The single weakest area of my business prior to joining Crunch Accounting was unquestionably my ability to handle taxes.
If I could show you my hairline before and after tax crept in to my life, you’d appreciate just how integral it’s role has become as the chief tormentor of my business.
There are Republicans in the world who dread tax less than I, and that is saying something. That is really really saying something.
Anyway, political bumberclarting aside, what are the factors that convinced me to invest in an online accounting service?
Lost sleep, notepads full of calculations and four muddled bank accounts – these were just some of the symptoms that finally drove me in to the loving arms of Crunch Accounting. I considered us somewhat of a forced marriage, but one worth consummating for the good of my sanity.
I’ve had the best part of a year to weigh up the benefits of using their service, so here are my two cents for anybody else who is interested.
Note: This is only going to be relevant if you run a business in the UK. Crunch has yet to expand in to Europe or across the pond. Understandable, right? Who would want to vacate the lovely sunny landscapes of East Sussex during a fantastic English summer? Besides fucking everybody, of course…
Crunch is an online accounting service that handles all your paperwork and tax filing. It has a very sleek interface, allowing you to add expenses and invoices on the move. You can get a running total of what you’re due to be raped for in corporate tax, what you can afford to pay yourself in dividends, and all the cretins that currently owe you money.
For a monthly subscription of £70, you can avoid hiring an accountant (who would probably run the risk of contracting Herpes if forced to do the books in your cheesy wotsit contaminated basement/office).
Instead of having that personal accountant, Crunch supplies you with a qualified account manager who you can call, email or badger over Skype.
You may have to book in an appointment first, but hey, it’s probably more reliable than calling a part-time accountant. You know you’re not going to end up redirected to voicemail while the bastard enjoys his impromptu two week vacation in the Bahamas. Oh that vacation, the one he didn’t tell you about.
It took me several days to transition my accounts to Crunch’s system. If you’re firing your accountant during the middle of the year (always better to be an arsehole before Christmas), expect to spend a good few days loading invoices and expenses in to the system.
Crunch glosses over the process and makes the system as user-friendly as can be, but let’s face it, this shit is never going to be Friday night entertainment. Adding expenses is a pleasantly brainless experience, and that’s exactly how I like my accounting to be.
You can reconcile accounts automatically by feeding a spreadsheet of your bank statement and letting Crunch go fishing for correct matches. This thought would usually fill me with dread. The last thing I want is for some crazed machine to start reconciling thousands of payments with 85% accuracy, but it seems to be effective.
I personally have to reconcile statements manually because my bank (If you can honestly call yourself a bank, Santander) is a cock.
All in all, Crunch has gone to painstaking measures to ensure the online software is user-friendly, intuitive and easy for a tax-hater like me to get to grips with.
So what would I like to see improved?
The single biggest beef I have with Crunch is their non-support for foreign currency invoicing. It’s possible (and convenient) to invoice companies in Sterling from within the control panel, but the system will have a bitch fit if you dare to bill companies in anything other than GBP.
That’s bloody inconvenient for me, given how a large number of my invoices are actually in USD or Euros. However, you can work around the kinks by entering a quick invoice in GBP after the hard copy has been processed by your bank. It’s not a perfect solution but it will do for now. I hope you’re listening, Crunch!
A year in to our relationship together, and I would have to say, the marriage is still going strong.
Crunch has saved me a lot of time, not to mention the sleepless nights, by simply providing a qualified barrier between myself and the dreaded tax man.
They deal with my paperwork. I deal with the playfully coloured forms and buttons. This is how business should be.
You… smart. Me… colourful buttons.
I think we’re gonna do just fine together.
Click here if you want to try Crunch Accounting for yourself.
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