Running your own business can be incredibly rewarding, but maintaining and managing your accounts often requires a great deal of time and money – two resources that the newly self-employed and business owners don’t exactly have in spades. This begs the question – is it possible to effectively manage your accounts, for free?
When the lightbulb went off in your head about being your own boss, we doubt very much that the prospect of spreadsheets, calculators and receipts, or paying for a high-street accountant were the parts of the puzzle that filled you with excitement.
But if you’re a freelancer, contractor, or small business owner looking to reduce outgoings and increase productivity, you might be pleasantly surprised to discover there’s a new solution to solve your bookkeeping woes.
Free entry-level accounting software is here!
Launched in late-2020, Crunch Free is simple, flexible accounting software for sole traders and limited companies alike, that grows as you grow.
Gone are the days of storing your receipts in a shoebox and panicking when it’s time to do something with them. With Crunch Free, you can easily add unlimited expenses and receipts while you’re out and about, while also using the software to send (unlimited) invoices and see how much money you’re owed.
Our revolutionary platform now includes features like free Open Banking feeds to automatically import business transactions, and intelligent bank reconciliation to ensure records are accurate and ready to be used in producing statutory filings.
Crunch Free has got brilliant time-saving features such as recurring expenses and invoices. We have a great TripCatcher app to make it really easy to track and record business mileage directly into Crunch Free, and, if you want to make expenses even easier to record, our expenses app ‘Snap’ lets you take a photo of a receipt and automatically uploads a categorised expense to your account. We even give our Crunch Free users up to 15 monthly uploads for free.
Crunch Free by name, free by nature
With Crunch Free, the word ‘free’ isn’t simply a metaphor. It’s not called ‘Free’ because it frees up your time to be doing more important and interesting things – although this is certainly true!
It’s not just a free trial either, one that rolls over into a paid subscription, like many of our competitors do. Crunch Free is free for everyone, and always will be for as long as you want to use it.
There are other so-called free competitors out there, but often when you look at the small print there are hidden extras or limits to the number of invoices you can send or the expenses you can record. With Crunch, though, there are no such restrictions. We let you send as many invoices as you want and record an unlimited number of expenses.
What’s the competition doing?
With other online accounting solutions, such as Starlings Business Toolkit, you need to pay £7 per month for features that are included within Crunch Free. We like the Starling bank account, and indeed they are one of the banks we offer a free Open Banking Feed to, so using Crunch Free would save you that £7 a month.
‘Free’ no longer the flavour at Coconut
Another challenger has been Coconut, but Coconut recently announced that they’re introducing a £3 monthly fee for their users, rising to £10 a month if you need to send more than three invoices a month or record more than 30 expenses. Again – this is free with Crunch Free!
Waving goodbye to Wave in the UK
We always thought Wave was a good little app, but recently, they Wave-d goodbye to their UK users – it’s no wonder that Crunch Free has seen a rapid influx of users since their closure!
Easily upgrade to your perfect accountancy package
Crunch Free is the perfect tool for sole traders and limited companies; using it frequently will mean all your expenses and invoices are easily managed, and your bank transactions are automatically imported for you to reconcile in just a few clicks. Optional, one-off payment bolt-on services such as ‘Ask an Accountant’ for affordable access to Crunch’s experts are also available, offering advice and support to those looking to keep on top of their business finances and become more tax-efficient.
As a sole trader, this means that when it comes to Self Assessment time you’re presented with all your lovely, organised bookkeeping, ready to enter into HMRC’s online system. But should you decide you need expert Self Assessment support and want to upgrade to our Sole Trader Pro package that comes with Self Assessment included, as well as unlimited support and expert advice from our accountants, you can do so quickly and easily, with zero fuss.
Limited company owners may be looking for extra support when it comes to filing their Corporation Tax return, annual accounts and all the other statutory filings that are part of their responsibilities as a director. You’ll also want to be able to pay yourself as a director, usually with a combination of salary and tax-efficient dividends. If you have other ways of managing this, then Crunch Free may be all you need. However, if you’re looking for all this plus unlimited support and expert advice it’s really easy to upgrade to one of our complete limited company accountancy packages.
The world of work is changing
Despite a significant backlash to the lack of government support during the pandemic for the newly self-employed and limited company directors, incorporations during the third quarter of 2020 increased by a staggering 30% compared with the same quarter of 2019 – the largest quarter three year-on-year increase since 2012, according to Companies House.
With statistics from YouGov showing that one in twenty Britons have lost a job as a result of COVID-19 – and one in three Britons feeling fearful for their future – many thousands of workers across the UK are taking a leap into self-employment.
Darren Fell, Crunch founder and CEO, said:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit many freelancers and small businesses hard, and the support offered by the government, whilst welcome for those it supports, has left at least three million people unable to access government grants for their businesses. The world of work is changing for us all, and as more people start to be their own boss, we want to ensure that the new generation of self-employed workers are empowered to succeed at what they’re passionate about and love what they do.”
We’ve championed the self-employed and small businesses for over a decade now at Crunch, our Knowledge articles cover every aspect of setting up and running a business and our Crunch Chorus community has grown to over 50,000 members, all enjoying free access to our business guides, tools, templates, plus special offers and much more.
Use our Take-Home Pay Calculator to work out your true earnings and see if you could save money with a different company set up.
Need help with your accountancy?
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