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Clearbooks going down hill?

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I've been recommending Clearbooks to my clients for over two years and had almost all of my clients on the software. However, I've noticed that the support is continously going downhill over the past six months. Replies often take several days. I'm still waiting for a reply from my account manager on a billing query from two weeks ago. Their software feature list is also starting to lag behind competitors. Apparently their API is shocking so hardly any third party want to integrate with them.

Seems like a shame as it is relatively easy to use and easy for non-accountants to understand (e.g. how to check profits and issue a dividend).


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06th Nov 2018 11:29

I tried it a while back and felt it was lacking compared to main 3 packages.

I thought that gap would only grow as they will struggle to keep up bank integrations, and the lack of add on apps.

It doesn't seemed to have moved on subscriber wise so would question how long it will last before it gets consumed by another company, as the anticipated mass adoption around MTD doesn't look like its going to be a huge thing they were probably expecting.

Its entry level version for MTD does not look to bad.

To recommend to clients you cannot get past Xero or QBO as at least they are well supported and developed.

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06th Nov 2018 14:36

I rarely hear anyone mention Clearbooks these day.

I agree with @Glenn Martin you can't go wrong with Xero for your clients.

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to Counting numbers
06th Nov 2018 16:32

Pricing is the big difference. As a small practice, the pricing is hugely different for Xero compared to Clearbooks. There's a limit on how much you can push down to clients. I know QBO is cheaper though.

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to Harrison88
06th Nov 2018 17:35

For me you need to consider more than a like for like price, and consider what sits behind the products. For instance the direct bank feeds from Xero are very reliable , have a one that does not work or brings transactions through twice and the few quid difference becomes insignificant.

I find the 5 versions of Xero work across my client group, cashbook version is £5pm etc.

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06th Nov 2018 15:52

I've always found the support to be pretty good, in particular recently they have been great in helping us get clients signed up to the MTD pilot

that said there is always room for improvement and some areas of development have been disappointing, especially app integration

i think their biggest problem is pricing themselves out of the market with a product that's basic but good, but costs as much as software that's all singing and dancing

that said I still think its a very good alternative to the likes of Xero or QBO, if your clients don't want either of those options what do you recommend instead?

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04th Feb 2019 12:32

I agree that their API is shocking. Try getting your data out of there, it's a ton of work, especially the attachments. They have no attachments API, no APIs for querying the ledgers, the APIs don't return useful information either, for example try querying the API for expenses.

I like their 2 year price plan. Now however, I'm stuck with them and because I don't like their behaviour on not updating their APIs, when my company's 2 year fix ends, for sure I'll be looking elsewhere. Also looking at their accounts, it looks like they've cut their R&D spend by quite a bit over the years, which to me suggests that they might not even have the ambitions or resourcing to invest in their APIs.

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