import furnish.co.uk’s bank statements into Clear Books, consolidate what each entry means and then the accountant takes over whenever anything needs to be submitted to HMRC or Companies House. It really does work well.