My Experience With Crunch Accounting So Far
Are You The “One Man Wolf Pack” Marketer?

My Experience With Crunch Accounting So Far

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.

Recommended This Week:

Are You The “One Man Wolf Pack” Marketer?

Are you the marketer, designer, developer, copywriter, editor, accountant and toilet cleaner of your affiliate business? Do you consider yourself a bit of a one man wolf pack? I feel your pain. Not too long ago, I was exactly the same.

But then I hired an awkwardly polite writer from the Philippines and my pack grew by one. I gave him my linkbuilding chores and suddenly there were two of us in the wolf pack. I was alone first in the pack, and then Rizaldo joined in later. Rizaldo recommended his graphic designer to me, and I thought, “Wait a second, could it be?” And now I know for sure, I just added half of the Philippines to my wolf pack. All of us wolves, roaming around the Internet, making monies and publishing bullshit 500-word articles.

So tonight, I make a post. Asking…

Do you really want to be a One Man Wolf Pack?

One Man Wolf PackMaking money as an affiliate marketer can be hard work. Our monthly earnings fluctuate so wildly that it’s often stressful enough predicting our own expendable income without having to deal with hiring other workers. But you can only go so far on your own.

I tried for the longest time to handle every aspect of my business. Partly because I like to be in control and partly because of my lazy logic. In my mind, it would take longer to express exactly what I wanted from a hired worker than it would to do a hack job of it myself. But that’s the problem. If you take on every task of your business, you will inevitably resort to hack jobs and mediocrity.

How many times have you looked at a landing page concept, weighed up the costs of outsourcing against how triumphant you think you are with the fucking gradient wizard in Photoshop and decided to take a crack at it yourself?

I used to sit down after breakfast, load up my brushes, bust out my drop shadows, and absolutely massacre those concepts. You end up settling for second best due to your own limitations. I would alter my concepts to coincide with the capabilities of a half arsed designer. Hey, I like to bevel everything because it looks cool, okay? Your justification for going solo is that you saved $100 on what some Elance designer was trying to extort from you. But the reality? Your own stubbornness and refusal to relinquish control to somebody more accomplished has probably just kicked you in the balls.

I think the single most important aspect of your business to outsource is the accounting. For every thousand dollars I made in my first year as an affiliate marketer, I’m betting I surrendered at least a hundred bucks by not taking on expert financial advice in the form of a good accountant. I’ve rectified that now, but Christ, why did I ever think it would be a good idea to file my own taxes? If you’re just getting started as your own boss, resist the temptation to work the numbers yourself. Pay somebody else to get their panties in a twist at the end of every accounting period.

Pro tip: Spend your own time MAKING money not counting money.

Finding an accountant is generally a task I would leave to word of mouth recommendations or whoever happens to be the real deal in your local area. I’m signed up to Crunch which is a fantastic new accounting service for those of you in the UK. It has a flat rate of £60/month and for that, the Crunch team handles pretty much everything.

You don’t want to be placing your books and end of year returns in the hands of an offshore shantytown, no matter how many times they call you “Sir” when applying for the job. But that’s not to say you won’t find great value for money in outsourcing the donkey work. The stuff that would otherwise distract you from the tasks that make you money. If it’s linkbuilding, design work, filler article creation, data entry or just about anything that doesn’t require your sound business judgment…get it outsourced and forget about it.

There are a ton of sites you can use to find skilled workers. I would recommend checking out Elance and oDesk. oDesk is pretty batshit insane. You can watch your workers’ screens while they go about their business. No doubt, if I worked on oDesk, I’d be dismissed before lunchtime on the first day. It’s also worth checking out WickedFire where you’ll find some excellent hired help from just about every corner of our industry.

It’s tough, as a beginner, to shake the instinctive grip over every part of your business. But understand that scaling and making this thing a reality requires the balls to actually start visualizing what you do as a business that can grow over time and prosper on it’s own legs.

If you fail to utilize the talent of the skilled individuals at your disposal, don’t expect your business to be scaling out of your mum’s basement anytime soon. You’ll be trapped by self-imposed limitations that may save you money, but will almost certainly stunt your growth.

Recommended This Week:

  • If you’re in the UK and haven’t sorted yourself out with an accountant, check out Crunch. For £60/month you get an almighty weight off your chest, some sound support and the kind of financial advice that will save you money in the long haul.

  • Feel free to add Finch to your Facebook. Yes, this is the right link. My real name is not actually Finch. Also follow me on Twitter

  • If you’d like to advertise on this blog, I’ve got one spot available. You can grab it here.

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