I’m a big fan of Crunch Accounting. I love the simplicity, and I love the convenience. It’s not for everybody but it’s perfect for me.
Crunch is an accounting solution, exclusive to the UK, for freelancers and small businesses. I’ve been using the software for over a year, and I’ve endorsed it to many other Internet Marketers with similar business models.
It’s a sleek, easy-to-use and very potent weapon in the battle to stay on top of my company’s finances, and by that virtue my own sanity.
Before Crunch, I was a disorganized slacktopus of number stained notepads, overflowing ‘in-baskets’ and accounts that only sometimes made sense. The resulting mess had my titties in a twist on more than one occasion. I spent much of my time in Thailand wondering if HMRC would be there to collect me – whip in hand – when I re-entered the UK.
“What have I missed? What have I done wrong?” Those thoughts kept me awake at night, or at least until I wisened up to the fact that keeping track of my accounts ‘the good old fashioned way’ wasn’t exactly working out.
Crunch got my company accounts in order. And despite the fact they still haven’t integrated support for foreign currency transactions, I’m very satisfied with the service.
Last week I spoke to Darren Fell, founder and Managing Director of Crunch, and he had some news that may tempt those of you who didn’t bite my initial positive review of the service.
It’s no secret that Crunch has been growing at a rapid rate. The software seems to boast new bells and whistles every time I login, which is either a testament to their proactive reinvestment, or a damning indictment of how often I actually log in. Probably a bit of both.
Either way, the latest development is more than just a software upgrade.
Crunch is being set free.
Crunch has unveiled a stripped down ‘Solo’ package for those who want to use their software free of charge. It’s not the whole shebang – some key features, like your bank feeds, remain upgrade-only – but it’s an impressive raft of features for anybody who wants to track, create and manage their invoices and expenses.
Perhaps more importantly, it’s a workable platform for startups and those on small budgets who need to get their accounts in order, but don’t have the flexibility to commit to a monthly plan of £70-or-so after VAT. You can join for free, track your company’s financial activity, and then upgrade seamlessly when the time comes (hopefully!) that you need a more complete solution.
I think it’s a deadly smart move from Crunch. Their software already boasts the holy grail of a simple interface matched to powerful functionality. It’s an impressive package, particularly when you stack it up against the competitors out there – many of which are overpriced, not to mention complete bastards in the user-friendliness stakes.
By offering an entry-level package, I would expect a lot of trial users to convert in to paid customers from the software advantages alone. Another wave will convert after the first whiff of taxation stress. I include my girlfriend and her newly launched limited company in that bracket. She signed up for a peek this week, much to my relief. Her previous outlook to taxes was “Well, you can help me with them, can’t you?”
“Those sweet words,” my dogs would bark, knowing damn well they’re about to be charged out the front door on ‘walkies duty’ in my bid to escape.
The second part of Crunch’s product rejiggery involves a new service called ‘Max’.
Max is designed for small businesses who need just a little bit more, as Darren put it. Priced at £89.50 per month, Max users can support up to four directors and ten employees on the payroll. It’s a premium service, designed to satisfy those customers with slightly more complex needs than a rogue Internet Marketing cowboy such as myself.
As part of the Max service, you will receive your own dedicated senior accountant, and a much more hands-on ‘We’re in this together‘ approach to your dealings. That includes a twice-yearly accounting health-check with your advisor. Sounds pretty cute and whimsical to me, but I’m sure there’ll be takers.
These new product launches, the first since Crunch started in 2009, should position the company to capture an even greater share of small businesses and freelancers in the UK.
I recommend you take a look at the Solo package if you were on the fence about trying them before. Take a nose around the software and see if it ticks the right boxes for your business.
Crunch are good peoples. Good peoples with a good product. I think they will continue to grow, and you’ll definitely be hearing a lot more about them.
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