This is a brief overview of how to register an account and some of the key processes involved in the initial setup directly after registration.

Register account

Head to the Clear Books homepage and click on the Get started button

Add your name, company name, telephone number, email address and password in the registration form.

Clear Books will now take you through a registration wizard to enter some details of your account. Please enter the details as appropriate for your business:

VAT schemes

Once the initial registration wizard is complete if you want to adjust the VAT scheme head to the Settings > Organisation > Details & Tax menu.

Click on the Manage VAT schemes link.

The scheme should be set up as per the registration wizard if you need to make any changes just delete the scheme and re-add it. There must always be a scheme open that covers the current date and the date of the transaction you are trying to add (unless this is an opening balance).

Reporting periods

The details of the financial reporting periods can also be checked on the Settings > Accounting > Periods menu.


You can change the dates of the first reporting period using the edit icon. The first period sets the start date for all your opening balances. Usually, reporting periods should only span a year and will not overlap each other.


There must always be a reporting period open that covers the current date and the date of the transaction you are trying to add (unless this is an opening balance).

Reporting periods can be locked using the padlock icon - no transactions can be processed in a locked period.

Opening Balances

During the initial registration wizard, you are able to enter an opening balance for your bank account. This will appear on the Dashboard > Opening balances > Cash menu.


To adjust the amount just enter the correct figure in the Amount box and hit the Update button.


If you add any bank accounts in future you can update the opening balance of each account on this menu.

On the Dashboard > Opening balances > Debtors menu, you can add in any invoices that are outstanding prior to your start date set in Clear Books. Fill in the required details of the form. Use the blue plus icon in the Name field to add a new customer and click on the Create invoice button.

opening debtor

On the Dashboard > Opening balances > Creditors menu, you can add in any bills (purchase invoices) that are outstanding prior to your start date set in Clear Books. Fill in the required details of the form. Use the blue plus icon in the Name field to add a new supplier and click on the Create invoice button.

opening creditor

The Dashboard > Opening balances > Other balances menu allows you to enter opening balances for balance sheet accounts. Enter debits as positive numbers and credits as negative numbers. The total debit (+ve) amount should be the same as the total Credit (-ve).

other balances

As an alternative, the opening balance for balance sheet accounts (opening P&L accounts too) can be added within a journal on the Tools > Journals menu.

Bank accounts and payment details

The registration wizard would have created one bank account, you can view this on the Money > Bank accounts menu.

Bank accounts

Click on the Add account button to add any other bank accounts you have.

You can edit the bank details by clicking on the edit icon beside the appropriate account.

edit bannk

These details will appear on an invoices payment advice slip on invoices.

bank details

Invoice preferences

On the Settings > Configure system > Invoice themes and click on the Preferences link at the top. This will list all the default options used on invoices.


Select a bank in the default payment details drop-down box, the details (added in the previous step) will be shown on all invoices.

The sales and bills created on the sales/purchases menus have the prefix INV and PUR as the prefix by default. Both fields can be customised with a 4 character limit.

Default credit terms can be adjusted for customers and suppliers. This sets the due date x number of days after the invoice date.

The default payment text appears on the payment advice for all built in Clear Books invoice themes.

The default line items box determines how many lines are shown on an invoice. This can be changed when creating the invoice.

The first invoice number sets the first invoice number to increment from. This cannot be used to reset invoice numbering in future.

The invoice multiple contacts is a feature which allows you to email or address the invoice to the different contacts of a customer when creating a new invoice.

The Default VAT rate box is the VAT used by default on each line of an invoice.

Invoice themes

On the Settings > Configure system > Invoice themes menu Clear Books shows the 4 built-in invoice themes.

invoice themes

You can preview, set as default or apply the theme to any invoices created in future using the appropriate links. To add a logo to these themes head to Settings > Organisation > Tax and click on the Logo tab.


Back on the invoice theme menu, you can also add your own custom invoice themes which have greater flexibility over what is shown on the PDF version of the invoice. Click on the Create invoice theme button to begin creating a new theme.

Create invoice

To create your first invoice head to the Sales > Invoices and click on the Create invoice button.


Add a new customer by clicking on the Add customer link under the customer drop down list - the only required fields for a new customer is the name itself.

add customer pop

Customers can be added separately on the Contacts > Customers menu or imported from a CSV file on the Tools > Import menu.

Once the customer is saved fill in the rest of the required details of the invoice form and save.

Import statement

Clear Books allows you to import a copy of your bank statement to keep on top of your bank account balance. You will need to download a copy of your statement by logging into your bank account online. The preferred file type is CSV, however, the bank import tool also supports OFX, QBO, QIF, SWI and 940 files.

To import your file head to the Money > Bank statements > Import statement. Select the bank account that you would like to import the statement for.

imported statement select

Now select the statement file you exported from your bank and the default payment method. This payment method will be used for all payments and receipts on the imported statement, although you can change it if required.

select file

You will now need to map the columns on the statement file to the data fields in Clear Books. Once the mapping is complete it will be saved for future imports.

column mappings

Link receipt to invoice

Once the bank statement is imported, the payments and receipts that appear on it need to be explained. Any statements with unexplained payments and receipts will appear in the Imported statements that need explaining table on the Money > Bank accounts menu.

explain statement

Click on the Explain link beside the appropriate statement.

In this example, a receipt has been imported which can be linked to the invoice that was created earlier. When explaining the receipt select the customer from the drop-down list. This should bring up a table of unpaid bills just below the customer drop-down. Click on the allocate button beside the appropriate invoice.

link receipt

This will mark the invoice as paid and update your bank balance on the Money > Bank accounts menu. To learn more about explaining statements click here.

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