Everything You Wanted to Know about Bench vs QBO

Should I use Bench or QBO? 

The choice between Bench vs QBO impacts how your company’s financial processes work. Both Bench and QBO are business accounting softwares, and both offer benefits and disad-vantages. We’ll help you choose between the two by comparing what they can do for your com-pany and considering what you need from your accounting software.

Bench Pros

Includes Bookkeepers
Bench is an online accounting software with the bookkeeping done by real humans. Every Bench client gets a dedicated bookkeeper who handles business transactions on a monthly basis. If the bookkeeper needs more information from the client, they will reach out. Your company can rest assured that the bookkeeping will be done without having to reconcile each transaction yourself.

Simple Software Design

Because Bench is largely handling bookkeeping through its bookkeepers, the software design for users is simple and easy to navigate. There is nothing complex and so no steep learning curve to start using the system. For complete beginners or those who want to outsource and not worry, Bench is ideal.

Real-Time Cash Flow

Bench offers real-time cash flow updates to its clients. That means users can check in on business performance whenever they want, with up-to-date figures for decision making (as long as the monthly close has been complete).

Tagging Features

Transaction tagging allows Bench users to organize data in whatever way works best for their needs. Tagging could be by project, client, location, service, or other category. This helps Bench users dive into what makes the most money, or the profit vs loss for a specific client or project.

Can File Taxes (for a fee)

An optional add-on, BenchTax, provides full tax services to Bench clients. Bookkeeping and taxes are all done, organized, and completed by Bench and its tax team. Tax advisory services exist all year long, with regular check-ins.

QBO Pros

Larger Number of Features

QuickBooks Online is full of features, designed for business professionals who want to DIY their own books. Thus, it is more robust than Bench in the features department. Features include expensive tracking, budgeting, and job costing, along with integrations with other platforms.  In addition, Quickbooks Online has thousands of integrations with other systems, such as revenue (Stripe, Square, PayPal), inventory, billpay, etc. so QBO can grow with your company from startup to more mature phase.

Accrual-based accounting

QBO allows the user to post journal entries, track inventory, and depreciate fixed assets.  A growing company could eventually produce audited financials directly from QBO, while they would struggle to pass an audit with Bench’s cash-basis accounting.

1099 Contractor Payments

QBO allows businesses to track expenses of independent contractors, and file 1099-MISCs directly from the platform. It’s a helpful feature for any company utilizing the work of an independent contractor and ensures legal compliance. 

Monthly Bookkeeping

It is possible to add monthly live bookkeeping to QBO with a virtual bookkeeper and an additional cost. This adds an extra layer of expertise to tracking financial information, reconciling, and organizing. 

Scalable and Cheaper

QBO is known as a scalable accounting program, with tiered services and pricing plans based on a company’s needs. Whether it’s starting small with the self-employed plan or moving up to a fully serviced bundle, QBO makes it easy. For any business that will shift or grow over time, QBO flexes with you instead of necessitating an all-new system.


Little to No Customer Support

Some QBO users report struggles with user support, with challenges accessing live customer support over the phone. Most of QBO’s customer support comes in the form of online chats, FAQs and knowledgebase, or through other users. For those who are encountering a problem who simply want help over the phone, quickly, it can be a frustrating experience.

Sells via Volume Rather Than Quality

QBO is a well-known accounting software system, and one of the most-purchased platforms. As a software business, their focus is on a continual volume of sales. The quality of the product and their relationship with customers may be less of a priority so long as the volume is still coming. 

 Conclusion: QBO vs Bench

Looking at QBO vs Bench, there are arguments for each system depending on your business needs. As we see it, the decision is mostly centered on how much work you want to do on your own, versus how much professional bookkeeping you require. If you would rather outsource, and are ok with cash-basis financials, Bench is a great option. If you would prefer a more robust system with more integrations and options but which requires more work (from yourself or an outsourced accountant), Quickbooks Online may be the better choice.

Bench Takes Care of the Task for More Money

Bench is the ideal user-friendly, easy-to-learn solution for those who want to outsource bookkeeping as much as possible. With a team of expert bookkeepers and the ability to file taxes from the same system, professional assistance is there when you need it. That said, the professional assistance does come at a higher cost than QBO, a more DIY approach.

QBO Gives You the Tools to DIY

QBO is a much more budget-friendly option than Bench, affordable even for sole proprietors running a small business. However, because it is so inexpensive, it comes at the cost of labor and time. QBO is not right for anyone who wants to outsource, as the user must do all of the bookkeeping and accounting.

For those who enjoy handling their books, or prefer the flexibility to create accrual-based financials, QBO offers everything needed to DIY. With more advanced features than Bench, it may be a bit more challenging to get started, and customer support is less available. If the trade-off between cost and functionality is worthwhile, QBO’s a great choice for self-starters and those who want to scale their business.

Finvisor has been helping startups and small businesses get their books right from the start.  Reach out to us on our Contact Us page for a free 20-minute consultation of getting your financials right, no matter which software you use.



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