Bench Accounting Reviews | Glassdoor.ca

Bench Accounting Reviews

Updated 13 June, 2018
82 reviews

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3.8
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Bench Accounting CEO Ian Crosby
Ian Crosby
57 Ratings

82 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Work-from-home days are available (can be dependent on performance)" (in 14 reviews)

  • "Plus, it's dog-friendly, and there's beer on tap" (in 6 reviews)

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

  • "Compensation is bad relative to the amount of work you have to do" (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    "Wonderful people, hard work, and never a dull moment."

    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 (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    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.

    Cons

    • 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.

    Bench Accounting Response

    1 Mar, 2018 – Director, People

    What a journey it's been for you! We're so grateful for your positive spirit, hard work and honesty. Constant change can absolutely be challenging and you're right, those who are used to slow-pace... More


  2. "Non-stop learning and growth with brilliant people"

    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

    - In my (almost) 4 years at Bench, I have never stopped learning and there has always been opportunity for growth.
    - Fearless feedback is trained for and expected at all levels of the company.
    - This company learns from its mistakes and is transparent in its successes/misses.
    - I work with an incredible team of badass sales people that make coming in to work every day an absolute pleasure. We work hard and have fun doing it.
    - Culture is everything to me and the sales team and Bench as a whole embodies the culture that I want to be a part of: honesty, respect, constructive and positive feedback, tons of laughter, and opportunities to learn.

    Cons

    Interdepartmental communication/processes need to be tightened up. I've seen a lot of progress in this area over the past year but we still have a ways to go.

    Advice to Management

    Things are not always as urgent as they seem. Encourage your employees to strike an optimal balance between work and life outside of work. Take a genuine interest in the personal goals your employees are working towards.

  3. "Amazing company, still growing"

    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 (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Inclusive and supportive work environment
    - Emotionally available management
    - Great team environment
    - Fantastic product that is so very needed
    - Rad office
    - CEO is completely vested and present in what we're doing day to day and for the long term
    - Transparency between all levels of staff
    - Great feedback systems and always support all criticism

    Cons

    - Recently Bench has refocused on growth opportunities from within though it has not always been that way
    - Pay and benefits are not a living wage in Vancouver
    - Tend to favour more extroverted people in hiring

    Advice to Management

    - Focus on creating more opportunities for the right people to move upwards and laterally into different positions
    - Grow your people rather than have them move on because of a lack of opportunity


  4. "Great place to work. Worth the hard work."

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

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

    Pros

    You're surrounded by great people and everyone works hard toward the same goal. Your day to day is lined with many perks ranging from the avocados and beer to awesome benefits and office dogs.
    Though the work can get repetitive and discouraging, there is room for progression if you are keen and really immerse yourself in the opportunities. Once you get confident in your roll, lots of doors are opened for you to get involved with larger projects on the side, which can be very rewarding and professionally filling. Bench isn't a place where anything is put on a plate for you but anything is possible if you go for it.
    All in all, it's an awesome experience, professionally and personally.

    Cons

    If you're after getting a foot in the door and hoping to develop into a role in another department, it's very difficult. There aren't support mechanisms in place for this nor does it seem very encouraged. You're seemingly stuck in the department that you're hired in. This can be particularly discouraging for recent grads, which are a decent chunk of the employee base.
    Though the pay does start relatively low, the raises are substantial, so if you're looking for a longer term workplace, then this will likely not be a problem as time goes on, it will become more and more livable.

    Advice to Management

    Really value the people you have. It's not easy to get a quality team of employees, especially at the scale that they're needed. Bench still has a great reputation as an employer and as a service. It would be not only unfortunate but possibly devastating if this was lost.


  5. "Great Place To Learn"

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

    I worked at Bench Accounting full-time

    Pros

    Great Culture, lots of room for growth, people are nice.

    Cons

    compensation is not realistic as a livable wage. $32,000 starting salary is not doable.


  6. "Bench makes wellness a top priority for employees"

    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

    Bench has created this robust wellness culture that makes me (and I hope all employees) feel that we work in a safe environment. They take seriously that we should be role models inside these walls (and out) in regards to not tolerating unprofessionalism of any kind. There's support with a mental health guide, mental health days, in house massages, covering MSP and benefits, having paid sick days, a $125/month wellness fund to spend on as I see fit, (yoga class, new gym shoes, bus pass etc...) healthy food on site 24/7, community involvement, cute office dogs, 3pm meditation sessions, 4 o'clock Fridays (free beer/wine), and flex time/WFH options. I've never worked for a company that does so much for employees overall wellness.

    Cons

    Now that I'm used to it, I expect nothing less from future employers.

    Advice to Management

    Thank you. (and keep it up!)

    Bench Accounting Response

    23 May, 2018 – Director, People

    We're so glad that you're enjoying what we purposely set out to create; a culture where wellbeing and community is central!!


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Not what it used to"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Bench Accounting full-time

    Pros

    - The office space flashy enough if you are into open office and have a good pair of noise-canceling headphones.
    - Some great people are still working there.

    Cons

    - The team used to be pretty diverse, and a point of pride, but choices by management drove away a lot of people. Now it's much more uniform...
    - Absurd office policies (e.g.: no garbage bin allowed).
    - Concerning growth...
    - Became very top down and obsessed with quarterly KPI/OKR. Ends up being very waterfall.

    Advice to Management

    - Diversity is the outcome of inclusion. Otherwise, it's lip service.
    - Hopefully, the influx of management from Hootsuite won't recreate the same kind of culture (see glassdoor).
    - Give engineers more freedom on how to approach problems.

    Bench Accounting Response

    30 May, 2018 – Director, People

    Thank you for your review.

    On diversity, inclusion and belonging: These are some of the most important topics in the technology sector (and beyond!) today. We are not alone at Bench in our... More

  8. "Great place to work if you're smart and ambitious."

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

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

    Pros

    Lots of internal opportunities, great office, constantly changing environment (in a good way), good people.

    Cons

    Company culture could be better, departments are very segmented from each other. I wouldn't describe it as a fun place to work.

    Bench Accounting Response

    7 May, 2018 – Director, People

    Thanks for your feedback - we're glad to have you on the team!

    Building a strong, inclusive company culture is so important to us. We’re working hard to make sure Bench is a place where people... More


  9. "Smart People, Great Work"

    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

    -you are surrounded by very very smart people
    -dogs are allowed
    -flex schedule
    -work form home anytime you want, people don't frown upon you for it

    Cons

    -departments don't socialize across each other very much, more company wide events or mixers would be great.

    Bench Accounting Response

    27 Apr, 2018 – Director, People

    Thanks for your feedback! As we grow it's really important for us to find ways to collaborate cross-functionally, and we've been working on new ways to do so. As an example, our engineering and... More


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Terrible Choice for Software Engineers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

     • Some nice coworkers, although the best ones have left
     • Nice office
     • Compensation and benefits above average

    Cons

     • People are considered disposable
     • Very High turnover: key developers and half the leadership have all left in the last year
     • Everything is top priority, deadlines are ASAP. Green leadership really shows.
     • Opportunities squandered, only focusing on short term gains
     • No growth in engineering shows Bench is building a call center, not a tech company
     • Empire building and unhealthy politics throughout, especially leadership

    Advice to Management

    If you are turning the company into a bookkeeping call center, fully commit to it. Stop trying to sell yourself as a tech startup, you will only continue to tarnish your now tattered reputation. Purchase a decent system for it, and stop wasting resources on a half-assed approach.

    Either that or actually start to invest in Engineering and a different way to do bookkeeping. If you are unwilling to even slightly disrupt yourself, how can you expect to disrupt an entire industry?

    Bench Accounting Response

    11 May, 2018 – Director, People

    Thank you for your candid review! As you point out, Bench is neither a classic SaaS product company, nor a classic service based organization. We are disrupting bookkeeping by seeking to blend the... More


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