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ClearBooks Review

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PROS / You can add unlimited users and set very detailed user permissions.

CONS / Its inventory feature lacks functionality. It doesn't show inventory quantities as you create invoices. Instead, you have to check the stock report to find this information.

 VERDICT / ClearBooks is very capable accounting software for small businesses, but you have to run a stock report to see current inventory levels. Dates are U.K.-format, which is confusing for U.S.-based users.

ClearBooks is online accounting software for small businesses. There are two pricing tiers, Together and Together+, and the company offers a discount if you sign up for a one- or two-year plan. The main difference between the tiers is that the Together plan doesn't include automated bank feeds and value-added tax (VAT) features. Pricing is in British pounds instead of U.S. dollars, so you'll want to check the exchange rate at the time of purchase.

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Setting up your account with ClearBooks is easy; similar to most online accounting software. You enter basic information about your company, choose your home country and currency, and enter your bank information. The software gives you starting tasks to complete, such as adding customers and vendors. You can add an unlimited number of users to this small business accounting software, and it allows you to be very specific about the access you grant to each user. One quirk about the software is that there isn't a way to change the date format from the U.K.-standard of dd/mm/yyyy to the U.S.-standard of mm/dd/yyyy, which is confusing for U.S.-based users and their U.S.-based clients.

The interface is straightforward, with task tabs located along the top of the screen and a customizable dashboard that allows you to select which data points you want to see and where on the screen you want to see it. One point of confusion is that there are two Settings buttons: one below your profile for user settings and the second on the task tab that you can use to configure the software to your liking.

After you create a quote, you can convert it to an invoice in just a few clicks. You can also create delivery notes. Five invoice templates, called themes, are included with this online accounting software. You customize the look by changing fonts, font sizes and colors, and you can change the fields and text to customize the content. It's a little more clunky to set up than some of the other programs we reviewed. If you're proficient in CSS code, you can create your own template.

You can configure ClearBooks to automatically generate recurring invoices, and you can also set it up to automatically email payment reminders to your customers. You can track both billable hours and expenses, attach them to projects, and invoice your customers for them using the Recharge Costs option, which is located under the Sales tab.

This small business accounting software can manage your vendors and create purchase orders, but it doesn't show you the available quantity of an item when you enter it on an invoice. If you enter a higher quantity than you have on hand, it doesn't alert you. In order to see your stock levels, you have to run the stock report. This is less than ideal if your business moves inventory in and out quickly. ClearBooks has fixed asset-management tools, and you can use this software to track your bills, but it doesn't print checks.

ClearBooks can run many different types of reports, including a general ledger and an aged receivables report. The Together+ plan allows includes a bank feed, but this feature isn't included in the Together plan. The software has a bank reconciliation tool that streamlines this task. Like every online accounting software we reviewed, ClearBooks can integrate with a payment processor and allow you to add PayPal's Pay Now button to your invoices.

If you run more than one small business, ClearBooks allows you to add multiple businesses to your account. It supports multiple currencies, which is an important feature if you do business with international customers. It offers a mobile app for both Android and Apple devices. You can use it to view your customer and vendor contacts, create invoices, capture receipts, record expenses and see an overview of your account.

ClearBooks offers multiple accounting education resources, including articles, a blog, support guides, videos, podcasts and training courses. If you need to contact the company for customer support, you can call or email.

Summary

ClearBooks is a good choice for companies that do business internationally, as it supports multiple currencies and VAT. This online accounting software includes many capable features for invoicing, billable time and expense tracking, purchasing product and bill tracking. Although it tracks inventory, you have to run a report to access your stock numbers.

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