- If you’re a small business owner, startup, or entrepreneur looking for bookkeeping software with real-time customer service included, Bench may be able to help.
- Bench provides bookkeeping and tax help through its two paid plans.
- Learn what Bench bookkeeping is, what it does, the pros and cons, and alternatives to Bench.
Overview of Bench Accounting
Bench is a bookkeeping and accounting service that connects small business owners with financial experts. You’ll connect your bank accounts to your Bench bookkeeping account and your dedicated bookkeepers will receive a read-only version of the information. The in-house Bench team then categorizes your transactions and gives you financial statements every month.
You will work with a Bench bookkeeping team to reconcile your business’s monthly expenses. Additionally, you can add on services that track your accounts receivable, accounts payable, and unearned revenue. If you need historical bookkeeping, you can sign up for Bench’s catch-up bookkeeping services.
There’s a free trial, and then there are currently two plans on Bench.co:
- Essential: $249 per month when billed annually ($299 monthly)
- Premium: $399 per month when billed annually ($499 monthly)
The Premium plan fulfills your bookkeeping needs and also provides help with your taxes. Additionally, Bench customers will get discounts from popular business subscriptions that have a partnership with Bench, like Gusto and Stripe.
Also, you can access the Bench app to chat with customer support representatives — although there is only an Apple iOS app available at this time.
Is Bench Considered an Accounting or Bookkeeping Service?
If you’re wondering whether Bench is a service for bookkeeping or accounting, it can be both. Bench offers both bookkeeping services and tax preparation and filing services. The pricing will depend on your plan and your business entity, but it’s possible to have Bench take care of your business tax filing. This could be an advantage for any small business owner that doesn’t want to have to work with a separate CPA, and you can often do away with your other accounting software when you sign up for Bench.
However, the company uses what is called “cash basis accounting.” This means they account for payments and expenses only after the money is received or spent. Using this method can be less accurate than accrual accounting, which includes accounts payable and receivable as well.
Why Bench Accounting Is Good for Small Businesses
Bench can help small businesses with what many owners consider the hardest part of running a business — bookkeeping tasks — at a relatively affordable price when compared to other bookkeeping and accounting services. The functionality of the platform could be especially useful for businesses that have a lot of transactions, like e-commerce or restaurant businesses. An online bookkeeping service also provides easy access to customer support through its in-app messaging option or a quick phone call.
A bookkeeping provider like Bench can help you understand your cash flow better by seeing financial reports and visual reports. Then you can adjust your business strategy if you’re not meeting your goals. To learn more, check out Nav’s accounting software resources.
Is Bench good for taxes? It certainly can be. If you sign up for a Premium Bench account, you can get tax services like having your forms finalized and filed all in one place. Bench accounting can help make tax season less of a headache.
Pros and Cons of Using Bench Accounting
- Your dedicated team completes your business’s bookkeeping for you
- Can also be used for tax preparation and filing
- Exchange as many messages and phone calls as needed with your bookkeeper using the app
- Bench uses proprietary software so it would be difficult to transition to a different bookkeeping or accounting software
- It costs extra to add on accrual adjustments
- No Android app (and the Apple iOS is only rated 2.8 out of 5 stars)
Bench Accounting Alternatives
Bench could work well for freelancers or small businesses that have easy monthly bookkeeping. But if yours is more complicated, you might look into other accounting software options besides Bench accounting.
Here are some of the top options: