Accountant vs Bookkeeper
What is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant? A bookkeeper handles the day-in day-out financial record keeping and reporting. An accountant specializes in the preparation and filing of taxes. Having a good bookkeeper is just as important to the growing business as having a good accountant.
Cost is another significant difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper. For this reason it is very important that you allocate your resources accordingly. You do not want to be paying your accountant to perform bookkeeping functions, this will eat up most of your financial services budget.
Accountants do not have the time to handle day-in day-out financial record keeping and reporting, that's why they hire bookkeepers.
Bookkeepers perform a critical function for the firms and organizations they serve. Regularly challenged to maintain precise and accurate records, bookkeepers produce the vital reports that keep management up to date on the financial condition of their company.
Bookkeepers are responsible for maintaining the business checkbook. They record routine money transactions like customer payments into a cash receipts journal and checks to vendors into a cash disbursement journal. They also process payroll. At month end they transfer or post the journal totals to the general ledger in preparation for financial statements prepared by the accountant. They prepare monthly quarterly and year end financial statements.
Accountants are responsible for the design and management of the financial systems that bookkeepers use. They prepare tax returns at year end. Accountants may also prepare budgets for management and loan proposals for bankers; they may perform cost analysis for the company’s products or services.
Hiring a bookkeeping service may often be a good solution for the small business owner. A good service will communicate well with your accountant so when tax time rolls around, the accountant will need to spend as little time as possible on your tax return keeping your accountant’s fee to a minimum. Make sure you understand the reports you get back from your service. You want to make the most of the information to make productive decisions for your business.
Both bookkeepers and accountants are important to your business. Knowing the difference between them will not only assure you of receiving the best information on which to base your financial decisions, but will also save you hundreds of dollars per year in fees.