Home Business Software Full Tide Accounting Review – Can It Be Trusted?
Anwesha Roy Tech Writer Author expertise
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Choosing the right accounting system for your business is never easy, and it’s even harder if you’re a small or midsize business with fewer resources to spare but growing accounting needs. 

In this Tide Accounting review, we share our hands-on experience with one of the UK’s top small business accounting apps so you can decide if it’s a good fit for you. 

Tide is among the country’s first digital-only financial institutions with no physical branch you can visit. The Tide Accounting app is part of the broader digital banking experience, but you can use the platform even if you don’t have a Tide bank account.

At its core, the app is an invoicing tool for managing your incoming and outgoing expenses and preparing for tax season. It’s easy to use and very mobile-friendly, but on the flip side, its functionalities are limited. 

Will Tide Accounting’s simplicity suffice for your business needs, and should you use this affordable, compliant app? That’s precisely what you’ll find out in this Tide Accounting review.

Tide Accounting Books Pros and Cons

Before we dive into our full Tide review (note that we’re reviewing only the Tide Accounting software today and not its business bank account services), here’s a quick look at its pros and cons:

Pros

  • Add multiple accounts simultaneously
  • Powerful iOS and Android app
  • Very affordable, flat-fee pricing
  • Works with other bank accounts besides Tide<
  • Seamless tax compliance automation

Cons

  • Basic functionalities
  • Only available in the UK

What is Tide Accounting?

Tide Accounting is a mobile-first accounting app provided by the digital banking company Tide for small business owners in the UK.

Tide was founded in 2015 as one of the country’s few digital-only financial institutions, also known as a neobank. In 2016, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) gave Tide authorization to provide financial services. Bear in mind that it isn’t a bank itself, and funds deposited with Tide will be held in ClearBank. 

The Tide Accounting app
The web browser version of the Tide Accounting app

Interestingly, while Tide is the customer-facing institution (again, not a bank), its banking services are powered by another company called PrePay Solutions. Also known as Edenred (PrePay’s trading name), PrePay is a 15+ year-old embedded finance provider in London. 

In 2016, Tide picked up £1.5 million in seed funding and raised another £11 million series A investment in 2017. It also partnered with online lender iwoca to provide its customers with a ready credit line.

In the same year, Tide also launched its mobile app, which was in beta until 2017.

Tide Accounting partnership with iwoca
How Tide partners with iwoca to offer in-app business loans

Over the next few years, Tide acquired more compliance certifications and raised £44.1 million in Series B in 2019. It also partnered with more companies to build out its solution, including Sage, which powers the Tide Accounting app we’re reviewing today.

For context, Sage is a large enterprise resource planning (ERP) and accounting software provider based in the UK, and one of the biggest in the country. The company, founded in 1981, partnered with Tide to launch this end-to-end accounting and tax compliance software for small businesses.

The Tide Accounting app started with cash accounting.

In 2023, it underwent a massive upgrade with the introduction of accrual accounting.

This allows you to send and receive invoices and calculate your income and taxes based on receivables and payables.

Today, Tide is a simple but competent accounting app for sending invoices, tracking cash flow, making payments, and managing taxes.

Can You Trust Tide?

Yes, you can trust Tide due to its strong technology infrastructure, industry certifications, and reliable customer support team.

As mentioned, Tide uses Sage’s accounting and invoicing systems – specifically, Sage Intacct for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Intacct is available to providers like Tide through cloud-based accounting-as-a-service (ACaaS). This makes the Tide Accounting software highly reliable. 

Tide is also ISO/IEC27001 accredited since 2020. This is an internationally recognized standard for information security, which means that the company has invested in securing the ‘confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA)’ of the data it stores. 

According to ISO standards, Tide regularly undertakes security risk assessments to update its policies, procedures, and technology. It enforces two-factor authentication to verify every new payee and transaction on the platform.

If you’re still wondering if the Tide Accounting system is any good, note that the platform has over 500,000 user accounts in the UK – including its goal of onboarding 100,000 female-let businesses as part of its diversity initiative

Tide Accounting Key Features

Tide’s business accounting software provides all the features you need to track expenses and maintain your books. Beginners won’t be overwhelmed by the functionalities; however, mid-sized to large operations may find a few options missing. Here are the top highlights.

1. Personalized Invoicing

Tide eliminates the need to invest in a separate invoicing tool. You can send invoices from an integrated mobile or web app that connects directly with your payment flows and bank statements. 

Personalized invoicing with Tide
Example of personalized invoicing with Tide Accounting

To make the process easier, the Tide software app offers free invoicing templates. You can personalize these templates and save them for later, saving a lot of time. Our Tide Accounting review found that you can edit the following:

  • Your company’s name and number
  • Units for measuring services
  • A custom footnote
  • VAT details
  • The due date for payment

Once you’re ready to bill your client, simply open the invoice template and add or modify the necessary details. The Tide Accounting software will apply handy automations, such as generating the invoice number and calculating taxes based on the VAT information you provided.

You can even add personalized notes to the invoice or embed a PDF file. Once you’re happy with the document, you can write a custom message and send it to one or more recipients directly from the app, using CC or BCC. 

2. Payment Capabilities

Since the Tide Accounting software is powered by underlying banking infrastructure, you can natively receive payments client payments. Or, you could connect the app with any other bank account to process transactions. We found that Tide works equally well either way.

Tide supports payments made via Visa and Mastercard debit and credit cards. Notably, competitors like FreshBooks are compatible with more payment options, such as Stripe or PayPal.

To use the payments feature, you need to generate a Tide Payment Link that you can embed on your invoice. Once the client pays, you’ll immediately receive a notification on the mobile app. You can then mark it as paid.

Generating payment links with Tide
How to generate payment links with the Tide Accounting app

The Tide Accounting software makes it easier to match inward payments with your invoices so you can maintain an audit trail of your income. Here, too, it enables a degree of automation, immediately tagging the payment with an accounting category for easier analysis.

Further, if a payment doesn’t come in by the date stipulated in the invoice, it’s marked as overdue.

3. Supplier Payments

Another useful feature we found in the Tide Accounting software is the ability to pay vendor invoices. All you need to do is head to the payments section, upload the invoice, and pay your supplier. Or, you could schedule the payment for a later date.

Paying vendor invoices
Tide lets you manually upload vendor invoices

This feature syncs with the Tide bank account’s Invoice Payable feature.

If you are a Tide customer and have already set up Invoice Payable, the accounting app will automatically fetch your vendor details and remind you about payments.

Otherwise, you can manually upload your bills via the app and pay directly.

However, a nother handy feature we liked was the ability to extract supplier data from a PDF so you don’t have to manually enter your details. 

4. Tax Automation

One of the central features of the Tide Accounting software is that it automates tax management

You can track your outgoing expenses, sales tax, and transaction categories. Based on this information, the software highlights deductibles and automatically calculates your tax liability.

Tax management in the Tide Accounting app
How the Tide Accounting app simplifies taxation

Bear in mind that the Tide software app is available only in the UK. This means that you won’t be able to comply with any other country’s tax regimes.

Once tax season comes around, the Tide app will remind you to complete any bookkeeping tasks necessary for compliant self-assessment. Then, Tide sends the assessment – complete with automated estimates of your turnover and income – to the HMRC (formerly His Majesty’s Revenues and Customs).

5. VAT Manager

The Tide Accounting software has a separate module called VAT Manager for VAT-registered businesses in the UK. The software is HMRC-certified, which means you can file fully compliant VAT returns directly from the platform.

It’s also approved by the country’s Make Tax Digital program.

VAT management in the Tide Accounting app
The Tide Accounting app’s VAT manager

To calculate VAT liability, you need to scan all your bills and receipts using the Tide mobile app. Once you’ve done this, the software automatically extracts VAT information, showing you how much you’ve paid your suppliers and your outstanding liability. 

The software also generates real-time estimates of possible VAT liability amounts, so you’re always prepared. 

6. Reporting and Analytics

Despite being a simple accounting app, Tide offers a comprehensive range of analytics and reporting capabilities to help make better business decisions.

It generates automated profit & loss (P&L) reports based on your receivable and payable invoices. It also offers balance sheet reports to analyze your business’s health at any time.

It also generates trial balance reports automatically – an account of your debits and credits to ensure the mathematical accuracy of your ledgers. 

Trial balance report in Tide
Tide’s reports and analytics features (trial balance)

In our Tide review, we found the bookkeeping score feature particularly useful. It rates the health of your books as a percentage, so you always know where you stand. 

Thanks to reliable proof of your business’s profitability, you could also use this data to apply for credit lines or other forms of funding.

Tide Cost and Pricing

The Tide Accounting software will cost you a flat fee of £9.99/month, excluding taxes – regardless of your use case, company size, or revenue. This makes it an excellent option for sole traders and small businesses looking for a straightforward pricing model that’s easy to budget for.

For perspective, FreshBooks has four plans ranging from $19/month to custom-priced. NetSuite doesn’t disclose its pricing, but can run up to $300/month or more, depending on the size and complexity of the implementation.

In contrast, the Tide Accounting package follows a single-tier pricing model, ideal for SMBs. Another benefit of the software is that it comes with a 60-day free trial, again an industry best, with most competitors offering a 30-day trial period maximum. 

Tide Accounting costs
Tide Accounting offers a single pricing plan

The company requires your credit card details to sign up. After two months, if you haven’t canceled your subscription, Tide will automatically charge your card and renew your subscription for another month. 

There’s no option for an annual subscription, which may disappoint those looking for a discounted long-term contract. There’s no provision for refunds either. 

Note that Tide Accounting costs differ from Tide business bank accounts. While you can use the software regardless of whether you are a Tide customer, you can always opt for a bank account with the company for added convenience:

  • Free: Includes a Tide business card, accounting software integrations, scheduled payments, and invoicing; doesn’t include priority support, cashback, or legal support
  • Plus (£9.99/month): Includes everything in the free plan, support with trademark disputes, and better support; excludes cashback and access to account managers
  • Pro (£18.99/month): Includes everything in Plus, two free expense cards, and unlimited inward and outward transfers; excludes cashback and access to account managers
  • Cashback (£49.99/month): Includes everything in Pro, a dedicated team of account managers, and 0.5% cashback when you use your Tide card

Signing up for a Tide bank account (separate from the accounting software) has its perks. 

You can connect the account with popular bookkeeping tools like Xero, Sage, and QuickBooks. You also benefit from Tide’s other digital solutions, such as the Credit Builder tool, which helps track and improve your business’ credit score.

Tide Accounting Interface and Ease of Use

Tide’s accounting app has a sleek, minimalist interface that’s extremely easy to use, even if you don’t have prior accounting experience or aren’t tech-savvy.

The software’s primary interface is its mobile app, although you can also log in from your computer. This is because it uses Sage’s cloud accounting infrastructure, making it accessible from any location, on any device – no local installation is needed. 

On your computer, you can log into the Tide Accounting software from web.tide.co. This takes you to the web app. 

The Tide web accounting app is easy to use
Using Tide Accounting on your browser

Your profile and account settings are on the top right, the navigation pane is placed conveniently on the left, and the dashboards and controls are organized in tabs in the central pane.

You can switch between the different features from the menu and the left-hand side, and the app’s simple design makes most things very easy to findFor instance, your payable and receivable bills are centralized in one location. 

Tide’s mobile accounting app is equally well-designed and, in many ways, more enjoyable to use. You get several additional features, like the ability to scan bills directly and tag them as business expenses.

You can also update your KYC details by scanning your ID card right from the app.

Tide Accounting mobile interface
The Tide Accounting app for Android and Apple phones

When you open the app, you’ll find the main navigation pane at the bottom. It has five options: accounts, invoice, pay, support, and menu. 

The accounts section lists your frequent transactions and lets you add notes and other details to your expenses. You can pay outstanding bills and even create an invoice from scratch using your phone and send it to your clients.

We were impressed by the degree of feature parity Tide has managed to provide; you could virtually complete all your business accounting tasks right from your Android or iOS phone – great for business owners on the move. 

Tide Accounting vs Top Accounting Software

Our tests show that Tide is among the best accounting apps in the market today, especially if you’re in the UK. However, industry rivals like FreshBooks, NetSuite, and Zoho are also worth a look. Here’s how Tide Accounting stacks up and where the competition might have the edge.

Best Accounting Software Best For Starting Price (/month) Free Trial Standout Features
Tide Individuals and small teams in the UK £9.99 (~$13) flat fee  60 days – Excellent mobile app
– Native bank account option
– HMRC-compliant 
FreshBooks End-to-end financial management for midsize companies  $19 without discount 30 days – Available in 10 regions
– Payroll integration
– In-app client payments 
NetSuite Large global companies  Undisclosed (typically $100–$500) 14 days  – Built-in ERP + CRM
– International compliance
– E-commerce solutions
Zoho Accounting Individuals and SMBs with billable hours-based projects $15 (free-forever plan available) 14 days – Warehouse management
– Workflow automation rules
– Powerful expense management 

We recommend that anyone with a business account in the UK should try Tide Accounting, particularly given its affordable price tag and excellent localization (such as HMRC automation). 

However, those with slightly more complex needs, like Shopify accounting or multi-region businesses, can consider FreshBooks and NetSuite. 

Tide Accounting Software Reviews – What Are Customers Saying?

Despite being a relatively new software app, Tide Accounting has positive reviews across trusted customer forums.

If you’re on the lookout for a simple, no-nonsense business accounting app for yourself or your company, Tide’s software capabilities are just as well-reviewed as its banking service.

On G2, Tide has a rating of 4 out of 5. Users appreciate that it charges a small fee per transaction instead of a monthly fee, which is more convenient for small businesses with low transaction volumes.

Users do note that its invoicing capabilities are basic (for example, you can’t amend invoices once sent); however, it is value for money at just £9.99 every month.

Example of Tide Accounting reviews on G2
A Tide Accounting review on G2

Customers on Capterra give the Tide software a stellar 4.9 out of 5. Ease of use is its most highly rated feature, while the quality of customer service ranks a little lower.

Users note that you can get up and running in less than five minutes, and there’s virtually no paperwork involved. They also appreciate the feature parity between the mobile and web apps. 

Example of Tide Accounting reviews on Capterra
A Tide Accounting review on Capterra

However, it’s worth noting that Tide doesn’t accept checks. While physical checks are becoming increasingly rare in today’s modern accounting landscape, you might want to keep this in mind if you’re considering opting for the bank service in addition to the Tide Accounting app. 

Tide – the company as a whole – gets a 4.2/5 rating on Trustpilot. Many customers point out that the app is very smooth, easy to set up, and equipped with a smart notification system.

The invoicing system is particularly impressive, and users appreciate that the customer service team guided them through the app’s features and functionality. 

Example of Tide Accounting reviews on Trustpilot
A Tide Accounting review on Trustpilot

Why You Can Trust Our Tide Accounting Review

At Tech Report, we’ve been bringing you reliable and insightful reports from the world of technology since 1999. We cover a wide range of topics and business software – from recruitment apps to time-tracking tools and accounting software. 

To review Tide, we signed up for the monthly subscription and connected it with a new Tide banking account we set up for our tests.

We then downloaded both the iOS and Android apps to understand how they operate in different environments. We also tested the web-based Tide app to evaluate the degree of feature parity.

For our Tide review, we focused on the invoicing module, tax self-assessments, accounts payable and expenses, and reporting functionalities. We also evaluated the software’s pricing model to assess if it is worth the money, especially for small and midsize business owners.

The conclusions we present in this Tide review are informed by our extensive experience testing other accounting platforms, WooCommerce accounting tools, software for self-employed professionals, and payroll solutions. This provides our team with a deeper industry understanding. 

We also analyzed reputed customer review forums to understand user sentiment around the tool, how it performs under real-world conditions, and the issues you might face. This ensures our analysis remains objective and unbiased. 

How to Use Tide Accounting: Beginner’s Guide

To start using the Tide Accounting software, follow these steps.

1. Sign Up for the Tide Accounting Software App

The first step is to sign up for the Tide Accounting system.

If you’re an existing Tide customer, simply visit the accounting section from your user account on a smartphone or desktop website. If you aren’t a customer yet, visit web.tide.co from your preferred browser.

The Tide Accounting sign-up page
Signing up for Tide Accounting

Here, you’ll be prompted to either sign up for a Tide business account or connect to a different bank. Then, enter your business email and mobile phone number. Finally, choose your bank account details so Tide can fetch and sync your existing data with your books. 

2. Share Your Business Information

Next, Tide will ask you a few questions about your business. For example, do you use cash accounting or accrual accounting? Are you registered with the UK’s Construction Industry Scheme (CIS)? The software will also ask about when your financial year begins and ends so it can calculate your taxes accordingly.

We liked that across each step, Tide tells you which screen might take a little time to load or when you might see a blank screen, making the process more reliable and transparent, especially for beginners.

3. Update a Transaction

Once you complete these two steps, Tide automatically gathers and shows all your account transactions for the last financial year under the ‘Accounts’ section of the app. 

To update a transaction, simply click on it and from the pop-up window that appears, you can do the following:

  • Label the payment with an income or expense category (Tide gives you pre-built category options based on tax laws)
  • Upload the invoice or receipt for the transaction
  • Add tags to help you or your accountant find and retrieve transactions later
  • Write custom notes for each transaction

4. Create a New Invoice 

The next thing you’ll want to do is send your first invoice. Right below the ‘Accounts’ and ‘Payments’ sections on the left pane, you’ll find ‘Invoice & Bills.’ Click on this option, which takes you to the accounts payable and receivable module.

Before you create your first invoice, head to the ‘Manage’ tab; here, you can add your client’s details. Click on ‘Customers’ to add their name and contact details to the Tide Accounting software. 

You can also customize your invoice template from the Manager tab, for example, by adding a unique message. 

Changing the invoice template on the Tide app
Editing invoices on Tide

Then, go back to the main Invoice & Bills window. Go to ‘Overview’ > ‘Invoices’ > ‘Create’ to start billing your client according to the template you just created. Enter item details, volume, discount, rates, and other details.

Select the client to send the invoice immediately. As soon as you’ve sent the invoice, it appears in the outstanding section of the ‘Invoice & Bills’ module. You can return to this section at any time to cancel the invoice or mark it as paid

Tide Accounting Review – Final Verdict

As far as accounting software goes, Tide is like a single-purpose appliance. It isn’t a hugely versatile cast iron skillet you can whip out and use for anything. It’s more like your trusty toaster. It has a specific use case and executes it very well – small business invoicing, payments, and tax compliance.

All of this is wrapped in an affordable package accessible to everyone.

Sole traders and small business owners in the UK will benefit from the platform’s intuitive design and powerful mobile apps.

If you have a Tide business account, you get extra benefits like better support and automatic client data entry

On the downside, you don’t get any advanced features like client estimates or mileage tracking. It supports only 11 currencies, excluding a few major ones like the Indian INR. And there’s no downloadable app that you can install on your PC.

That said, for those looking for a no-frills accounting app that just works, especially when tax season rolls around, Tide’s HMRC-supported accounting software is a great pick. 

FAQs

Can Tide be trusted?

Is Tide reputable?

Is Tide a good company?

Is my money safe with Tide?

References

Anwesha Roy Tech Writer

Anwesha Roy Tech Writer

Anwesha is a technology journalist and content marketer based out of India. She started her career in 2016, working for global MSPs on their thought leadership and social media before branching out in 2018 with her own team. 

She writes on technology and its intersections with communication, customer experience, finance, and manufacturing and has her work published across a wide range of journals. In her downtime, she enjoys painting, cooking, and catching up with the latest in media and entertainment.

Anwesha has a Master’s degree in English literature from one of India’s top universities.

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