We are Pandle Accountants. Many of our clients use Pandle’s free online accounting software to do their bookkeeping. We also do bookkeeping for our clients using it. So we can help you use it for low fixed monthly fees, which you can see here or get an instant quote here. Here is our Pandle Review.
What is Pandle?
Pandle is free online accounting software. It’s an online tool for small businesses to use to record all of their sales, purchases, and bank transactions. It has most of the tools a small business needs from online accounting software. Pandle Pro is a premium version which comes with extra features such as automatic bank feeds – your bank transactions are imported.
Is Pandle any good?
This page is our Pandle Review, which gives our detailed opinion on Pandle’s online accounting software. If you’re just looking for a quick answer, then Yes! We rate it 4/5.
How much does Pandle cost?
Pandle is fantastic value for money, even at the full Pandle Pro price of £5 per month plus VAT. We can get Pro for our clients at just £2.50 per month plus VAT, which is still cheap for online accounting software. If you have few transactions, the free version probably has all of the features you need. Our Pandle Review for cost is 5/5.
How easy it is to use Pandle?
Like most other online accounting software, you need enter or import your sales invoices, purchase bills, and bank transactions. Then you need to categorise each bank transaction. You do this by either matching it with an invoice or bill, or by selecting an account for it to go to e.g. travel expenses. It’s quite slow and not very intuitive, but once you get used to it it’s fine. See below for details on each of the main areas of use. Our Pandle Review on ease of use is 3/5.
Sales and Purchase Invoices
It’s easy to add a sales/purchase invoice. Just click on Customers/Suppliers, Customer/Suppler Invoices, New Invoice. Enter all the details then Save. The customer invoice is laid out as an invoice. A supplier invoice is entered in one line, so it’s easy to add more than one at a time before saving. If you want the invoice to recur, you have to go to another place to set it up – Tools, Recurring Transactions.
All of the banking functions are accessed quickly and easily by clicking on Banking and Bank Accounts.
Setting up a bank feed is easy and it will save you a lot of time. When you add a bank account you can select how to get your transactions into Pandle. Either Manual (entering each one), File Import (with a CSV file of your transactions) or Bank Feed (automatic import). After setting it up, you can change the method by clicking on the Entry Method for that bank account. Select the Bank Feed then Connect Bank Account. Choose your bank then the directions may vary. Usually you are given a QR code to use with your phone’s camera. This will take you to the app on your phone where you can authorise the bank feed. Back on Pandle, it will ask you when to pull transactions from i.e. the first date to start importing transactions.
The next best option to get your transactions into Pandle is with a File Import. You’ll first need to download your bank transactions from your online banking account. Usually in a CSV format. Then in Pandle alongside your bank account click on the blue File Import button. Choose your bank, then drop or find your file with the transactions on. Hopefully that’s it. However, this didn’t work for us with HSBC or Lloyds, despite them both being listed as having a template ready to use. We had to set up a custom file import which was a little tricky. See here.
Once your transactions have been imported, you need to click on the green tick button alongside the bank account. Then each transaction needs to be categorised to an account, or matched. You can match it to an invoice or bill by changing the type to a Customer Receipt or Supplier Payment, then selecting the invoice or bill. Once you’ve done that, you tick the confirm boxes, then Confirm Checked. This process isn’t as intuitive as other software like Xero, and it’s quite slow. Also, if the amount doesn’t exactly agree with the invoices or bills, there’s no quick and easy fix. You may have to split the transaction first, or apply a credit note before matching it.
If you have transfers from one bank account to another bank account on Pandle, we found it was too easy to end up with duplicate transactions. You need to follow the instructions carefully to get these right.
We really like the Bank Rules feature which will automatically assign the category and VAT rate etc if the transaction meets the rule. For example you can set up a rule that if income has interest in included in the description you can set it up to put that transaction to interest received account with no VAT. To set up a bank rule you can click on the green overflow button alongside the transaction.
VAT returns are relatively easy to run and submit. Go to Reports, VAT Returns, Add New VAT Return, then enter/check the dates. To view the details making up the total isn’t as easy as it could be. There is a magnifying glass button next to the sales VAT and purchase VAT amounts, which opens the details, but only shows 10 lines per page, cuts the details off after about 18 characters, and seemed to show the whole history rather than just the period of the return. To get a full detailed report you have to save and lock the return, which takes a while. Then you can download a PDF. If you spot an error, you then have to unlock the VAT return to fix it.
Reports on Pandle
There aren’t many reports on Pandle and they are quite basic. Also, you have to wait for some of them to be generated in the background then come back and download it when it’s ready. If you like a lot of reports that can be customised (e.g. to also show amounts for the previous period), you’ll need to look elsewhere (e.g. Xero). Having said that, most small businesses only need the basics, so what Pandle offers should be sufficient. Currently, you can quickly access the following reports: Profit and loss; Balance sheet; Trial balance; Cash flow; Receivables; Payables; VAT Returns. You can also request the following reports to be generated: Customers; Customer invoices; Suppliers; Supplier invoices; Transactions; General ledger. Our Pandle Review on reports is 2/5.
Support and other features
They provide many guides and product tours to help you use their online accounting software here. A chat facility is also available most of the time and is fairly quick to respond. We couldn’t find a support email or telephone number.
A handy feature we like on the Pro version, is the Receipt Uploads, where you can upload and attach a PDF or image of an invoice or receipt, then attach it to the corresponding transaction. That means you’ll be able to find the attachment easily by find the transaction on Pandle. This is also on the mobile app, so it’s easy to take a quick photo of a receipt using your phone then upload it.
The mobile app is really handy for a few quick basic functions. You can deal with simple bank transactions, enter and send invoices, upload receipts/invoices, and view some basic reports. It’s good to have especially for the receipts upload.
Our Pandle Review of support and other features is 4/5.
Overall Pandle Review
Overall our Pandle Review is 4/5. This was pushed up to a 4 because we think Pandle offers fantastic value for money. It’s not perfect and doesn’t have all the features or reports, or the speed of Xero and Quickbooks. However, for free or for £2.50 per month from Pandle Accountants like us, it’s well worth trying. At CloudBook Online Accountants, we help our clients with whichever online accounting they choose to use, all for a low fixed monthly fee. See our prices or get an instant quote below.About Us Our Prices Instant Quote