Code

Online accounting for sole traders

We handle your self-employed accounts, you do what you love!

Life’s too short to spend it chasing invoices and updating spreadsheets. We’ll make keeping on top of your self-employed business finances easy with free bookkeeping software and a range of great accountancy packages, so you can focus on your sole trader business.

Software, support, and expert advice for your sole trader accounts

Free sole trader software to get you started.

Our software is free, and it’s easy to upgrade when you want to submit your Self Assessment, or if you need support with running your business.

Manage your sole trader accounts anytime anywhere.

Send invoices on the train, record expenses from bed. Crunch works great on any device, so you can get work done wherever you are.

Automate your business and save time.

Send beautiful invoices, track when they get paid. We’ll even automatically remind your clients if they don’t pay on time.

Self Assessment tax returns. 

pro

Find work, make friends, or get advice on running your business — when you go it alone, you don’t have to do it by yourself.

MTD compatible VAT returns. 

pro

We'll advise you on when and how to register for VAT and make it easy to keep your business records. Our 'Making Tax Digital' ready software will do all the calculations for you and file your quarterly VAT return with HMRC. Just add our VAT service to your package.

Expert support and advice whenever you need it. 

pro

Our team of experts & accountants can guide you through the toughest parts of being self-employed. No sweat.

Why business owners love us

Jad Deeb

November 26, 2021

Professional helpful staff Quick responses and they're really thorough and explain the process step by step :)

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A Hussain

November 16, 2021

Needed to get my business up and running quickly. Crunch took care of so much so quickly. Registering my business with companies house and sorting out the tax side with HMRC - only needing me perform tasks that HMRC do not allow them to perform. The Crunch software is easy to use and there are plenty of helpful videos and documentation. Great service from the Crunch support team, especially from Olivia Beadle. Thank you.

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James Cash

November 8, 2021

Crunch was able to find me the right mortgage, they kept me informed on progress and were responsive to my requests.

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Frequently asked questions

What is sole trader accounting?

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If you run your own business as a sole trader, you’ll need to prepare accounts each year to show your income and expenses. This will enable you to calculate your annual profit and the amount of drawings you can take from your business. You will also be able to calculate the tax you owe to HMRC.

What is a sole trader?

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If you’re self-employed and running your own business as an individual, then you should be registered with HMRC as a sole trader. Being a sole trader means there’s no legal distinction between the individual and the business they own.

Sole traders work in many industries and trades, including electricians, plumbers, management consultants, designers, and more. Check out our article on “What is a sole trader?” for more information.

Do sole traders need an accountant?

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As a sole trader, there’s no law that requires you to have an accountant, but an accountant can help you stay on top of your business finances, manage your legal obligations as a small business owner, and help with your statutory filings and tax returns. 

An accountant is especially helpful where your sole trade business is starting out and needs assistance with areas such as VAT, CIS, and employing others.

What accounts does a sole trader need to file?

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Tax returns sole traders are required to file include VAT (if your business is VAT registered), and your annual Self Assessment, which covers your personal income tax and National Insurance liabilities. You can read more about your tax obligations in our “What is a sole trader?” article.

How do I file taxes as a sole trader?

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Sole trader taxes need to be filed with HMRC before their relevant due dates. You’ll need to start by registering as a sole trader with HMRC, and registering for tax returns such as Self Assessment. 

As a Crunch client, our team of Chartered Certified Accountants can file your tax returns on your behalf. If you don’t have an accountant, though, you’ll need to file your returns yourself.

Who can prepare sole trader accounts?

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You can prepare your own sole trader accounts if you’d like, but the best strategy is to get an accountant to do it for you. Accountants can make sure your returns are filed accurately and well ahead of a deadline - all you need to do is sign them off! An accountant will also make sure you are claiming the correct business expenses.

When do sole trader accounts have to be filed?

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Your annual Self Assessment must be filed with HMRC before 31st January each year.

Do I need a business account as a sole trader?

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As a sole trader, all of your business profit is taxable to you personally, and legally there is no difference between you and your business. But unless you want to pay more tax than necessary, you’ll usually want to claim sole trader business expenses when it comes to submitting your annual Self Assessment tax return. You need to be able to prove your business expenses are allowable. Having your business and personal expenses in the same bank account can cause all sorts of headaches and means getting your accounts ready takes longer than necessary.

With secure Open Banking connections, you can link your business bank account directly to your Crunch account and import all of your transactions in one simple click. From there, reconciling your bank accounts becomes a simple job!

How do I set up a sole trader bank account?

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Many major banks don’t give you the option to open an account for your small business online, but usually, you’ll be able to start your application on the bank’s website, prior to meeting a representative in person or over the phone.

Some banks will allow you to walk into the branch and make a same-day appointment, but of course, this cannot always be guaranteed.

Crunch is also partnered with a number of trusted banks, including Tide, Metro, Barclays, and Revolut. You can even enjoy special offers and discounts when you open a business account through one of these providers as a Crunch client!

How much is an accountant for a sole trader?

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At Crunch, our paid accountancy package for sole traders is available for just £24.50+VAT a month! As a Crunch client, you’ll get access to a team of Chartered Certified Accountants and expert client managers, available whenever you need them to help your business thrive.

Are sole trader accounts viewable through Companies House?

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Sole traders don’t need to register with Companies House, so no information about your business will appear in their records or on their website.

Can I claim an accountancy expenses invoice as a sole trader?

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You can claim expenses for your businesses accountancy fees, providing the accountant's time is being spent working on your sole trader accounts and not on personal items, such as the production of your annual Self Assessment.

Do sole trader accounts have to be audited?

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It’s unlikely your sole trade business will require an audit unless you begin reporting turnover of millions of pounds. In such cases, you’d need an accountant to guide you through any audit requirements.

How am I taxed on my sole trader accounts?

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As a sole trader, you pay yourself based on personal drawings from the business, and you pay Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions based on the profits your business makes.

That’s why it’s important to keep a record of any drawings you take from the business to pay yourself. This helps you to keep on top of your accounts and helps when calculating your profits, which you eventually pay tax on. You’ll also need to put some money aside to pay your personal tax bill when you submit your annual Self Assessment.

See how we help sole traders just like you

We’ve worked with 1,000s of different business and self-employed people offering accounting services for over 10 years, and we help people across a huge range of industries. Our superhero client managers and expert accountants are dedicated to simplifying running your business, whatever you do. Take a look at some of our member stories and see how we could help you.

“Crunch helped us register as a limited company and for VAT, and the expert advice has allowed us to grow, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Andrew

Digital marketing

Limited company pro

Read 
Andrew
's story →

“I’m not an accountant, but everything is done for me in the background, and if you’re not sure it’s as simple as asking.”

Carla

Plumbing

Limited company premium

Read 
Carla
's story →

“Crunch is cost-effective and the system is very user friendly. When I’ve made the odd mistake it has been rectified very quickly.”

Corinne

Mental health first aid training

Sole trader pro

Read 
Corinne
's story →

“Crunch has helped me by making accounting much easier to manage in a stress-free way - meaning that I can focus on my business and not worry about the accounting side of things.”

Dan

Software development & consultancy

Limited company premium

Read 
Dan
's story →

“Crunch provides me with amazing support when I need it and all at a fraction of the cost of any previous accountants.”

Ella

GP & medical

Limited company premium

Read 
Ella
's story →

"For the past few years I have taken the opportunity to pay my selected accountant at Crunch to look over my accounts and file for me. It’s amazing that you can have that option - especially because they have access to your account so going over everything isn't stressful."

Elliott

Youtube content creation

Sole trader pro

Read 
Elliott
's story →

“Everyone I’ve dealt with at Crunch is very friendly and supportive, and I’ve received excellent service in completing all my accounting needs. I know that I can always reach out and get support from Crunch when I need it.”

Emily

Management consultancy

Limited company premium

Read 
Emily
's story →

“Crunch have helped us to transition from freelance to small business very well. The software provides clarity and makes it easy to keep invoicing up to date.”

Emily

Digital marketing & development

Small business

Read 
Emily
's story →

“Crunch was there for me when I was already really overwhelmed about all aspects of being self-employed.”

Jennifer

Writing & content creation

Sole trader pro

Read 
Jennifer
's story →

"Crunch Chorus has been a great source of information and resources as I have started out on the business journey and in the midst of COVID."

Katy

Recruitment

Crunch Chorus community

Read 
Katy
's story →

“Crunch has given me peace of mind… which definitely contributes to a better night's sleep.”

Nick

Marketing

Limited company pro

Read 
Nick
's story →

“When I joined Crunch, it felt like a load had been lifted off my shoulders.”

Pedro

Web development

Limited company premium

Read 
Pedro
's story →

“Crunch is straightforward accounting for ordinary folk.”

Ralph

IT contracting

Limited company pro

Read 
Ralph
's story →

“I can log in and the dashboard shows me where I am with my finances (provided everything is up to date). At a glance, I can see exactly how my business is doing.”

Richard

Electrical services

Limited company premium

Read 
Richard
's story →

“2020 has been a challenging year, it certainly pushed us to think outside the box!”

Sam

Fitness

Crunch Chorus community

Read 
Sam
's story →

“The Crunch team provides fantastic support all round, as accounting and taxes - and all the admin that comes with it - is something I want to leave to the experts.”

Stefan

Online marketing

Small business

Read 
Stefan
's story →

“Being part of the Facebook group has been great as there’s the sense of community and everyone either having been where you are now or you being able to offer help and advice to others.”

Susan

Coaching & training

Facebook group

Read 
Susan
's story →

More features to help your business

Connect your bank account

Our free, secure Open Banking feeds connect your business bank account to your Crunch sole trader accounting software and automatically import all your business transactions. It’s the fastest, safest way to keep your self-employed accounts and finances up to date.

See your cashflow in real time

With all your invoices and expenses in one place, you can easily manage your sole trader bookkeeping, track your turnover, and understand how much tax you’ll need to pay.

Paperless self-employed accounting

Snap a picture of a receipt, automatically add it as a business expense, or use our app to capture and upload your business mileage. All your bookkeeping records are in one place, so you can ditch the piles of paperwork!

Astoundingly affordable pay-monthly plans.

We believe everything should be easy, the most intuitive accounting software ever, with real experts at the touch of a button. All in one place.

To see for yourself, book a call with one of our amazingly brilliant advisors today!

Free forever!

Crunch Free

Perfect starter accountancy software for a sole trader. Forever free and super upgradable.

£0.00

Free forever
VAT Add-on @ £3.50+VAT per month
Self Assessment Add-on @ £200+VAT
Easily upgradable to Pro, Premium and Small Business
Free forever software, with unlimited receipts, invoices and free bank reconciliation.
Never pay for software again!
Choose this plan
Free accounting software

Keep track of all your invoices, payments, and expenses using our free online bookkeeping software. Easily upgrade for expert support whenever you need it.

Create and issue invoices

Send professional invoices to your clients on-the-go, personalise invoices with your company logo, record and track your income, and set up recurring invoices and late payment reminders.

Record & track expenses

Easily keep track of all your business expenses, set up recurring expenses and even use our free app (‘Snap’) to take a photo of your receipts and have them automatically uploaded to your Crunch software.

Connect your bank account

Link your business bank account to your Crunch software to quickly import bank statements and make reconciling your accounts quicker. Our software integrates with most major banks.

Bank reconciliation

Import all your transactions from your bank account and match them against expenses and invoices, our software makes suggestions for matching transactions to make your bookkeeping easy. Once your account is up to date and reconciled, our software will make publishing your accounts and filing your statutory returns easy.

Real time tax dashboard

Get a complete overview of what tax you owe with our real-time dashboard, giving you a clear and instant picture of your business finances.

Unlimited accountancy support

Upgrade to pro to get unlimited accounting support and advice tailored to your business from our expert team.

Dedicated client management

Your own team of Crunch client managers will be on hand for day-to-day contact. They’ll guide you through your online accounting software, make sure you stay on top of deadlines, and help you with support and advice on dealing with HMRC. We’re online, so you’ll always be able to get hold of us; no appointments, no fuss.

Annual accountancy healthcheck

Get expert advice on improving your company’s growth and tax-efficiency. Our Accountancy Healthcheck is designed to provide guidance on helping improve your limited company's financial performance, assist with any changes in regulations and the impact on your business, and help you to understand the changing needs of your business.

In-app chat

Instant chat with your client managers for effortless questions.

HMRC Registration

We’ll take care of getting you registered with HMRC, as well as for any personal or business taxes, so you’ll be up and running in no time.

Company filing requirements

Whether you're a sole trader or a limited company, we will file all your company's filings. If you are VAT registered and use Crunch Free then you can easily plug in the VAT add-on.

Year end accounts

For Limited companies, we will ensure your annual accounts are prepared and filed correctly. All you need to do is ensure your accounts are up to date and our expert accountants will prepare perfectly and file directly with HMRC and Companies House.

Director payroll

Our simple Real Time Information (RTI) compliant payroll software makes it easy to set up a monthly, recurring salary. All your HMRC filing and payslips are done for you, our software connects to HMRC, so any PAYE-related returns can be submitted directly to ensure you’re compliant.

Tax-efficient dividends

Crunch software for Limited Companies is the most advanced in the market with the ability to pay yourself as a Director in the most efficient way possible. The software calculates everything, produces a Dividend Certificate, along with a tax efficient Director's payroll and even produces Board Meeting minutes approving the dividend release.

VAT filing

If you’re VAT registered, your software will automatically calculate your VAT transactions and prepare your returns for filing with HMRC every quarter when due.

Once you’ve approved it, you can submit your VAT return to HMRC with our online accounting software quickly and efficiently. 

We’ll always remind you of upcoming deadlines so you’ll always be aware of your responsibilities. Your software is HMRC compatible and meets the Making Tax Digital (MTD) requirements. VAT filing can be added quickly to make Crunch Free even more powerful.

Self Assessment filing
add-on

Get expert help to prepare your Self Assessment and submit it to HMRC using our innovative online accounting software. We’ll make sure you’re paying the correct amount of personal tax and claiming all the allowances you’re entitled to. We provide a comprehensive review of your Self Assessment, as well as help with more complex returns, such as advising you on multiple sources of income. You can easily get this brilliant service as a separate ADD-ON for Crunch Free users.

TwinTrack - ultimate IR35 solution

Our switchable IR35 service means you can seamlessly move between limited company working or Umbrella payroll if your assignment is inside IR35. Our Crunch software can make any deductions you need for employment taxes, or handle any client payments you receive that have already had employment taxes deducted.

You’ll get online IR35 assessments to check the status of your assignments. You’ll also get one, free detailed review of the IR35 status of an assignment contract with a report showing your areas of risk, and recommendations to help evidence your contract is outside IR35. A Crunch expert will review your company's contract with your end client and the actual working practices in place to help you understand your employment status (one detailed review and report per year).

Since IR35 doesn’t apply to sole traders, our IR35 support is not applicable to those on our Sole Trader Pro package.

Company formation

Sole traders don't need to form a Limited Company however if you want to switch it's super easy and the Crunch team will form one for you.

Registered Office service

As a sole trader doesn’t need a Registered Office, this service isn’t applicable to our Sole Trader Pro package.

Service address
and 
mail forwarding

Sole traders do not require this service.

Professional references

Whether you need a lettings, mortgage, financial, or non-financial reference, we can help.

Snap app

Record expenses instantly on your mobile with our app (‘Snap’). Simply take a picture of your receipt and Snap will capture all the important data (including date, price, and VAT), then automatically record it as an expense in your Crunch account. Available for Android and iPhone.

TripCatcher

Easily keep track of business mileage on the go with 'TripCatcher'. Just enter the miles you’ve travelled after each business journey using the free TripCatcher app or website. Your mileage claim will be calculated and recorded as an expense automatically in your Crunch account. It’ll even take care of any tricky VAT calculations needed if you’re VAT registered.

Not sure what's right for your business?

Compare all featuresGet help from an advisor

Crunch Add-ons

Your business is unique, so why shouldn’t your accountancy package be unique, too? 

At Crunch, we recognise that no two businesses are the same, which is why we offer a range of helpful services that you can add to your Crunch account whenever your business requires them. Stop paying for services you don’t need, and start making your service work for your business’ needs!

Bookkeeping

Whether you need a one-off service to bring your accounts up to date, or regular bookkeeping support to take it off your hands completely, we can help.

Starting from £40+VAT

Payroll

Enjoy a complete, Real Time Information (RTI) compliant payroll service delivered by our payroll team and supported by our expert, Chartered Certified Accountants.

Starting from £16.50+VAT

CIS 

Our CIS service streamlines the process for contractors and subcontractors working in the construction industry, ensuring you’re making the correct tax and National Insurance payments.

Starting from £16.50+VAT

Pension Auto Enrolment

Set up a pension auto enrolment scheme for your employees and let our experts administer the deductions from employees payslips.

Initial set-up fee £300+VAT

Just starting out - how much tax will you pay?

Could you save on tax with a different business structure? See if setting up as a sole trader is the right choice for your business, or whether a limited company could reduce your tax bill. Get advice from an expert accountant to see how you could save money and pay less tax.

Let Crunch be your limited company accountants

Our expert accountants, superhero client managers and friendly advisors are dedicated to your business. We pride ourselves on our customer service and getting to know your individual needs. Switching to Crunch from another accountant is easy too, we can help make the switch from your existing accountant as smooth as possible.

Friendly advisors

Our friendly advisors are available to help you choose the right online accounting package for your business. There’s no hard sell - we’ll offer you fair, unbiased advice on what’s best for you and your sole trader business. We’ll answer any questions you have about our accountancy service, make sure that you have the right business structure, and that you understand how you’ll manage your sole trader accounts and taxes. We can also help you switch from another accountant.

Expert Chartered Certified Accountants

With a variety of accreditations and different professional backgrounds, our accountants are passionate about helping your business. We’re not your typical accountancy firm - we’re dedicated to sole traders and small businesses clients across the UK. With a whole team to support you as a self-employed sole trader, we’ll guide you through claiming all the right expenses, filing your Self Assessment, and managing your business accounts. As your business grows, we can advise on how to be more tax-efficient and whether a different business structure, such as a limited company, could be a better way to work.

Helpful client managers

Our superhero client managers will be on hand to make sure you get the most out of your online accounting software. We’ll make sure you’re correctly registered for all business taxes, National Insurance, and even VAT Registration, and we’ll take care of HMRC for you. We’re dedicated to helping our clients grow their businesses and manage their taxes.

Running a business can be confusing. We're here to help.

We’ve got over 10 years experience and have helped over millions of businesses with guidance and advice. Our Knowledge articles, jargon-free business guides, handy videos and helpful tools and calculators will help answer all your questions. We’ve even got a free self-employed community, Crunch Chorus, with over 67,000 members just like you.

Our accounting accreditations

You can feel safe in the knowledge that we’re experts in our field.
Our limited company accountants have a range of qualifications from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). They follow the byelaws, regulations, and ethical guidelines of the ACCA. We are an ACCA accredited employer.