Crannis Technology Services

Reading time: 3:55

Like many small and medium-sized enterprises, Darren Crannis decided to use Digital Accounting software early during the formation of his electrical engineering company. Here, he explains why it’s never too late to start using it, and how it can help your business to grow.

Crannis technology services

Time to watch: 2 minutes, 27 seconds

Read the video transcript

My name's Darren Crannis, I'm managing director of CTS Electrical and we provide electrical services for domestic, industrial and commercial.

So, based on other people's experiences when we spoke to them about how they ran their business, we knew that cash flow was key.

So that is a real big important thing to put some software in place, so it automatically chases invoices, reminds customers even while we're sleeping. And we can take those payments online 24/7.

So that was a really big driver for us to ensure that we get paid on time.

Using digital accounting software, we can see our business position all day, every day. So straightaway, at the click of a button, we can see our profit and loss, we can see what money is owed to us, we can see what money we owed our suppliers and very quickly, we can make decisions for the business based on that and as a result we have very little outstanding debt.

So we recently had customers ask us if we can take card payment. So we logged onto our accounting software, we integrated that with a click of a button into a card merchant and then we managed to gain more customers by accepting easy card payments.

I spent a lot of time working with electricians and other people in the industry who are still using paper-based systems and they're missing quotes to give to their customers, they're missing invoices, they're spending a lot of time in the evenings doing paperwork manually and I really didn't want to be bogged down with all that time to do that.

So I wanted something really quick and efficient I could use on the move. So because the software's online, we can access it anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. So that can be on our phone, iPads, laptops. We don't have to be in the office, we can be in a van, a customer site, even on holiday. We can check the information, check the quotes, check the invoices, check the bank and save a lot of time.

So, based on my own experience, if people aren't too sure about adopting digital software, I would say give it a try. You can give it a free trial, you can give it a little test run and see which one fits with you best.

I really don't think there's any money in the world that would stop us using digital software any more.

I don't think there's enough time in the day to continue doing what we're doing without it.

For Darren Crannis of Crannis Technology Services, choosing to use Digital Accounting software for his new business was a given, having used it at companies where he’d previously worked.

‘I was so used to using it,’ he begins. ‘At one company I worked for, we incorporated all different types of accounting software but, back then, it was a lot harder to use than it is today.’

Although experienced in using Digital Accounting software, Darren decided to do more research into what current software was available and reached out to friends for help.

‘I asked someone who ran a couple of businesses what they’d gone for and had a look some of the software they used,’ he says. ‘It was on that basis that I decided I’d use it for digital accounting, having seen the benefits it could provide for me and my business.'

Another driving force in choosing the right Digital Accounting software was adopting something that could hold client information reliably and securely, while also ensuring it enabled him to stay up to date with credit control.

‘I’d seen a lot of people struggling with that,’ Darren explains. ‘I knew friends in other trade industries who used more traditional methods and their credit control was awful.

‘I realised I wouldn’t have time to keep calling customers, and I didn’t want to keep chasing them for money – and that’s what I wanted the software I chose to do; I wanted it to do it all for us.’

It wasn’t all about chasing payments, though. Darren wanted something that would enable him to generate quotes via email automatically, and allow him to seamlessly export receipts and invoices from his phone straight to the software housed on his office computer. The software he chose to adopt does all of that at the press of a button.

Getting started

Upon narrowing his choices, Darren put time aside to test the functionality of each software on his shortlist.

‘I actually trialled a few different types of digital accountancy software before choosing the right one, just to see what sort of tutorials they had, as well as [asking] the software companies a few questions to see if what I was choosing was right for me.’

Once Darren had chosen the most suitable software, he completed a number of trial-runs to get the hang of it before rolling the software out across his business. It took just a few days for him to get used to the Digital Accounting software he’d adopted, and the options to customise it to suit his business’ needs were well-received.

‘Like a lot of other businesses, we've always used customised options for the software we use,’ he explains. ‘Until Covid-19 came along, we’d never taken card payments, but as soon as lockdown hit a lot of people wanted to pay by card.

‘We integrated a card payment add-on to work with our accounting software and it worked really well - and really quickly.’

I realised I wouldn’t have time to keep calling customers, and I didn’t want to keep chasing them for money – that’s what I wanted the software I chose to do

Putting it to work

Spending less time on manual accounting meant Darren could now devote more time to focusing on growing his business, instead of the time-consuming task of managing his accounts manually.

‘I still know contractors to this day who just use spreadsheets. I don't know how they do that, especially when you become VAT-registered,’ he says.

Darren Crannis, founder of Crannis Technology Services

‘VAT takes us no time at all. It’s important to make sure our accounts are up-to-date and reconciled. I don't know how you can do that with a spreadsheet, especially when it comes to CIS (Construction Industry Scheme) and other tax-related processes.’

Darren’s not the only one pleased with how his Digital Accounting software functions as he explains. ‘Our accountants are happy with reports they can pull off the back-end of our accounting software too.’

‘When it comes to our accountants, we’re only front-end users in a way, and they're doing all the clever bits at the back. They also have their own login for anything they need to do.

‘We can give staff different user rights, too, so it’s really easy for people to complete the tasks required of them.’

Of all the advantages using Digital Accounting software has to offer, the one Darren appreciates the most is the time it saves for him to focus on other aspects of his business.

We integrated a card payment add-on to work with our accounting software and it worked really well, and really quickly

‘It saves us so much time. I can access the software on my laptop, on my phone. I’ve got access whenever I want and wherever I am. The savings are huge,’ he says.

‘We've also got access to our real-time accounts and the option to send quotes when you’re on the move; you can have access to your information anywhere in the world.’

When it comes to adopting Digital Accounting software, Darren has no regrets.

‘My advice to anyone would be to try it out. Even if it’s just a trial, you've got to at least give it a go.’

‘Digital Accounting software will save you so much time in the long run, without having to worry about hardware costs. It's just a simple monthly subscription for software. Just give it a go – you won’t regret it.’

  • Business name: Crannis Technology Services
  • Sector: Professional, scientific and technical
  • Location: Swindon
  • Business founded: 2011
  • Visit: https://www.crannistech.co.uk/

Do you have a tech adoption success story you'd like to share?
Contact sme.helptogrow@beis.gov.uk

Help to Grow: Digital guidance

Introduction to CRM software

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software helps you manage your communications with your customers. We explain the main features and benefits.

Would Digital Accounting suit my business?

Digital Accounting software can streamline tasks and help you stay on top of your business’ finances, reducing the need for many manual processes. Take a closer look at what this software offers.

Apply for 50% off business software

Eligible businesses can get 50% off, up to £5,000, on approved Digital Accounting and Customer Relationship Management software.

Find your software