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Getting started with your Crunch account

Whether you're an experienced hand at running a limited company or you’ve only just formed one, there are a number of key things you need to do and know about as a limited company director. 

We want to give you some tips on how to use your new Crunch account effectively, so we’d recommend checking out our handy tutorial videos that will show you the basics of your account setup so you can hit the ground running and start using your account from as early as possible.

We’d also recommend adding both our Crunch Help Centre & Crunch Knowledge Articles to your bookmarks for future reference!


Keep an eye out for the “Can we help” button in the bottom left of your account - select this for a pop-out menu appearing from the left - where you'll be able to search our help centre resources from within your Crunch account.


Setting up your Crunch account:

We’ve already set up your new Crunch account with your key company details, some of which you can see by clicking on “Your Account” and navigating to the “Company Profile” sub-tab. Now there are a few important things you need to do in order to fully set up your Crunch account.

  1. Set up your Business Bank Accounts, Clients and Suppliers:

You’ll need to add the details of all your company’s business bank accounts, including any business savings accounts or business credit cards. 

Once you’ve added your business bank accounts, you’ll then need to add the details of your regular clients and suppliers. 

Once you have these all set up, please progress below.


  1. Enter any transactions from before you joined Crunch:

If you’ve recently formed your limited company, you’ll probably have some setup and formation costs which you can now account for. 

If you’ve been running your limited company for some time (or you have finalised a year-end before starting to use Crunch), you may have previous invoices and expenses to account for. 

If you have/had a current/previous accountant, we’ll need their contact details so that we can get in touch with them directly to obtain further information related to your company. 

Please send these details to your team of Client Managers by emailing support@crunch.co.uk to make your transition to Crunch as smooth as possible.


  1. Recording Expenses in Crunch:

If you incur business expenses in the course of your work, you’ll need to record these in your Crunch account. Read how expenses can help to reduce your tax bill and may reduce your VAT liability. 

You can also record a recurring expense which saves you the time of repeatedly inputting the same recurring expenses, such as your Crunch Subscriptions. We’ve provided a detailed breakdown of what expenses you can claim and how they should be recorded in your Crunch account.

You may wish to use our Snap phone app that allows you to add expenses on the go by taking photos of your receipts.

To find out more and activate Snap, select your settings icon at the top right of your account, as shown here, , then navigate to the ‘Subscription’ tab and then scroll down to ‘Mobile applications’ and follow the instructions.

Once you have these all sorted, please move onto the next step.


  1. Create and Issue your invoices:

You’ll need to create and issue an invoice for any work you’ve carried out. You can choose to either print and post, or send a PDF copy via email directly to your client. When adding invoices, you’re also able to set up automated payment reminder emails to your clients as well as automated payment confirmation emails once an invoice has been paid in full.

A handy time-saving feature in Crunch if you have regular clients is to set up recurring invoices to save you having to key in the same information repeatedly, so if you contract through an agency and complete timesheets for them, you’ll still need to represent this in your account using invoices.

Once you have this covered, please progress onto the next step.


  1. Recording a Client Payment for your invoices

When a client pays you for work you’ve carried out, you’ll need to record this and allocate the payment to the relevant invoice. 

There’s a few ways you can do this in Crunch, however, the guide below shows best practice to ensure it all matches up correctly.

Once you’re happy with this, please move onto the next step.


  1. Paying Yourself in Crunch:

As a company director, you can pay yourself from your company via a salary and/or dividend payment. You’ll always need to record any withdrawals made to you personally from your company’s bank account.

Your Crunch account lets you run “RTI Compliant Payroll” to record your director salary and produce payslips and other tax forms required by HMRC throughout the year - RTI stands for Real-Time Information - and HMRC requires all companies to provide details of employee payroll (this includes yourself as a director) electronically on or before the date of payment, which is true even if no salary is drawn. So even if you’re not taking a director salary, HMRC still wants to know about it.

Every time you make a salary payment to yourself, you need to record it via your payroll run and Crunch will file this information with HMRC for you.

As most clients will likely take the same amount of salary each month, you should choose to set up a recurring payroll to avoid fines/penalties as this will automate the process for you, however, before you decide what salary to take, you should read our Knowledge Article about making your salary tax-efficient.

As a director, any other benefits you receive from the company personally are called benefits in kind (BiK), and once a year you are required to let HMRC know what BiK you’ve received. You do this by filing a P11D and P11D(b), which we’ll ask you to approve and submit for filing to HMRC from your Crunch account after the 5th April each year.

Once you have this covered and all setup, please move onto the next phase below.


  1. Uploading your Business Banking Statements into Crunch:

You’ll need to ensure that your Crunch account has all the transactions from any of your Business Banking or Credit Card accounts. Once all your bank accounts have been added to Crunch, you’ll need to upload the transactions via a .CSV bank statement. 

We offer a .CSV upload facility within your Crunch account so you can add these statements in bulk if required. Our recommendation would be to upload a month of transactions, at one time, and then reconcile through monthly batches as this will ensure that you receive a real-time reflection of your company’s financial & tax position, as well as maximum dividends available throughout each month.

If you’re a Metro Bank or Cater Allen client, you can add a secure automated bank integration to your Crunch account. This service provides an automatic upload of your bank statements from your bank into your Crunch account, ready for reconciliation. 

Our Crunch Plus and Small Business clients can use our Crunch Open Banking service, which covers a number of additional banks.

Where possible, we’d strongly recommend getting the integration with your bank set up as soon as possible. This can be a huge time saver and does also ensure that all of your business bank transactions are being uploaded at their earliest convenience, ready for you to reconcile. This means that nothing is missed, and you’ll find you spend far less time on bank reconciliation, it’s a win-win!

Once you’ve had a chance to read through the above, please move onto the next step. 


  1. Bank Reconciliation in Crunch:

One of the key activities you should always do on a regular basis within your Crunch account is to ensure your bank statements match your accounting records. This will allow you to check you’re recording your transactions accurately and will mean you are able to see an up to date financial position of your company. 

Bank reconciliation must be completed before we can finalise your company’s year-end accounts, and helps us greatly when giving advice on your account and transactions. 

You can manage this process under the ‘Banking’ tab, selecting ‘Expand’ on your bank account and then ‘Reconcile Now’.

Please note: If you have our Open Banking or BankBolt integration setup for your Crunch account, you will not need to manually upload any of your .CSV bank statements.

If you find that there’s a problem with your bank statements, please give us a call at your earliest convenience or drop us an email on support@crunch.co.uk.

Once you’re satisfied and all is understood, please move on to the step below. 


  1. Submitting your VAT returns (if VAT Registered):

If you’re VAT registered, you’re required to file a quarterly VAT return, as well as pay the VAT payment due directly to HMRC. 

VAT returns are automatically generated in your Crunch account under the ‘Company Tax > VAT Returns’ sub-tab, and you’ll need to agree and make the VAT submission every quarter by checking the declaration at the bottom, and then clicking ‘Submit return’. 

Important: Always make sure your invoice and expenses are right up to date before you submit your VAT Return to Crunch, or the figures will not be correct. We’d strongly recommend reconciling your bank accounts before submitting any of your VAT Returns to make sure they’re accurate for HMRC.

Once you’ve submitted this to Crunch, you’ll be notified as soon as it’s filed with HMRC and we’ll provide you with the amount of VAT you owe as well as the payment details to pay it - it remains your responsibility to pay this to HMRC so please keep an eye out for this information.

That completes the initial set up of your Crunch account, however, do continue below for further information about what you’ll need to consider throughout the year when operating your limited company.


What else do I need to consider?

Your company’s Year-End accounts:

When your company’s year-end comes around, we’ll notify you and ask you to ensure that your account is brought up to date with all transactions accounted for, if it isn’t already, and this includes having all of your business bank accounts fully reconciled up to your year-end date.

Once your account is up to date, our accountants can then produce your year-end financial statements and make them available for you to approve before filing them with Companies House and HMRC.

To check your company’s year-end status, you can navigate to the ‘Accounting’ tab and select the ‘Year End’ sub-tab.


Your company’s “CT600” Corporation Tax Return:

Once we’ve produced your year-end financial statements and you’ve approved them, we’ll confirm how much Corporation Tax your company is liable to pay. This is the amount you need to pay directly to HMRC, and you’ll find the amount to pay in ‘box 600’ on the document.

Tip: At any time throughout the year, as long as your account is reconciled up to date, you can check your company's current tax liability on the 'Pay Yourself > Dashboard.
 

Your company’s Confirmation Statement & PSC Register:

Once a year, a company is required to file a Confirmation Statement with Companies House. 

Crunch Basic clients can pay a one-off fee of £13 for us to complete and submit your Confirmation Statement for you. 

Crunch Plus and Small Business clients are entitled to one Confirmation Statement filing every 12 months.

It’s your responsibility to inform Crunch of any relevant shareholding, directorship, address changes etc. throughout the year so that these details can be updated on the Confirmation Statement as well as the Companies House PSC register. It’s incredibly important that you understand the information displayed on “Companies House Beta” as it is publicly available, which means that some sensitive information may be displayed on here. 

We understand and fully appreciate that not everyone will want this to be the case - the only alternative would be setting up a virtual/service address where you can use this for the Companies House Register instead. Some will even allow you to use it for your own personal correspondence information, too.


Your annual Self Assessment Tax Return (Personal Tax):

At the end of every tax year (5th April), you’ll need to carry out a Self Assessment Tax Return, also known as a Personal Tax return, to declare exactly how much you’ve earned through your limited company (and/or elsewhere), and pay any Personal Tax Liabilities and/or National Insurance you may owe.

If this is your first Self Assessment Tax Return, we’d recommend reading through this article. You must file your Self Assessment with HMRC on/by the 31st January, every year, following the tax year in question.

Crunch Basic or Small Business clients can pay a one-off fee per Director for us to complete your Self Assessment for you.

Crunch Plus clients have our Self Assessment service included in their package. 

Business Insurance:

Protect yourself professionally with Small Business Insurance from Crunch. 

This cover includes: Professional Indemnity, Public Liability, and Employers’ Liability. 

IR35 Reviews:

If you're a contractor working through a personal service company, you need to be aware of the off-payroll rules (known as 'IR35') as they could have a big impact on how you get paid and how much tax and National Insurance you owe.

We can also assess your “IR35 Status” by reviewing your contracts and working practices. With expert advice from our accountants, you'll know whether or not you're 'inside' IR35, and what steps you can take to prevent an HMRC investigation. 

This review is recommended for freelancers and contractors.

Get started with your assessment by calling your client managers today, or use our ‘
IR35 Calculator’.

We’ve got you covered with a huge amount of resources:

Finally, we’d recommend adding both our Crunch Help Centre & Crunch Knowledge Articles to your bookmarks for future reference. You’ll find tons of information at your fingertips!

In with just a handful of short videos you can get up and running in no time, they will walk you through the basics of setting up Crunch and will see you right the way through to issuing & paying dividends, so you’re able to start using your fresh new account as soon as possible.

Last Updated: 25 Oct 2019 05:25PM BST
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