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.
Benchmates have committed to raising $10,000 to grant Lauren her most heartfelt wish through Children’s Wish Foundation!
Go Bench go! 12 Benchmates participated in The Sun Run this year.
What is Bench?
"Bench is this weirdly concentrated group of smart, ambitious people" - Ian Crosby
We're a laid back group of people working hard on a tough problem. Bookkeeping is a universal pain point for passionate entrepreneurs trying to pursue their dreams. They want to run their businesses, not do accounting, so we make that disappear.
When you throw in with us you're not only joining a company that’s changing the way business is done, you're joining at an inflection point. Bench is post Series B, capitalized by a team of Silicon Valley and New York investors. We’re scaling fast and we’re not slowing down anytime soon. In just a few short years, we’ve grown from four co-founders to over 250 Benchmates. It’s been quite the ride so far and we’re looking for bright, light-hearted individuals who love solving tough problems to join us on this incredible leg of our journey.
We’re not here to dictate how to get your work done. You know how to do that. We want Bench to fit into your life in the way that makes the most sense for you. We want you to enjoy your independence.
You will have real responsibility from day one and we’ll support you in making sure that you’re able to handle the responsibilities you’re given. We promise that you will have an impact here, if you’re willing to take on a few challenges.
We all work hard here, but nothing is so important that it’s worth getting bent out of shape over. We assume the best intentions in others. We try not to take things personally. And we genuinely believe that you can (and should) laugh every day.
Pursuit of Possibility
We’re trying to fundamentally change an entire industry, and it’s not always easy. We aren’t afraid of change. We’re always trying to make things better. And we truly believe that almost anything can be improved with creativity, passion, and a bit of hard work.
At Bench, your wellness matters a lot to us. We’ve designed a benefits package for you to live in a way that feels good to you – our perks provide flexibility while our extended health benefits offers peace of mind.
Extended Benefits Plan
Bench provides 100% coverage of your extended benefits premiums. Health is wide-ranging, which is why we provide an extended benefits plan that’s both comprehensive and expansive. Coverage is provided for prescription drugs, various healthcare practitioners (i.e. acupuncture, massage therapists, dieticians, etc.) including mental health professionals, dental, vision, and more. For the little and big things, we’ve got your back.
Medical Services Plan (MSP)
Bench covers 100% of your MSP premiums, including any spouse or dependents you may have.
We know that wellness is unique to each Benchmate, which is why we’ve created a flexible, personalized wellness fund. Bench will reimburse you up to $1500 each calendar year to put towards what’s important to you under the buckets of:
Whether it’s a brand new bike, monthly gym or yoga studio membership, signing up for half-marathon races, enrolling in personal development courses, or purchasing monthly transit passes, choose what feels best for your needs and values.
In our humble opinion, we should all go on vacation more often. Planning your vacation days can be stressful, especially when you’re trying to map out two weeks off over the course of 365 days. We’ve declared to make this a better experience. Introducing: Flex Days.
If you’ve used up all your vacation days and you’d like some extra paid days off throughout the rest of the year, you can look to use flex days. Collaborate with your manager to take the time off that you need while still being responsible for looking out for your work and your team.
At the office you can always count on snacks being readily available. Our office team has thoughtfully put together a wide variety of delicious snacks to keep you healthy, happy, and productive. You’ll find a wide range of options such as organic yogurt and top-quality granola, fruit & nut mixes, and oranges and avocados. Because what’s better than a perfectly ripened avocado on a sunny (or rainy Vancouver) day?
The Bench experience is not happening to you, you are happening to it
At Bench, we believe that every Benchmate is creating the Bench experience for everyone else. Everything you bring to the table, along with your colleagues, is what makes this place one of a kind. You are the Bench experience.
What does the Bench experience look like? People often ask us about our culture, so here's a taste of #LifeAtBench in 45 seconds.
I have been working at Bench Accounting full-time (More than 3 years)
It's impossible to do my experience at Bench justice in a Glassdoor review - there's so much I love about this company: from the service we provide, to the colleagues I get to work alongside, to the problems we're solving. Things aren't perfect by any means (are they anywhere?), but after almost four years I'm still excited to come to work every day - and I think that says a lot.
The list below isn't exhaustive, but it's a good start:
• We provide a service that has tangible value for our clients. It's wonderful knowing that we're making a real difference in the lives of so many people. I've seen the stress that bookkeeping has on small business owners firsthand (Hi, mom and dad!), and knowing the weight we're taking off of our clients' shoulders, especially on the really tough days, keeps me going.
• Incredible co-workers. I come to the office every day thrilled to work with outstanding people. Managers, Team Leads and Associates in Operations are so smart, super excited to be here, and care deeply about their teams and clients. Feedback given is out of a desire to help each other and the company reach the full potential. Colleagues across all departments are friendly, driven, and care about that work that we're doing. Being surrounded by so many ambitious and intelligent people has been inspirational.
• We're all in it together. People focus on the problems at hand and work hard to fix them, and results are rewarded. Collaboration between departments and across roles is real, not just something we talk about. Teams are working closer together over time (at most companies who are scaling up, it's the inverse), especially between our front-line teams and our Product & Engineering team. This means tackling challenges together and embracing diverse viewpoints an opinions - not easy, but very rewarding.
• There is so much room to grow. Responsibilities are there if you want them. Growth is there if you work hard and get results. Bench has launched me into a career so fast I can hardly keep up, and I am beyond grateful for all of the opportunities that have been afforded to me here.
• There's always work to do, which means that time flies. If you've ever suffered in a job where time drags on because there's hardly anything to do, you understand how great it is to work somewhere where your days are loaded with exciting work.
• Levity! While working hard and taking problems seriously is important, there's room for levity at Bench, too. I love getting out of a room after a heavy-duty problem solving session or retrospective, and laughing and joking with team members that you just exchanged feedback or debated with.
• We've scaled very quickly and as a result, internal processes can at times feel inefficient or disjointed. Not everything that needs to be fixed can be fixed right away - there's more work to be done than there are people to do it - which can be frustrating. On the other hand, if you want to pick something up and run with fixing it, the opportunity is there - but often everyone is so busy, you may not be thanked or recognized for the extra effort right away.
• It's often up to employees to be responsible for their own development and growth within the company. People are intensely focussed on solving problems at hand and as a result, development of employees can fall to the wayside on the list of priorities (worth noting here that people are aware that this is an area for improvement, and teams are currently taking action to provide more in-house development opportunities). That said, people managers go above and beyond to support their direct reports as much as possible.
• Constant change can be challenging. We're moving at lightening speed, and we all have to be ready for the endless onslaught of change and difficulty that comes along with it. While I enjoy it, I have seen it take a toll on people who have come from a background in more slow-paced companies. We're simply not that.
• Vancouver is a really, ridiculously expensive city to live in. This can be a strain on young people looking to put down long-term roots within driving distance of the office - if not impossibly out of reach.
Advice to Management
• Continue to value your front-line employees in words and actions. When clients rave about our service, they talk about how much they enjoy working with their Bench bookkeeper. Our software is truly great, but our Associates are the ones who smooth over any bugs or issues, so don't minimize the role they play in the success of the company.
• Share updates with the organization. Efforts by leadership to provide weekly updates on their departments' work and progress have been great so far this year, and I'd love to see that extend across all departments more consistently.
• Be frank about long term goals for the company, and the path we're going to take to get there.
• Make yourselves more available to connect with team members across departments. Mingle on Friday evenings, sit in The Forum at lunch and talk to people, introduce yourself, shake hands, learn people's names. We're not a big enough company for "upper management" to be such a disconnected thing the way it seems to be based on other reviews here.
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!