Let’s face it—few small business owners are excited about their company’s financial records. Sure, it’s gratifying to make sales, hire a team, and generate profits. But the struggle of keeping up with day-to-day invoices and transactions is another thing entirely.
If you’re like many small business owners, you have financial data spread across several different locations, including your bank and credit card statements, your Stripe account, and perhaps even a spreadsheet or two. And that makes keeping track of your numbers—where the money is coming from and where it’s going—tedious and time-consuming.
The Bench app can help ease the burden of this mundane task. It allows small business owners to review the health of their small business at a glance, providing big-picture insights in the same place you’re likely already spending a lot of time: Stripe.
More than just payments
Stripe allows small business owners to accept payments from online customers in every country and in over 100 currencies. You’re likely already familiar with how easy it is to manage all of your payments directly from the Stripe dashboard and view up-to-date information on the sales that pass through Stripe.
Now, as part of the launch of Stripe Apps and the Stripe App Marketplace, you can download the Bench app to augment your Stripe dashboard, bringing in a holistic view of your business’s entire financial picture beyond payments.
When you install the Bench app in Stripe, you’ll be able to see transaction data from all of your financial accounts—business checking, savings, and credit card statements, as well as your Stripe account—summarized and displayed neatly in an income statement.
No more bookkeeping or account reconciliation
As a successful business owner, you love spending time with and serving your clients and customers. But chances are you didn’t go into business to spend hours handling your company’s bookkeeping and reconciling accounts.
Yet managing your company’s finances is a crucial part of owning a successful business. Neglect to collect an outstanding invoice? Hello, cash flow troubles. Misplaced important receipts? Say goodbye to those valuable tax deductions. Forget to pay a bill? Yikes! Your business and even personal credit score can take a hit.
When you use the Bench app, you’ll have better control of your finances without spending hours manually entering Stripe transactions into your accounting software or spreadsheets. All Stripe transactions automatically sync with your Bench account. Then your Bench bookkeeper matches transactions and performs account reconciliations for you, with little of your involvement required. This will allow you to seamlessly track your money before it gets away from you.
When you need to know where your business stands, you’ll have up-to-date data right within Stripe so you can focus on business growth, not busy work.
Actionable insights to help you stay in control of your profitability
Your balance sheet and income statement aren’t historical documents to look at once a month, once a quarter, or once a year at tax time. They’re living, breathing documents that provide insights into your overall financial standing. Keeping an eye on your balance sheet and profit and loss statement can help you cut down on unnecessary expenses, reveal emerging trends in your business revenues, and craft more accurate projections.
Up-to-date, accurate financial statements are the key to unlocking those insights. Without reliable information, it’s tough to tell what’s working and what’s not. You run the risk of making wrong decisions that cost you money rather than contribute to profits.
For example, say you own an online jewelry business, but you rent a kiosk at a local shopping center during the holiday season to increase local visibility and capture more holiday sales.
With the Bench app, you can dig into last year’s results. Did sales from the kiosk cover renting, furnishing, and staffing the kiosk? Was your profit worth the effort? You don’t have to rely on a gut feeling to answer those questions—it’s right there in your numbers.
With the power of the Bench app integrated with Stripe, you can see where you stand on a day-to-day basis and use that data to make better decisions for your future.
When you can see where your revenue and expenses are coming from and how they impact your bottom line in real-time, you’re better equipped to make strategic decisions that will help your business be proactive rather than reactive.
Evaluate business performance over time
Knowing today’s numbers is useful, but being able to analyze your numbers across several months and years is even more helpful.
With the Bench app, you can select custom data ranges to compare your income statement numbers over historical periods of time. This lets you quickly see whether your business is improving or declining.
For example, if accounts receivable are going up month over month while sales are declining, you may need to review your credit and collection policies. Likewise, if you see an increase in net sales of 25%, while the cost of goods sold has increased disproportionately by 50%, you may want to review your costs before you see too much of a hit to your gross profit.
Looking at this month’s numbers by themselves won’t give you these kinds of insights, but combining Stripe with the Bench app will.
You can also view your balance sheet, download reports as Excel spreadsheets, get financial tips, contact your Bench bookkeeper with questions, and access Bench blog articles that are useful to Stripe users, right from the app.
How the Bench app can help
Bench is an online bookkeeping service powered by real humans. Bench gives you a dedicated bookkeeper supported by a team of knowledgeable small business experts. We’re here to take the guesswork out of running your own business—for good. Your bookkeeping team imports financial data from bank statements and other platforms, categorizes transactions, and prepares financial statements every month.
Check out Bench in the Stripe App Marketplace to sign up and receive a notification for when the app is available.
With greater insight into your finances, you can better manage the future direction of your business. Bench + Stripe = a match made in heaven! Not using Bench yet and want to learn more? Start a free trial with Bench today.