I’ve got little people at home. If you’ve ever been around little people, you know they love a completely outrageous game of Would You Rather? Most kids love the especially ridiculous questions, like ‘Would you rather eat a jar of mayonnaise or drink a cup of hot sauce?’ Casual stuff, right?
The thing about Would You Rather is that there really isn’t a right answer. It’s allllll about what YOU prefer and what your limits are. So I want to play my own version today- Would you rather use Bench or Freely for all of your freelance accounting needs? Let’s talk about both, and then I’d love to hear which one you would choose!
Bench markets itself as ‘an online bookkeeping service for your small business.’ It’s pretty comprehensive and takes care of your bookkeeping and tax needs, which includes monthly financial reports. Bookkeeping employees within Bench do all of the accounting, you just have to provide the information like bank accounts and credit cards. I am currently using Bench and have been for almost 2 years. I signed up after seeing their beautifully designed IG ads with super cool looking bookkeepers. I honestly spent a lot of time wondering if these were actual bookkeepers, or models (see image of Ada above...if that's even her real name). Still a mystery.
I’ll be honest, Bench is a great resource, but that comes at a cost. Literally. The cheapest plan is the ‘Essential,’ which is available for $299 a month, or $249 a month. It’s way pricier than other services, like Quickbooks, because all of the bookkeeping work is done for you. I keep wondering if I have enough transactions to justify the spend on this. One of the benefits of Bench is that they provide this beautiful report at the end of the year, which I pass over to my CPA and I don't have to do anything else. It's so easy.
A few months ago, someone from Freely reached out to me on Upwork looking for beta testers. If you know me, you know I LOVEEEEEE beta testing products and am always the first to try new apps and devices, so I started testing the app.
Freely focuses specifically on freelancers, and its focus is on helping you prepare your taxes and lower your tax bill. The app helps you keep track of your income and expenses by turning your bank transactions into accounting data in real time. It also finds the expenses you can write off (which is perfect if you don’t have any accounting knowledge) to help you save thousands on taxes. It helps you prepare for tax time by putting your expenses into Schedule C tax categories automatically to generate your pre-filled tax documents. Essentially doing what Bench does. Freely is new so I haven't seen the end of year reporting yet, but I did subscribe to Freely because it's only $15 A MONTH.
Now, does Freely have a team of internal bookkeepers doing your financial work for you? Nope. But it makes it super easy to do it yourself without investing hours and hours. Remember those littles I have? I’d MUCH rather spend those hours with them.
Freely offers a free 30 day trial, but if you want to try it for longer you can use the code MARCYC42 to get three months free.
So, how can I justify Bench when Freely is so cheap? Someone help.
Tell me which app you prefer, or if there are other bookkeeping apps you love for freelancers!