A few years back I quit my job at an agency and started freelancing. Work came in, everything was great. I debated setting up a company but it looked complicated - it was less about the invoicing and whatnot, more about the legalities. After about 6 months of doing it myself, I realised it just wasn't efficient and decided to do something about it. I had no idea what to look for, but after a suggestion from a friend I contacted Crunch.
As far as business goes, it's been one of the best decisions I've ever made. After going through all my options, they set up a company for me, set me up on their system and explained how everything works. There's certainly been a learning curve, but then I'd never run a business before - thankfully they've been wonderful with answers to questions (that looking back) seem borderline idiotic. Reading another review on here (that in fairness prompted me to write this one), I wasn't quite sure what the guy/girl was talking about - my experience with their (incredibly tolerant) account handlers and accountants has been nothing short of fantastic.
The system itself is great - I do a lot of web work and it's pretty much what I would have built if I'd been building it. Expenses, invoicing and the rest is really simple to do, and it's great to have and see all my numbers and 'company financial stuff' in one easy-to-digest dashboard. Paperwork (including all the HMRC real time PAYE stuff) is all done and taken care of automagically. Which is nice.
Frankly, I can't praise them enough. I was really worried about doing the whole 'proper company' thing, but it's not really something I think about anymore - it's just another tool that helps me get my job done, maximise my earnings and keep me legal. There are very few companies I'm happy to wax lyrical about, but Crunch is certainly one of those (just ask anyone I've blathered on to about starting up on their own!).
Super helpful, easy to use, love the system. Hassle free accounting - I feel like they actually 'get' me and understand what I'm doing.
I was an early adopter of the Crunch service because I bought into the idea of an online book keeping system backed up by accounting services. Crunch has delivered on all counts. Over five years we have grown our business nearly five-fold and Crunch has been a reliable partner throughout. Because they do so much more than the standard book keeping software systems (ie VAT returns, PAYE returns, audited annual accounts) it is hard to do a simple price comparison with book keeping software. In our calculations they have saved us money over the years and offer a low hassle factor (ie no missed VAT submissions or company house returns).
Things like having good looking invoices, user-friendly interfaces and people at the end of the phone for operational questions or accountancy issues is invaluable. It definitely helps with keeping tabs on monthly profitability and overdue invoices.
Yes, you need to be organised - and you need to enter the information. The best thing I ever did was make my assistant responsible for all aspects of book keeping. Now I can focus more on the business.
Overall, if you are looking for a professional accounting partner to help you grow your business I would recommend Crunch.
- Easy to learn and to use
- Combines accounting with book keeping
- Good for cash flow
- Responsive people
- Good alerts so accounting deadlines are met
- new developments are not always as quick to arrive as you would like
- financial reporting is OK, but not amazing - certainly good enough for a small business
Oh how I used to love Crunch, the answer to all my one ban band freelance design business woes, well that's how it was for the first 6 months. It went sour after that and eventually rock bottom and perished, leaving a very bad taste in my mouth and a very stressful 18 months.
On the front of it, it's great at invoicing and keeping a tally of ins and outs.
Until you have to update all your expenses yourself, do your own reconcilliation (trawling through uploaded (when they work) csv bankstatements) and matching them off to the expenses you've already inputted. This technically is an accountant/book-keeper's role, so you're doing their work for them.
It's up to you to check your own information, again doing their work for them.
If you can put up with all the server errors, bugs, site crashes etc then fine, which was ok at first as the system was in it's infancy.
But then when you have to engage with a human being, expect to encounter the very junior front end account manager, who is usually pretty clueless.
Imagine this, you're needing to pay yourself, there's a bug in the system that they can't work out in the back end dev department, this holds you back from paying yourself for weeks while they try to sort it out. So you start withdrawing what you assume would be enough to keep you afloat to be told that the numbers now don't work out, then 6 months later with hardly any hair left you get to a state you think is 'fixed'.
Then more problems, I could list pages of problems.
I won't bother. Steer clear, use a human being trained in accountancy, one that has many years of experience behind them.
Not some jumped up cloud system that means you'll be spending sleepless nights worrying about and inputting data.
We've been unable to find anyone on our system matching your name so unable to get in touch directly to sort these issues out, obviously very sorry to hear you've had a sub-par experience with us.
To address some of your issues directly:
Raising invoices / recording expenses and bank reconciliation are part and parcel of any online accounting or bookkeeping system. We recently launched a service called BankBolt which makes reconciliation significantly easier (and does away with upload errors), but some work on our clients' part is still required. You can of course find a shoebox accountancy service which will do all of this for you, but ultimately you're paying more to be a less informed business owner.
We've spent a long time building out our app infrastructure over the last few years and we've got one of the best around - we've only had one short instance of unplanned downtime in the last eighteen months.
To call our team "clueless" is rather disingenuous - we have a really rigorous in-house training program that is AAT and ACCA accredited - we actually won an award for it recently.
As mentioned above we've been unable to locate you on our system so cannot speak to issues with your individual account - afraid I can only apologise and assure you your experience is far from representative of the vast majority of our users. Keen to have a chat if you would like to reach out to us.
saving time and a better understanding of accounting for companies
Where to start? I knew nothing about accounting so when we started I wanted an online company, Crunch basically do it all! Once you get round the software (it's not exactly simple but what accounting program can be??) it's very easy to use and the real time info is great. We use it for tax returns, PAYE and personal tax and it's an essential tool for us!
The reporting side can be better, you get great bar charts but only for the active tax year. I'd like to see more historical visual charts to help build up a better picture of the companies growth.
Excellent web interface makes it easy to access all of my accounting information in one go.
I love the fact that its online so that I can use any device to get to my accounts, and NO spreadsheets!!!
An iPhone/iPad app would be great for quick view information.
I would also love a more fully inclusive contract review service, the existing arrangement with 5 day lead time is often too long so I end up having to go elsewhere.
Sometimes I want a quick answer such as 'which category should I list this expense as?' - this would be nicely solved via an online chat function which would be really useful.
Finally, proper 2 factor authentication (Google authenticator) would be good too.
The software is easy to use and full-featured, at least in its desktop version. Backed up with great support from the Crunch accountants and client managers.
It doesn't scale down particularly well to phones. The iOS app should be full-featured and include the Snap functionality (which is available through a separate app).
Lower cost than traditional accountants, more feeling of oversight and control over financial position, more empowerment as a business owner
The various dashboards make it easier to see how my business is performing in terms of sales, revenue and profit. Invoicing, expensing, bank reconciliation and keeping on top of taxes are all easy. Notifications are clear and prompt, so I'm never at risk of falling behind with my accounting.
Timed logout is too quick - I'm often toggling between tabs and tasks and don't want to have to sign in every 5 minutes. It's time-consuming to rectify historical mistakes in banking reconciliation. Non-compatibility of certain bank statements is a pain.
Makes it possible to run my business without wasting evenings and weekends keeping my accounts up to date.
The software covers all my needs for recording invoices, expenses, calculating taxes, preparing accounts and so on. It is pretty easy to use too for most things. I like the reminders that tell you when payments are due and taxes need to be paid. I don't need to remember very much. The automated bank reconciliation process makes it easy to keep up to date too.
I get a bit confused over how the payments for Corporation Tax work - but my account manager is always on hand to sort things out for me,
We've been using Crunch for almost a year now, and they've saved us a huge amount of money over traditional accountants. But it's also taken a long time to learn the software and it's not flexible enough to be our only tool. The biggest limitation is the reporting, there are a couple built in reports but you can't edit the reporting period!
Thank you for taking the time to review our service. We're really pleased that you're enjoying the service and happy to recommend us!
So that we can improve the experience for yourself and other customers, would you mind providing a little more feedback to our Client Experience Manager, Andy, about adapting to the software? We'd really appreciate the extra insight.
Andy can be contacted directly using email@example.com
We're aware that the reporting functionality requires some improvement and we're confident that we'll see this added next year. We always look to take on board feedback from our customers and look to improve on our software - we never sit still!
Complete and instant control of my business finances. Understanding where my company funds are is essential to a small company like mine.
You are in complete control of your accounts, you instantly know how much you have, what you owe and who you owe it too. Business planning is made simple when you can see your finances at the click of a button.
Some of the banking dashboards were poor, but have recently been improved. Everything else is spot on.
My accounting is pain-free and easy. Everything is done for me reliably and if I ever have any questions I get an answer extremely fast.
The software does the job, but it's the team and accountants you get with the software that put Crunch miles ahead of any competitor.
Mobile experience/Responsiveness could be better, but I have managed to do most things on a phone eventually.
Good clear presentation. It does a very job for what is a complex subject area and helps me track my accounting activities.
Would be good to have more context sensitive help. And where there are icons identifying attached documents, easy presentation of the documents on a right-mouse click would be good. Also the expenses presentation as a list, it reports 'combined' for items reconciled and combined but does not report reconciled for singular expense payments.
The mobile app is less capable.
user friendly - lots of help guides & always someone on the end of the phone.
GOod to have a better understanding of what is going on with the business accounts.
no particular negative feedback. its taken me a little while to get to grips with it but now i understand a bit more about accountancy, it all works v well. maybe clients should get a short introduction guided tour to understand all the features better & how accountancy works e.g. i didn't understand what a directors loan account was.
Instant views of costs and profit.
Being able to review and see all the business financials and keep on top of the critical things like tax and payments.
Easy to navigate and record/track in and outgoing money. High level views of funds available and where payments have been made.
Would like more reports for current, previous and all years of trading. Be good to get more graphical outputs, comparison of cash flow year on year and in parallel. I'd like more output from the information it stores.
This is very intuitive software, looks nice and navigation is good.
Working in IT, its nice to find some good software like this which doesnt require training or much explaination. Support is always on hand should you need it
I do not have any issues with the software - the login is very slow.
It really makes my accountancy tasks easier and helps me having a clear picture of the current status of expenses vs. income. With the helpful notification I can also be on top of the deadlines for submissions to HMRC in terms of taxes, VAT returns or any other needed documentation.
All the relevant numbers information is clearly displayed on simple dashboards which makes it extremely easy to have a clear picture on the transactions performed, the amounts getting in and out of the account and expenses.
Sometimes the navigation is not 100% straightforward. Even actions I have performed a couple of times, sometimes I have a hard time remembering under which section menu they can be found.
All of my business finances are online and accurate.
The invoicing and automated emails are very helpful. The instructional videos are v. good and helpful but I think you need more of that embedded within the platform. Also the UI is very clean and well layed out. Probably too many clicks for some tasks but otherwise very good.
The data entry, and reconciling process is too manual and laborious. I think there definitely should be a free app with unlimited scanning of receipts and the app should complete expenses in Crunch by default. And I also think I should be able to link my bank account to Crunch and not have to do the whole import/export/reconcile/scan process. For the amount paid for Crunch as a service I think these services should be covered as well.
I think the End of Year Taxes could be better illustrated on the platform as I'm still unsure how much Tax I'm due to pay towards the end of the year.
Also I think it would not take too much research to create a Salary calculator so that you can compare day/hourly rates to yearly salaries.
After moving to Crunch I'd never go to any other form of online accountancy. Where do I start? The system itself is intuitive and easy to use, it helps you every step of the way and if that's not enough you are one phone call away from a well informed, friendly, patient, and intelligent account handler.
The whole system has transformed my understanding of my business. It takes away all the mundane tasks and makes them easy, leaving me with a clear understanding of the financial state of my business, tax, sales, invoicing, exepenses, and everything I'd ever need to know.
They are constantly updating it and I don't know what I'd have done about the realtime payroll stuff if it wasn't for them. I heard of friends having to pay their accountants hundreds of pounds more for this whereas it was simply a well managed free update for me.
I recommend Crunch to every freelance friend I have.
Too many to list, does absolutely everything and makes it simple and inituitive to use and understand.
Few if any. They aren't available on the phone at weekends but who is!
Time, I don't spend a great deal of time on my accounts.
Ease of use. Repetitive tasks can be easily automated. Good status information of companies position.
Does not provide support for holding and transacting in investments made via the company, i.e. stocks & shares.
Saves me a lot of time
Intuitive and very useful to have snapshot of level of dividends I can take. Its also very easy to keep everything up to date
Word search sometimes hit and miss although this is not a real issue as help is always available when needed
I am able to see everything intuitively but I especially love the Apps and how they interact with Crunch
I still think there is more that can be done using mobile, alerts for VAT payments etc but I use the calendar import which is reality, the same thing
All the important stuff is handled automatically, or with minimal input needed from me, leaving me to get on running with my business.
Performance can be a little quirky running in Edge browser, but fine in Chrome or Internet Explorer.
The software works pretty well but the company itself basically does nothing for you. You do all the expenses and reconciliation yourself and most of the tax calculation is automated or you have to do it yourself so the accountant only looks at it for the corporation tax return. They never suggest ways you can save tax apart from the most basic standard ways. They never consult you about expected earnings for coming years to put in place any tax saving strategies. They never do what they say they will do unless you hound them. When I finally decided to close my business they told me it would take a couple of months but a year later they still had not done it so then it gave me issues with my tax return. I've had 5 different account handlers in 6 years all of which seem a bit clueless. You pay standard accounting fees for a computer to do the work for them and the little work an accountant does is done very very slowly or not at all. I'll use an old fashioned accountant next time as I paid a lot less tax than with crunch.
Easy to see the exact state of your business at any moment
Easy to export data and tax documents
Steep learning curve
You do all of the reconciliation yourself instead of an accountant
No proactive tax advice or strategy so you pay a lot more tax overall
Allowed me to set up my own business from inception to trading in a matter of days.
Simplicity. Every tab shows me a summary of what I need to know.
Ease of Use. Reduces the time required on day-to-day administration of my company.
Customer support team. They're excellent - and answer all my queries clearly, no matter how daft the question!
More time to grow my business. Less hassle.
Simplicity of use. Automated filing of inland revenue paperwork. Ability to discuss accounts over the phone while looking at the same numbers. A repository of all paperwork / ability to generate paperwork / ability to generate preliminary accounts.
Dual login for sole trader and Ltd...why ?? Having to manually tweak monthly salary payments to show up as paid? Why not let customer service rep be able to hi light and show tabs / fields in my browser when we talk over the phone ?