Bench Accounting Review

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Did you know that more than 1/4 of small business owners spend 100 hours or more on accounting and bookkeeping every single year? And that’s just on their federal taxes.

It takes a lot to run a business, and the financials are just a small part of the big picture. But, your business finances can also make, or break, your business. 

So, how do you manage accounting and bookkeeping, without spending so much time doing it by yourself? You get help. And no worries if you can’t afford an in-house accountant or bookkeeper. That’s where Bench Accounting comes in.

Here is my Bench Accounting review, and why it’s a great tool for every small business owner to have. 

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Summary

If you’re a small business owner and can afford to take the leap, it could reduce your stress and also keep your books in order. That also makes tax time a lot easier on you as well.

What Is Bench? 

In this first part of this Bench Accounting review, let’s talk about what Bench is.

Basically, it’s a bookkeeping service for small business owners in the U.S. and Canada, who need bookkeeping services but aren’t ready to hire an in-house accountant. 

With over 600+ employees and bookkeepers, Bench is able to provide business owners with bookkeeping on a monthly basis. Whenever your books are done for the month, you receive a message and can go about your day.

Then, by the end of the year, you’re ready for a new season and filing your taxes. It really is that simple. 

If you’re finding yourself working on accounting tasks way too often in your business, or if you’re not quite ready to hire out an in-house position yet, Bench accounting offers an affordable and easy solution to keep you from feeling overwhelmed about managing your business finances. 

Bench Features 

My Bench Accounting review wouldn’t be complete without talking about all of the features the company has! Here are just a few. 

Bookkeeping Support 

With Bench, you’ll be able to connect your business accounts (including bank accounts, credit cards, etc) for bookkeeping. You’ll also be able to import all data automatically, so you won’t have to send over spreadsheets or information every single month. 

Tax Support 

All Bench plans include a year-end package with everything you need to file your taxes. If you want to make taxes even more stress-free, the Premium pricing plan includes annual tax filing for businesses (Partnerships, S Corps, C Corps) and individuals (Sole Proprietors, Contractors).

Great Customer Service 

When you decide to sign up with Bench Accounting, you will be assigned to a team of three people that will manage your accounting information. Each person is trained in-house by Bench, and they can be reached by phone or email at no extra charge, as much as you need.

Each employee goes through extensive background checks, and the platform itself is SSL encrypted, so your financial information is secure. 

Bench Plans & Pricing 

Bench Accounting has two pricing plans for anyone looking to bring on a company with bookkeeping capabilities. They made these price points so clients can choose whether or not to include tax filing and to make things more transparent for everyone.

No matter which option you choose, you can get a free trial with this link to see what Bench accounting is all about. They will organize your books for the month prior and send over all of the information to you before your trial is over. 

Here are the different plans that Bench offers. 

Essential 

The essential plan is their foundational pricing plan built around monthly bookkeeping, with clear monthly pricing and no surprises. The plan starts at $249/month if paid yearly or $299/month if paying month to month. By unbundling tax services from their core plan, Bench gives clients exactly what they want, as you can keep your CPA and they will work with them for free!

Premium

If you want all the features, including tax prep, then the premium pricing plan is for you. This plan includes their bookkeeping services, as well as tax advisory and help with filing your taxes. The plan starts at $399/month if paid yearly or $499/month if paying month to month. 

Both plans include direct, unlimited support from Bench’s small business research team. You can upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time, and even talk to a customer service rep to see which plan is right for you. 

Pros of Bench

Bench does quite a few things extremely well. That includes: 

  • Bookkeeping is automatically completed for you by a team of Bench employees.
  • Tax support – Bench can refer you to a number of CPA firms that will help you with your taxes (at no additional charge).
  • They offer historical bookkeeping to get you caught up for a small additional fee. A year’s worth of bookkeeping can take them less than a month to go through and organize.
  • Affordable (when compared to a bookkeeper) – pricing starts at just $249 a month.

Cons of Bench

Although Bench has quite a few pros, it is worth it to mention a few cons as well. 

  • Doesn’t sync with other services – Since Bench has a proprietary service, they won’t sync with other platforms like Quickbooks, Freshbooks, or other bookkeeping software. 
  • No invoicing capabilities – Bench is solely a bookkeeping service. So anything not related to bookkeeping or business expense tracking would need a different piece of software (like FreshBooks).
  • The turnover rate can be high – Some users of Bench Accounting mentioned that they’ve had to work with multiple bookkeepers over the years. If you’re uncomfortable sharing financials with multiple people, this could potentially be a con for you. 

Who Is Bench Best For? 

Bench is best for the small business owner that makes enough income to sustain the $249/month (at least) price tag. If your business is earning slightly less than six figures, or more than that, this is a great way to branch into bookkeeping without having to hire a bookkeeper yourself. 

Bench Accounting is also great for small businesses that tend to have multiple employees, contractors, or expenses. It will save you time in the long run so you can focus on the tasks that matter. 

Alternatives to Bench Accounting

If you’re looking for a more hands-on approach to your bookkeeping, or if you’re just getting started in your business, these alternatives to Bench may work well for you. 

FreshBooks

FreshBooks is a well-known bookkeeping system. 

Here are a few features of FreshBooks: 

  • User-friendly 
  • Invoicing capabilities 
  • Has multiple tiers that can grow with you based on your client or workload 
  • Customizable invoices 
  • Easy to use client portal 
  • Ability to send estimates and proposals 
  • Can’t track mileage 
  • Doesn’t offer the option to pay quarterly taxes online

Read more about FreshBooks here.

Xero

Xero is a more robust bookkeeping software that helps you invoice clients, track the backend financials of your business, and is great for business owners who need more from bookkeeping software. 

  • Can be used across multiple devices
  • The ability to add payroll via Gusto 
  • Inventory management with built-in software
  • Integrates with project management software  
  • Can get expensive
  • Poor customer support 
  • A learning curve for people not used to bookkeeping systems 

Read more about Xero here.

Wave Accounting 

Wave Accounting is a free platform that helps you invoice clients, track expenses, and even get bookkeeping help if you need it.

Here are a few of Wave Accounting’s features:

  • User-friendly 
  • Invoicing capabilities 
  • Expenses tracking 
  • Offers payroll 
  • Offers bookkeeping support 
  • Free to use
  • Client credit card storage

Read more about Wave Accounting here.

QuickBooks Self Employed

QuickBooks is another great alternative to Wave. 

Here are a few of the features:

  • Offers you the option to pay taxes right through their site 
  • Generate profit/loss statements with just a few clicks
  • Has a bill tracking feature for any bills that you owe
  • Doesn’t have a free plan, but does have some affordable options
  • You can easily track expenses 
  • Not as user-friendly and easy to use as Wave

Read more about QuickBooks Self Employed here.

Again, these are some alternatives to Bench, but of course, you should choose the software that best fits your needs and business needs as well. 

Bench Accounting Review: Do I Recommend It? 

So, now that my Bench Accounting review is complete, do I recommend it? I would say yes! If you’re a small business owner and can afford to take the leap, it could reduce your stress and also keep your books in order. That also makes tax time a lot easier on you as well. 

While I do recommend this to established business owners that make a significant income, I wouldn’t recommend this to a business owner just starting out. There are some other great bookkeeping platforms out there for newer business owners.  Make sure you understand your own financials and books before hiring it out.

Well, there you have it, my Bench Accounting review! Would you ever sign up for done-for-you bookkeeping service? 

2 Comments

  • Never heard of Bench before I read this. Will definitely look into it. These are great options to help with taxes!

    Reply

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