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KashFlow Review

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Date Established
2005
Location
United Kingdom

Pros

  • Suited for UK users
  • Numerous integrations
  • Ample accounting reports

Cons

  • No mobile apps
  • Buggy
  • Unintuitive UI
  • Limited invoice automations

Overview

You probably get tired of hearing the same old accounting software origin story: a businessman is tired of confusing software; he’s convinced that there is a better way; voila, a new accounting software is born. But with KashFlow, the story gets much more interesting—and I mean ex-criminal turned award-winning entrepreneur interesting.

Meet Duane Jackson, the founder of the KashFlow. Jackson is a self-taught programmer who ended up in jail for drug trafficking. After his release, he turned his life around and made a career for himself as a successful software developer. Since KashFlow’s creation in 2005, the software has won numerous awards, including Best SME Accounting and Finance in 2011 and 2012 and Best Small Business Accounting Software in 2008 and 2009.

The flow of awards – and the company itself – seem to have come to a bit of a standstill since then. While KashFlow has addressed some user requests lately (like adding products directly from the invoice screen), they have also downgraded in a lot of areas. KashFlow has dropped the number of integrations on offer and axed their customizable dashboard feature, all while raising prices. Add these issues to navigation difficulties and KashFlow seems to flow less and less flawlessly.

Read on to see if the pros outweigh the cons with KashFlow.

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Pricing

KashFlow has a free 30-day trial, no credit card required. After that, the company offers three pricing plans. There is no annual contract, and you have the right to cancel at any time. Since the company is a UK-based business, you will have to calculate the exchange rate.

There are a few money-saving discounts you should definitely know about. Charities get six months of free use, and there is a special promotion where US users are given three months of free use. To top it all off, KashFlow has an amazing referral program. You can earn commission on each user you successfully sign up with KashFlow. Learn more here, or just skip ahead to the prices below if you haven’t already.

Starter

  • £7/month + VAT
  • 10 invoices
  • Unlimited quotes
  • 25 bank transactions
  • Unlimited receipts
  • Unlimited contacts
  • Unlimited bank accounts
  • Multiple users

Business

  • £13/month + VAT
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Unlimited quotes
  • Unlimited bank transactions
  • Recurring transactions
  • Unlimited receipts
  • Unlimited contacts
  • Unlimited bank accounts
  • Multi-currency support
  • Open API
  • Multiple users

Business + Payroll

  • £18/month + VAT
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Unlimited quotes
  • Unlimited bank transactions
  • Recurring transactions
  • Unlimited receipts
  • Unlimited contacts
  • Unlimited bank accounts
  • Multi-currency support
  • Open API
  • Payroll (UK only)
  • Multiple users

Note: You can’t have multiple businesses on one KashFlow account, but you can receive a discount for registering subsequent separate accounts.

Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed

Cloud-based. No downloads or installation required.

Hardware & Software Requirements

KashFlow is a cloud-based software, meaning the program runs on any device so long as you are using one of these supported browsers: Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 9+, Safari 5+, or Google Chrome. KashFlow also requires you to enable cookies and javascript in order for the features to work correctly.

KashFlow does not have mobile apps, although can still access KashFlow through your mobile browser. One user was so disappointed by the lack of mobile apps that he developed his own—Kashdroid. I have not tested the app myself, but it is available to you at an extra cost if you so desire. You can learn more about this third-party app and what KashFlow users think here.

Specific Size Of Business

The feature set of KashFlow fits most small businesses. Payroll and job-costing are a nice touch for larger businesses, and the multi-user feature is a happy addition. To top it off, accountants get free access. However, smaller businesses might be out of luck if they send more than 10 invoices; yes, the larger plan has unlimited invoices, but the Business Plan price can be a bit steep, at least in comparison to other software options.

It’s worth noting that KashFlow is a UK product for UK business. US users can still use the software successfully; they’ll just have to jump through some hoops (like calculating sales tax manually and adding it as an item on invoices).

Accounting Method

Accrual accounting.

Ease Of Use

The KashFlow UI appears nice and organized at first glance, but once you start trying to navigate the program, it’s a bit of a pain.

  • Set Up: The setup process is simple enough. You add your company information, create a password and a memorable word, and you’re good to go. Or at least you think you are, until you realize that every time you log in, you must actually input specific letters of your ‘memorable word’ (so make sure your memorable word is truly memorable).

KashFlow Review

After already being annoyed by this security precaution, I was disappointed to find that importing information like contacts, bank statements, etc. was complicated, and importing items was impossible. It might help your user experience be more enjoyable if you anticipate spending some time on the setup; the process is not as quick and easy as it is with most software, but it can be done. I recommend getting started by watching this video and then heading to the settings menu where you can change the currency, date format, invoice template, and email messages. Also, make sure you enable the projects feature.

  • Organization: The dashboard offers a view of your financial history and a toolbar on the left side of the screen marks every feature available to you (except projects until you enable it in settings). The toolbar reads: Dashboard, Reports, Customer, Quotes, Invoices, Suppliers, Purchases, Bank, Payments, Apps, Refer a Friend, Settings, Help, Company Information, and Payroll. There is a quick-create button on the top of the screen that comes in handy.
  • Instructions & Guidance: With most accounting software, you can get up and running without much guidance, but KashFlow is a different story. I’d definitely have the Knowledge Base open and ready to go. It also might help to watch a few YouTube videos or taking a free Getting Started Webinar so you can know what to expect. Customer support responds to email inquiries quickly too if it comes to that. All of this being said, KashFlow isn’t impossible to use. It really does have an appealing UI and good features. Don’t be scared of setting up your account, just be prepared to spend some time doing it.
  • Problems: Here are the biggest problems—the ones which lead me to say again and again that the software isn’t as easy to use as I would like.
    • Hard To Navigate: The main issue I have with KashFlow’s organization is that nothing is where I expected it to be. For example, I had to look in the KashFlow Knowledge Base when trying to find where to manually import bank statements; eventually, I realized the features is found in the live bank feeds link in the banking feature. Pretty counterintuitive if you ask me.
    • Complicated Manual Import: To top off the confusion, the .csv templates KashFlow provides are complicated, and it takes a long time to adjust information to fit these standards (for example, KashFlow only accepts British-formatted dates on .csv files). This is particularly bad for US users who have to manually import all bank statements as the live feeds feature is only compatible with UK banks (which probably don’t want all of their dates formatted as dd/mm/yyyy).
    • History Of Typos: While I did not experience this issue in my most recent test of the software, KashFlow has a history of typos on help pages, in templates, and in email reminders. Hopefully, this issue has been resolved, but I’d still be sure to double check all spelling before sending anything to clients.
    • Lack Of Mobile Apps: This is a huge drawback, especially considering that almost all accounting software competitors have this kind of mobility.
    • Glitches: The software had more glitches than I like to see, not that I ever like glitches, but when you return to the main menu of the customer page, invoice, page, and projects page and nothing shows up, it’s pretty aggravating.

KashFlow Review

Features

While many of KashFlow’s features are geared toward UK users, the company still offers an impressive amount of features that may be tempting for some small businesses. For a full list of features, go here.

  • Dashboard: KashFlow has a well-organized and appealing dashboard with charts that mark your business’s current financial state. I am disappointed to report that KashFlow has dropped the ability to customize your dashboard.

KashFlow Review

  • Invoicing: KashFlow offers a single invoice template, although you can create a custom template in-software via .pdf, .html, or .css. The invoice feature is straightforward and the finished product looks professional. Automated email messages make this feature even easier to use. The only drawback is, you have to manually add shipping, sales tax, and discounts as an item line, which is a bit ridiculous. I know for me, manually calculating sales tax would get really old really fast.

KashFlow Review

  • Estimates: Creating quotes involves a similar process. You can convert estimates to invoices quickly and can categorize quotes as ‘drafts’, ‘sent’, or ‘under negotiation/review’, which is a nice touch.
  • Contact Management: KashFlow lets you keep track of customers and suppliers with ease. You can assign specific default invoice/email settings to customers and can set predetermined payment terms for each.
  • Project Management: The projects feature is a complete joy to use. You can assign projects to customers, add notes/instructions to projects, and mark the status of each project. You can also set financial targets for each project. KashFlow will track your projected income and expenditure and will display the actual expenses and income against the projected budget.

KashFlow Review

  • Job Costing: This is one of my favorite KashFlow features. It’s rare and refreshing to see a job costing feature in accounting (not even Xero or QuickBooks Online have this capability). In addition to setting financial targets, you can run specified profit and loss statements. To learn more about what job costing does, check out this article: Job Costing: What Is It? And Do I Need It?.
  • Accounts Payable: While this doesn’t look like your typical accounts payable feature, it gets the job done. You can pay bills by making card payments or bank payments through KashFlow. You can also set recurring payments with your suppliers to automate the whole process.
  • Bank Reconciliation: Here is where the waters get dicey. While you can manually import bank statements (bank>bank feeds>manual import), expenses can only be entered via purchases and sales income via invoices. There is also no way to merge a bank transaction with an invoice. KashFlow does offer live bank feeds and suing these enables you to set categorization rules. Note: Like all software using live bank feeds, KashFlow partners with Yodlee, which may violate some banks’ Terms and Conditions. Consult with your bank to see whether live bank feeds are a good choice for you.

KashFlow Review

  • Reports: KashFlow offers over 50 reports and has added at least ten since our last review. These reports cover accounting basics and a few extras. One of my favorite reports is called the Health Check report. This report looks at a few critical business categories and gives you a score on how you’re doing, as well as suggestions for improving that score to a 100%.
  • Payroll (Business + Payroll Only): The payroll feature is limited to UK customers. You can learn more about this fully integrated payroll service here.

KashFlow Review

  • VAT Support: KashFlow has VAT support for UK users. Learn more about this feature here.
  • Multi-Currency (Business & Business + Payroll Only): With upgraded plans, you get multi-currency support for over 90 currencies. Exchange rates are updated daily.
  • API (Business & Business + Payroll Only): KashFlows offers API for developers.

Customer Service & Support

KashFlow customer service gets the job done and done fairly well most of the time. US users do have to deal with UK time zone, but I always received email and support form responses between 6-24 hours after reaching out.

The only downside is that if you need any emergency or immediate help you may be out of luck. Not once did the live chat feature live up to its name for me. I would type an inquiry, and no one would respond. They later got back to me through email, which was nice, but that isn’t really live chat.

The Knowledge Base is a hit or miss, but YouTube videos can make up for this. There are some great videos on the KashFlow channel for getting started and understanding the offerings of each feature.

Ultimately, when it comes to KashFlow customer service, be patient. I found this hard considering the navigation issues described earlier, but the representatives really are kind, open, and more than willing to work with you if you give them a chance.

  • Phone: UK users can call 0333 355 9344. US users can call this number as well if they aren’t worried about international charges.
  • Email: You can email Kashflow at support@kashflow.com or sales@kashflow.com.
  • Support Form: There is also a contact form
  • Live Chat: The live chat feature described above can be found on the KashFlow site if you want to try your luck at it.
  • Knowledge Base: KashFLow has a Knowledge Base that offers basic how-to’s, tips, troubleshooting advice, and an FAQ section. I found myself referring to this source a lot to learn how to navigate the software.
  • YouTube: KashFlow has an extensive YouTube channel featuring how-to’s videos, customer testimonials, a mini-series, recent updates, and a helpful getting started video that I highly recommend watching.
  • Webinars & Course: Webinars and courses are hosted on Mondays and Wednesdays and are available at an additional cost. KashFlow is currently offering a free Getting Started Video is you use the discount code NEWKF16 at checkout.
  • Request Suggestions: Users can request suggestions here, but don’t hope for a quick response. KashFlow has been slow to update and yet fast to downgrade existing features. Read more in the Final Verdict.
  • KashFlow Blog: KashFlow has a blog chock-full of how-to articles, guides, and business tips.
  • Social Media: KashFlow is on Twitter and Facebook. Both social media sites feature the same news, blog posts, and tips with little variation. There are hardly any customer comments or questions, so this is probably not where you want to go for support.

Negative Reviews & Complaints

KashFlow doesn’t have a huge presence on the web, so finding customers reviews was a little difficult. And once I did find them, they were often outdated or repeated on multiple customer review sites. This made it pretty difficult to get a feel for the overall Kashflow user experience. For the most part, reviews were very mixed. Here are some of the negative points about KashFlow:

  • Poor Customer Service: A few users complained about the customer service, particularly that responses took a long time. While this was not my own experience, I can understand why US users in particular would find it difficult to wait for US time and UK time to overlap before they could receive an answer.
  • Navigation Issues: Some users complained that the software was difficult to navigate. One user was annoyed at having to change screens constantly, while another was frustrated because his information was not saving correctly.
  • VAT Miscalculations: Quite a few UK users reported that their VAT calculations were completely wrong, which made tax time great fun.

Positive Reviews & Testimonials

As far as positive reviews go, Kashflow receives 4.1/5 stars on GetApp and 4.3/5 stars on Serchen. These are the things that customers loved most:

  • Easy To Use: Users find KashFlow to be easy to use. Several previous Sage users (the other big name in UK accounting software), were grateful for the change to a simpler software.
  • Jargon-Free: Many business owners also appreciate that KashFlow is free of accounting jargon, so the average person can use the software without needing a degree or financial background.
  • Everything In One Place: The other common praise is the time and stress saved by having everything business-related in one place.

Here’s what a couple of users are saying:

“For the first time I feel like I’m really on top of my accounts and not fretting about having missed something vital! Knowing the accounts are accurate is worth its weight in gold and so reassuring. Thank you for this fabulous software!” – Isla Thomas

“Kashflow has helped me enormously in my business… I’m not an expert on book-keeping, but the day to day interface is so easy. I used to struggle to keep on top of accounts, panicking at the end of each quarter, but now all the information is easily at hand.” – Tony Gray, Words by Design Ltd.

“Easy to use without any accounting jargon! I’ve been using the system for well over 6 months now and can’t stress how much its made my processes more streamlined. I have an iPad and when a sale has been made, I bring up KashFlow and ping over an invoice with a Pay Now link and that’s it!” – Sandeep Gadhavi

To see how even more Kashflow customers put the software to use, check out these customer testimonial videos:

Integrations & Add-ons

KashFlow has around 56 integrations, 30 fewer than the last time we reviewed the software. While I am slightly disappointed in this downgrade, KashFlow still retains many key integrations, including the ones listed below. So long as the company doesn’t keep up this pattern, there are plenty of feature add-ons to suit the needs of most small businesses.

  • Paypal: Accept online payments and enable electronic payment of invoices. Read our review here.
  • Shopify: A popular eCommerce platform for online stores. Read our full review here.
  • Salesforce: A CRM and marketing solution complete with customer service options for your small business.
  • Capsule: A CRM and basic task management software. Read our full review here.
  • Vend: A POS software ideal for retail. Read our full review here.
  • MailChimp: An emailing and marketing management tool. Read our full review here.
  • Receipt Bank: Receipt data entry made easy.

Interested in accepting online payments from your customers? Read our comprehensive merchant account reviews to learn the pros and cons of popular providers and see which payment processing option is best for your business.

Security

KashFlow uses a 1028 bit RSA key SSL Encryption for all of their data, as well as protective firewalls. Data is regularly backed up to London servers that are hosted by Rackspace. To learn more about Rackspace’s security precautions, go here, or check out KashFlow’s security in more detail here.

Final Verdict

I feel as if KashFlow is facing probation. I can see so much potential—in the UI, in the feature selection, in the organization—but something is holding the software back. The lack of recent updates and the increase in downgrades is a bit concerning. Requests for mobile apps have gone unaddressed. Prices have increased, while the number of integrations has decreased significantly. Add navigation issues and glitches to this offense list and things just don’t look too good for KashFlow.

On the other hand, the software still has some notable features like project management, job costing, and ample reports. For UK users, and for US users with a little patience, the software still may be worth giving a go. Check out the free 30-day trial and let us know what you think.

Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause

Managing Editor - Accounting
Chelsea Krause is a writer who has specialized in accounting for two years and is a QuickBooks Certified User. She has a BA in English & Creative Writing from George Fox University and studied at the University of Oxford as well. She has been quoted in Forbes and her work appears in Startup Nation, Small Business Bonfire, and Women on Business.
Chelsea Krause
Chelsea Krause

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12 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Rick Stuart

    Organization Name: Gymophobics Bury

    Have used Kashflow for 3 separate companies almost from the beginning. It was simple, clean, groundbreaking….now its cluttered, bloated, buggy as hell and quite frankly ‘upgrades’ are bordering on the dumb. The latest serious issue I had after the last update took 10 days to fix, and was an endless round of email traffic with different people until I finally exploded and threatened my lawyers.
    I am now planning a full migration elsewhere, which is quite sad really.

    • Organization Name: Gymophobics Bury
    Paul Metcalfe

    Organization Name: PMI LTd

    Been using Kashflow successfully for 4 years so would consider myself an experienced user. However, I’ve just found the End and Start balance didn’t match when beginning this month’s bank reconciliation. Kashflow support can only suggest I delete EVERY reconciliation for the past 4 years and re-do them all! No explanation as to why it was necessary or what might have causes the error. I downloaded my audit-trail for the past 3 months and found nothing even close to the £20,000 error that had been weirdly introduced in my 2015’s history. Totally lost confidence in Kashflow now, re-creating 4 years history is bad enough, imaging having the same issue in another 4 years, no thanks. I’m off.

    2
    • Organization Name: PMI LTd
    Brian Brady

    Very bad support and lack of new features are the reason I’m moving to Surf Accounts.

    1
      Chester

      Poor customer support. Lack of users with different user permissions is a huge issue for Kashflow’s accounts software.

      2
        Victor

        Impossible to use app. You need to upload manually all bank transactions if you have something older than few months to add in the system, the CSV import is faulty. Huge waste of time in my case.Note that I am an engineer and also an economist, the idea of the app sounds great but the execution is below any expectations.

        1
          Frank Rooney

          been with Kashflow about two years now its system is a very good but takes a bit to set up however when something goes wrong the support is very poor.I have made contact on a few occasions for support via online chat which takes about two days to reply and sending an email takes even longer I tried calling the 0800 billing number as i had problems paying a subscription i gave up after 46 mins on hold.

          1

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

            Lawrence

            i am looking at alternatives

            1

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

              Lawrence

              poor service. no help migrating / duplicating an account

              1

                This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                Vijay

                I have been a customer of kashflow for over 3 years. I was paying £20 per month. Now I realise that the same service is available to new customers for £10 per month. I have spoken to kashflow and they don’t want to change it. I just want other long term customers to support me in this!!!

                3

                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                  Katherine Miller

                  Hi Vijay,

                  I’m surprised Kashflow won’t transfer you to one of the new plans. Have you considered exporting all your info, creating a new (£10/month) account, and importing the info into that? A bit of a hassle, but it might be worth the savings in the long run. Alternately, if this experience has soured you on Kashflow, there are plenty of good alternatives available; check out our reviews and guide to choosing accounting software for more details.

                  Best,
                  Katherine

                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                    Paul Morris

                    Have to agree with the other comment. Since the company was acquired by Iris in 2013 the e-mail only support has in my experience been absolutely useless. I am currently looking at other alternatives where I can actually speak to somebody when I require support.

                    1

                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                      Richard Simpson

                      Their support is only by e-mail. The problem is when they don’t know the solution. They simply cut and paste the same standard reply back. Even though it’s incorrect. They will not admit if they don’t know. So it waists so much time. I’m 4 days into a simply request and still no solution. So it may be cheap, but it’s false economy as it’s waists so much time. Data also take more time to enter than any other package we’ve used. You can’t steam in bank data etiher.

                      1

                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

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