Brighton firm seeks to ‘empower the new wave of small businesses’.
A fifth of the UK’s self-employed workers considered quitting altogether during the pandemic (according to an LSE study), highlighting the importance of thinking outside the box for B2B FinTech companies looking to help their clients remain in healthy financial shape in this continuing period of uncertainty.
In light of this, Brighton-based online accounting company Crunch has unveiled a new free-to-use version of their entry-level accounting software to relieve stress for the five million-strong freelancers, contractors, and small business owners across the UK.
As well as limited company directors, use of Crunch Free extends to users working as sole traders, who can now create, manage, and update invoices and expenses, anytime, anywhere.
The updated platform now includes features like Open Banking feeds to automatically import business transactions, receipt scanning to automatically upload up expenses, and intelligent bank reconciliation to ensure records are accurate and ready to be used in producing statutory filings.
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Optional paid for bolt-on services such as ‘Ask an Accountant’ for affordable access to Crunch’s experts are also available to give advice and support to those looking to keep on top of their business finances and how to be more tax-efficient.
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 3 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.”
Crunch itself was founded in Brighton during the 2008-12 ‘credit crunch’ which saw 367,000 more people in the UK becoming self-employed. Crunch reported a 115% spike in web traffic to the company’s ‘Becoming Self-Employed’ Knowledge section during the first lockdown, and has already seen a 30% rise in self-employed accounting clients compared to the same March-July period in 2019.
More information on Crunch Free is available at Crunch.co.uk
Crunch is an online integrated software and service accountancy firm, combining a team of in-house chartered certified accountants available on-demand along with a team of client managers and easy-to-use online accounting software.
Designed specifically for freelancers, contractors, sole traders and small businesses and with over 11,000 paying clients across the UK, Crunch also has a growing network of freelance bookkeepers and accountants to support customers and handle all bank reconciliations.
Crunch’s free community for the self-employed, Crunch Chorus, has so far helped over 50,000 freelancers, contractors, and small businesses by providing jargon-free business guides, articles, tools, useful templates, and access to events and networking opportunities.
Crunch offers a range of tools to empower people deciding to work for themselves – including specialist mortgage, insurance and investments and pensions products.