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Accountant vs Bookkeeper: What Are the Key Differences?

Accountant vs Bookkeeper: What Are the Key Differences?

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Most people likely believe that an accountant and bookkeeper essentially perform the same tasks. They both handle numbers for a company.

Their roles can certainly overlap and the differences can be subtle in some small businesses. In other scenarios, there are some more obvious differences.

If you consider accountants vs. bookkeepers, are you wondering what similarities and differences the jobs entail?

If you run a business, you should know the difference between accountants and bookkeepers. Read on to learn more.


Bookkeeper Duties

As a bookkeeper, there are two important traits to possess. You must be good with numbers and math. You also need to have a strong attention for detail.

This attention to detail is important as you manage all the transactions that a bookkeeper must handle.

The bookkeeper has many responsibilities including:

  • Recording payments made to the company
  • Recording all outgoing expenses
  • Organizing receipts, invoices, and reimbursement requests
  • Keep a ledger of all incoming and outgoing payments, costs, and expenses

80% of small businesses use Intuit’s QuickBooks for their bookkeepers. It’s the most valuable resource to allow the bookkeeper to manage all the little tasks connected to their job.

You want your business bookkeeper to have some basic accounting skills as they manage your books.

Accountant Duties

Many times an accountant may start as a bookkeeper. They may even perform many of the duties of a bookkeeper as part of the accounting duties.

As an accountant, it will be necessary to also look at the bigger financial picture of a company. The accountant should be able to look at the books produced by the bookkeeper and use that information to make important financial decisions on behalf of the company.

The accountant needs to be a bigger thinker. This role requires the person to draw conclusions and solve problems based on what is shown in the bookkeeper’s records.

The accountant is responsible for making sure laws and financial procedures are correctly followed. They also need to make sure the business taxes are managed and properly filed.

Bookkeeper Vs. Accountant

When you consider the role of a bookkeeper and an accountant, their roles can definitely overlap. Often this will depend on the business in question.

If the business is small, it might not make sense to have both a bookkeeper and an accountant on staff. One of them may take on the role of both jobs.

In most cases where a business has both a bookkeeper and an accountant, the accountant needs the work of the bookkeeper to perform their duties.

These are two positions that you should expect will work together closely to manage the finances of the business.

Accountant Vs. Bookkeeper, Which Best Meets Your Business Needs?

As you consider what work needs to be done for your business, consider the accountant vs. bookkeeper roles to select the best person for the job.

For more business-related articles like this one, be sure to visit this page often.

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