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Bench Accounting Reviews

Updated 20 February, 2018
71 reviews

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3.4
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Bench Accounting CEO Ian Crosby
Ian Crosby
48 Ratings

71 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work-from-home days are available (can be dependent on performance) (in 13 reviews)

  • Fantastic office (including beer on tap, games room and ping pong) (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Long hours sometimes required to achieve aggressive quotas (in 9 reviews)

  • Very low salary for the amount of work and responsibilities you have to juggle (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    "Excited to be here!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bench Accounting full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The sky is the limit here. If you have an idea, present it and run with it.... I have found there's so much support to innovate and do things differently.

    Autonomy & independence.

    This is the workplace I've been looking for!

    Cons

    No cons - just tons of opportunities to build, create, shape and mould an organization that's experiencing rapid growth.

    Bench Accounting Response

    16 Nov, 2017 – Director, People

    Hey there, thank you for the review! We are proud of the company that we are building here at Bench and it is awesome to hear that you agree. We really appreciate your support as we continue along... More


  2. Helpful (1)

    "I love working at Bench"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bench Accounting full-time

    Pros

    Simply put, Bench is the type of company I always wanted to work for, but never thought I would find.

    For one, the people are amazing. Working for Bench has introduced me to some of the most hard-working, friendly, and ambitious people I have ever met. I have had the privilege of forming friendships that extend beyond the four walls of the office, and I come to work in the morning genuinely excited to see my coworkers. Managers care about us as employees and they want to see us succeed. They themselves have worked hard to get where they are, and want to help you achieve your goals as well. Executives are down to earth, accessible, and are open to new ideas and new ways of doing things.

    Like many tech companies, there is a constant push for growth and development at Bench. We are a young and dynamic company with a thirst for innovation, and I believe that we are truly making a difference in the lives of our clients. The constant growth is one of the most exciting things about working here because we are always searching for new ways to push the boundaries. Our service and internal processes are always evolving, which keeps your day to day very interesting.

    Bench also fosters growth within the company. I have been at Bench for the better part of a year, and I have had the opportunity to move into other departments and explore new avenues for personal growth that encourage my career goals. Management rewards and recognizes hard work, and has very open conversations about where you want to go.

    To me, Bench's culture embodies ambition, hard work, and fun. Beyond that, Bench has also worked hard to ensure that we work in a physical space that we enjoy. We have three floors in a beautiful office building, and it's all open concept with no personal offices - only breakout and meeting rooms. Plus, it's dog-friendly, and there's beer on tap.

    I cannot recommend Bench enough as a workplace.

    Cons

    As a company that is growing at such a rapid rate, the constant change can be overwhelming at times and workloads can become heavy during tax season. As an employee, you have to be prepared to work hard in order to stay on top of things. Howver, once you get your footing, working for Bench is very rewarding, and there are many resources to help you along the way.

    Bench Accounting Response

    21 Feb, 2018 – Director, People

    Thanks for your feedback and we're thrilled to have you along for the ride!


  3. Helpful (3)

    "There are pros and cons to all jobs and companies, but Bench has significantly more pros."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager
    Current Employee - Manager
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bench Accounting part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There's a lot of comments about Bench being a great place for candidates with little experience, and that's so true. We have an amazing on-boarding process and 'Bench Academy' which has clout and value within the tech sector as a great 'school' for new grads. But, I'm not a new grad and find Bench has a lot of opportunity for me with room to grow. Further pros: the office is beautiful and conveniently located, the people are friendly, inspiring, and wicked smart. The work Bench does is valuable, successful, in demand, and we're crushing it. There's growth quarterly and I've seen lots of positive changes and strides in my time here. Also, I only work part time, a schedule that most companies wouldn't allow or support, but Bench does. We designed a schedule that works for me personally, to juggle being a working single Mom, and let me tell you that is not only rare, but really appreciated.

    Cons

    The salaries at Bench aren't the highest, BUT the full benefits, $125 wellness fund/month that pays for my transit, the free food, unlimited flex days, people, space, and opportunity for advancement balance it out for me.

    Advice to Management

    Keep listening and making the positive changes that you are! It's tireless and often unappreciated work, but you're doing good things.


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  5. "Best place to work for those who want to make a change"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bench Accounting full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    First of all, humans. Everyone here is first and foremost a good human. No office politics, no games. Everyone is here to do good work.

    Team work that actually works. I have worked in many teams where everyone was concerned about getting their name on the final project. Here everyone is super open with their ideas and are always welcoming collaboration. The bottom line is we all succeed together. The management does a really good job of communicating this and it really trickles down to the employee level.

    I was worried about the turnover before starting but shortly after starting I saw that not only do some employees are still in touch with Bench as freelancers, the reason for turnover was simply that the needs of the team changed in a different direction than what the team members wanted their career to become. There is no hostility.

    Compensation is fair considering all the perks we get such as a Wellness Fund where you can expense things to the company as long as they helped you maintain your wellness and the extended coverage is great!

    Cons

    The office could use some colourful art on the walls.

    Advice to Management

    Thank you for hiring the right people that are genuinely nice and honest. Super appreciate this place not being a place where people just hire each other's friends.


  6. "I believe in the product and the service, but not the company culture and work environment."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Accounting Associate
    Former Employee - Accounting Associate
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Bench Accounting full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    • AMAZING people to work with - made some great friends along the way.
    • Great starting work experience (just don't stay too long)
    • Flexible work hours/ability to work from home
    • opportunities to move into other roles outside of your department if you're into that

    Cons

    • Compensation is bad relative to the amount of work you have to do
    • You start to feel like a cog in the machine after a period of time. It gets repetitive.
    • Middle and Upper Management don't really care about you aside from one person. A lot of the time you feel under-appreciated and under-valued. They laugh off re-occurring issues that are brought up.
    • Hard to present ideas/arguments unless it falls in line with their own vision
    • A lot of politics - gotta sip the kool-aid if you want to get anywhere. Can be a toxic work environment
    • High turnover rate in operations - CEO infamously said in the last town hall that employee retention is not a priority of his which rubbed a LOT of people the wrong way.
    • No point in staying long if you want your CPA. If management is your goal then go for it if you want to sell your soul.

    Advice to Management

    Don't tell your employees that you don't care about employee retention when in the past you keep saying that you value the front of the line operations team. You're basically telling us that we're not important and are easily replaceable. We understand that you're trying to take over the SMB accounting services world and most people are on board with that. It's a great product that fills a need. Treat us with respect rather than lip service and your employees will give some sort of effort in their work rather than just barely going through the motions. Respect your employees. Actually listen to what they have to say without getting defensive. Definitely not the same work environment from back in the day where I used to enjoy coming in to work.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great people, great opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Bench Accounting full-time

    Pros

    Great people, awesome opportunities (if you put in the work and earn them), wicked perks, and a really great atmosphere.

    Cons

    It changes quickly and as it grows expect to continue to change.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent across the board, not just when it suits, but all the time.

    Bench Accounting Response

    10 Jan, 2018 – Director, People

    Thanks for sharing your experience! It is great to hear your positive feedback on the atmosphere we are striving hard to create. We do try to be as transparent as possible in our decision making... More


  8. Helpful (4)

    "A high performance culture that's always experimenting"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Management in Vancouver, BC
    Current Employee - Product Management in Vancouver, BC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bench Accounting full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Bench is full of people putting in their all to figure out bookkeeping and build a sustainable business. I've never worked with a more talented group of people who care deeply about the company's mission - supporting entrepreneurs to thrive.

    The place is designed for high-performers, with a fast pace and occasionally long hours. The company is constantly experimenting with new initiatives, partnerships and services; the pace is dizzying and energizing at the same time. The culture is what makes it possible - management is empathetic and supportive, and no one takes themselves too seriously. Many of us are close friends outside the office.

    Cons

    If you like process and stability, look elsewhere. It's not an environment for those uneasy with ambiguity.

    The constant change/experimentation can be exhausting. The pace means communication can be uneven, and that execution sometimes misses the mark.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up.
    Communicate more. Celebrate successes but also communicate when we mess it up.. We are in this together

    Bench Accounting Response

    5 Dec, 2017 – Director, People

    Hey there, thank you for you review! We pride ourselves on the business and community we have built and agree that the pace can sometimes be both dizzying and energizing, all at once! We’re “all in... More


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Good company to work for; growing pains are obvious."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Accounting Associate in Vancouver, BC
    Current Employee - Accounting Associate in Vancouver, BC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Bench Accounting full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Excellent office culture
    - Friendly coworkers
    - Work-from-home days are available (can be dependent on performance)
    - Great place to acquire valuable skills
    - Solid benefits package, especially compared to other entry-level options

    Cons

    Bench is a young company that has grown very quickly. As such, the middle management team is composed of people who have risen through the company quite rapidly, and while they care deeply about the company and are very enthusiastic, their relative inexperience does sometimes hamper the effectiveness of the company: one gets the sense that they are often reacting to new developments rather than anticipating them, and that can make things chaotic.

    There is a very strong implicit focus on revenue in staffing and salary decisions. Utilization (the measure of how fully stocked an employee's client portfolio is) is almost always over 100%, and when even as few as 5 to 10 employees leave in a relatively short period of time it can cause significant movement and disruption in the Operations department. You do get the sense that every last drop of potential revenue is being squeezed out of you.

    Lastly, long-term retention of experienced employees is minimal. Because Bench provides employees with a valuable skill set but does not offer the best salaries, there is frequent turnover of the most skilled and knowledgeable employees. This is currently survivable, as there's typically a good stock of people ready for promotion, but it's not a good indicator for the long-term health of the company.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on the retention of experienced employees through providing attractive salaries, raises, and benefits. The sleekness, usability, and overall appeal of the platform is very effective at drawing clients in, but it's the skills of the employees that retain clients and make the value of Bench's service apparent.

    Beware of focusing too much upon automating bookkeeping tools; this produces employees that are competent at using those tools and completing their work effectively when everything works as expected, but things are rarely smooth all the time. Employees without solid bookkeeping knowledge and problem-solving skills will not produce the client experience Bench seeks to provide.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "An Awesome Workplace For New Grads"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Bench Accounting full-time

    Pros

    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.

    Cons

    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.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Career-starter, but don't expect long-term growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Bench Accounting full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Culture/colleagues are casual and friendly. Executives are approachable if you choose to engage them. Jobs are accessible to entry-level, and training is thorough. Some clients are fantastic. Great health plan / monthly "wellness" allowance. Depending on your department/role, there is usually freedom to work from home/other cities for extended periods of time. Gender diversity (although less in the top-end).

    Cons

    High turnover in some departments. Unless you are in a senior role, the growth in your roles plateaus. Ongoing training/ new opportunities are limited. Growth into other departments/new roles used to be common, but is rare/often designated by tenure. Some managers are fantastic, some are absolutely not at all. Compensation is not competitive, and in most entry-level roles, salary is barely livable. It's obvious that the direction of the company is moving away from attention/care for internal culture, towards cost-cutting and fast growth. Bench is still more casual/comfortable than other "traditional" offices, but it is no where near as progressive and positive as it used to be, and internal morale is suffering. Also, some client interactions can be rough.

    Advice to Management

    Happy people do better work. This company is often what you make it.* There are some very positive, happy people. There are a majority of discontent or unfulfilled people. Don't turn a blind eye to the feedback you're receiving about disengaged employees. Continue to train managers to add value to their team's work, and give them opportunities to have positive contributions. Don't take transparency for granted.


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