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If you’re looking for an alternative to hiring an in-house bookkeeper, this Bench.co review might be helpful.
Keeping your financials in order can be a time-consuming and demanding process. However, bookkeeping is a necessary task for your business’s success. Bench provides a digital bookkeeping solution for SMBs where you’re paired with a team of bookkeepers. They specialize in monthly, historical, and specialized bookkeeping and tax advisory and filing.
Bench offers a proactive bookkeeping service that relieves you of the burden of managing your company’s finances.
In this review of Bench.co, I’ll give you an overview of their services. I’ll also go over their pricing plans and the steps you’ll take to work with them.
Let’s get started with the Bench.co review.
This section of my Bench.co review will give you an idea of why Bench is the top choice for various business owners.
If there’s one task in your company that you dread doing, it’s probably bookkeeping. Perhaps accounting isn’t your strong suit, and you’d prefer to concentrate on your clients.
While you can hire a local bookkeeper or use accounting software to manage and track your finances, Bench’s services are more convenient.
Bench is an all-in-one solution for banking, bookkeeping, tax advice, and filing.
You won’t have to handle your own bookkeeping, unlike with accounting software. A team of bookkeeping specialists will manage your books.
They will update your financials every month within 15 business days. This will give you some wiggle room if adjustments need to be made before tax time.
These regular updates will also ensure your financials are accurate and consistent with what is happening in your firm on a day-to-day basis.
On top of this, their premium plan includes year-round tax planning and filing.
Your tax team will generate annual financial statements for you to use when filing your taxes. Alternatively, they can prepare your tax returns for you.
In addition, they offer retroactive bookkeeping services for businesses that are years behind with managing their finances.
If you’re not sure about their services, you can try them out for a month without making a financial commitment. They will do your books throughout the trial period, and you will have full access to their platform.
Let’s dive into the pros and cons of using Bench in the next part of this Bench.co review.
There are several benefits and drawbacks to using Bench’s services. These will be covered in this section of my Bench.co review.
Not having to do your bookkeeping yourself is the most significant advantage of Bench.
Your team of bookkeeping experts will handle everything from logging business transactions to preparing year-end financial statements for tax.
You can contact your bookkeeper at any time, and you’ll receive regular updates from your virtual team on Bench’s online platform.
The Bench platform is straightforward to use. You can track your bookkeepers’ progress and view financial reports.
Another benefit of Bench is that they use peer-review and quality control measures to ensure your financials are accurate.
Their services are affordable and set at reasonable, transparent prices. Compared to other accounting software and bookkeeping services, their packages are a bargain.
Bench doesn’t offer invoicing, bill payment, payroll, or inventory management as a standalone service. In these cases, they allow third-party integrations.
This can be an obstacle, especially if your company is growing rapidly.
You won’t be able to link your Bench account with other bookkeeping software, such as QuickBooks. This is because they use their own proprietary software, which can also make moving from Bench difficult in the future.
Another drawback is that you might not keep your bookkeeper for the entire time you’re using their services.
I’ll walk you through their offerings in this section of my Bench.co review.
Bench provides bookkeeping and advisory services.
They specialize in monthly bookkeeping and tax advisory, and filing. Historical or specialized bookkeeping is available as well and can be added to your service plan.
Bench delegates your bookkeeping tasks to a team of in-house experts.
Every month, your team completes your bookkeeping within 15 business days.
They’ll categorize transactions and reconcile your accounts. They’ll also compile financial statements.
You can view your financial reports on their platform. This includes your income statement and balance sheet. Both can help you determine if your business is profitable and your level of debt.
With Bench’s year-round tax assistance, you can simplify your tax management.
You’ll get access to a team of professionals who will help you get organized and file your taxes on time.
They will assist you in developing a tax strategy tailored to your company’s needs.
If you’ve fallen behind on managing your books, Bench can help you get back on track.
They provide catch-up bookkeeping for businesses that are less than two years behind on bookkeeping. And if there’s a backlog of over two years, you can sign up for BenchRetro.
With their catch-up bookkeeping service, they will prepare financial packages for every year of outstanding tax filings. This way, you’ll be organized and ready to file your outstanding taxes.
Perhaps your business needs financial aid. In this case, they can send you the supporting documents you need to apply for an SDA disaster loan or Paycheck Protection.
If you have unpaid taxes, are liquidating your business, or require financial help, BenchRetro is the ideal solution for you.
They’ll assist you with your tax filings by supplying year-end financial packages for each pending year as well.
In both cases, they claim to catch your business up on a year’s worth of overdue bookkeeping in two to four weeks.
They offer this service for a fee if you need to track accounts receivable and payable or require segment reporting.
Bench will assign you a team of bookkeepers. You’ll have to connect your bank, credit, and merchant processor accounts so they can receive read-only versions of your bank statements and sales data.
They will then import your business’s financial data onto Bench’s platform and get to work.
If you don’t have a business account, Bench can set you up with a free bank account and credit card through LendingClub.
Your bookkeepers will categorize your business transactions, reconcile your accounts, and compile financial statements every month.
Your bookkeeper will get in touch if they require any additional information or documentation. They’ll also provide regular updates.
Once they’re done prepping your books, you’ll receive a message to review your financials online.
When it’s time to pay your taxes, they’ll send you a package with everything you need to file.
Alternatively, they can file your taxes for you and withdraw funds from your account to pay applicable taxes.
With BenchRetro, you’ll work with an expert who will help you figure out what’s overdue. They’ll also assist you with document collection and create a custom strategy to organize your books in your specified timeframe.
In this section of my Bench.co review, I’ll go over the price of their bookkeeping services.
Bench’s fees are an essential aspect to consider for any business owner. Given your company’s existing financial state, you’ll have to decide if it’s a good investment.
They offer two packages:
Their historical bookkeeping service will cost you $299 per month.
Specialized bookkeeping starts at an additional $100 per month.
Now that you know more about their services and the cost, the next part of my Bench.co review covers client feedback and experiences.
If you choose Bench, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth because you’ll be working with them for some time.
For this reason, I’ve factored their service quality into my Bench.co review.
Bench looks to be sticking to its promise of providing unmatched services based on the ratings and feedback submitted by consumers on Facebook and Trustpilot.
There are over 600 Bench.co reviews on Trustpilot at the time of writing this. The company has a rating of 4.7 out of five.
Several reviewers claim Bench simplified the bookkeeping and tax process for them.
They remarked on the professionalism, knowledgeability, and responsiveness of Bench’s bookkeepers. Their team of experts communicated well and did their books promptly, which was another highlight of their service.
Facebook is another platform where customers share their experiences with Bench. They presently have a rating of 4.6 out of five, based on 160 Bench.co reviews.
Reviewers on Facebook provided similar feedback to those on Trustpilot. They added that their bookkeepers were helpful, personable, and thorough.
Also, several customers stated Bench was an invaluable investment for small business owners.
Although there are many favourable Bench.co reviews, there have also been cases where customers have experienced delays and categorization errors.
The following section of this Bench.co review will address any security concerns you may have.
Bench has been offering bookkeeping services to small businesses since 2012 from their headquarters in Vancouver.
They state on their website that all Bench employees undergo a thorough screening process.
This involves extensive background checks and multiple interviews. They also look into each potential employee’s criminal record.
As a requirement, all employees must sign confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements.
Bench claims they don’t outsource their bookkeeping. In-house qualified bookkeepers provide their services.
Bench is a SOC 2 compliant business. Data stored on their platform is protected by 256-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption.
As stated previously in this Bench.co review, you can reach out to your bookkeeper at any time through the messaging feature on Bench’s platform.
Alternatively, you can schedule a phone call at no cost to speak to someone directly.
You won’t get an immediate response from your bookkeeper. It can take anywhere from one to two business days for them to get back to you.
Bench provides articles, tools, and guides to business owners. You can read posts on various topics, such as starting a business and bookkeeping, at their education center.
If you have questions before signing up, you can contact Bench by phone or email.
Their contact details are available on their website at this link.
Bench will set you up with a dashboard with a modern interface so you can track and evaluate your finances.
Their platform is simple to use, and getting around it is easy.
You won’t need any instructions or tutorials to understand the information because it’s all presented in a straightforward and user-friendly manner.
With Bench.co you can check on the progress of your bookkeeping using the status function. And you can also submit any paperwork your bookkeeper needs using the document upload feature.
Additionally, the platform comes with a chat function you can use to communicate with your bookkeeper.
You can view accounting data and your financials for tax season on your dashboard. However, their platform lacks more in-depth insights like expense trends and unearned revenue monitoring.
They also provide a mobile app to keep track of your finances while you’re on the move.
In the following part of my Bench.co review, I’ll go over how you can begin working with Bench.
Bench offers a one-month free trial to get you started.
First, you’ll have a preliminary interview. They’ll set up a call to learn more about your company and bookkeeping needs. Ensure you disclose all relevant information about your business.
Afterwards, you’ll be introduced to a Bench representative who will assist you in connecting your accounts for the trial period.
They’ll schedule a call with you when the month is up to go over your trial financials. You can then decide whether you wish to work with them.
They’ll require you to provide information about yourself and your business, such as your full name, company name, email, and phone number.
You’ll also need to provide information about your clients and employees. And your credit or debit card number for payment processing.
If you run a large business or require features like payroll, Bench may not be the best option for you. In this instance, you may want to look for another digital bookkeeping service provider.
In this section of my Bench.co review, I’ll discuss some alternatives.
OpenDigits is an online bookkeeping solution ideal for large enterprises.
They use scalable cloud accounting software, and they support cash basis and accrual accounting.
You’ll work with an accountant who will collaborate with your CFO and tax preparer. They’ll deliver your reconciled books and financial reports on the 25th of every month.
They can prepare monthly cash flow statements, general ledgers, balance sheets, and income statements.
An immense advantage of OpenDigits is that they have their own payroll processor.
They have five packages that depend on your monthly expenses. These range from $255 to $700 per month when billed annually. And $295 to $845 per month, when billed monthly.
If you use QuickBooks online and don’t want to go through the hassle of moving to Bench’s software, the QuickBooks Live add-on is a good option.
They offer scalability to business owners with their cloud accounting software as well.
QuickBooks Live gives you real-time bookkeeping assistance from a professional.
You’ll be able to chat with your bookkeeper once or twice a month via video call. However, you can speak with them at any time via live chat.
Compared to Bench, you won’t have unlimited access to your team. You can only schedule one appointment at a time, and it’ll have to work with your bookkeeper’s schedule.
QuickBooks Live also doesn’t provide invoicing and inventory management. And unlike Bench, they don’t offer tax advice and filing.
Their complete service bookkeeping package starts at $200 per month.
The final price you’ll pay depends on your business. You can have a free consultation with them to determine if they’ll be the right fit for you before making any commitments.
Bench provides an invaluable service any business owner can benefit from. Therefore, I recommend them to all small business owners.
They might be a suitable choice for you if you don’t foresee your financials becoming more complicated as your business grows. Also, if you have little time for bookkeeping or you can’t afford to hire an in-house bookkeeper.
Bench is also a good option if your company has been in arrears concerning financials for over two years.
Our Bench.co review covers all you need to know about this useful online bookkeeping service including, pros, cons, costs, benefits, & more.