Welcome to issue #35 of our recently launched Q&A series, Startup Spotlight.

This series is all about diving into the world-class technological innovation conducted by exciting startups. Getting to grips with the technology, the mission, and even the stories behind them.

In each edition we sit down with a different startup founder, leader, or operator in an easily digestible conversational style Q&A format.

Today we interviewed Darren Fell, CEO of Crunch, to discover more about the UK’s most cost-effective online accounting software and service.

Highlights:

  • ⚙️ How Crunch use technology to combine user-friendly online accounting software with ad-hoc in-house support for sole traders and limited companies
  • 📈 From 20,000 to 1,000,000 active members: Crunch’s quest to become the number 1 free tax and accounting platform
  • 📈 Why listening to Crunch customer feedback really matters

Setting up and successfully running a business can be a lot – especially in the beginning. It’s easy to get bogged down with the boring stuff… like your accounts. If you know, you know. *Shudders*

But what if you could forget about all of that stuff and focus on growing and bossing your biz? Well, you can

Crunch help businesses manage their finances better so they can get on with changing the world. 

They don’t believe in overpaying for expensive software or a traditional accountant. They save freelancers and small businesses time and money by offering a fairly priced, all-inclusive online service.

From year-end accounts to creating and sending invoices, Crunch’s certified advisors and user-friendly automated software allow businesses to access everything they need, all in one place. 

Forget old-school appointments and fuss – this is accessible, online accounting for the modern era… Sold!

It seems that Crunch have broken out of the traditional accountancy mould, but how do they stand out in an already crowded market?

What are their biggest milestones so far?

And finally, what next?

We asked Darren Fell. Here we go.👇

What is the mission of your company?

To be the number 1 free tax and accounting platform for individuals, freelancers and small businesses with 1 million active members. 

How are you using technology to help solve that problem?

We have software specifically designed to support people with a side hustle or start-up. The software can be accessed anytime anywhere as it is cloud-based. As a tech firm, we have an in-house Product team is continuously growing and improving our software to support UK entrepreneurs. 

What's your unique selling point?

Definitely our people. As well as free accounting software we offer expert support from our Chartered Certified Accountants. They are on hand to support our customers and we even offer unlimited account support to customers on our paid subscription service. In addition to this, we have client managers who guide our customers through how to use the software in the most efficient way so that our customers can focus on growing their businesses. 

What have been the greatest challenges to date?

Competition is fierce in the accounting software space. But we're lucky that we are different. Most competitors only offer software and some offer some services in addition to this. But we are proud to be able to offer the full package to our customers - software, chartered certified accountants and client managers, so our customers don't need to pay for an accountant or bookkeeper separately.

What major milestones have you achieved, and what's next!?

So much to share! 

Launching Crunch FREE. A completely free accounting software for sole traders and limited companies. We're very proud of this product because it allows people who need to focus on growing their businesses the ability to manage their businesses finances for free. It also means anyone can try before they buy (we don't limit people to a demo). We now have 20,000 active Crunch FREE clients. 

Launching e-commerce to allow people to buy 24/7 - whenever, wherever.

We received crowdfunding investment, we've launched a new site, we focus on listening to our customers when it comes to our software so we are always listening to the user. 

Integrating with Brixx. Brixx is a financial forecasting software that allows people to manage their business finances and view forecasting. This is available for FREE on all Crunch plans. Giving our customers the ability to see what they have achieved as a business and what their projections are - aiding planning.

We have also launched a stand-alone self-assessment product. Allowing anyone who needs to complete a tax return to easily manage this in our software. They fill out a simple questionnaire and our Chartered Certified Accountants check and file to HMRC on their behalf. 

We are also in the process of integrating with Shopify.

Thanks, Darren!

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