Bench Accounting Reviews | Glassdoor.ca

Bench Accounting Reviews

Updated 27 November, 2017
66 reviews

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3.5
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Ian Crosby
44 Ratings

66 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work-from-home days are available (can be dependent on performance) (in 12 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)

  • There is definitely a company culture collapse like many of the other reviews have mentioned (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (5)

    "Great Place for New Grads - Stay and get CPA experience and move on"

    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

    -Youll gain tons of experience
    -Lots of transferable skills
    -People are awesome
    -Great environment

    Cons

    -Salary is low but they take lots of people with no experience so I guess it's understandable
    -Changes a lot and fast paced environment
    -Cant offer full CPA experience

    Advice to Management

    Consider adjusting salary if you want higher retention/less turnover. Get more experienced middle management.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "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


  3. "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


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. 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.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "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.


  7. 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.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "It's Alright"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Associate
    Current Employee - Account Associate
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Dogs
    Work From Home
    Flexibility
    Sick Office

    Cons

    The work is so incredibly boring and mundane a monkey could do it


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Just Started - So Far So Good"

    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

    Transparent open door policy.
    Flexible work hours and locations.
    Enthusiastic, friendly, and smart coworkers.
    Nice and central office location.
    Decent salary.

    Cons

    Startup cultures is always long hours and a "go go go" mentality.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Great place to gain experience"

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

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

    Pros

    A great company to use a stepping stone. Wonderful flexibility and absolutely wonderful people.

    Cons

    Very inexperienced leadership which shows. Becoming increasingly difficult to get things done and changed as it is always unclear who has control over certain areas of the company. Bench is going through some serious growing pains, but is a wonderful intro into the tech sector. Great place to gain experience.

    Advice to Management

    Work on redefining what leadership can do for employees. Inexperienced leadership at the lower and middle level coinciding with very senior execs creates lack of authority and ability to get things done.


  11. "Room to grow with an exciting company if you're willing to work hard"

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

    I have been working at Bench Accounting full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people. There are some extremely smart and motivational folks to work with, and a beautiful office to boot. Decent snacks (though changing them once in a while would be amazing!)

    Cons

    Limited growth when you reach a certain level (like most companies). The business has a Tendency to overcompensate for different strategies, and under plan for others.


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