One of the most intimidating tasks involved in running a business can be the bookkeeping. Keeping track of the flow of each cent, the stacks of receipts and the endless scrolling numbers can be daunting. It’s even more difficult to find the bookkeeping process that suits you and your business and it’s nuances. Are you a math wiz who crunches numbers with an app, or do you prefer to let professionals do the crunching for you?
Often you will need some combination of the two, and newer startups like Bench are quickly bridging the gap to provide a two-pronged approach. Originally launched in June 2012 out of Tech Stars NY as a company called 10Sheet that was determined to change the face of bookkeeping for small businesses through the use of software, the company quickly learned that there are just certain business functions that are too delicate to trust to an algorithm. Bench, the relaunched company, is proclaiming to be a “smart service,” blending traditional dedicated bookkeeping professionals with technology in an effort to streamline the process and make it straightforward and simple.
Bench’s bookkeepers are expert advisors recruited from top firms and colleges in North America, and are available anytime via phone, email or through the Bench web service. One of the best features that Bench provides is a catch-up service. The program organizes your backlog of receipts and documents to create an easy to follow report. With its $100 a month price tag, it is very affordable for small businesses that cannot afford to hire an in house or dedicated bookkeeper. You are also able to either mail in your receipts or take a photo with your phone to send to them online, offering the variability that is often necessary now. And while it is still a budding service and does not offer services like taxes, payroll, bill tracking or inventory management, Bench bookkeepers can introduce clients to viable services that will work alongside Bench.
Bench is likely just the beginning in this new wave of services combining traditional bookkeeping methods with technology. These new methods are able, in some instances, to offer lower costs than ordinary bookkeeping services. The combination of human interaction and technological services and the ability to integrate with other services like PayPal, make it a valuable alternative for small businesses. But just as with any new service, it will only work for you and your company if it fits your needs. So take a close look at what they offer and if they provide the care and attention you need for financial peace of mind. If they do, it might just be a service that helps you sleep better at night!