Bench: Helping small businesses have loan-ready financials!

Business owners often confess that finances are a source of stress and intimidation. We’ve heard from business owners and CDFIs alike that new approaches for helping business owners effectively manage their finances are needed, so we’re rolling up our sleeves to conduct real-world pilots to prove existing solutions.

The few CDFIs that provide bookkeeping solutions as part of technical assistance generally offer training in "QuickBooks” software, referrals to local service providers, or in-house bookkeeping services – all of which end up being costly or time-consuming for business owners and CDFIs.

After a scan of the market for financial management solutions, we’ve selected Bench as the first provider for a series of pilots to test new models of delivering technical assistance. Thanks to the generosity of Capital One, AEO will provide 50 clients of CDFIs six months of free Bench bookkeeping services. This means participating clients get accurate monthly financial statements and access to dedicated expert support for bookkeeping/accounting questions.

What is Bench?

Bench is an online bookkeeping service that pairs small business owners with a team of dedicated bookkeepers, and uses simple, elegant software to do their bookkeeping. Each month, Bench clients receive accurate, tax-ready financial statements (Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet). Clients can view/download financial statements and chat with their bookkeeping team via the Bench web app.

Why Bench? Click here.

  1. Unlike software solutions or training, business owners don’t have to learn it or do it themselves – they get a team of bookkeepers! Your organization can be confident that your clients are in expert hands.
  2. DIY accounting software doesn’t save time or prevent human errors.  On average, Bench saves entrepreneurs 5 hours of bookkeeping every month.
  3. Entrepreneurs can focus their time and energy on other important parts of their business.
  4. Your organization (through AEO) will cover the cost for the first 6 months! After 6 months free, Bench is a flat monthly fee, versus the costly and unpredictable hourly fees of other bookkeepers.

It’s easy as 1, 2, 3 to sign up your small business clients:

1.     Fill out this short form to nominate each client.

2.     You’ll be notified when your client has been accepted for 6 months of free bookkeeping!

  1. Collect $100 refundable deposit with the attached participation agreement.

Then just sit back and let Bench help your client!

TILT Forward is able to offer this opportunity through generous sponsorship from Capital One.