Crunch accounting is an online accountancy service – with a difference. Where as with a pure online accounting software, which requires you to input all of your income and outgoings and relying on yourself to make sure you’re reporting in the correct way, Crunch has a team of accountants waiting at the end of the phone to help you with any accounting queries that you might have.
This Crunch accounting review is quite lengthy, so if you want to skip to the good parts or you can take a demo of Crunch or sign up here.
Cruncn Accounting Review Summary
- Excellent support – dedicated account manager, quick email support, extensive online guides
- Peace of mind – let’s you concentrate on running your business (this is invaluable!)
- All tracked online – Go paperless and record all your business activity in one place
- Range of complimentary products, including mobile apps, self assessment and mortgages for freelancers
- More expensive than other online accounting packages
- Software can be slow and clunky at times
- Level of service can be depending on your account manager
- Accouting is retroactive, eg they aren’t actively looking at your accounts, but only review at key moments in the tax calendar
What does Crunch do?
Crunch is a online accountancy firm for freelancers, contractors and small businesses.
There are traditionally 3 ways to complete your accounts:
- Spreadsheet (old fashioned book keeping)
- Traditional accountancy
- Online accounting
And by far the easiest is online accounting, which Crunch makes even easier with it’s excellent software and support from their team of accountants.
By combining accredited in-house accountants with cloud software, Crunch delivers a complete business accountancy service for a flat monthly fee.
How much does it cost?
Crunch’s monthly fee of £64.50+VAT includes:
– Unlimited access to your own account manager and a team of accredited accountants
– Access to Crunch’s simple, real-time online accounting software to help you stay on top of your finances
– Year end filings, Corporation Tax and VAT returns all included in your monthly fee
– Crunch’s team will handle the taxman for you with their Registered Office service
– Mobile apps for on-the-go bookkeeping
– RTI-compliant payroll included for two company directors
– A hand-picked range of additional business services
Peace of mind
Extremely important to me is to have a hassle free tool to keep up with my administration and to have support whenever I need reassurance.
My client manager has been an absolute star, I feel she really cares whenever I’m uncertain and reach out with a last minute worried e-mail. Her support has given me peace of mind, knowing that I’m covered!
Crunch’s online system is where you’ll spend most of your time. From here, you can manage everything form sending. Invoices to recording expands.
Here are the main features of Crunch’s accounting software:
Paying yourself: Getting paid is simple with our dashboard. Save time by raising, sending and chasing invoices from a single page. You can even automate billings and reminders easily
Claim expenses: Claim expenses your with our software. Set up recurring bills online or use our apps to claim on-the-go. Always see how much you’ve saved with our real time calculations.
Real time updates: Get quick financial updates with our real time dashboard. From your Company Timeline you can stay on top of sales, dates and expenses, plus you’ll never miss a deadline.
Easy VAT returns: Sort your VAT with a single click thanks to our close connection with HMRC. Your Client Manager will tell you when to register and our software will handle returns.
Stress free Year End: Complete your Year End accounts easily. Our software generates returns instantly, and when you sign them off we’ll send them directly to HMRC and Companies House.
Monthly payroll: Never pay more than you have to with our real time calculators. We send your monthly payrolls to HMRC and you can download payslips to pay yourself and staff in seconds.
Connect your bank: Connect your business account to Crunch with our BankBolt system to import transactions and reconcile balances. Free for our banking partners, selected banks carry a fee.
As with all systems takes some getting used to but when you do Crunch works really well.
The software is pretty good and easy enough to use, there is always room from improvement there but it usually does everything that I need it to and if I have any questions someone is always happy to help on the phone.
Which leads us to…
Email, Online and Telephone Support
Perhaps the biggest strength of Crunch’s accounting packages is the support you get from your dedicated account manager and their team of accountants. You can either send an email detailing your support request or give them a call to discuss your issues.
I had concerns initially with going with an online accountant who’s door I couldn’t knock on but they have been great. But they’ve always very responsive (more so than many people I know with "traditional" accountants) and tasks like invoicing or VAT returns is a click of a button that I don’t have to worry about.
I find that firing off a quick email asking a questions normally gets a reply within a hour if I send it during working hours. Outside of that, they normally get back to me within the first few hours of the next working day.
This is an invaluable service and has been hugely beneficial to me on a number of occasions, whether that’s a question on what expenses I can claim to how to receive and record payments from overseas clients.
Crunch also have an extensive range of articles on their website that cover everything from starting a limited company, IR35 or applying for mortgages as a freelancer.
Below are a few examples of their guides:
Crunch has an iOS and Android called Snap that can take a picture of expense receipts and upload the figures as a transaction into the Crunch software automatically. So rather than keeping a file overloading with your expense receipts, you can simply take a photo of the receipt as soon as you have it and it will be ready and waiting for you to process the next time you log into Crunch.
Crunch have also released a new app for iPhone called Crunch Now.
Self Assessment Service
Crunch also offer a self a assessment returns service where they’ll review your personal tax return. The cost for this service starts at £75 + VAT for a simple return and increases with more complicated returns.
The advantage of running your business’ accounting through Crjnch is that as your personal invoices and expenses are already recorded in their system, it’s a relatively straightforward process to get your self assessment return done. You simply fill in a short questionnaire that tells them what other income you’ve earned outside of your business and they’ll handle the rest.
This takes a big load off your remind and tax season comes round and helps you avoid stressing out ahead of HMRC’s January self assessment deadline.
Alternatives to Crunch
An account is going to be a very expensive way to send invoices out, if you want some to do that for you look for a bookkeeper or personal assistant (could be a virtual assistant.)
For cost comparison, my Ltd company pays about £1,200 a year to my accountant which covers 4x VAT returns, corporate tax return, very minor payroll / RTE filing, and double checking all my paperwork.
I do my own personal tax return (so easy now my company is Ltd I didn’t want to pay my account to do it), and send my own invoices & track incoming & outgoing money.
When I went Ltd my accountant said a lot of firms suggest insurance to pay for help with HMRC investigations if/when they happen, but they suggest just paying the accountant on an agreed hourly rate (which wasn’t outrageous) as that usually works out cheaper over the long term.
You could go to an accountant who supports the Free agent bookkeeping software and use that instead of Crunch, but it’ll be more expensive overall and I’m not sure you’re going to gain much over your current set up.
If you want to go this way I suggest finding a local accountant some or more than one person recommends. It’s nice to be able to visit if you have anything to sort out.
The Crunch Accounts Team are just fantastic and have been very supportive. They have helped me out when a couple of mistakes I had made were identified, and nothing was too much trouble. What they did for me was above and beyond and I am truly grateful.
If you are considering using some form of online accounting package – Crunch Accounting gets my unconditional vote.
The team are friendly, answer your questions in a timely manner, and can help you sort out mistakes you make. Nothing is too much trouble. I have already been with them for 3 years, and look forward to a long ongoing relationship.
Sign up to Crunch now or take an online demo here.