Bench Bookkeeping Review – Taking A Look At Bench Bookkeeping Services

bench bookkeeping

As a business owner, one of the most stressful things that you need to deal with is keeping up with your finances. This Bench bookkeeping review should help – even when it comes to tracking all of your expenses, preparing financial statements, and monitoring the current equity of your business. With the right employee or service handling your bookkeeping, though, the stress of this process can be quickly replaced with the peace of mind that comes with organized financial statements and updates from a professional.

What Should You Expect from A Bookkeeping Service?

bench bookkeepingIf you are hiring a bookkeeper for the first time, it’s important that you understand some of the basic services they should provide. In order to choose the right employee of service to handle your bookkeeping, you should understand all the many services and features which you should expect from any sort of bookkeeping service.

Basic Financial Statements

At the very minimum, a bookkeeping service should handle basic financial statements. This should include documents like balance sheets, cash flow statements, income statements, and equity statements. Most importantly, these statements should be provided on a consistent routine basis. If the bookkeeping service or employee you consider doesn’t handle basic financial documents like these, then you might be better off with someone else.

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Affordable Service Rates

There is a point where paying for a bookkeeping service is simply not sustainable. After all, the whole point of having a bookkeeper is that don’t receive a salary that ends up taking away any sort of profit that you make each month. For best results, find a bookkeeper that only takes a small portion of your income, so that a service like this doesn’t actually contribute to any sort of financial emergency down the line.

Experience and Portfolio

Before hiring any sort of bookkeeping service, it’s important that you know exactly what kind of work you will expect. Accordingly, one of the most important things to check is the level of experience that the employee or service has, and specific portfolio examples. Without this information, it will be more likely to come across surprises, inconveniences, and problems along the way.

Quick and Prompt Communication

If somebody is working with your finances, they also need to be readily available. This way, you can always have somebody available to give you the latest updates. When you run into financial problems or emergencies, having instant access to your bookkeeper will be necessary. Make sure that any bookkeeper you work with is quick and prompt with their communication.

Any Relative Business Needs

Outside of the basic financial statements that you should expect from any sort of bookkeeping service, there are also various things that may be completely relative to your business. In order to avoid hiring more employees than what is necessary, or using the right service, you should make sure that any sort of relative needs that only apply to your business will be handled by the right candidate.

Bench Bookkeeping Review: Basic Background Information

bench bookkeepingOne of the popular means for a business to handle their bookkeeping is to hire a company that has a team of bookkeeping professionals. Bench bookkeeping services are one of the widely acclaimed options to consider. On this page, we will break down all the benefits and potential setbacks so that you can decide if this is the right bookkeeping service for your business.

What is Bench Bookkeeping?

bench bookkeepingBench is a Canadian-based company which handles the accounting and bookkeeping for clients based out of the United States. Bench, or Bench Accounting Inc., is a wonderful choice since there are various packages for businesses of all levels of monthly revenue, quick customer service, and a team of professionals to handle your business’ bookkeeping needs. Bench is one of the many popular bookkeeping services that is available for businesses okay with working with their bookkeeper digitally.

Founded in 2012, Bench was designed to provide various accounting and bookkeeping services to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Due to the success and wide appeal of their service, they grew very fast. Today, Bench employs over 300 different employees to help businesses all sizes with their basic bookkeeping needs. Since this is a digital service, one of the biggest benefits is that you will never have to hire a single employee.

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Why Do People Use Bench Bookkeeping?

More than likely, those who choose to receive Bench bookkeeping services are impressed by a certain set of features and services. Since there are many similar bookkeeping services out there to consider, it’s important to understand some of the most basic reasons that business owners typically choose to work with this sort of service, specifically, which features stand out the most. Here are some of the most popular service features for those who choose Bench bookkeeping.

  • A team of professionals rather than just one
  • Prices that are reasonable for all business sizes
  • Work completed and monitored with unique software
  • Prompt and efficient customer service
  • Cash basis accounting services

One of the most popular reasons to sign up for Bench bookkeeping services is that you will have access to a team of professionals and customer service agents, rather than just one person. Since even a bookkeeper will have a life outside of their profession, many business owners really love the ability to always be able to talk to somebody. Although there are many people who enjoy receiving cash basis accounting services, it’s important to know what this is, and specifically, whether or not you prefer this over accrual accounting methods. This is also something which we will describe in further detail later on.

Can Small Businesses Afford Bench Bookkeeping?

As we all know, there is a major difference between a small business ran from home and a large corporation which employs thousands of people at their large business headquarters. Bench Bookkeeping has packages and prices that are dependent on your business’ monthly expenses, providing a reasonable option for all business sizes. Whether you have a small business or large corporation, you can receive a reasonable rate with one of the Bench bookkeeping packages.

What Makes Bench Bookkeeping Stand Out?

bench bookkeepingBench bookkeeping services are clearly just one of the many different digital bookkeeping services that you can consider. Since there are many different similar services that compare to what we find with Bench Bookkeeping, it’s important to break down some of the features that really make this company stand out from their competitors. Here are some of the features that are impressive for Bench bookkeeping subscribers.

A Team of Highly-Qualified Professionals

Having a team of individuals handling your finances is clearly a lot more ideal than just having one individual handle all financial documents and bookkeeping tasks. Those who use the Bench bookkeeping service have the immediate benefit of receiving access to your own team of bookkeepers, rather than having just one. As the statement goes, many hands make light work. One of the most immediate benefits of having a team of bookkeepers is that they will be able to efficiently finish bookkeeping tasks. Although you will have one person you talk with the most, they will be able to take advantage of extra help when the need arises.

Packages for All Budget Ranges

As we mentioned before, there is a drastic difference between a large corporation and a small business ran from home. Although a large corporation could receive a great deal with Bench bookkeeping, it’s important to note that small businesses can receive access to the same services for a lower rate. The Bench bookkeeping packages are priced according to the total expenses that your business processes on a monthly basis. Since higher amounts of expenses also mean more work on the bookkeeping end, this is a pricing system that seems pretty fair.

Unique Bookkeeping Software

When you decide to hire a bookkeeper, whether it is an independent contractor or remote worker, one of the initial processes that can be a little difficult to clear up is how their work will be handed in, how they receive financial records, deadlines, and so on. With the Bench Bookkeeping software, variables like this are immediately taken care of. The software, which is unique to Bench, is a really professional and simple platform to work with. This will also eliminate the need for you to prepare your own platform, expectations for work, and so on.

Comprehensive Bench Bookkeeping Review: All the Relevant Features

bench bookkeepingFrom a glance, Bench Bookkeeping really stands out as a great option. After all, they provide some pretty impressive services, including a team of professionals that makes it simple to get in contact when it matters the most. With some of these basic and important features provided in all of the Bench bookkeeping packages out of the way, let’s go ahead and completely break down all of the relevant features of this service. As you explore the following features in this Bench bookkeeping review, keep in mind the needs of your business, and specifically, whether or not the services provided by Bench will be a great fit for matching those needs.

Receipt Management

Your receipts and invoices for business expenses are where you can really start to notice spending trends. This is also something that will be handled when you sign up for Bench bookkeeping services. To do this, you simply need to upload each of your receipts and send them over to Bench on their unique platform. This can definitely be a bit of a hassle for a business owner who doesn’t like to organize and hold onto items like this, though.

Interactive Financial Statements

There is no sense in creating financial statements if they don’t organize and present the information in a clear and concise manner. Any sort of service like this, whether it be a Bench bookkeeping package or the help of a freelance bookkeeper, simply needs to assist with a set of basic responsibilities. With a nice organized design for each financial statement that are complete with color-coding and templates, which are very easy to skim through and process, the quality of the financial statements that you receive from Bench really stand out as one of the best features of their service.

  • Income Statements
  • Balance Sheets
  • Cash Flow Statements
  • Statements of Changes in Equity

Having consistent financial statements like this helps you to both keep your finances organized and prepare for tax season. With consistent and timely delivery of basic financial statements like this presented in an attractive, organized, and interactive manner, the Bench bookkeeping packages will help you to at least accomplish the bare minimum that is expected from any sort of bookkeeping service. However, as we will discuss later on, you should still not expect Bench to handle all actions and documents that will be necessary for actually paying and finishing your taxes each year.

Cash Basis Accounting

One of the most important and initial features of the Bench bookkeeping service is that it is done using the cash basis accounting method. To describe this simply, cash basis accounting only recognizes revenues and expenses at the moment that cash is either sent out or received. This is different from accrual accounting in that it doesn’t account for income or expenses until the money is actually sent out. Accrual accounting is preferred by many people since it records and accounts for transactions that are upcoming, and not simply after each transaction occurs.

Yearly Tax Preparation

Since any of the Bench bookkeeping packages will handle all receipts and cash basis expenses, one of the immediate benefits that you can receive from this service is the ability to file taxes easily. Although Bench bookkeeping packages don’t actually handle picky details like 1099 and W-2 forms, they will help with various other steps along the way. However, unless you already have somebody that you can trust to actually handle the process of paying taxes and reporting over all the necessary information to the government each year, this service may not prove to be adequate.

Read-Only Access to Your Finances

When you are working with any sort of employee or service which requires access to your financial data, security will immediately become one of the greatest concerns that you might have. Although there are cases where a bookkeeping service requires direct access to your accounts, any of the Bench bookkeeping packages only require you to grant read-only access to your financial accounts. This means that Bench will not be able to move your money between account, or process payments for employees, taxes, and so on.

Specially-Designed Unique Software

When it comes to actually communicating with the Bench team, you won’t need to rely on traditional tools like e-mail, phone calls, and so on. Since each Bench bookkeeping package includes access to a unique software and mobile application, you are always one touch away from your bookkeeping service. The software and application are very simple to use and won’t require any sort of learning curve. Even if you are the type of person who tends to struggle with technology. Best of all, it makes it so everything related to your bookkeeping and financial records done with Bench can be pulled up easily on one platform.

Several People Monitoring Your Finances

Although you will probably have one person who handles the majority of necessary monitoring and financial statement preparation, one of the most popular perks of the Bench bookkeeping service is that there is much more than one person available to assist you when it matters most. Having a larger set of people comes with the immediate benefit of receiving more eyes to watch over your expenses and any trends or relevant information that may come up.

Various Different Packages

Whether you are a small business owner or represent a large corporation with many different employees, there is a Bench bookkeeping service which is proportionately priced to match your business’ needs and budget constraints. With 5 different packages that are priced according to the total amount you spend each month on business expenses, Bench bookkeeping offers packages that are designed to be affordable for all business sizes.

Quick Access to Customer Service

Being able to get in contact with your bookkeeper in an efficient manner is crucial. After all, they are the ones that know the most current information regarding your business expenses, and any trends that you need to be aware of. One of the benefits of using the Bench bookkeeping service is that they have a very efficient customer service system. Specifically, you can reach out on their toll-free number or chat with them online or on the application very quickly.

Can Be More Affordable than a Full-Time Employee

Depending on your expectations, needs, and specific circumstances, using the Bench bookkeeping service may end up being a lot more affordable than having a full-time employee to handle bookkeeping for you. Considering that the monthly rate for Bench bookkeeping service is less than what a typical full-time worker makes in less than a week, a service like this may end up being a lot affordable for your business in the long run.

However, it’s important to understand that there are various other services like Bench, which offer competitive sets of prices and features. There are still clearly many different special benefits that would only come if you decided to hire a full-time employee for bookkeeping, though. Things like granting direct access to your accounts and letting your bookkeeper send out and receive payments for contracted work and/or payroll are a couple areas where having a full-time employee really comes in handy.

Bench Bookkeeping Review: Potential Setbacks & Deal Breakers

bench bookkeepingNow that we have covered many of the beneficial and popular features of Bench Bookkeeping, it’s important that we also discuss the many different variables that may be considered too negative, or even a deal-breaker altogether. Although Bench Bookkeeping tends to be a great deal and wonderful service to various businesses, here are some of the things that are worth keeping in mind before you make any sort of final decision.

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Requires Work from Your End Each Month

Although you might expect a bookkeeping service to handle just about any sort of activity related to the bookkeeping, a digital service like Bench will still have a fair share of constraints. Since Bench only receives read-only access to your financial accounts and statements, you will need to consistently supply your financial statements over to them. After all, they aren’t ever granted the ability to actually have access to your accounts and money. The items you need to send over to Bench each month typically includes records such as:

  • Credit card statements
  • Business account statements
  • PayPal statements

Although much of the steps involved in the process of receipt and cash monitoring are automatically handled by the people at Bench, you will still need to personally upload and send over statements like the ones listed above each month. This can be a pretty big burden to various business owners, simply due to the extra time that you need to invest. If you wish to avoid doing extra work like this each month, you are best off finding a trustworthy employee whom you can confidently grant direct access to accounts, which provide your current statements and financial records.  

You May Not Like Cash Basis Accounting

As we previously discussed, Bench bookkeeping is done using the cash basis method of accounting. This means that expenses and income aren’t actually recorded until the cash has been physically transferred. Business owners who would rather account for expenses as they come up, and not when they are processed, are better off with a bookkeeping service that uses the accrual method of accounting.

No Automatic Payroll

Many people who want to hire a bookkeeping service also expect to have a system where the bookkeeper handles the payroll for each of your employees. Although this is a service that might be provided by various freelance bookkeepers or bookkeeping services, Bench does not handle these sorts of actions for you. If you need a bookkeeping service that handles your payroll, this will not be the best option for you to consider.

Won’t Handle Invoices

There are many instances where a bookkeeping service will send out invoices, receive invoices, and handle the payments. However, if you choose to work with Bench, you shouldn’t expect them to handle anything with invoices other than recording the action. If you want your bookkeeper to create and send out invoices, receive money from contractors, receive invoices from contractors, and so on, this will not be the best bookkeeping service for your business’ needs.

Can’t Help with Filing Many Tax or Government Documents

Although receipt management and turning in consistent financial statements will help you to prepare for tax season, all of the detailed steps in actually getting your taxes done will not be something which you can depend on Bench for. Specifically, items like your 1099 and W-2 forms are something that you will need to handle on your own. You might also need to hire somebody else that will specifically handle all tax-related actions and documents if you choose Bench for your other bookkeeping needs.

Bench Bookkeeping Review: Packages & Services

bench bookkeepingAs we have discussed, there are many different bookkeeping packages offered by Bench. Although each package comes with many of the same benefits, it’s important to understand the differences between them. This way, you will have a general idea of what each package offers, how much you would need to pay, and eventually, whether or not you decide to subscribe on a monthly or annual basis for Bench bookkeeping services.

Starter Package

The starter package is the most affordable Bench bookkeeping package and comes with all the perks of their service for the lowest possible price. As long as your monthly business expenses are below $1,000, you will be able to subscribe for this package for the long term.

  • Monthly expenses below $1k
  • $95 per month if billed annually
  • $125 per month if billed monthly
  • One-month free trial
  • Access to Bench Bookkeeping software
  • Up to 15 financial accounts

One thing that you need to notice right away about the many different Bench bookkeeping packages is that they are a lot more affordable for those that can afford to pay for their service on an annual basis. Although monthly packages are available, they will add up to be a wasteful expense quickly.

Micro Package

Thankfully, businesses with expenses greater than $1k can still expect to have all the perks that come with Bench bookkeeping for a price that is only slightly more expensive. Just like the various other packages, you should expect to have many of the same service features and perks that are offered to everybody else.

  • Monthly expenses between $1k to $7.5k
  • $125 per month if billed annually
  • $145 per month if billed monthly
  • One-month free trial
  • Access to Bench Bookkeeping software
  • Up to 15 financial accounts

Before you decide to sign up for a monthly or annual Bench bookkeeping package, you have the ability to take advantage of a one-month free trial. Typically, this will be an adequate amount of time for you to try out the Bench bookkeeping services before investing larger sums of money for an annual plan.

Boutique Package

For businesses which spend anywhere between $7.5k to $20k each month will need to pay a slightly higher fee in order to receive the benefits that come with the Bench Bookkeeping service. With the Boutique package, you can choose to lock in a very reasonable annual rate or stick with a monthly one until you decide what you want to do for the long-term.

  • Monthly expenses between $7.5k to $20k
  • $165 per month if billed annually
  • $195 per month if billed monthly
  • One-month free trial
  • Access to Bench Bookkeeping software
  • Up to 15 financial accounts

After a one-month free trial, those who have the Boutique package also receive the same level of access to the Bench software and the ability to receive bookkeeping services for up to 15 accounts. This can include popular platforms like PayPal, major credit card companies, personal bank accounts, and so on.

Venture Package

If the Venture Bench bookkeeping package has the expense limitations that fit the needs of your business, you are probably well on your way towards success and continuous growth. However, a growing business also has greater needs when it comes to bookkeeping and organizing your bookkeeping.

  • Monthly expenses between $20k to $60k
  • $215 per month if billed annually
  • $255 per month if billed monthly
  • One-month free trial
  • Access to Bench Bookkeeping software
  • Up to 15 financial accounts

If you subscribe to the Venture package, it is possible that your levels of profit, and eventually, your expenses start to quickly go up. If you envision that your expenses will grow over the $60k threshold during the course of a year, you should contact the Bench bookkeeping team to decide if this is the best package for your business’ needs.

Corporate Package

If your expenses are higher than $60k each month, but less than $1 million, the Corporate package will be the only Bench bookkeeping package that you will be able to subscribe to. One of the most important things to note is that signing up for the Corporate package means that you only have to dedicate a small fraction of your monthly income.

  • Monthly expenses up to $1 million
  • $295 per month if billed annually
  • $345 per month if billed monthly
  • One-month free trial
  • Access to Bench Bookkeeping software
  • Up to 15 financial accounts

When we look at the price and expense limitations that are offered in the various other Bench bookkeeping packages, the price of the Corporate package stands out as the most reasonable. After all, a few hundred dollars each month is a lot less important when your business already spends over $60k each month.

Important Trends Regarding Bench Bookkeeping Packages

bench bookkeepingKeeping the above packages in mind, let’s go ahead and break down the biggest trends that you need to understand is how the packages are created and priced. Although there are many different packages which have different price tags, you shouldn’t simply sign up for the first one you see. In all reality, you can many of the same service features in each package.

The Same Service is Offered to Everybody

When you come across a company that offers various different packages for a particular type of service, one of the most initial things you may suspect is that there is a lower quality of service in the most affordable packages. However, it’s important to understand that Bench doesn’t necessarily work this way. With a few instances where there can be an exception, all of the Bench bookkeeping packages provide the same services.

Prices are Determined by the Level of Required Work

Although the difference in price between the various Bench bookkeeping packages is clearly determined by adding up your total monthly expenses, this isn’t necessarily the sole reason that larger expense budgets need to pay a little extra to receive bookkeeping from Bench. Since higher monthly expenses require extra time to record each transaction, the amount of work that your bookkeepers need to finish your statements each month is clearly a major reason for the price difference we witness among the different Bench bookkeeping packages.

The Larger Your Business Is, the More Affordable Bench Bookkeeping Can Be

Although there is clearly a higher price that larger businesses end up paying to work with Bench, the proportion of your monthly expenses that you need to reserve for paying the bookkeepers are a lot more reasonable for larger companies. Specifically, the total proportion of your monthly expenses in relation to how much you need to pay Bench is a lot more reasonable. Smaller businesses, on the other hand, pay upwards of 10% of their total average expenses if they fall into the Starter package.

Bench Bookkeeping Review: Summary & Final Thoughts

As we have demonstrated in this Bench Bookkeeping review, Bench Bookkeeping is a wonderful service to consider for both large and small businesses that need some assistance with receipt management and preparing routine financial statements. Although some people may not like that cash basis system of accounting that they use, or that they don’t really go above and beyond with the total number of service features, there are many reasons why this company stands out as attractive.

Specifically, the unique software and mobile application that this company uses is a very efficient and simple tool for staying in contact with your bookkeeper. The price that you pay for each package would also prove to be much more affordable than having a full-time employee. Accordingly, this is a wonderful service for handling your basic bookkeeping needs. If you are aware of what Bench offers, and if it matches the needs of your business, deciding whether or not this is the right service for your business will be simple. Keep the above review and variables in mind as you prepare to make your final decision.

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