Start smart with Bench: The best cloud bookkeeping service for small businesses

Like most small business owners, I had this “just go for it” mindset as I started my first company. After all, I’ll be able to figure things out along the way. 

Or so I thought!

Let’s talk about small business accounting services

You might be swimming in an ocean of optimism right now about a profitable idea, but allow me to stop you for a second and ask – do you really understand what you’re getting yourself into?

Reality check, running a business is more than just increasing your sales and profit. Behind that 

Is the nitty-gritty process of accounting and bookkeeping.

Think you can just skip that hassle through outsourced accounting? Oh boy, wait until I tell you how much terrible services costed me.

I don’t want you to experience the same nightmare as mine, so allow me to walk you through the things I badly wish I knew then about accounting and bookkeeping. Turns out you don’t just have to start your business fast, you also have to start smart.

What is Outsourced Accounting or Bookkeeping?

Outsourced Accounting is hiring a separate company to do your accounting. This is a great way for new entrepreneurs to handle their accounting.

How terrible outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services got me BURNT

To be honest, I had no formal education in business. So the most reasonable thing to do is find an expert to help me with finances, right? But consider yourself warned – finding a decent accountant is not as easy as it seems. 

Every firm or freelancer will promise to give your accounting system a total upgrade. Often times, they even back that up with criticisms about how your old accountant did everything wrong. 

Know better, and watch out for these red flags so that you won’t suffer the same sorry fate as mine.

accounting and bookkeeping services

#1 Ineffective accountant-business owner relationships

My first accountant made me feel like we’re living in two separate worlds. I manage my business. She did the reports. That’s it. She knows nothing about my day-to-day operations, in the same way that I had no idea what was going on with the financial statements I receive.

Sure, I was aware that need a profit or loss statement and a balance sheet. Gotta pay my taxes too. However, I was clueless on how to do it right. I was simply left to trust that my accountant knows what she’s doing. 

Spoiler alert: SHE DIDN’T. I had to pay another firm $1,500 just to redo two years worth of accounting records!

#2 Inaccessible accountants

Here’s the problem when dealing with firms who have 50 to over a hundred other clients – it’s so hard to get a hold of them!

Securing a loan or an investment opportunity is hard enough, but here comes my old accountant who made getting my hands on the needed documents even harder. Meanwhile, the next one I hired suddenly went MIA due to health issues.

Bottom line, don’t be fooled by their fancy offices complete with long conference tables. Warm welcomes might turn into frustrating communication lines.

#3 Outdated accounting systems

To make things worse with my first accountant, she was using outdated software which meant my financial documents were only accessible in her office computer. If she isn’t around, it would be impossible to see my records.

I’ve mentioned how much I had to pay to correct her bookkeeping mistakes right? But guess what – here comes another accountant claiming that everything about my new and improved (or so I thought) records were wrong. AGAIN. 

That’s when I woke up to the truth that my lack of fundamental knowledge about accounting and bookkeeping was taken advantage of.

Bench: The best cloud bookkeeping service for small businesses

Outsourced accounting was such a headache until I came across Bench. Trust me, it’s no overstatement that they are the best cloud bookkeeping service for small businesses!

What I love the most about Bench is its intuitive platform that allows me to see my monthly financial statements and expense overviews pronto. Perfectly categorized transactions. Visual reports. Actionable insights. All these can be accessed on my desktop or phone!

Even better, it has a user-friendly interface as compared to Quickbooks. No need to be an expert just to understand the numbers.

But in case you need expert guidance, you can easily reach out to the bookkeeper that Bench assigned to you through their messaging platform. The company guarantees that they’ll address your queries within a business day or less.

How does bookkeeping with Bench work?

Bench follows this basic yet efficient framework when dealing with small business owners:

  • Step one – Bench will introduce you to a bookkeeper who will take time to understand your business and guide you through their platform’s features
  • Step two – Every month, the bookkeeper will import your transactions and get your records done
  • Step three – On-time and intuitive financial reports will be delivered to you 

How much do Bench’s services cost?

Basically, this will depend on how much your business is spending every month. You can also save extra bucks if you opt for annual billings. 

Here’s a quick glance on their pricing model for every expense bracket:

  • Starter (less than $1,000) – $159 monthly or $1,668 annually (save $240)
  • Micro ($1,000 to $7,500) – $179 monthly or $1,908 annually (save $240)
  • Boutique ($7,500 to $25,000) – $199 monthly or $2,148 annually (save $240)
  • Venture ($25,000 to $50,000) – $249 monthly or $2,628 annually (save $360)
  • Corporate (up to $1M) – $349 monthly or $3,588 annually (save $600)

Pretty great deal for a topnotch cloud bookkeeping service right? But to make things sweeter, we have a gift for you. Sign up for Bench today and get 20% off your first six months!

Final Thoughts

I couldn’t turn back time, but at least I was able to share with you what I wished I knew when I was just starting my business.

The best defense you can get against getting taken advantage of is your ability to understand, process, and question all the accounting reports you receive. Couple this with a dependable cloud bookkeeping service like Bench, and you’d be able to start your small business the smart way.