The Big Difference Between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant

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To keep the taxman happy and stop you from paying any additional fines, a bookkeeper will make sure your records are accurate, so you’re always prepared for tax. Producing invoices, chasing payments, getting you ready for tax deadlines and processing payroll. These are just some of the things bookkeepers do for small businesses. Accounting programs offer the most direct training for a career in bookkeeping. However, students majoring in other business- or math-related subjects can also qualify for these positions. Detailed knowledge of accounting principles and best practices is essential.


It also offers a payroll certification, which requires additional education. Not only are you entrusting your bookkeeper with sensitive data, you are relying on their accuracy to maintain the financial records for your business. A good bookkeeper never cuts corners, and they are indispensable to small business owners who want to spend time growing their business, instead of maintaining it.

Responsibilities of a bookkeeper

We’ve analyzed and rated the best online bookkeeping services to help you make the best decision when choosing the right one. In this day and age, the providers you contract with don’t need to be in the same city, state or even time zone as you. Remote work has expanded across nearly every field, including bookkeeping.

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Find out what bookkeepers do, and get an intro to double-entry bookkeeping. You should consult your own professional advisors for advice directly relating to your business or before taking action in relation to any of the content provided. If you’re ready to pass over the bookkeeping responsibilities of your business, we have talented Virtual Bookkeepers we can’t wait to match with you. Your team can also prepare and file your quarterly and annual tax returns. Adding a bookkeeper to your team could be the piece of the puzzle you’re missing in growing your business and helping you take charge of your business’s finances.

U.S.C. § 7525—that does restaurant bookkeeping businesses and accounting clients with some level of confidentially, primarily with regard to data exchanged for tax preparation and filing purposes. Sometimes these offices are located within the companies themselves; other times services are provided out of a private office or home. Complete data entry and collect transaction details for incoming and outgoing bank accounts. How your business operates is unique, so your bookkeeping should follow suit. Great bookkeeping is a financial tool you can use to make business management easier and reach your goals as a small business owner. Using too many devices can be overwhelming and lead to errors in reporting or duplicated efforts that ultimately save time and money.

Bookkeeping Services Save Time and Money

Also, candidates should know how to use cloud-based accounting systems like QuickBooks Online so that they can work from home if they need to. A certification in bookkeeping shows that you have the skills needed to keep accurate financial records. It’s a way to show potential employers and other people in your professional network how broad and deep your skills are. You can get a certificate in bookkeeping by going to college or university or by taking part in a professional program that has been approved. If you are the type of person who finds that organizing files and numbers provides you with a sense of calm and satisfaction, then you would do well in the role of a bookkeeper.

They cannot employ skilled accountants to make returns, and a fine craftsman would not necessarily him- self be a good accountant or an accurate bookkeeper. A good Bookkeeper is detail-oriented, organized and proficient in bookkeeping software. They also take initiative, prioritize and can regularly meet deadlines. Another essential part of being a good bookkeeper is being trustworthy and honest because you’re privy to so much important and confidential information. Purchase ledger is the record of the purchasing transactions a company does; it goes hand in hand with the Accounts Payable account. As mentioned above, being proficient in accounting software such as QuickBooks will increase your value.

  • Most experts believe that humans won’t be replaced, but the nature of their work will change.
  • To become an accountant, you should take short courses or even get a degree.
  • If there’s a discrepancy between the books and your bank, your bookkeeper will help you get to the bottom of it.
  • Sometimes, your situation might not require a dedicated bookkeeper — but you could still use a hand with recordkeeping and expense tracking.
  • It’s important to note that Bookkeepers are responsible for recording and maintaining the financial records, while an accountant is responsible for interpreting and providing advice based on those records.
  • We’ll also give you a call to ensure your questions are answered so you can decide which program is right for you.

Intuit Inc. does not have any responsibility for updating or revising any information presented herein. Accordingly, the information should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research. Intuit Inc. does not warrant that the material contained herein will continue to be accurate nor that it is completely free of errors when published. When comparing accountants and bookkeepers, know that an accountant may also be a bookkeeper. Familiarizing yourself with what a bookkeeper does and what accounting clerks do can help you narrow down your financial needs.

Nonprofit bookkeeping also maintains a core focus on accountability by tracking where money goes and how it is used. For-profit businesses, on the other hand, use bookkeeping and accounting techniques to help maximize profits within an accounting period. As a bookkeeper, your primary duty is to collect all of the business’s financial data and make sure it is recorded accurately. It is not enough to have the knowledge and skills necessary to be an excellent bookkeeper; there is much more to learn.

Benefits of Professional Bookkeeping Services

Bookkeeping can be very tedious and time-consuming so we advise you to consult with a bookkeeper. Our goal at Ageras is to help you find a bookkeeper at a price you think is fair, and when you receive bookkeeping quotes from us, you are able to compare what each bookkeeper charges. When you are confident in your data and reporting, you can make better business decisions with ease. You can solve issues quickly and plan for the future of your business with newfound knowledge of your financial situation. Profit MarginsProfit Margin is a metric that the management, financial analysts, & investors use to measure the profitability of a business relative to its sales. It is determined as the ratio of Generated Profit Amount to the Generated Revenue Amount.


That makes this more of an advisory role versus simply keeping the numbers organized and in balance. Therefore, before we dive deeper into the differences, let’s talk about what these two career paths have in common. If you fall into the latter category, a career in bookkeeping or accounting may be right for you because both of these roles offer the opportunity to add, subtract, and average data to your heart’s content. This content is for information purposes only and should not be considered legal, accounting, or tax advice, or a substitute for obtaining such advice specific to your business. No assurance is given that the information is comprehensive in its coverage or that it is suitable in dealing with a customer’s particular situation.

When looking for work as a bookkeeper, you need to have excellent computer skills. You will make a lot of progress if you can keep up with technological advances and incorporate data in an accurate and timely manner. Touch typing is a distinct advantage that will save you time in the long run. If you need help getting used to new software updates or changes in technology, or if you can’t learn these skills quickly, you might have trouble with the role being offered.

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They’re the kinds of things that a sole proprietor or small- to medium-sized business might hire a bookkeeper for. The Venetians of the 15th century are considered the fathers of accounting. In 1494, mathematician Luca Pacioli published the world’s first bookkeeping treatise detailing the use of bookkeeping by Venetian merchants. Jesus Morales is an Enrolled Agent and has 7 years of bookkeeping and tax experience.

What is a Bookkeeper?

They entered financial data by hand using a pen, pencil, or quill. Today, most of them use bookkeeping or accounting software, i.e., specialized computer programs. Books, in this context, means a company’s accounting records or general ledger.

  • Possibilities include sole trader, partnership, trust, and company.
  • A bookkeeper can stay on top of your business’ accounts daily for all transactions.
  • However, if you become an accountant, the average pay is $70,500 per year.
  • A bookkeeper will submit the report to the accountant and the management.

You should be interested in learning more about the position and furthering your education whenever the opportunity presents itself to keep up with the many changes and updates in this line of work. It will allow you to stay current with the many changes and updates. To become an accountant, you should take short courses or even get a degree. You should also investigate the possibility of receiving mentoring to gain additional practical experience. Your desire to perform well at work and gain more knowledge can only help you in the long run by improving your career prospects. Business owners who are hands-on in managing the business can handle bookkeeping.

CFO Services – This offering includes services like financial review and analysis, strategic profit planning and execution, cash flow projections and forecasting, and serves as a liaison with tax experts. Produce Reports and Balance Sheet – Do you have a monthly subscription you’re paying for that is no longer serving your business? A bookkeeper will be able to spot if you are unnecessarily spending money by using a balance sheet to weigh your business’s assets and liabilities. Retaining a bookkeeper alone isn’t sufficient for your enterprise despite their training or authority. A bookkeeper may not be aware of tax documents that require to be filed within deadlines which will incur penalties from revenue authorities. Knowing what a business needs is essential when deciding to hire a bookkeeper vs. an accountant.

Bookkeepers will also be responsible for preparing some significant financial statements for small businesses. These can include a profit and loss statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements. A bookkeeper’s duties will always include a fair bit of data entry and receipt wrangling.

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An important difference between a manual and an electronic accounting system is the former’s latency between the recording of a financial transaction and its posting in the relevant account. Bookkeepers record financial transactions, post debits and credits, create invoices, manage payroll, and maintain and balance the books. Bookkeeping, in the traditional sense, has been around as long as there has been commerce – since around 2600 B.C.