Mission: We're a laid back group of people working hard on a tough problem. Bookkeeping is a universal point of pain for passionate entrepreneurs trying to pursue their dreams. They want to run their businesses, not do accounting, so we make that disappear.
I worked at Bench Accounting full-time
Bench is a great place for recent grads. As a bookkeeper, you are taught everything necessary to excel at your job over the first few weeks. From there, you get a large portfolio of clients that you are almost entirely responsible for month over month.
Additionally, upward movement from bookkeeping roles into more senior positions is relatively easy, and promotions are frequent compared to other firms in the bookkeeping/professional services industry. This is only relevant to base level roles.
Finally, Bench has exceptional benefits. On top of standard medical, dental vision etc., Bench gives you a wellness fund that can be spent on almost anything. There is always food in the office and they also have beer on tap.
Once you get above a bookkeeping role, Bench becomes a bit tougher.
The management team is strong and driven, but a relatively large amount of politics is necessary to actually get anything done. Furthermore, communication between different departments in the company is often disorganized. Typical growing pains for a young company.
Additionally, salaries are low and hours can be high. Prepare to work hard for your money, especially if you want to get promoted out of bookkeeping.
Advice to Management
It looks like management at a Director & VP level is getting pretty top-heavy. I hope Bench can afford everyone.
I applied online. I interviewed at Bench Accounting (Vancouver, BC) in August-2017.
1. Apply Online
2. Receive email to schedule 15 minute phonecall with Recruiter
3. In-person 30 minute with Recruiter + Team Lead
4. Take Home Assignment
6. Background check - big alarm bells
7. Contract signing
I was very excited to work here. Ultimately I declined their offer for one reason - they force you to go through a third-party background check company to complete the criminal record check. I had multiple issues with this, as I didn't want to surrender my identity documents to a third-party company I didn't know or trust. Bench were completely unwilling to go through an ordinary criminal record check with the Vancouver Police Department - which would have given the same results - instead insisting that everyone must go through Checkr. I was essentially offered an ultimatum - go through Checkr, or don't work for us. It was a disgusting way to treat a candidate. I had legitimate concerns about my data and privacy, as this company have carte blance to store and distribute your passport/licence/SIN/Health insurance card etc. to whover, all whilst being based in the States. Something smelt really off with the whole thing... I support and appreciate their need to do a background check, and was 100% willing to do so, as I have nothing to hide. But if it was REALLY and TRULY about a criminal record check, they would have compromised and been okay with me doing it through a conventional route. But no, they insisted - due to "company policy" - that I must use Checkr. Seems like there's a backroom deal to use their software or some dodgy deal. When I raised my legitimate concerns and asked for a further explanation about WHY it has to be done through Checkr and not the police, I couldn't get a straight answer and was told I'm not a good fit for them. Which went completely against what was said in their offer phonecall 3 days previous - that I was a great fit and they were excited for me to work at Bench. So, I was lied to at some point. Pathetic and disgusting unprofessional behavior (coming from someone who's worked in recruiting themselves -we would never treat our candidates like this).
Needless to say, I declined their offer. I have no interest in taking a job with a company that would force me to be uncomfortable, to reject my principles and concerns, to be unwilling to work with me, outright lie to me, and have ZERO transparency. It's a toxic approach and I would discourage EVERYBODY thinking of applying to stay well, well away. If this is how they treat candidates they're willing to extend offers to and want working for them, I dread to think how their employees get treated. I also feel they aren't peddling a good product and the future isn't sustainable for this company, particularly given their culture and approach. Better things out there folks!
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