As has become tradition at Crunch Towers, we’re in a reflective mood as the end of the year approaches.
The past twelve months have been truly amazing. We’ve almost doubled both our client count and the size of the team here at Crunch Headquarters in 2013 – we’re on course to break 5,000 clients and 100 staff very shortly.
So, without further ado, here’s what we’ve been up to in 2013.
At the beginning of 2013 we launched our second mobile app, Mile Cruncher, to help those of you who travel a lot claim mileage expenses easily. The app now has hundreds of users every week, and makes claiming those all-important (and oft-forgotten) mileage expenses a doddle.
Our in-house accountancy training scheme has grown leaps and bounds this year, and in March we achieved accreditation from not one, but two accounting bodies. These accreditations recognise the ongoing investment we make to ensure our accounting knowledge is the best around. We now have a steady stream of Apprentices coming through our doors, and we have big plans to expand this scheme in 2014.
As always, April was a big month for us, marking the beginning of the 2013/14 tax year. This year was extra-big though, as it marked the beginning of Real Time Information for PAYE filings. Our development team worked incredibly hard and, after several late nights, we were able to switch on our RTI system without any problems. We were also rather proud to be one of a small number of accountants who didn’t pass RTI compliance costs onto their clients.
After a lengthy trial period, we finally launched BankBolt – our unique, totally secure bank feeds. With BankBolt, you can effectively sync your Crunch account with your bank account, making reconciliation a much speedier process. It’s also one of the only bank feed systems that doesn’t require you to hand over your online banking login information, keeping you 100% secure at all times.
The summer months are often a quieter period for us – not so this year, though. We attended the Business Show and met hundreds of amazing startups, and later in the month Mashable named us one of the top 25 UK Startups!
By mid-summer we were already planning for 2014, and made some big changes to Crunch, for the first time since we’d launched, in order to carry on delivering the very best service. We agonised over each little alteration, but thankfully the changes we well-received. You can read Darren’s thoughts on the process here.
August also saw a big change to our company makeup, as our long-time investor and mentor Michael Van Swaaij agreed to come aboard formally as Chairman.
This year, as part of the Brighton Digital Festival, we opened our doors to the general public and hosted a series of evening workshops in our office – no small feat given the data protection rules around accountancy! We were even joined by Labour’s Business Ambassador, Lord Mitchell.
The end of the year is all about personal tax for us, and we’ve been working hard to make sure all our clients get their Self Assessment taken care of well ahead of time – which this year includes a competition to win a whole year of Crunch for free!
Eagle-eyed clients will have noticed a new personal tax tab has appeared in the Crunch system – there’ll be more toys going in there in 2014 to make Self Assessments even easier next year.
In October we were also officially crowned the UK’s fastest growing accountancy firm, scoring 71% annual growth, and placing 114th in Accountancy Age’s annual leaderboard. At just four and a half years old, this is an achievement we’re fiercely proud of – especially given the average age of firms on the list is close to 100 years!
To kick off Christmas party season, we once again gathered over one hundred of our favourite freelancers and contractors at The Terraces in Brighton for our annual National Freelancers Day party. This year proved bigger and better than ever – we even put together some videos! National Freelancers Day was once again a huge success, both in terms of celebrating the amazing work of the UK’s self-employed population, and raising the profile of freelancers and contractors with businesses and politicians.
We’re not the only ones growing
Meaningful growth may still be a way off, but the UK’s economic climate is finally thawing – and we recently discovered that our clients are growing just as much as we are. Stats pulled directly from our online accounting software showed that in 2011 average invoicing sat at £5,024 per month, but in 2013 this has grown to £6,401 – an increase of more than 27% in just two years (more info here)!
Were looking forward to another exciting year in 2014 – and we’re kicking things off with an event in London on January 16th. We’d love to see you there!