Crunch describes itself as ‘a new breed of accountancy practice’. It operates online, backed up with its own online accountancy software solution designed to make business accounting simple and hassle-free. It’s aimed at those with no accountancy experience but with a computer connected to the internet.
Users simply log into their account on the cheerful and brightly coloured company website, and are able to use the software straight away.
The online software package is aimed at micro-businesses (businesses with fewer than 12 employees), freelancers, contractors and consultants currently registered in the UK. But, unlike most accountancy software packages, it includes full accountancy support in the price.
For the monthly price of £59.50 plus VAT (£642.60 plus VAT if paid annually – a reduction of 10%) Crunch includes unlimited access to the software system and support from an account manager who can be reached via email, telephone or Skype.
There is also unlimited access to Crunch’s team of accredited accountants. All business returns – company tax returns, company accounts and annual returns to Companies House – are completed and filed by said accountants.
A user’s personal self-assessment tax returns can be completed by Crunch for an extra fee – though with the software giving useful suggestions on how to draw money out of their business tax-efficiently, complete with calculations and simple explanations for those that are interested, the information recorded in Crunch’s online software is likely to make filling in one’s own self-assessment tax return relatively simple to do.
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The interface is incredibly straightforward: it is easy to create invoices to clients and record sales, record business expenditure, upload bank statements and reconcile each item to invoice and expense amounts, and set up new clients or suppliers.
The dashboard gives a summary of company performance, tax liabilities, sales and expenses to date and messages notifying the user of any outstanding amounts. Where the software really wins, however, apart from its sheer simplicity, is in its tax capabilities: it calculates tax liabilities in real time and advises users on the most tax-efficient way of drawing money out of the business, including an option to view the calculations for those who are interested.
Crunch also includes IR35 assistance – highly topical in light of HMRC’s clampdown on false employment – making the software a particular win for contractors.
While Crunch is suitable for many small businesses and self-employed individuals it likely lacks the features for anything larger than a micro-business.
The company lists as its clients digital and creative agencies, computer game developers, IT contractors, business consultants, journalists, copywriters and artists.
Additionally, while those in certain building trades can take advantage of Crunch’s sleek simplicity, Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) functions do not currently appear to be supported, making the package possibly less beneficial for them.