The Big Difference Between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant

The Big Difference Between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant


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.

  • Recording day-to-day financial transactions and completing the posting process.
  • The AICPA coordinates with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy to conduct this exam and issue the license.
  • However, if you have a rigorous organizational system and a solid knowledge of rules and regulations, it can be straightforward and easily manageable.
  • Check out our helpful guide for deciding when is the right time for your business to invest in hiring a bookkeeper.
  • Just like college deans, CPAs are competent in handling all financial aspects of an entity.
  • As your business grows to include more customers, vendors, and employees, keeping track of your finances on your own becomes more challenging.

A bookkeeper is responsible for recording transactions into the system, which is part of the wider and more general practice of accounting. For example, some small business owners do their own bookkeeping on software their accountant recommends or uses, providing it to the accountant on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis for action. Other small businesses hire a bookkeeper or employ a small accounting department with data entry clerks reporting to the bookkeeper. Bookkeeping, in the traditional sense, has been around as long as there has been commerce – since around 2600 B.C. A bookkeeper’s job is to maintain complete records of all money that has come into and gone out of the business. Bookkeepers record daily transactions in a consistent, easy-to-read way.


Basic services could cost as little as $20 an hour, while advanced services could be $100 or more an hour. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for an accountant in 2020 was $73,560 per year, or $35.37 per hour. However, their years of experience, your state and the complexity of your accounting needs affect the price. Bookkeepers aren’t required to be licensed or have certifications, but accreditation and licensing are available from the AIPB and NACPB. A person responsible for keeping records or documents, such as of a business. In the reports or the transaction details of Wanderlust varies in specific months.

  • Now, bookkeepers have undoubtedly come a long way in managing a business’s financial records.
  • Mesopotamian bookkeepers kept records on clay tablets that may date back as far as 7,000 years.
  • Your team can consist of a great business attorney, CPA, bookkeeper and wealth advisor.
  • Yes, Your email address can be added to your account to receive invoices and credit memos the instant they post to the account.
  • A bookkeeper can expect to earn a salary in the range of$30,000-$60,000 a year in the US.

A man was excluded from a bookkeeper’s position because applicants had to be under 30. She was a farmworker, a housekeeper, a chef, a cook, and a bookkeeper. Even if the bookkeeper left one item of information blank, it could be supplemented by the other. Access all Xero features for 30 days, then decide which plan best suits your business. Bookkeepers are responsible for providing accurate, up-to-date financial information about a business.

Bookkeeper Services

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. Generally, a bookkeeper is a person without a college degree in accounting who performs much of the data entry tasks. This includes entering the bills from vendors, paying bills, processing payroll data, preparing sales invoices, mailing statements to customers, etc.

A Certified Public Accountant gives ideas and advice that may call for the modifications of the books to align with cost practical deduction eligibility scenarios. Use the next 2-3 sentences to introduce your company to prospective real estate bookkeepings, highlighting your unique company culture and working environment. You have an opportunity to set your company apart from competing job postings and sell yourself to job seekers. Tolentino graduated with a degree in accounting from the University of Iloilo in the Philippines in 1997 and worked as a bookkeeper, accountant and auditor in the Philippines.


As you begin the process of drafting your job description, consider putting together the top 10 functions of a for your company. You want to make sure that these are clearly reflected in your job description so that candidates understand your specific needs and how their skills align with those needs. A chart of accounts is a list of the accounts codes that can be identified with numeric, alphabetical, or alphanumeric codes allowing the account to be located in the general ledger.

While bookkeepers record daily transactions, accountants use the information compiled by a bookkeeper to produce financial reports. The initial processes involved in any accounting process are usually the vestige of a bookkeeper. Transaction recording lays a foundation for the final accountancy processes, and an accountant can handle this as well. Therefore between bookkeepers vs. accountants, the limitations of the bookkeeper’s skills analysis and interpretation of financial data are the main difference in professions. On the other hand, an accountant reviews the bookkeeper’s financial records and statements to facilitate analytical interpretations.

So, what does a bookkeeper do all day?

Then, as your bookkeeping needs increase, bring someone on staff. Check out our reviews of the best accounting software for small businesses so you can create invoices, record payments, collect receivables and run reports that help you manage your financial health. The NACPB offers credentials to bookkeepers who pass tests for small business accounting, small business financial management, bookkeeping and payroll.


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