Bench Accounting is a web-based service that handles your bookkeeping on a monthly basis. Upon enrollment, you will be matched with your own dedicated bookkeeper backed by a team of in-house accountants. You will also have access to an app that allows you to view the status of your financial data and communicate with your bookkeeper. Because Bench focuses almost exclusively on bank transactions and doesn’t offer services like invoicing, bill pay, or payroll, it is a very affordable option.
What We Recommend Bench Accounting For
Bench Accounting is best for freelancers and small businesses that have basic bookkeeping needs, such as providing cash-basis financial statements for tax return preparation. Because of its limitations, it is not the best option for companies that are looking for help managing their business and who need services like invoicing, inventory management, and bill pay.
It is a good choice for businesses that want unlimited users for no additional cost. For those that have fallen behind on their bookkeeping, Bench has a service called BenchRetro, which can help you get caught up.
Who Bench Accounting Is Best For
- Companies that have fallen more than two years behind in their bookkeeping: We rate Bench as the best online bookkeeping service for companies that are behind on their bookkeeping. Bench can produce cash-basis financial statements for tax returns efficiently by focusing exclusively on bank transactions.
- Freelancers and small businesses with relatively simple financials: By focusing on the basics, Bench is a great time-saving option.
- Businesses that want unlimited support: Although your bookkeeper will handle your bookkeeping, there are times when you may have questions related to your reports or transactions. Bench welcomes these questions and is always available to support you.
Who Bench Accounting Is Not a Good Fit For
- Businesses that are looking for invoicing, bill payment, payroll, or inventory management: Bench does not provide these services. For an all-inclusive bookkeeping solution, we suggest checking out Bookkeeper.com, which can handle all of these services.
- Businesses that want to have an active role in their bookkeeping tasks: Bench handles all of your bookkeeping for you. If you want to handle day-to-day tasks on your own, you might prefer QuickBooks Online, our selection for the best overall small business accounting software.
- Businesses that may need to scale or switch providers in the future: Bench limits the number of financial accounts you can have with standard plans. It operates on proprietary software that doesn’t sync with commonly used accounting software, like QuickBooks. For a solution that will grow with your business, try Pilot.
Are you not sure that Bench Accounting is the assisted bookkeeping service for you? Check out our article on the Best Online Bookkeeping Services, which ranks Bench as one of its best.
Bench Accounting Pros & Cons
|Affordable plans include a business income tax return.||Additional software for invoicing, bill payment, payroll, or inventory management is required unless you subscribe to the Core plan|
|Catch-up bookkeeping available for those who are behind on their books||Difficult to scale or switch providers since bookkeeping is done in its proprietary software|
|Unlimited support included in the monthly price|
Bench Accounting Pricing
Bench offers a choice of five different subscription plans, which are based on your average monthly expenses and can be billed monthly or annually with a small discount. Every plan comes with unlimited support from a dedicated bookkeeping team and intuitive software to track your financials. No matter which plan you choose, Bench offers one month of their bookkeeping service for free. There are no contracts, so you can cancel at any time.
Every plan includes tax filing and advisory services, which includes federal and state income tax filings, quarterly estimates, and year-round tax support from a licensed tax professional. The Core plan requires you use Bench’s free checking account and debit card, and includes only basic cash-basis income and expense tracking. Flex adds the ability to connect your pre-existing checking account and choose one of their advanced accounting features. Pro includes all of their advanced accounting features.
Bench Accounting Features
- Dedicated bookkeeper: You’ll be assigned your own bookkeeper, who will handle your accounts and serve as your point of contact if you have any questions.
- User-friendly Dashboard: All of your key accounting data is at your fingertips with Bench’s intuitive Dashboard. Click on the Pulse tab in the left navigation bar to view your account balances, recent transactions, and cash flow:
- Financial statements: Your bookkeeper will send you financial reports on a monthly basis, including your balance sheet and income statement, so that you can stay on top of your finances.
- Catch-up bookkeeping available: For an additional fee, Bench’s bookkeepers can provide overdue bookkeeping services with BenchRetro, a special program for businesses that are more than two years behind on their bookkeeping. This is a great option if you’ve been behind on your books and missed tax deadlines.
Bench Accounting: Working With Your Bookkeeper
How Does the Bench Onboarding Process Work?
Upon enrollment, you’ll be paired with your own dedicated bookkeeper. They’ll get to know your business, explain how Bench works, and gather everything they need from you to get started, which includes your information for bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and merchant processors.
What Will My Bench Bookkeeper Do on a Monthly Basis?
Each month, your bookkeeper will import all of your business transactions and categorize them, then reconcile your bank accounts and prepare financial statements. This will be completed within 15 business days, which allows time for any adjustments. If your bookkeeper has any questions about a particular transaction, they’ll send you an in-app message.
There is an in-app status feature that allows you to view what has been completed, what’s in progress, and what’s outstanding. When your bookkeeping has been completed for the month, you’ll receive a message inviting you to view your financial statements and account information online. At tax time, they will send a year-end financial package with all the information you need to prepare your tax return. If you prefer, you can use the Bench Tax service.
How Can I Get in Touch With My Bookkeeper?
You can book a call with your bookkeeper or send them an in-app message directly through the Bench app. Whether you’d like a tax season review call or a monthly check-in, they can assist you. Your bookkeeper will also reach out regularly with updates. There’s no extra fee or hourly charges for support, and you’re welcome to reach out to them whenever you have a question.
How Can I Ensure the Accuracy of My Bookkeeper’s Work?
Once your bookkeeper wraps up your books every month, the information is reviewed by an in-house support team that ensures accuracy. Also, they never make assumptions about your business, preferring instead to reach out with any questions.
Bench Accounting Mobile App
Bench’s web-based mobile app is available for both iPhone and Android and provides financial reporting functionality and real-time cash flow updates. It also gives you the ability to check accounts, vendors, spending categories, dates, credit, and more to ensure that your business is on track. It is also how you will communicate with your bookkeeper or schedule a phone call to address any questions.
Bench Accounting Reporting
A cool feature of the Bench app is its financial reports, which provide you with both real-time and monthly statistics like expenses. The Dashboard gives you real-time updates, which shows exactly how much money you have and how you’re spending it. You can access your income statement and balance sheet as well as other reports that are fully customizable.
You can tag transactions with labels like products, clients, location, or sales channel to see exactly how your business is performing. If you track inventory, you can tag transactions by product type, which will help you identify which inventory to invest in.
Below is a screenshot of the Reports tab on Bench’s Dashboard, which features the following reports:
- Profit & Loss: Presented as a visual chart that is broken down by month, this report gives you a quick glimpse at your revenue, expenses, and net profit.
- Top 10 Expenses: Broken down by category, this report allows you to see where you’re spending your money.
Bench Accounting Alternatives
Businesses that are seeking a service that handles payroll, taxes and inventory management
Freelancers and small businesses that want to handle most of their own bookkeeping
Growth-oriented midsize to large companies and start-ups
Starting at $299
Starting at $25
Starting at $599
Bench Accounting provides bookkeeping and accounting services through an intuitive web-based app to help freelancers, startups, and small businesses manage their accounts. Together with a robust set of accounting tools, Bench designates a team of dedicated professional bookkeepers for each of its clients. Your bookkeepers help categorize transactions, reconcile statements from bank and credit cards, and ensure your books are accurate.