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Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. His business interests include a diverse range of industries from manufacturing to property to technology. As a technology commentator he has a broad presence both in the traditional media and extensively online. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

More about Ben here.

6 responses to “Crunch Gets It So Right, and at the Same Time So Wrong”

  1. dahowlett

    @ben: you need to be a tad careful here. There’s a difference between accreditation and endorsement. ICAEW doesn’t endorse any applications but does provide an accreditation scheme. In this case Crunch is using the ICAEW logo – which it may well be entitled to do by virtue of it appearing in the ICAEW directory of firms. That’s not an endorsement either but will be construed as something similar or at least perceived as such by members of the public.

    It does however bring into question the issue of governance which I have raised as a separate matter directly with ICAEW.

  2. Ben Kepes

    @Dennis – point taken – but endorsement or accreditarion it’s still a bad look….

  3. Darren Fell

    Thanks Ben for the article above, and thank you for the invitation to clarify some points made; I welcome the opportunity to respond.

    The response to the launch of Crunch so far has been terrific – we are taking on new customers daily and were recently featured on BBC Radio 2’s drivetime show with Chris Evans, which has prompted a huge number of people to contact us asking for help for a number of reasons: they love the concept of an online system and support from real accountants, some haven’t had a very good experience of accountants so far or they just want to pay a fair price.

    The comments referenced in your article made by Michael Rose, who is a contractor to Crunch and who works in our marketing department, were made by him as a Crunch user – not as an accountant advising a customer. His words were intended as a helpful response to an unrelated accountant who had commented on an article about Crunch on the IT Counts web site – Michael has been a contractor for less than a year and has not yet gone through the process of year end accounts, so this would explain the gap in his knowledge. He’d like to thank the accountant for correcting what he said.

    The blogger who then wrote a story claiming Crunch was giving the wrong advice, has twisted what actually happened; also calling Crunch and asking Michael, who deals with marketing, about the ins and outs of taxation.

    A point worth reminding people reading this blogger’s words – and he did indeed disclose this fact in an article in February 2009 – is that he has vested interests with a direct competitor accountancy software company and is a share holder. And we are actively winning customers from this company.

    If I may I’d like to leave a couple of testimonials from two Crunch customers – the chartered accountancy practice behind Crunch has been providing sound advice to hundreds of satisfied customers since 1991 and we are proud of all aspects of the service that Crunch offers.

    Steve Hearsum: “I have asked loads of questions over the past three months, and always been happy, and occasionally even delighted. For example, it was pointed out to me if I switch to flat rate VAT I will be £600 better off this quarter, so of course I am happy.”

    Jono Brain: “I spent a lot of time looking for an accountant. When I came across Crunch it finally seemed what I was looking for – a simple, cost effective, complete solution. Any questions I have I just send a quick email to Crunch support and I usually get an answer back within an hour. The advice I have had is the most tax effective way to pay myself, on managing my expenses and getting setup to be VAT registered. Crunch has taken care of everything for me and has been a great choice for Digital Blah Blah.”

  4. Ben Kepes

    Darren – thanks for the comment – if he sees it I’m assuming the “other blogger” (AccMan) will want to reply but, in fairness to him, I believe that he has actually divested of his shares in Free Agent Central. Your other points relating to his line of questioning I won’t comment on.

    Once again, kudos for fronting up and replying

  5. Emily Coltman

    I fail to see how the blogger in question has “twisted what actually happened”.

    What Michael said in answer to my question on IT Counts was unequivocally wrong.

    And also, if Michael deals with marketing, why was he making a posting about tax in the first place?

    Good early reviews from customers are not enough to establish real credibility in my view. Any product can be made to look good in the short term, it’s only long-term that the real effects are known. You only have to think of the thalidomide tragedy to know that.

    M

  6. saaslover

    I’m a customer at crunch and had nothing but excellent advice from the team at crunch. I’ve just found this posting from Duane Jackson and now realised why Dennis tried to make a storm in a tea cup over this….Check this out:

    http://blog.kashflow.com/2009/08/17/accmanpro-time-to-disengage/