Bench Review: Peace of Mind for Startups

The views expressed in this post are the writer's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Aloa or AloaLabs, LLC.

Bench is an accounting service that gives you more time to focus on running your business. Of all the subscriptions we purchase as a startup, Bench is one of few services we couldn't live without.

We love Bench and renew our subscription every year because:

  1. We value the peace of mind when it comes to our bookkeeping
  2. We get more time in the day to focus on our core business
  3. When tax season comes around, we're ready with financials statements on hand

Try to name a business leader whose favorite part of running their business is bookkeeping. Someone who looks forward to reconciling their statements. Someone who sees it as an exciting task rather than a burden that pulls you away from your passion project. Got anyone in mind? If you do, that's amazing, because we know next to none.

Accounting and bookkeeping can be an absolute drain. It is tedious, takes a lot of time, and quite simply not that enjoyable. So, what do you do? Well, if you want to get time back into your day and not ever have to worry about bookkeeping again, you'll call Bench.

Bench promo picture of people

What is Bench?

Bench is an accounting service that pairs you up with a team of bookkeepers to do your books, leaving you free to run your business. With a heavy focus on companies in the range of 0-5 employees and under $5 million in revenue, Bench is the perfect partner to keep your financials in order. Sounds biased, right? Well, we kind of are because we've been using Bench for over a year and could not be more pleased with their service.

I had the chance to interview Rachel Halldorson, Business Development Executive & Partner Growth at Bench. Rachel provided us with some great insights as to how Bench helps serves their clients and is (most likely) the right fit for you!

Our Onboarding Experience

Onboarding can be a really stressful experience in any relationship. What is nice about Bench is that they focus on reducing their clients' onboarding timeline. With a focus on client ease, Bench helps you out along the way.

Bench account dashboard
The beauty of bench is that there isn't anything you need to know as a business owner. There is no learning curve. Best practice recommendations for potential clients is literally just signing up, we do the rest."
- Rachel Halldorson

Within 30 minutes, you can be onboarded for your free trial. During this free trial, Bench will show you one historical month of bookkeeping, and they'll have it ready within one business day. You will get on a call and they will walk you through everything in a hands on experience to show in greater detail what your experience will look like. Kicker, all of this can be done within 48 hours.

The pricing packages are going to depend on the size of your business and the magnitude of your needs. While the Starter package beginning at $139/month may sound a little pricey for those just starting out, getting ahead of the game early will give you the right tools to manage your business and provide insight into where you can grow and become more profitable. Furthermore, it guarantees you have tax ready financials in case of an audit.

You're In!

Okay, so you've signed up, you got your free trial, and now you're in. So what does that mean for you? It means that you no longer have to feel the annoyance of knowing your bookkeeping responsibility is creeping up on you.

Oftentimes, new business owners don’t know all of the nuances of bookkeeping and will miss out on deductions or incorrectly categorize things, which results in their CPA charging big bucks at the year end. Bench bookkeepers guarantee accurate, IRS ready financials every single month so you know they are correct.

Step 1, get to know your team. Your bookkeeper will be with you from start to finish, making sure that they support you with your needs. Bench recommends that you connect with your bookkeeper at least once per month just to review everything. Everything is going to be done for you, but it never hurts to give your items a final look just to be safe.

Bench messaging feature
"For startups, a lot of bookkeeping contractors are at $100/hour, so if you spend more than 1.5 hours per month on bookkeeping, then Bench is worth it."
- Rachel Halldorson

All communication is going to happen within the Bench application. You'll be able to message your bookkeeper at anytime and respond to any items of information that they need from you.

As your expenses get logged in their system, they'll make sure everything is properly categorized and generate your Income Statements, Profit/Loss Reports, Balance Sheets, just to name a few of the functions Bench performs. If anything is uncategorized, you'll get a notification that you need to categorize an expense, and Bench's interface makes it quite simple. With a click of the button, you can open up the line items and select the category in which it belongs. Easy as that.

Who Should Use Bench

I'm going to be honest. I think almost every startup should use Bench. Bench is a good fit for a startup that resonates with any of the following:

  1. You want to focus on building your business
  2. You feel like you don't have enough hours in the day
  3. You think accounting and bookkeeping takes up valuable time away from core activities

The one time we wouldn't recommend Bench is if your startup is an accounting firm. But for everyone else, Bench is a great option to partner with until you grow to the point where hiring a CPA is worth it.

Joining the Bench Family

Bench works with a huge range of businesses, over 40 to 50 different verticals. Having trained in-house bookkeepers that have done thousands of clients books, Bench is able to ensure that each of their clients are well taken care of. Bookkeepers are able to hop on a call and really understand what is going on and how to best help you.

As we personally use Bench, we can testify to their quality of service. If you are a startup and are bogged down by the nuance of bookkeeping, then Bench is definitely your go-to place.

Furthermore, given we are a Bench Partner, you can use this referral code and get a free month of bookkeeping!

This review was not sponsored by Bench—we simply resonate deeply with their message of saving time and providing peace of mind for startups. We strive to provide the same service to our clients but for software development. If you're looking for peace of mind when it comes to outsourcing, check us out.

If you have any questions or want to hear more about our experience with Bench, feel free to shoot me an email ([email protected]) and I'd be happy to point you in the right direction.

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