It takes a lot to run a business, and the financials is 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.co comes in.
Here is my Bench.co accounting review, and why it’s a great tool for every small business owner to have.
- What Is Bench.co?
- Bench.co Features
- Bench.co Plans & Pricing
- Pros of Bench.co
- Cons of Bench.co
- Who Is Bench.co Best For?
- Alternatives to Bench.co
- Bench.co Review: Do I Recommend It?
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.co?
In this first part of this Bench.co review, let’s talk about what Bench.co 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 300+ employees and bookkeepers, Bench.co 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.co offers an affordable and easy solution to keep you from feeling overwhelmed about managing your business finances.
My Bench.co review wouldn’t be complete without talking about all of the features the company has! Here are just a few.
With Bench.co, you’ll be able to connect over 15 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.
Even though Bench.co doesn’t file your taxes for you, they will set you up with a certified CPA that can help. This service is also free of charge.
Great Customer Service
When you decide to sign up with Bench.co, they will be assigned to a team of three people that will manage their accounting information. Each person is trained in house by Bench.co, 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.co Plans & Pricing
Bench.co has loads of different plans and price points for anyone looking to bring on a company with bookkeeping capabilities.
No matter which option you choose, you can get a one month trial for free with my link to see what Bench.co 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.co offers. Keep in mind that although these are different price points, they all offer the same benefits. The only reason why there are different plans and pricing is that Bench.co breaks down their costs for bookkeeping based on your company’s monthly expenses.
The starter plan is for business owners with monthly business expenses below $1,000 a month. The plan starts at $129/month if paid yearly or $149/month if paying month to month.
The micro plan is for business owners with monthly business expenses totaling between $1,000 to $7,500 a month. The plan starts at $149/month if paid yearly or $169/month if paying month to month.
The boutique plan is for business owners with monthly business expenses totaling between $7,500 to $20,000 a month. The plan starts at $179/month if paid yearly or $199/month if paying month to month.
The venture plan is for business owners with monthly business expenses totaling between $20,000 to $50,000 a month. The plan starts at $219/month if paid yearly or $249/month if paying month to month.
The corporate plan is for business owners with monthly business expenses totaling between $20,000 to $1 million a month. The plan starts at $299/month if paid yearly or $349/month if paying month to month.
Again, all of these options include all features and perks from Bench.co. 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.co
Bench.co does quite a few things extremely well. That includes:
- Bookkeeping is automatically completed for you by a team of Bench employees.
- Tax support – Bench.co can refer you to a number of CPA firms that will help you with your taxes (at no additional charge).
- They offer catch up bookkeeping 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 $129 a month.
Cons of Bench.co
Although Bench.co has quite a few pros, it is worth it to mention a few cons as well.
- Doesn’t sync with other services – Since Bench.co has a proprietary service, they won’t sync with other platforms like Quickbooks, Freshbooks, or other bookkeeping software.
- No invoicing capabilities – Bench.co 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.co 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.co Best For?
Bench.co is best for the small business owner that makes enough income to sustain the $129/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.co 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.co
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.co may work well for you.
FreshBooks is a well-known bookkeeping system.
Here are a few features of FreshBooks:
- 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
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
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:
- Invoicing capabilities
- Expenses tracking
- Offers payroll
- Offers bookkeeping support
- Free to use
- Client credit card storage
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
Again, these are some alternatives to Bench.co, but of course, you should choose the software that best fits your needs and business needs as well.
Bench.co Review: Do I Recommend It?
So, now that my Bench.co 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. While there are some great bookkeeping platforms out there for newer business owners, I wouldn’t recommend Bench.co as one. I suggest understanding your own financials and books first, and then hiring it out as you earn more and have more expenses.
Well, there you have it, my Bench.co review! Would you ever sign up for a done-for-you bookkeeping service?