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Cliniko vs. Power Diary

Comparing practice management software for your clinic can be a daunting task. Cliniko and Power Diary are both well established Online Practice Management Systems, and offer a range of features that are designed to make it easier to run health practices. Whilst both systems share some common features, Power Diary costs less overall and offers a number of extra time-saving features.

What’s the difference between Cliniko and Power Diary?

Each month we get a number of enquiries from health practice owners wondering things such as:
“What are the differences between Cliniko and Power Diary?”
“Why should I choose Power Diary over Cliniko?”

The short version is that while both systems are great options, Power Diary gives you more features, for a lower price. Particularly if two-way SMS messaging and real-time calendar updates are important for your practice, you’ll be better off with Power Diary.

To help you make an informed decision, we’ve reviewed Cliniko and put together this comparison to highlight the similarities and key differences between Cliniko and Power Diary. Or, start a free trial to experience them for yourself…

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Top rated with 800+ reviews Top rated with 800+ reviews

I’ve used a number of different practice management systems and there’s no doubt that Power Diary is best in class.

Dr. Ryan Kaplan, Clinical Psychologist
Be Psychology and Mental Health

It's been the best program to use. It makes life a whole lot easier. Especially when it comes to the...

Raymond Inkpen,
Principal Clinical Psychologist
Psi Balance Psychology

Absolutely love Power Diary! It’s simple to use and makes my life easy. Cannot recommend this enough to allied health...

Alison Wheatley,
Byford Physiotherapy


Cliniko vs Power Diary Practice Management Software


Both systems originated from Australia.
Power Diary has been around since 2007 and Cliniko started in 2011.
Both are leading cloud/web-based practice management systems, each with thousands of users around the world.


First, it’s worth noting that Cliniko and Power Diary share some similar functionalities such as:

  • Similar pricing models
  • Both web-based
  • Client and appointment management
  • Client record management
  • Send both email and SMS reminders
  • View multiple diaries at once
  • Generate invoices
  • Allow clients to self-book appointments
  • Integrate with Xero and MailChimp
  • Have a range of reporting capabilities

Some Key Differences

On the surface, it can seem like there’s little to differentiate these two systems, however, if you delve in a bit deeper, the distinctions become more apparent:


Power Diary Simply Costs Less

Naturally, for most business purchases, price is a significant factor, and at Power Diary we want to support your growth by keeping our prices as low as possible while still providing you with the best possible system. As mentioned, both systems have similar pricing models: a fixed base monthly cost for the system; and a variable cost for sending SMS reminders.

To demonstrate the potential cost-saving, we have produced a detailed comparison of the fixed costs, as well as the SMS costs (and SMS functionalities), associated with an account with both systems. From these comparisons, you’ll see that Power Diary is actually substantially cheaper, particularly when you have more practitioners.

See below for these comparisons.


Send Multiple Appointment Reminders with Power Diary

Both Cliniko and Power Diary offer the option to send email and SMS reminders, with a choice of customisable templates, but with a big difference.

With Cliniko you have the option to send an email and an SMS reminder for each appointment, but both to be sent together at a single point in time i.e. two days before each appointment. Although this will still reduce the frequency of no-shows, clients often need more than one reminder.

Power Diary allows for a combination of multiple SMS and email reminders to be sent, with customisable sending times for each. For example, you could send an email to a client one week before their appointment, another three days prior, and then follow with a final SMS one day before the appointment. This helps to reinforce your client’s appointment commitments, and maximises attendance rates.


Appointments are Automatically Updated when Clients Respond

Wondering who’s confirmed their appointments and who might need another reminder? With Power Diary’s colour-coding system, you can see this at a glance – without needing to refresh or update your screen.

Power Diary has logic in place to interpret replies to SMS reminders and automatically updates the corresponding appointment status as either Confirmed or Cancelled. This reduces the time you spend on administration and makes it much easier to manage your schedule.

With Cliniko, any SMS responses received are grouped and viewable in a single window, which means you must manually sift through each response and take action accordingly.


Interactive Two-Way SMS Messaging

Need to remind a client to bring something? Or let them know you’re running late? SMS is the easiest and most reliable way to communicate, and it’s all done within Power Diary.

Only Power Diary’s SMS messaging interface makes it easy to communicate individually, letting you have two-way, real-time conversations via SMS. For your clients, this seems just like a normal text conversation, but your team can type these responses from within Power Diary. And when a client replies, you’ll receive a live notification – so there’s no need to refresh the page.

Cliniko allows you to send a message, but similar to their appointment reminder responses, replies go into a generic pool which can make communication clumsy.


Telehealth Uses Direct Connections

Both Power Diary and Cliniko offer Telehealth, but behind the scenes, this works in very different ways.

Cliniko’s Telehealth system is provided by Twilio – a third-party service, whereas Power Diary’s Telehealth system is built entirely from scratch. We use a framework that allows browsers to securely send and receive live data directly between each other. This means that absolutely no audio, visual or other content exchanged is stored or accessible by Power Diary or any third party.

For security reasons, Power Diary believes that third party access to your data should always be minimised. That’s why our Telehealth system is built to create a direct, peer-to-peer connection between you and your client, which is end-to-end encrypted to offer the highest levels of security, whilst also being incredibly simple to use.


Advanced Waiting List Functionality

Cancellations can be stressful, particularly when they carry a potential financial loss. Power Diary reduces the impact of cancellations with the Waitlist function. With just a few clicks, you can send an SMS message to a select group of clients on your waiting list, based on criteria such as current length of wait, their availability, and their preferred clinician. This means you can fill empty spots efficiently and have happier clients.

Cliniko also has a waitlist function, but unlike Power Diary, you are unable to send SMS messages directly to clients waiting.


Import Appointments from Other Systems

When moving to a new system, it’s important to be able to take your data with you. Being able to access historical information means that you won’t be starting from scratch; ultimately causing less disruption to your business.

Although Cliniko allows you to import your clients, contacts, products and services, from many systems, they do not support importing appointments. This results in your history of client appointments being lost.

With Power Diary you can import your client data, notes, past and future appointments, services and products, client contacts, referrers, referrals and third parties. Our in-house import specialists will manage your data transition – at no cost to you! Simply upload the data file/s extracted from your old system, and we do the rest. Switching to Power Diary could not be easier.


Only Power Diary offers a 100% Money-Back Guarantee

Only Power Diary gives you a 100% Money-Back Guarantee. Client satisfaction means everything to us, so we’re prepared to put our money where our mouth is!

Since 2012, Power Diary has offered an industry first, unique money back guarantee. If at any time during the first 12-months of using Power Diary you decide it is not right for you, you can cancel your account and get a full refund. This includes all appointment reminder SMS charges and monthly subscription fees. There are no strings attached.

You can see hundreds of customer reviews for Power Diary, so we’re confident you won’t be disappointed.


In-Platform Practice Operations Manual

When you start with Power Diary, you’re choosing the only practice management system with an in-platform Practice Operations Manual. We’ve included more than 100 policy and procedure templates (written by industry experts) to help save you time and money. You can edit, delete and archive the existing policies, add external links and upload files and even add policies of your own.

As soon as you begin your free trial, you’ll have immediate access to the Practice Operations Manual. Cliniko doesn’t offer this feature, so if you don’t have practice policies yet, you’ll need to start from scratch. Our customers have been calling this a game-changer, and we think you’ll agree!

Power Diary is made FOR practitioners…
and BY practitioners

Power Diary’s founders are two brothers – a health care practitioner, and a software developer.

Damien and his wife built up a substantial psychology practice and along the way, they realised they needed a better system to organise and streamline their practice in order to grow. Damien heads up our Customer Support team and is involved in all major product decisions. Paul has created several technology businesses and is very experienced in managing secure and scalable systems. Paul heads up our Product Development team.

The founding combination of a practitioner / practice owner with a technology veteran is ideal because it means Power Diary really ‘gets’ health care practices and we’ve got deep experience in managing technology products.

No risk with our Money-Back Guarantee

Yes, you read that right! Simply start your account now, and if at any point over the next 12 months you decide Power Diary isn’t right for you, just let us know. We’ll refund 100% of any subscription fees you’ve paid.

Still not sure whether to choose
Power Diary or Cliniko?

Here’s a chart where you can make a fair assessment…

Power Diary vs. ClinikoPower DiaryCliniko
Free trial
Price for 1 practitioner (per week)€8 €4*€9 (€39/month)
Price for 3 practitioners (per week)€14 €7*€18 (€79/month)
Price for 7 practitioners (per week)€22 €11*€30 (€129/month)
Price for 15 practitioners (per week)€36 €18*€60 (€259/month)
Price for 30 practitioners (per week)€48 €24*€81 (€349/month)
Calendar management
SMS & email reminders
Up to 3 email and SMS reminders can be sent, at the times chosen by you. Responses to SMS reminders automatically update within the calendar.

Yes, but restricted to 1 email and 1 SMS per appointment, and both must be sent at one time. Email reminders contain a link to cancel or reschedule. All SMS replies are grouped together and must be processed manually.
2-Way SMS chat
Seamless two-way communication via the SMS panel. Conversations are grouped together for each individual client.

Yes, but whilst Cliniko allows you to send a message, the replies go into a generic pool rather than grouped as a two-way conversation.
Free of charge for all existing and new customers joining in the upcoming months (remaining free forever). Secure and compliant with all health standards, and easy to join for both practitioner and client.

Yes. It is currently free to use, but a charge for usage will be introduced at some point in the near future.
Online FormsStart from a preloaded specialist template, or create your own from scratch. All are completely customisable, including the option to apply your branding. Responses are automatically saved and added to the client’s record. Able to request signatures; ideal for new client intake forms and telehealth consent.Patients can securely fill out forms prior to appointments.
Client management system
Option to add client classifications for diagnosis, health status and more.
Treatment notes
Over 100 specialised, fully customisable templates. Able to create templates, and customise with multiple choice, drop-down lists, text notes, image and body charting and more. Speech to text functionality to streamline, and ability to view template edit history history.

Yes, but only 2 pre-prepared templates provided. Able to create templates, and customise with multiple choice, text notes, image and body charting and more.
Online bookings
Bookings made online auto-update your diary. Full control over availability shown to clients. Online booking portal can be fully branded with a logo, header image, and brand colours. Payment can be accepted at the time of booking.

Option to customise the online booking portal with a logo, but unable to apply brand colours.
Yes, send bulk SMS to clients depending on criteria such as length of wait, availability, and preferred clinician.

Yes, but restricted functionality. You are unable to send SMS messages directly to clients waiting.
Invoices & payments
Option to automatically populate with insurance details, and can combine invoices for multiple individuals into one statement for business/insurance claim purposes. Integrations possible with Xero and Stripe. Set custom pop-up alerts for new bookings made by clients with outstanding payments.

Ability to combine multiple invoices for each client into one statement, but not multiple clients for business/insurance claim purposes. Integration possible with Xero. No option to flag online bookings made by clients with outstanding payments, but a note can be added to their profile to flag when viewed by a clinician.
Credit card processing
Integrates with Stripe to easily accept prepayments, as well as allowing clients to pay via the client portal.

Cliniko only allows online payments to be made if clients are booking online. Stripe payments cannot be made within the software.
Reports & analytics
Money-back guarantee
Data import service
Practice Operations ManualThis industry-first feature provides a core set of policies and procedures that are ready to use and easily adapted to your practice.

*This comparison article reflects information available as of April 2020.

*Pricing with current special offer available until the end of this month.
All prices are in EUR and are rounded to the nearest euro.

How Do Cliniko and Power Diary Compare on Price?

As mentioned, Cliniko and Power Diary have very similar pricing models consisting of a monthly fee based on the number of active practitioners an account has, plus additional fees for SMS messages. Below is a detailed breakdown outlining these costs.

Fixed Costs

At the time of writing, when comparing Cliniko to Power Diary pricing, Power Diary comes in at a lower price for all plan levels.
Note that Cliniko shows their prices as monthly, so we converted this to weekly by multiplying by 12 and dividing by 52.

At our full-fees, Power Diary is considerably less expensive for all sized practices, but when you take into consideration our offer of 50% off for 6 months, those differences are even greater.

These tables show how the subscription cost differences add up over time for different sized practices.

Cost Differences in Subscription Costs: Over 1 Year

1 Diary3 Diaries9 Diaries20 Diaries
Power Diary€312€546€858€1 404
Cliniko€468€948€2 028€3 108

Cost Differences in Subscription Costs: Over 5 Year

1 Diary3 Diaries9 Diaries20 Diaries
Power Diary€1 975€3 457€5 435€8 892
Cliniko€2 340€4 740€10 140€15 540

All prices are in EUR and are rounded to the nearest euro.

Different SMS Costs (and Functionality)

Both Cliniko and Power Diary offer optional SMS messages for an additional, variable cost. Cliniko charges €0.10 per SMS and Power Diary charges €0.11 per SMS sent. Whilst Cliniko’s SMS costs are less than Power Diary, Cliniko’s SMS function comes with some time-consuming limitations…

SMS with Cliniko

You need to manually review each client’s reply to SMS appointment reminders.

Reminders are restricted to only send one SMS and/or reminder for each appointment, both of which are sent at a single time.

No way to notify clients on your waiting list via SMS of appointment times that have become available.

No ability to have two-way SMS conversations with clients.

You need to pre-pay for packs of SMS prior to using them and need to ensure you always have sufficient credit for your SMS reminders.

SMS with Power Diary

Appointment confirmations automatically update the colours on the calendar so you can see at a glance who has confirmed.

Configure a combination of automated SMS and email reminders to send at different times prior to the appointment.

When appointments become available, easily notify clients on the waiting list and see the replies immediately in your account.

Communicate back and forth with clients via SMS, just as if you were on your phone.

Your SMS usage is just added to your monthly bill – only charging you for what you have actually used.

So Power Diary has lower subscription fees, but Cliniko has lower SMS fees. However, when you consider both the subscription pricing and the SMS rates together, it is interesting to note that Power Diary still comes out as more cost-effective in every scenario.

The following table compares the total cost of ownership of Cliniko vs Power Diary by combining the Monthly subscription fee and the estimated SMS use fees – across multiple diaries over 1 year and 5 year periods.

(The SMS usage calculation is based on an estimated use of 77 appointment reminders per diary per month.)

Cost Differences in Subscription Costs: Over 1 Year

1 Diary3 Diaries9 Diaries20 Diaries
Power Diary€414€851€1 773€3 437
Cliniko€560€1 225€2 860€4 956

Cost Differences in Subscription Costs: Over 5 Year

1 Diary3 Diaries9 Diaries20 Diaries
Power Diary€2 483€4 982€10 009€19 056
Cliniko€2 802€6 126€14 296€24 780

All prices are in EUR and are rounded to the nearest euro.

You can see why Power Diary is trusted by thousands of practitioners.

Try Power Diary for Yourself!

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Here’s what Power Diary Clients are Saying…

“I’ve used a number of different practice management systems and there’s no doubt that Power Diary is best in class.”

Dr. Ryan Kaplan Clinical Psychologist
Be Psychology and Mental Health

"Helps me get organised and make my appointments for the week. I can easily visually see who is still owing payments and also it creates space for me to add extra things. Your help desk is amazing. Thank you!"

Sophie Egan,
Sophie EGAN Speech Pathology Clinic

"Great easy booking system - love that I can do reports, store patient notes, send emails, invoices and write letters. Has made my business seamless!"

Sarah Sealey,
Amity Physio Pilates

"Really efficient planning and invoicing. The reminder emails and text messages have been reliable. I have been thoroughly impressed with Power Diary!"

Lauren Darsie,
Childspace Paediatric Physiotherapy

"My business could not function without Power Diary. It enables our staff to work from anywhere. Love that we can customise the program to suit our business."

Margaret Asimus,
Skin and Wound Care Consultancy

"My clients love making appointments through our Client Portal… some wake up with pain in the middle of the night, and they grab their iPad or Tablet and book a time that suits them!"

Tony Logan-Stevens,
Remedial Massage Therapist,
Hands from Heaven

Happy customers are our lifeblood. We’d love you to join us.

Still need a hand deciding?

The Power Diary support team is ready to help!
You can contact us through email, online chat, or access our knowledge base.

Or checkout more information here:


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