Review of Crunch Accounting

Crunch Accounting provides me with an amazing accountancy service and superb web app for me to manage my everyday business accounts.

Yesterday I went on one of my regular “diversions” down an online rabbit hole, and ended up on the website of who seem to provide detailed reviews of accountancy software and services.

I was surprised to see quite a bit of negativity towards my own accountant, Crunch, both in the main article (a review of Crunch) and an almost suspicious amount of scathing responses in the comments section. Experiences here seemed to be genuine, although there was a general lack of detail, citing “poor customer service” and other generic negativity.

As the internet warrior I am* I set about to try and provide a balanced view, so I posted on the website Scroll down to read my review / comment.

I checked back a day later to find my comment had been removed.

Then I looked to see who runs the site, and it’s a competitor product called Pandle.

* /mild sarcasm

The owners of this site purport to put an “independent” view across. On their about page they state:

“Whilst the website obviously helps promote our wonderful cloud bookkeeping software, it’s also a valuable resource for people looking for choice and information about different packages.

We use independent reviewers for our reviews, to give their opinions on each of the products to help potential users make a more informed decision to select the package that fits them.”

I wouldn’t for one minute wish to suggest that this website is claiming to provide independent reviews, whilst at the same time moderating (removing) any comments that place their competitors in a good light, subtly crafting a negative advertisement against competitor products.

I must admit the original review on the blog of this Crunch did seem detailed, but glossed over a lot of points and tended towards being negative towards Crunch, rather than checking facts or being rigorous in any way. See my comment below for further detail / rebuttals.

Anyway, as my comment there was deleted, I thought it only fair to make my comments public on a website that I run, so it will say online forever 🙂

Review below (mysteriously disappeared from the run by competitor company Pandle)

For the sake of balance, here’s my view. I run a small limited company providing photography and IT services. 3 years ago I was looking for a cloud based accountancy firm, a one-stop-shop. A web designer friend of mine recommend two or three (based on his mates’ comments), I did the research, and I went with Crunch.

I’m extremely impressed by the software which bridges the gap between standard accountancy software (which also means you need to hire an accountant) and the accountant themselves.

For me, an all-in-one service providing software and accountancy services is like gold-dust, and the review above does not recognise this. Instead it tries to shoe-horn web app into the category of other accountancy applications. It’s a different service altogether.

The comment “overpriced compared to other options available” needs citation. I suspect the reason there is no example is that the other apps being referred to often don’t combine accountancy and support under one roof. So yes – not a fair comparison.

For example, you can’t simply say “A small amount of reports (5 in total), although there are some graphs on the different tabs of the web app.” … that’s complete rubbish. Pretty much every page on the site (which, by the way, is perfectly logical and easy to navigate) has snippets of relevant, context sensitive information that constitutes a report. Take the homepage for example. 1) a useful timeline summary showing various HMRC deadlines such as VAT payment / submission, corporation tax deadline, companies house filing deadlines, etc. (How many accountancy applications have that? None, because this is information specific to your business as well as up-to-date HMRC changes etc.) 2) Your tax liabilities are shown on the front page, so you know what your running totals are, and so it’s easy to make sure you don’t withdraw too much money or make silly decisions. 3) Sales and expenses totals for the period are shown. Invoices are split into drafts, outstanding, and overdue. Do those count in your “only 5 reports” comment? Doubt it. And that’s just on the front page of the app.

The additions in red are clearly designed to draw the reader to the conclusion that Crunch are mischievous in some way, but actually they don’t provide a good balanced view, in my opinion.

Secondly, how many accountancy apps let you do the reconciliation with your bank statements which are automatically loaded into the app itself? Maybe some do – but I suspect the cost (probably high?) of this certainly hasn’t been factored into the comparison presented here.

The review above expresses unfounded scepticism about whether the expenses app is a novelty or actually useful. I use the iphone app almost daily. It works a charm, and it means I don’t have to ensure receipts are kept in a safe place, and I don’t have to spend hours at the end of each quarter inputting receipts. This is a superb service, my receipts get attached to new expense entries (which are added under the relevant cost code depending on what the receipt was for) and I can access them online later. I am hugely surprised that this was dismissed as a novelty! It’s a MASSIVE time saver.

How many applications allow you to schedule late payment reminders, based on whether someone has actually paid you or not?

I just don’t recognise the negative comments made in the discussion here. Having dealt with Crunch quite a bit over the last few years, none of it adds up to me.

Look, it’s fine if you don’t like Crunch as a service. But I think this could be a question of expectations.

All I’d say is: if you are interested in going with Crunch, don’t dismiss it based on the review and comments on this page. As a business owner you should probably be used to assessing options in an independent manner. So therefore treat everything here (including my comments!) with healthy scepticism.

Nobody asked me to write this comment, in fact I called Crunch today about something unrelated and had to call them back, so google for their number, and was sidetracked looking at their google reviews, then came here and was compelled to write.

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