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LAST UPDATED: November 16th, 2021

Bench is an online bookkeeping service geared toward helping small businesses and independent contractors with accounting and tax-filing needs. Each customer of Bench receives unlimited expertise from a team of three Bench employees. In comparison to other bookkeeping services, Bench is more affordable — especially for those business owners who are just starting out. 

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The Good

  • Affordable Monthly Bookkeeping
  • Catch-Up Bookkeeping
  • Specialized Bookkeeping Add-On
  • Simple Secure App
  • Free Trials

Affordable Monthly Bookkeeping

With monthly bookkeeping, your Bench bookkeeper will analyze and categorize business transactions, reconcile any bank accounts, and prepare tax-ready financial statements at the end of each year. Monthly bookkeeping is available from Bench in two plans:

  • Essential ($249 per month) — Bench team prepares tax ready financial statements, and the client can have unlimited contact with the Bench team.
  • Premium ($399 per month) — Includes all essential features plus unlimited tax advisory, one-on-one tax strategy, and annual tax filing for both businesses and individuals. 

Catch-Up Bookkeeping

No matter the state of a small business’s financials, Bench is willing to help its clients catch up on all books. As a service, general catch up is available for $299 per month with no hourly rates. This plan includes a Year End Financial Package composed of all needed reports for each year in one place.

Bench Retro is also a catch-up bookkeeping service, but it is meant to help businesses that are over two years behind and may be in trouble with the IRS. This service also starts at $299 per month, but the exact price would need to be discussed with a Bench consultant. 

Specialized Bookkeeping Add-On

With a specialized bookkeeping plan, Bench can help with all matters relating to accounts payable, accounts receivable, or segment level bookkeeping. This plan starts at $100 per month and the price will vary depending on the client’s needs. 

Simple Secure App

The Bench app is relatively simple to use, with easy to read reports and visual graphs. The app makes it easy for customers to track financial data. In the Bench app, all financial information is safe and secure. The has a 256-bit SSL/TLS encryption, which is the same type of encryption that banks use to keep accounts secure. 

Free Trials

Bench offers a free trial for all bookkeeping services except for catch up bookkeeping. This includes specialized bookkeeping as well. A free trial can help potential customers ensure that they are getting all of the services they need, even at a relatively affordable price. 

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The Bad

  • Software Integration Limitations
  • Number of Accounts Restricted

Software Integration Limitations

The Bench app does integrate with some software, however it does not sync with some of the most commonly used accounting software. Bench does not sync with Xero and Quickbooks. The downside of this is that if you ever have to switch providers, the only way to do so would be to ask your bookkeeper for CSV files and reports that could be uploaded into the new program. 

Bench does sync with the following programs: Freshbooks, Shopify, Stripe, Square, Big Commerce, Gusto, Brex, and Keap.

Number of Accounts Restricted

When a client is enrolled in a standard plan, Bench limits the number of financial accounts used on the software. This means that bank accounts, credit cards, and loans connected to a Bench account may be limited. For this reason, Bench would not be ideal for large businesses with complex financial accounts — nor would it be ideal for small businesses aspiring for such growth.

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The Bottom Line

Bench is one of the more affordable online services in the accounting industry. Its app is easy to use and its team of advisors are professional. We recommend Bench to small businesses and freelancers with relatively simple accounts and finances. Bench can help these clients get the services they need without paying hefty fees for services they don’t. 

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