Bookkeeper vs. Accountant: What’s the difference?

We often get asked what the difference between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant is.

As a small business owner, you need your financial data to be current and accurate so you can make good business decisions. Also, to ensure you have healthy cash flow.

As your business grows, keeping track of how much money you have coming in and going out of your business can get very complex.

When the accounting tasks for your small business are too much for you to handle, it’s time to get help.

But do you need an Accountant or a Bookkeeper?

There are some similarities between the two, but there are also distinct differences.

A bookkeeper handles the day-to-day tasks of recording financial transactions, including purchases, receipts, sales and payments. Putting your transactions in the RIGHT place to maximize your write-offs is one of the things a seasoned and certified bookkeeper knows how to do accurately the first time. They may also notice anomalies and inconsistencies in your books and can flag you as the year progresses. Many small businesses use software such as QuickBooks or Xero to keep track of their revenue & expenses. QuickBooks Online or QBO is now a widely used program as is Dext —formerly ReceiptBank. Dext will help you scan receipts as they come in and instantly get them to your bookkeeper as you save each scan.

The role of the accountant is to verify data, analyze it and use it to generate financial statements, then perform audits and review engagements.  An accountant’s analysis can provide information for financial forecasting and trends.

When hiring a bookkeeper or an accountant it’s important to verify the individuals are qualified by asking for references, checking certifications or even running a screening test.

Hiring an unqualified bookkeeper or accountant can be detrimental to any business. Many people say they can ‘do your books’, and while they can, if they are not regulated how does anyone know if they are done in the best way possible for your business?

Our team at Censea consists of Certified Bookkeepers and designated accountants, giving you peace of mind that your books and your business are well taken care of.

Let’s meet today for your free 1-hour consultation.

~ Jennifer, CPB