Image Credit Pixabay/Solomon_BarroaClear Books has announced three new features for Clear Books Micro. Clear Books Micro is an  online spreadsheet that enables small business owners to update their sales invoices, bank receipts and expenditure in a familiar way. While competitors aim to draw people into cloud accounting systems, Clear Books has adopted a different approach. It has developed the solution to appeal as a middle ground to small business owners used to Excel. Their accountants are then able to pick up the data once given access and easily import into Clear Books Practise edition. The accountants are then able to prepare the books and submit the file to HMRC.

All the new features are based on feedback from beta customers after the product was launched earlier this year. They include several of the commonly used features in Excel.

Automatically sum columns : It is now possible to see the total value of each column. This allows users to see the total value of invoices, for example, at a glance. The values automatically updates without having to redefine the area on the spreadsheet. The sums are available on sales, expenditure and receipt tabs.

Customised Sort: Users are now able to sort the data based on any column. This includes Date, Reference, Value, Details, expense type, customer etc. Columns are sorted by clicking on the title and will rotate between: no sort, ascending and then descending order.

Filters: Clear Books has also introduced filters. Multiple filters are allowed although it appears that only a single filter can be applied to each column. It was also not possible to ascertain how complex those queries are, or whether they are predetermined. Examples given are unpaid invoices over 30 days old.

What does this mean

With the imminent deadline for Making Tax Digital, companies will need to submit VAT returns online from April 2019. This simple solution is free and allows owners to assist their accountants in submitting these forms without undue change to their processes. Clear Books, like many other accounting solutions, recently announced that it had completed an MTD VAT filing successfully.

Clear Books has adopted a different and potentially very effective strategy from other cloud accounting vendors. While many are trumpeting the demise of the spreadsheet, Clear Books has developed a new one. While it may not have the same functionality as Excel it is carefully controlled so that importing the data into a full accounting systems is simple. These new additions make sense for a small business owner. Will more follow?


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