Bench Accounting Reviews | Glassdoor.ca

Bench Accounting Reviews

Updated 6 September, 2018
86 reviews

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3.8
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Bench Accounting CEO Ian Crosby
Ian Crosby
60 Ratings

86 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Hours are flexible and many of us work from home a couple days a week, simply because it makes us happy and more productive" (in 15 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. "Best Place to Work In Vancouver"

    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 (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great training
    Great pay (sales)
    Great People
    Great service

    Opportunities for growth is huge

    I have nothing but good things to say

    Cons

    Sometimes our free beer runs out.... sometimes

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up and please don't change as we scale

  3. "Engineering dept. is super well managed"

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

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

    Pros

    The engineering department is a great place for a programmer to spread their wings. There's really good inter-team collaboration and communication, which means you get to interact with super smart programmers working on all sorts of interesting projects.

    The company is willing to invest the time and effort into doing things right. There is a constant effort to keep technologies up-to-date - even experimenting with up-and-coming tech when it looks promising.

    Cons

    The engineering team is currently quite senior. This results in working at higher than usual levels of abstraction, which might take extra ramp-up time for more junior developers.


  4. "Excellent place to grow as a Software Engineer"

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

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

    Pros

    The Engineering team at Bench has excellent opportunities for both collaboration and mentorship. It is rare that you find a problem that someone in the company hasn't already solved (and if they haven't they're excited to try).

    There are two career tracks: Management and Individual Contributor. This means that compensation and career growth aren't limited by whether you want to manage people; both tracks are set up to support your growing expertise.

    Our process and tech helps us release code more than 500 times a month. This means we can really be agile, iterating and adapting to the needs of the business and our stakeholders.

    Work/Life balance is a core value. Hours are flexible and many of us work from home a couple days a week, simply because it makes us happy and more productive.

    Cons

    In a growing company there are always things to complain about. I haven't seen anything at Bench that I haven't seen in the other companies I've worked at.

    Advice to Management

    Keep listening to your employees. You've done some great work responding to their criticism in recent months. It's been very refreshing to see you reflect on practices that aren't ideal and implement solutions.


  5. "Exciting time to join"

    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

    - Great workplace culture. Bench is really making an effort to encourage continuous learning for their employees.

    - Awesome office and team events.

    - Really cool product. Hearing how much our customers love us is AWESOME. You won't feel like you're selling a useless product.

    - Props to the People Team (and other leadership) for actually listening to feedback from Benchmates. If you have an idea for what could be improved, the leadership will actually listen and give a well-thought-out response.

    Cons

    - Sometimes it feels like there's not a clear path upward, or the "next step" in terms of promotion/career trajectory isn't really clear.

    - Confusion around vacation policy.

    Advice to Management

    Keep listening to your employees. I know there are some things that won't change overnight (like compensation plans), but it goes a long way to tell employees you've heard them and you're actively working on things. And share those plans with employees so that they know it isn't empty words.

    Bench Accounting Response

    27 Aug, 2018 – Director, People

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and feedback. We're thrilled to have you on the team and glad you're having a great time!

    We're excited to have recently launched our Bench... More


  6. "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


  7. "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.

    Bench Accounting Response

    9 Jul, 2018 – Director, Service Operations

    I’m thrilled to hear that you’ve had an awesome experience so far! We’re lucky to have you. Like you said, there are countless opportunities to get involved, contribute, and make a real impact on the... More

  8. "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.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Employees grossly underpaid. Covered up with office perks."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookkeeper in Vancouver, BC
    Former Employee - Bookkeeper in Vancouver, BC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Nice office in a great location, free snacks, company events, good benefits, dog friendly, approachable management, room for growth. I did enjoy the people and the environment, but the low wage was just unsustainable.

    Cons

    They seem to be more concerned about how the company looks on the outside vs how it’s actually operating on the inside. (They’re always trying to compete with HootSuite. I’ve brought up concerns with managers several times and got the “yeah I’ll look into that.” And of course... never heard back.)

    Their compensation structure is a complete mess, which is why they have such a high turnover rate. Sales is overpaid. Most other positions are underpaid, borderline offensive, especially considering the minimum wage hikes. Any other bookkeeping company pays bookkeepers around 25% more, at least.

    Yes, their software is awesome and makes the work “easier”, but we’re still being loaded up with work to fill the day. So in that sense, it doesn’t really matter for us how long the work takes. The only people that benefits are the customers, which in turn, benefits the higher-ups.

    They talked about “new compensation structures”, but those didn’t make much sense either. There is definitely a disconnect somewhere in the pay structure vs the logistics of their employees’ actual workload that management just isn’t seeing or understanding.

    Although the office perks were nice, they always seemed a little condescending — Like they’re trying to distract you from the fact that you’re underpaid. I get it, but free beer and video games in the office isn’t going to pay your rent. The perks don’t make up for the low wages by a long shot.

    I understand Bench is a young company. But with this turnover rate, how can they expect to keep growing? With underpaid employees, how can they expect us to provide top notch customer service, the backbone of the company—the very thing that the company depends on?

    Advice to Management

    I want Bench to succeed, I really do. And I wish I were able to stick around, but I just couldn’t due to the low pay.

    With the current state of the pay structure, Bench is only going to be a stepping stone for employees until they can find something else that pays better. How long can one live at that wage for?

    Please figure out the pay structure. Something is seriously wrong here.

    Word is spreading fast that Bench is the “cool office but low pay” place.

    Bench Accounting Response

    11 Jul, 2018 – Director, Service Operations

    Thank you for sharing you experience - I really appreciate your open feedback about your experience at Bench. Living in Vancouver on an entry-level salary is definitely difficult, and as you... More


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work if you plan on having no personal life."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookkeeper in Vancouver, BC
    Former Employee - Bookkeeper in Vancouver, BC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great co-workers and office space with quite a few perks (food,drinks etc.)

    Cons

    Majority of the bookkeepers have to take their work home in order to complete it with no additional compensation.

    Inexperienced leaders who are incapable of taking feedback.

    The more experienced I became with bookkeeping the more clients I was given even though I had already reached my "max" amount despite they're being nearly 15 bookkeepers who would just float around assisting different teams.
    (This was the main reason I gave my 2 weeks)

    not to mention more work load did not equal better compensation... The worst part the leaders giving me additional clients were aware it would result in me having to work from home as well just to complete to new work load and when I had mentioned it they would always say its temporary despite it never being temporary.

    I went from bragging about where I worked to contemplating quitting every day.

    Advice to Management

    Expecting you're employees to work an additional 10+ hours a week with no compensation is flat out wrong.

    Bench Accounting Response

    16 Jul, 2018 – Director, Service Operations

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Finding the right way to assign work to new and experienced Associates is an ongoing process, and ultimately the outcome we want to avoid is burned out... More


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