Everything You Need to Know About Bookkeeping With Bench

The time has come for you to invest in bookkeeping software. But which will you choose?

There is a dazzling array of services out there. It can be tough trying to determine which is right for your business. Bench bookkeeping is one such service and has been around since 2012. It has established itself as a key player in the market. However, it’s not for everybody.

If you’re considering Bench.co for your business, read on.

What Is Bench Accounting and How Is It Different from Other Accounting Software?

Bench Accounting is an online bookkeeping service that is designed specifically for freelancers and very small businesses. Reserved solely for US-based organizations, Bench provides a platform for day-to-day financial tasks, financial reporting, and tax filing.

The difference between Bench Accounting and other bookkeeping software is that Bench uses a team of dedicated Bench Bookkeepers to carry out bookkeeping services rather than you having to do it yourself.

Why Is Bench Accounting Better for Small Businesses?

The platform has been designed with small businesses in mind. Therefore, it does not carry a range of complicated tools and is easy to get to grips with. Bench’s success, therefore, lies in its simplicity.

The reliable and expert support that you receive gives you that extra boost to get a grip on your finances. Compared with most other bookkeeping software, Bench is affordable.

Prices start from $249 per month. When you consider that against the cost of a full-time bookkeeper’s salary, it’s surprisingly cheap.

Which Industries Tend to Use Bench?

Bench is primarily used by freelancers and small businesses that don’t plan to have rapid growth. Since it only provides basic bookkeeping tools, it is not able to handle businesses that plan to scale quickly.

How Does Bench Accounting Software Work?

Once you sign up for Bench’s service, you can connect it to all your financial accounts. This includes:

    • Credit cards
    • Loans
    • Bank accounts
    • Merchant processors

Then, the Bench team of bookkeepers will get to work categorizing your transactions, reconciling, and preparing your statements. Once your bookkeeping is complete for a particular month, you will receive a notification that your report is ready.

You can contact your Bench bookkeeping team by messaging them via the platform or giving them a call. The Bench team will also deal with any past financials for up to two years. So, if you’ve been sweeping your financial reporting under the rug for a while, Bench can fix it all for you.

What Types of Accounting Systems Does It Allow For?

Because Bench uses proprietary software, it doesn’t integrate with other software. Nor does it sync with other popular accounting services such as Xero or Quickbooks. This can be a problem later down the line if your business grows quickly and it becomes necessary to perform more complex financial tasks.

What Makes Bench Unique?

Bench accounting software is unique because you’re not just using a platform. You have a team of live individuals on hand to carry out your bookkeeping tasks. This human element is advantageous. You have support and expertise on your side.

This feature of Bench accounting services is especially good for business owners that have no interest in dealing with their financials but don’t have the budget or need for a full-time bookkeeper.

Is Bench User-Friendly?

The Bench accounting app is extremely user-friendly. Since it only deals with simple bookkeeping tasks, the platform is very easy to navigate and get to grips with. Plus, if there’s anything you don’t understand or need help with, you can simply contact the live bookkeeping team, and they’ll guide you through it.

What Are the Primary Responsibilities of a Bookkeeper?

A bookkeeper’s primary role is to take care of the day-to-day financial tasks. This includes:

  • Posting transactions to multiple accounts
  • Expense tracking
  • Carrying out daily banking tasks
  • Recording transactions – both incoming and outgoing – in a timely fashion
  • Processing payments and sending invoices
  • Account reconciliation
  • Payroll
  • Creating and sending regular financial reports
  • Remaining compliant at all times

What your bookkeeper does for you will depend on the needs of your business. They may only need to deal with standard bookkeeping tasks or something a little more comprehensive.

It’s important to mention at this point that a bookkeeper does not have the same role as an accountant. Therefore, they are unable to do certain tasks, such as tax preparation and filing. Nor can they make recommendations or give advice about your organization’s financial situation. 

If you need help with your taxes or financial guidance, you will need to hire an accountant for the job.

Why not just hire an accountant for the whole lot? Well, accountants don’t typically handle day-to-day tasks. Their role is far more complex than that, which is why they command a much higher salary.

How to Know if You Need Bookkeeping Help

If you can answer “yes” to one or more of the following, then you should definitely consider hiring a bookkeeper:

  • Are you struggling to stay on top of your business’s financial tasks?
  • Is it difficult to find the time to deal with your finances?
  • Are you simply not a “numbers person”?
  • When you carry out financial tasks, do you find you make a lot of mistakes or errors?
  • Do you dislike dealing with financial tasks?
  • Do you find bookkeeping software difficult to grasp?

Benefits of Hiring a Bookkeeper to Help Manage Your Account

All businesses require effective money management if they want to be successful. If you have no idea about the financial health of your business, how can you possibly make sound financial decisions?

Hiring a bookkeeper not only keeps things in check it also allows you to:

  • Understand the cash flow situation for your business
  • Determine where cost-savings can be made
  • Keep you and your business compliant and audit-ready
  • Significantly reduce the likelihood of an error occurring 
  • Spend time in other areas of your business

Is It Effective to Hire a Virtual Bookkeeper?

Many businesses don’t require a bookkeeper full-time. Nor do they tend to have the available office space to accommodate employees. Because of this, virtual bookkeepers have become the go-to solution for startups and small organizations.

A virtual bookkeeper simply refers to a real person who works remotely. They use cloud-based software to share data with you and for communication. You can hire a virtual bookkeeper on a full or part-time basis. Many virtual bookkeeping services like EvolveCFO have different plans available, so you only pay for what you need.

The advantage of this setup is that you can increase or decrease the level of bookkeeping service depending on your requirements. And, since your virtual bookkeeper works remotely, you don’t have to worry about accommodating them anywhere.

Ultimately, virtual bookkeepers are effective solutions for businesses that really need this type of service in a cost-effective way.

What Are Questions to Ask a Potential Bookkeeper?

No two bookkeepers are alike. They all have different personalities along with different experiences in various industries. Therefore, it’s essential that you pick a bookkeeper who is the right fit for your business.

Having a good rapport with your bookkeeper is essential. They’re looking after sensitive financial data, so you need to feel comfortable with them and, more crucially, be able to trust them.

When looking to hire a bookkeeper, it’s a good idea to chat with a few different people and get a feel for how they like to work. Ask them the following questions:

  • How long have you been a bookkeeper, and for who?
  • What have been your responsibilities in your previous bookkeeping roles?
  • Which industries do you have experience in?
  • How do you prefer to communicate and update your clients?
  • What’s your favored working style?
  • Are you comfortable interacting with clients and vendors?
  • How do you approach and resolve problems?
  • What do you do if you find an error?
  • Which types of accounting software do you have experience using?

What Qualifications Should I Look For?

To become a bookkeeper, it is not necessary to obtain a degree or have any prior qualifications. Many talented bookkeepers started out with a GED or high school degree.

Some bookkeepers also like to obtain a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree in accounting or business administration. While this isn’t necessary for the role, those with degrees can command a higher salary.

Additionally, you will find that experienced bookkeepers have obtained a lot of on-the-job training and self-learning along the way.

If you’re considering hiring a virtual accountant from EvolveCFO, it’s worth noting that all EvolveCFO bookkeepers are qualified accountants.

Are Bookkeepers Industry-Specific?

It’s common for bookkeepers to end up specializing in a specific industry. This is advantageous as these bookkeepers will understand all the nuances of a particular industry’s finances and know how to best handle them.

It is always worthwhile trying to find a bookkeeper with experience in your industry as they will be able to hit the ground running, and you’ll have a seasoned expert by your side.

How to Find the Right Professional to Help with Bench

Since Bench has its own bookkeeping team, it is not necessary to find a professional bookkeeper to help you with Bench.

Once you sign up for the service, you can get in touch with your Bench bookkeeper, and they’ll help you through any of the tools to processes that you’re struggling to use.

How Can Professional Bookkeepers Help with Bench

A professional bookkeeper wouldn’t help you with Bench because they know you have the support of Bench’s own bookkeeping team.

However, a professional bookkeeper can help you with other types of accounting and bookkeeping software. For example, EvolveCFO’s team of experienced bookkeepers use Quickbooks and Xero – two highly popular accounting software brands.

The advantage of these platforms is their ability to scale as you grow your business. Therefore, if you’re planning to grow your organization in the coming years, it’s better to choose a platform and professional bookkeeper that can grow with you.

How to Work Effectively with Your Bookkeeper to Ensure Timely and Accurate Financial Reporting

When you take on a new bookkeeper, you need to establish exactly how the two of you will communicate. Good communication is vital for any type of business relationship and your bookkeeper – virtual or otherwise- is no exception.

The first thing you must do with your bookkeeper is to establish the following:

  • When should your bookkeeper update you? 
  • How would you prefer your bookkeeper to communicate with you?
  • Would you rather communication be done via phone or online messaging?
  • How frequently should your bookkeeper check in with you?
  • How would you like to receive your reports, and when?
  • If there’s an urgent matter, how can your bookkeeper get in touch with you quickly?
  • What will you do to make sure you’re keeping your bookkeeper updated?


Bench is a very affordable option for freelancers that plan to remain so or businesses that aren’t intending to experience fast growth.

For startups and ambitious businesses, Bench is probably not the right solution. In this case, you need a bookkeeping service that can keep up with you. 

At EvolveCFO, we have a range of plans and add-ons that you can choose to fit in with the type of business you are today. And if that changes, you can upgrade your service as soon as you need to without having to transfer all your data from one platform to another.

If you’re interested in EvolveCFO’s bookkeeping services, why not get in touch with our team to find out more?