At Bench, our mission is to help entrepreneurs master their financial lives with modern bookkeeping solutions. And to fulfill this mission, we collect information about you, our:
- Customers using Bench to power your business
- Accountant Clients using Bench to streamline bookkeeping for your own clients
- Visitors to Bench’s websites, or anyone contacting Bench support
- Prospective Benchmates looking to make a big impact with a career at Bench
Bench offers cloud-based bookkeeping, financial information storage and reporting, tax preparation and advisory (“Bench Tax”), and related communication services to entrepreneurs through its online platform at bench.co, accessible via our website and mobile applications. Through this platform, our Customers and Accountant Clients can access the tools they need to power their businesses or the businesses of their clients. We refer to our platform, websites and mobile applications collectively as our “Services”.
Our Services may contain links to other websites, products, or services that we do not own or operate. When using our Services, you may decide to share your data and any related personal information with a third-party service of your choice (for example, your accountant). Any processing of your information by these third parties is governed by their own privacy policies and terms. We recommend you carefully review their privacy policies and terms, as Bench is not responsible for such third-party services.
What information we collect about you and why
A. Customers & Accountant Clients
If you are a Customer using Bench to power your business or an Accountant Client using Bench to streamline bookkeeping for your own clients, we collect and use your personal information to provide you with our Services. We collect the following personal information when you sign up for Bench, when you use our Services, or when you otherwise provide us information. We also may collect personal information from other sources, including business partners or referral partners. Generally, we use this information to provide and customize our Services for you.
We collect the following personal information about you when you visit our website or contact us through our website:
C. Prospective Benchmates
We collect the following personal information about you when you apply for a position with Bench:
D. Prospective Customers
In order to offer our Services to prospective Customers who might find our Services useful, we collect personal information, including identifiers, such as names, emails addresses, and phone numbers, from business partners and public sources. We may also collect information about how you access our Services, including Internet or other electronic network activity information about the device and browser you use, your network connection, your IP address, and details about how you browse and interact with our websites and platform.
How we use your information
We use the personal information we collect from you to provide you with our Services, to fulfill a contractual obligation (for example, to process your subscription payments), to improve our Services or where we need your personal information for a legitimate business interest, including to better understand business trends, such as how our products and services are used, and share these insights with our affiliates and business partners. These legitimate interests include:
- verifying your or your business’ identity
- preventing risk and fraud (for example, to detect and protect Bench and other third parties against error, negligence, breach of contract, fraud, theft and other illegal activity, and to audit compliance with Bench’s policies and contractual obligations)
- answering questions or providing other types of support
- providing, securing, debugging and improving our Services and website
- providing reporting and analytics
- testing out features or additional services
- assisting with marketing, advertising, or other communications
- understanding your needs and eligibility for products and services
- personalizing your experience on our Services, such as presenting tailored content
- complying with legal and regulatory requirements
We may also collect and use your personal information for any other purpose to which you consent.
We may use information that is aggregated or de-identified so that it is no longer reasonably associated with an identified or identifiable natural person for any business purpose.
Your use of others’ personal information
In using our Services, you may provide us with the personal information of others (for example, the names and addresses of your accounting clients or employees), and if you are an accounting client or employee of one of our Customers, we may receive your personal information from our Customers or Accountant Clients. In these circumstances, we are only a “service provider” of such information.
As your service provider, we process (collect, use, disclose, etc.) such information as directed by you for the purpose of providing you our Services. For example, we do not use your customers’ or employees’ information to independently market or advertise to them unless they are also using our Services directly.
You are responsible for the personal information of others that you disclose to us via our Services and for ensuring that your instructions regarding the processing of such information complies with applicable data protection laws.
Your rights over your information
Depending on your use of our Services and where you reside, you may have the right to request access to, correct, amend, delete, or object to certain uses of certain personal information (for example, by unsubscribing from direct marketing emails).
We strive to provide you with the ability to exercise these rights yourself via our Services. For example, you can access, update and correct most of your information from your account settings pages. If you cannot exercise a particular right via our Services, you can always email our privacy team at email@example.com. Please note that if you send us a request relating to your personal information, we have to make sure that it is you before we can respond. In order to do so, we may ask to see documentation verifying your identity.
Please also note that there is a difference between the information we decide to collect for our own purposes (for example, your account sign-up information) and the information our Customers and Accountant Clients direct us to store or process via our Services (for example, names of employees or clients). If you are an individual who wishes to exercise your rights over information that one of our Customers or Accountant Clients may be storing or processing via our Services for their own purposes, you will need to contact the Customer or Accountant Client directly. In this scenario, we are only a service provider acting at their direction, and we cannot decide how to process their information.
Your California privacy rights
If you are a California resident, you may exercise the following rights with respect to personal information (as defined by the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (California Civil Code §§ 1798.100 to 1798.199) and its implementing regulations, as amended or superseded from time to time, including the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”), (collectively, the “CCPA”)) that we collect as a business under California law.
A. Right to know and access personal information
You may submit a verifiable request to be informed about the (1) categories of personal information collected, sold, or disclosed by us, (2) purposes for which categories of personal information are collected or sold by us, (3) categories of sources from which we collect personal information, (4) categories of third parties with whom we disclosed or sold personal information, and (5) specific pieces of personal information that we collected about you during the prior twelve months.
B. Right to request deletion of personal information
Subject to certain exceptions, you may submit a verifiable request that we delete the personal information about you that we collected from you. Once we receive your request, we will let you know what, if any, personal information we can delete from our records, and we will direct any service providers with whom we shared your personal information to also delete your personal information from their records.
There may be circumstances where we cannot delete your personal information or direct service providers to delete your personal information from their records. Some of these instances include, but are not limited to, if we need to: (1) retain your personal information to complete a transaction, provide a good or service, fulfill the terms of a written warranty, or to perform under a contract between us; (2) detect security incidents, protect against malicious, deceptive, fraudulent, or illegal activity, or prosecute those responsible for that activity; and (3) comply with the law.
C. Right to correct inaccurate personal information
If you believe that the personal information we have about you is incorrect, you may submit a verifiable request for such personal information to be corrected. We shall use commercially reasonable efforts to correct the personal information we hold about you.
Requests for access to, deletion of, or correction of personal Information are subject to our ability to reasonably verify your identity in light of the information requested and pursuant to relevant CCPA requirements, limitations, and regulations. To request access, deletion, or correction, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us, or mail a letter with your name, mailing address, email address, phone number, and the last 4-digits of an account or credit card number in your request and we will reach out to you. To verify your identity based on information previously provided to Bench, we may request additional information.
E. Right to opt-out of the sale or sharing of personal information
You have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information. Click here to opt out of the sale or sharing of your personal information.
F. Right of no retaliation
You have the right not to receive discriminatory treatment by a business for the exercise of your CCPA privacy rights, subject to certain limitations, including if you are an employee, applicant, or independent contractor of our business.
G. Right to initiate a private cause of action
You have the right, if certain parts of your personal information are part of a data security breach, to initiate a private cause of action.
H. Right to limit use and disclosure of sensitive personal information
You have the right to limit our use and disclosure of sensitive personal information (“SPI”) to what is necessary or reasonably expected of us in order to perform the Services. We do not use or disclose your SPI for purposes other than the limited purposes permitted by the CCPA. If we do use SPI beyond what is necessary to provide the Services, we shall provide you notice of the additional purposes for our use or disclosure of SPI and remind you of your right to request that we limit the use and disclosure of the SPI.
SPI is a subset of personal information that reveals (i) your social security number, driver’s license number, state identification card or passport number; (ii) your account log-in, financial account information, debit or credit card number in combination with any password or access code to grant access; (iii) your precise geolocation; (iv) your racial or ethnic origin, religious or philosophical beliefs, or union membership; (v) the content of your mail, email or text messages unless we are the intended recipient of said communications; and (vi) your genetic data.
I. Submit requests
If you are a California resident and would like to exercise your rights under the CCPA, please send your request by email to email@example.com with “Your California Privacy Rights” in the subject field of your email, call us toll-free at 1-888-760-1940, or send your request by mail to our address listed in the “How you can reach us” section below. Once you contact us, we may need to confirm your identity to process the request.
J. Authorizing an agent
If you are acting as an authorized agent to make a request to know, delete, or opt out on behalf of a California resident, please send a message to the email in our “How you can reach us section” and attach a written authorization signed by the resident.
K. Do not track
There is no accepted standard on how to respond to Do Not Track signals, and we do not respond to such signals.
When and why we share your information with others
As a Customer or Accountant Client, we may share all of the categories of personal information described in the “What information we collect about you and why” section with service providers, including the following service providers to provide you with our Services:
We may also share all of the categories of your personal information described in the “What information we collect about you and why” section with the following categories of third parties for certain other business purposes:
- Other Service Providers, Partners, Contractors or Vendors: for analytics and reporting, marketing and advertising, auditing, communicating with you, managing our customer database, data processing, providing you with professional services, managing our recruitment process and conducting background checks (for Prospective Benchmates).
- Successor Entities: if we merge with or are acquired by another company, are involved in a bankruptcy, or if the ownership or control of all or part of our Services or their assets changes, information about you may be transferred to such entities.
- Law Enforcement, Government Agencies, and Professional Advisors: to prevent or investigate suspected fraud, threats to physical safety, illegal activity, or violations of a contract or our policies, or to comply with a law or regulation, or if we are otherwise legally required to do so, such as in response to a court order or legal process, or to establish, protect, or exercise our legal rights or to defend against legal claims or demands.
Where your data resides
Our Services are managed by Bench’s team headquartered in Canada and operating from locations around the world. Our Services are hosted in the United States and individuals located within the United States are permitted to use our Services. If you circumvent Bench’s measures restricting our Services to the United States and use our Services from the European Union or other regions of the world with laws governing data collection and use that may differ from U.S. law, then please note that you are transferring your personal information outside of those regions to the United States for storage and processing. Also, we may transfer your personal information from the United States to other countries or regions in connection with storage and processing of data, fulfilling your requests, and operating our Services. By providing any information, including information from or about you or your devices, on or to our Services, you consent to such transfer, storage, and processing.
Bench is a United States company, serving US persons and businesses, and as such, we and our affiliates may be subject to various legal compliance and reporting obligations that require us to retain your personal information for a specific period of time which may be beyond the time when you stop using our Services. When we have no ongoing legitimate business or regulatory need to retain or process your personal data, we will either delete or anonymize the data.
How we protect your information
We maintain security safeguards to protect your information, which are designed to ensure its confidentiality, integrity and availability. While we strive to protect your information on our Services, we cannot guarantee absolute security of your personal information. To learn more about our information security measures, please see our Security Practices. We will notify you if there is a breach of our security where required by law or deemed necessary.
You may manage your receipt of marketing and communication emails from us by clicking the unsubscribe link located at the bottom of our marketing emails. You may also specify your communication preferences in your account. You may not opt out of receiving emails or notifications for certain elements of the Services, including those that are essential to the Services.
How you can reach us
If you would like to ask about, make a request relating to, or complain about how we process your personal information, you can contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by calling us toll-free at 1-888-760-1940, or by sending a letter to:
Bench Accounting Inc.,545 Robson St,Vancouver, BC V6B 2B7Attn: Bench Privacy Team
© Bench Accounting Inc., 2023.