Crunch Review

 review of crunch bookkeeping software

Our review of Crunch Accounting

Our review of Crunch Accounting

Ease of use: Crunch has one of the best designed websites that we have seen and the software looks pleasing to the eye also. However there are an awful lot of menu items (43 in total) and it feels slightly over engineered for what it actually does. There’s lots of clutter which is unnecessary and could confuse novice users a lot!

Entering transactions is a long winded process and there was no way to enter anonymous transactions (i.e. transactions not relating to a customer or supplier) which makes things time consuming.

Speed: Slow! There is a bit of lag on the site sometimes and the long winded process of entering transactions means this software, for speed is not good. A bookkeeper or other professional would not use this software for their clients, as they would probably lose money with the time it takes! – Due to a complaint to the ASA by Crunch Accounting we have been forced to back up this point. A latency test was performed using www.dotcom-tools.com The average load time for Crunch was 9.1 second compared with 2.6 seconds of a randomly selected competitor.

Features: An average to low amount of features for the price, including bank feeds, reoccurring invoices, app to record expenses and business mileage app. Due to a complaint by the ASA we have been forced to offer a comparison; Kashflow has more than double the amount of features and integrations.

Support: Telephone, email, knowledge base and plenty of videos, really good support.

Reporting: A small amount of reports (5 in total), although there are some graphs on the different tabs of the web app. Unfortunately drilling down into the reports for an explanation of the figures is not possible. Due to a complaint to the ASA by Crunch Accounting we have been forced to back up this point; Quickbooks Online has 61 reports available compared to 5 in Crunch.

Price: It is difficult to compare the pricing of this package as Crunch offer accountancy services as part of their service. Although Crunch do include additional accountancy services within their prices, we felt that the pricing structure is not modular enough, i.e. you cannot sign up just for the software.

Here is an outline of the pricing packages:

Sole Traders:

Standard: £29.50 +vat per month

Plus: £39.50 +vat per month

Premium: £59.50 +vat per month

Limited Companies:

Standard: £64.50 +vat per month

Plus: £96.50 +vat per month

Premium: £156.50 +vat per month

VAT Handling: We could not test the VAT too much as in the demo version it’s not possible to change scheme or other settings. We think it supports the flat rate scheme and cash accounting from what we read in forums but are not 100% sure.

The bits we liked: We really like the sound of the app that can take a picture of expense receipts and upload the figures as a transaction into the software automatically. However we did not test this so we remain sceptical as to whether it’s just a novelty or does genuinely save time.

We also like their design and branding.

The bits we didn’t like: Over engineered, slow and over complicated. Too much data on screen rather than presenting the user with the important/relevant bits only. Oh and the price.

What level of bookkeeping knowledge will I need?

You’re going to need to have had a bit of experience to use this or at least spend a good amount of time going through the various videos etc.

Summary

Overall we felt the concept was flawed and not flexible enough, and overpriced compared to other options available.

Crunch targets freelancers and contractors which is good because they probably won’t have an awful lot of transactions to process. We couldn’t help feeling though that this would be a bit over the top for a simple freelance business.

Click here to visit the website

Crunch Accounting Software Review

 

  • K SHK (KSHK)

    Worst accountant ever, the Web interface lacks functionality with full of bugs, support calls and emails are very slow

  • Chris Read

    Transferred from another accountants to Crunch in February. I am still not set up properly. The Accountant managers promise lots (working with 4th since first contact) but deliver on 75% … and it takes so long.
    Starting to really regret my decision to change now.
    I think they are probably better if you start up with them – but transfers they just can’t handle in my experience.

    • Andrew Tyrrell

      Hi Chris,

      I’m really sorry to hear you’ve experienced a rocky start to your time with Crunch, this is far from ideal as I know how important it is to hit the ground running when already running a business. Transitioning from one accountant to another can be a tricky process with obtaining all the information required but by the sounds of it you’ve had continual problems.

      I’d like to offer my assistance with reviewing what happened and whether there’s anything we could have done better.

      Additionally if you have any feedback about your most recent experiences with Crunch, please let me know. I’m available on andrew@crunch.co.uk and can make myself available for a chat at any point.

      Happy to offer my assistance whenever needed.

      Kind regards

      • Twirly

        Leave if you can Chris, one of the worst experiences I have had with an accountant and bookkeeping.

        • Andrew Tyrrell

          Hi Twirly,

          I’m sorry to hear you have had issues with the Crunch service – if you’re happy to do so, please could you drop me an email to andrew@crunch.co.uk and I’ll be happy to look into your concerns.

          Look forward to hearing from you

          Many thanks

  • Peter

    I have been with Crunch and have had a painful experience too, it took
    several months to transfer to a new accountant and when I left it took
    nearly 6 months to get basic accounts done and leave, which had to be rectified
    many times because of mistakes, my new accountant was astonished!

    They
    basically are a call centre that rely on an IT system to do their
    accountancy, when you need a reply from an accountant takes ages.. when you want something that their system doesnt support you stuffed. Ah
    and I still receive automated emails even though I have left them
    nearly 6 months ago! That’s something they good at, at sending
    automatically generated emails… I am so glad I have finally left..

    • Stephen

      I had a very similar experience to Chris. They took 10 months to process my accounts, causing much vexation, no time to review and my corporation tax to be late. Of course the accounts contained errors, including elementary ones such as recording a refund for a faulty smartphine as bank interest (taxable!). I paid for the ‘premium’ services including book keeping although the books were always between 3 and 8 months out of date (and wrong).

      Throughout the 10 month period they made me pay the £158 per month subscription – as soon as you terminate they will not process the books.

      Anyone affected should firstly make a formal complaint to Steve Crouch their head of accounting. Wait for the less than satisfactory outcomes of this process then make a complaint via http://www.tax-board.org.uk.

      These guys couldn’t care less about customer service or quality – they only way they will change is if pressure is brought on them from their regulator.

  • Lars Von Panzerbjørn

    Very interesting review and comments. I had been considering Crunch, but I think I should continue looking…

  • Amala Destroyer

    I think i’m about to leave these Crunch accountants too. They have very quickly taken payments even after i cancelled my subscription and now they want me to reconcile my accounts myself and basically click a button for them to do zilch.

    • Andrew Tyrrell

      Hi Amala,

      I’m very sorry to hear you’re not having the best experience with us at the minute. I’m the Client Experience Manager here at Crunch and I want to see if there’s anything I can do to help.

      Please could you drop me an email to andrew@crunch.co.uk so that I can review your accounts and get in touch asap.

      Look forward to helping resolve any issues you currently have.

      Many thanks

  • haggardt

    “we felt the concept was floored
    flawed

  • Rick Kirton

    Agree with below, lots of promises but customer service leaves a lot to be desired and very poor user experience. To give an example I’m currently trying to reconcile my accounts (surely that is the accountants job?!), but because my credit card’s CSV download (Barclays) doesn’t provide a running balance, my ‘account manager’ doesn’t know what to do. As such I’ve been going back and forwards for over a month and am still no closer to completing my accounts. Emails take an age to get a response to (although when I cancelled my direct debit they got in touch straight away). Overall very bad experience and I wouldn’t recommend them to my worst enemy.

    • Andrew Tyrrell

      Hi Rick,

      I hope you’re well? I was wondering whether you were satisfied with our handling of your complaint in the end?

      Please feel free to get in touch with me directly using andrew@crunch.co.uk

      Many thanks

  • Sanjay Verma

    Regretted switching to Crunch almost immediately as there is little to no support from actual people and you are referred to watch their how to videos on how to use it. I couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of switching again so persevered with it, however, things have not improved at it is just bad event one after the other. Examples like a previous account manager editing and ruining my entire year’s worth of accounts so I had to spend hours back tracking to find the mistake, then for them to only ignore my email about what needs to correcting for months and it never getting resolved. My statement uploading stopped working ages ago, but every time I email them about it they do it for me and give me a different reason to why it didn’t work. So the next time you want to do it, you try the other thing only to find it still doesn’t work and send it off to them to get the next ‘solution’.

    Most solutions to problems are to fool/bodge the software into thinking something to accept what you are trying to do, how about actually change it so it works properly. Now I have made 2 enquiries about something else, which is taking weeks for someone to actually answer me.

    They are too reliant on their software and thinking it can do everything, when it is full of bugs that could be easily resolved if anyone was interested in listening to feedback, and not a personal service where real people can help you with your enquiries. There must be better ways to do things, and I have had enough with them now.

  • Pritpal

    This company has appalling customer service. I was a customer for over a year and I wish I’d just gone with an accountant instead as not only would it have been cheaper in the end but the service would have been much better. They must cycle through staff pretty quickly as you’re supposed to have an account manager but mine changed 4 times over the period. Without any introduction, by the way.

    This kind of thing, combined with the fact that the main staff you speak to are not actual accountants, makes for a very disjointed experience of customer service. They sell it well but it’s not worth the money. Their software is slow – and you can get xero free anyway – and you’ll spend ages trying to sort something simple out through email chains. Between the amount managers things also get lost, which means you have to spend precious time and effort chasing them up for things you’re paying them to do. You can’t trust the job to get done with Crunch.

    When it comes down to it, the quality of their advice is not great. For the most part it’s regurgitated from what’s on their website so if you don’t understand it that way, they can’t really help you.

    Get yourself a free or inexpensive accounts tracker like xero, and get an accountant to check our do your self assessment.

    I got tempted in by the cost of accountants but it’s end up being a false economy. If you’re going to pay someone, make it someone you can trust to get the job done and who will give you piece of mind. Your time iand sanity are worth that.

    Don’t be fooled by their nice salespeople. Their service is awful.

    • Andrew Tyrrell

      Hi Pritpal,

      Thank you for sharing your experiences and again I’m sincerely sorry about the drop in service in the run up to the Self Assessment deadline.

      I hope that I was able to resolve your concerns via our previous messages but please let me know if you’d like to discuss your issues further.

      Kind regards

  • As CEO and co-founder of Crunch Accounting, I wanted to come and leave a response personally as I care very deeply about feedback on the Crunch service and I am passionate about improving where we can and providing the best possible service on the market. Right from the beginning our vision always was and continues to be to provide a service to the under-serviced micro-businesses and self-employed that is both cost-effective and easy to use. We are expanding to provide other financial services that are individually tailored for micro-business owners and the self-employed and we are simultaneously working on improving our platform for our original accountancy service so we can continue to get better.

    To those of you reading this review and are thinking of using the information here to make a decision on your choice of accountant, I would like to make clear what Accounting Reviews themselves have not; this website is actually run by the same person who owns rival software, Pandle and they also own the accountancy firm; The Accountancy Partnership. They have consistently ranked their own software higher than those of their competitors – not just Crunch. I would suggest that before making any decisions, you check out some of the reviews on other sites so you can have a fuller picture of the facts.

    Finally, I wanted to say I’m sorry to hear that some of the commenters on this post say they have been experiencing issues with our service. I’d urge you all to get in touch with us as I can personally assure you that where we’ve gone wrong, we will go to the ends of the earth to put things right. Also, we want to learn from any mistakes we have made so even if you have left Crunch now, I’d still as you to take up this offer as we would genuinely be interested to hear your feedback: get in touch with andrew@crunch.co.uk in the first instance and we can take it from there.

    Many thanks,

    Darren.

    • James Bowden

      I have been using Crunch for 3 years now and your service has got worse every year. Crunch takes forever to put together simple accounts that should take a few hours to do. Every year the timescales of things just increase more and more. To try and get a financial reference or anything done it like trying to get a mortgage sorted, well that is probably quicker to do. I understand every Company has growing pains but I feel the customer experience offered now is not that of what I signed up to a few years ago. I shall be leaving in June and I have to be honest that I don’t really care how much more (if any) I have to pay as I will have a better service.

      • Andrew Tyrrell

        Hi James,

        My name’s Andy and I’m the Client Experience Manager here at Crunch. I’m very sorry to hear about your experiences. I will drop you an email this evening to see if there’s anything I can do to assist but I can see an Accountant has been in touch today to help progress your accounts.

        We’re actively working on ways to improve our internal efficiency and software and we’ll have your accounts ready for your approval this week. We’re currently a little off our typical turnaround time and we’re about to approach the 3rd month so I am sorry that we’ve not been able to keep up previous standards, this year.

        Rest assured we’ll get these finalised and over to you as quickly as we possibly can.

        Kind regards

  • James Bowden

    I have been using Crunch for 3 years now and the service has got worse every year. Crunch takes forever to put together simple accounts that should take a few hours to do. Every year the timescales of things just increase more and more. To try and get a financial reference or anything done it like trying to get a mortgage sorted, well that is probably quicker to do. I understand every Company has growing pains but I feel the customer experience offered now is not that of what I signed up to a few years ago. I shall be leaving in June and I have to be honest that I don’t really care how much more (if any) I have to pay as I will have a better service.

    My advice would be to not use Crunch as it is overpriced for the level of service you receive and there are much better alternatives.

  • Tor

    Been using Crunch for almost 2 years and they are awful. Everything is really slow. Everything is submitted late. Simple things like references take over a month of regular calls to finally get. Basic accounts took months to produce which were exactly the same as that produced by the software. I now have fines to pay which negates any cost saving of an online accountant. I would not recommend this to anyone. I will be leaving asap.

  • UK Ltd.Company guy

    I have been using Crunch for more than 2 years and I also (spookily) have accrused over £1200 in fines – my self assessment was sent for my approval at 450pm on the day it was due in. Very very poor service and like the chap below, I’m leaving. I’ve had enough.

  • I thought it worth sharing some other views.

    I have had a good experience with Crunch to date. I’m a consultant and so my requirements on the software is quite low compared with some perhaps but to date I have generally managed to get things that I have needed done.

    I have always had a good experience with support. Yes you don’t speak to an accountant first but that means fast response times and they never hesitate to pass it to an accountant when required. They have also been quite pro-active during some of the recent VAT changes. They were also keen to help when I needed to get my self assessment through quickly in order to use it for a mortgage application and got regular contact with an accountant.

    I haven’t personally had issues with anything being late – although I tend to request getting things done as soon as I can rather than waiting closer to the deadline so perhaps the turnaround times suffer then. As it is just a click of a button in most cases I have always done this.

    The software is OK although I have to say I’m starting to worry I am outgrowing it. It seems to be becoming a little sluggish and there are some more unusual things I am starting to need to do like support month end net 30 billing which I don’t think it will do. I would also love to be able to assign expenses to projects purely for reporting. Also recently my bank will no longer reconcile automatically which is a big blow.

    I don’t know if I will still be with them in a year for these reasons however they have made it incredibly easy to start my business and compared to stories from peers who have gone with “proper” accountants I seem to have had it much easier!

  • Adrian Burns

    I have been using Crunch for nearly 2 years and at first thought it was great. However they have clearly decided to invest their money in developing other products rather than maintaining and improving the accountancy service. Other alternatives such as Xero and Kashflow offer extensive integration with 3rd party products such as CRM, Payroll, Marketing etc. As for the accounting advice, I’ve found myself telling them on a number of occasions about things I could be claiming back based on advice from other contractors. To top it all they advise me through the portal that the due date and cut of date for Self assessment was in a weeks time. Yet they could notify me about employees birthdays months before.

    Get a grip Crunch or your going the way of Blackberry

    AB.

  • Having been with Crunch for a couple of years I feel the service has gone dramatically down hill in the last year. To start with support questions were answered quickly and they the accountants were on top of my annual accounts. This year my accounts were due to be submitted to HMRC on 28th February 2017 and my corporation tax paid and cleared the same day. After two months of asking Crunch where these were I received them late on February 27th leaving only that evening to check them and also hope my payment to HMRC went through so I didn’t incur any fines, which would have been my responsibility. Being self-employed, as all of us are, I didn’t need the added stress of this situation on top of my day job when I pay Crunch a monthly payment to handle this for me. My year end is 31st May, my accounts are quite small and updated regularly, therefore Crunch had 9 months to prepare them but left it until the last day with nothing but an insincere apology (no phone call from my client manager).

    Following this situation I have tried to reconcile my recent bank statements and found that all reconciliations since 31st May 2016 have been undone through a software error. I have contacted them to ask how it’s happened and if they can reconcile all the transactions again as I don’t feel I should have to do this. This was 2 weeks ago and unsurprisingly I’m still waiting for a resolution.

    On recent experience I wouldn’t recommend Crunch as their customer service is really poor. Find another online accountant or pay for a local accountant who you may find more helpful and prompt with their support.

  • Shaun Galloway

    I have been with Crunch since 2011 and thought a lot about them, but in the last couple of years they have become a load of stinking poo! They may be cheap, but the quality is poor. I have finally decided to move my accounts.

  • David Kiff

    Hi,

    I can’t disagree more with most of the remarks made in this review.

    I have many friends and colleagues who use Crunch’s competitors and I hear of stories of them manually filling out spreadsheets, sending in bank statements and having a very poor experience.

    Having used Crunch for over 9 months (and speaking as a software developer with UX experience), the software is great for my use. It is straight forward and simple to use (My accounting knowledge was non-existent 9months ago) and I have never had a problem performing any tasks I needed to (I didn’t bother watching any of the many how-to-videos either, it’s just intuitive). The web application takes you through step-by-step with explanation and in many cases stops you making silly mistakes. I have never seen 9.1 second load times.

    I am extremely impatient with software and I have never experienced any slowness on either the web application or the iPhone application. It is refreshingly fast. The bank reconciliation automatically pulls in my statements directly from my bank and it automatically matches items for me (I just have to hit the “match” button). It’s so easy and so fast. Having to do this manually would be annoying and something many of my colleagues suffer with, with Crunch’s competitors
    (They have to manually send in statements etc.).

    It’s very rare I need a report and they are somewhat limited at the moment whilst the change to the new reporting standard (They have a note saying this will be updated soon). I actually did need a report whilst this is being developed and their staff provided it very promptly when requested.

    Pricing is not modular enough? £65pm in my opinion is competitive, especially for what you get.

    The real-time nature of Crunch is what really sells it to me. If I ask my colleagues how much they can pay themselves, not many can answer that. Assuming you keep it up-to-date with expenses and payments (which is very easy to manage on the iPhone app), then you know your tax liabilities and available dividends (and lots more). You can also add fictitious
    expenses if you’re planning a large purchase to see the impact on the various taxes and your available profit or loss.

    I am on the flat scheme and it does support that. It also shows a comparison between using the flat rate scheme and not, so you know if it’s best to change.

    The staff are great and are on hand to help, my account manager always responds the same day. I have recently had some personal issues which required changing my year end (and submitting my accounts to HMRC) and generating proof of income etc, and Crunch did this extremely quickly (within two days).

    I can’t recommend them enough, please just ignore the review here, it’s not accurate.

    Thanks,

    David Kiff