When You Need A Bookkeeper Vs Accountant Vs Controller Vs A Cfo

Bookkeeper vs Accountant

With the rise of technology and automation tools, the role of accountants is shifting. Accounting teams and CFOs are working more and more towards strategy, analysis, and decision-making for businesses. They work with statements like profit & loss, balance sheets, and income statements to provide an overview of financial health. If you are looking for someone to keep track of your company’s financial records or handle payroll, a bookkeeper would likely be able to handle that.

  • The initial classifications and recording of a company’s transactions like bills paid, daily sales and payroll or another expenditure fall to a bookkeeper.
  • In many cases, they also have a Master’s in Business Administration or a Master of Accountancy.
  • Bookkeepers do not require a license though bookkeepers can obtain an optional certification.
  • While bookkeepers make sure the small pieces fit correctly into place, accountants use those small pieces to draw much more significant and broader conclusions about a company’s finances.
  • Bookkeepers can also get certified by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers or the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers .
  • They’ll explain your finances to your executive director, who will from there explain everything to the board of directors.

At a minimum, an accountant must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting. They may also pursue certifications to demonstrate they have the expertise required to serve their clients. Your bookkeeper may track accounts payable and accounts receivable . Bookkeepers keep tabs on all invoices and due dates and follow up with late payers.

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Your financial data must be current and accurate so you have the tools you need to make sound business decisions and implement healthy cash flow strategies. A bookkeeper records and classifies a company’s daily financial transactions (e.g., sales, payroll, payment of bills, etc.). Their focus is on accurate record keeping, and less focused on interpreting the data and analytics. Look for a firm that provides both nonprofit bookkeeping and accounting services. While you may just need one or the other right now, you never know how your needs may change in the future. Ensuring your provider offers both services opens up the opportunity to outsource your entire financial department in the future. When you’ve decided to hire a nonprofit bookkeeper or accountant, you should first examine your nonprofit’s needs.

Some accountants have a bachelor’s degree in accounting but no CPA certification. These include the profit and loss statement, balance sheet and statement of cash flows. Accountants provide overarching financial advice and tax guidance. The tax accountant has a specialization in the field of taxation and the regulations that come with business mergers, for instance. These accountants may also offer advice on tax structures or tax deductions.

What Is The Difference Between An Accountant And A Bookkeeper?

No matter what the case is for your nonprofit, you’ll need to conduct the same steps to hire the right person. It is typically performed by a bookkeeper, which is not the same as an accountant.

Both Certified Public Accountants and bookkeepers are accounting professionals. In the context of CPA vs bookkeeper, the primary difference between the two lies in their job responsibilities, salary, and professional stature. While a CPA’s key role is to provide financial advice, a bookkeeper is mainly responsible for maintaining an organized record of all financial transactions. Entrepreneurs or business owners must have access to the aid of financial service providers such as accountants and bookkeepers during their early growth stages. The proper decisions and plans are made when all the information is available, which is ultimately cost and time-efficient. A small or medium enterprise need not spend time poring over financial statements when they can be focusing on the business. Bookkeeping is a transactional and administrative role that handles the day-to-day tasks of recording financial transactions, including purchases, receipts, sales and payments.

As the business grows, you might have to enlarge your bookkeeping and accounting team to help you with cashflow for more than just the tax season. With many accounting automation solutions available on the market, bookkeepers have been freed from manual tasks of data entry. So now, they can use the opportunity to give more insight and sometimes play the role of an advisor. Unlike bookkeepers, accountants are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in Accounting or a related financial field. Bookkeepers generally aren’t required to have any specific education or formal training and certification. While the desired qualifications will vary depending on the company, it is possible to become a bookkeeper without even a bachelor’s degree.

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General LedgerA general ledger is an accounting record that compiles every financial transaction of a firm to provide accurate entries for financial statements. The double-entry bookkeeping requires the balance sheet to ensure that the sum of its debit side is equal to the credit side total. A general ledger helps to achieve this goal by compiling journal entries and allowing accounting calculations. The two careers are similar, and accountants and bookkeepers often work side by side.

Such an accountant will have to make bookkeepers classifications and transaction recording processes to begin the accounting procedures. On the other hand, an accountant reviews the bookkeeper’s financial records and statements to facilitate analytical interpretations. The accountant has a four-year degree in accounting, which enables him or her to analyze and interpret the bookkeeping data; reflecting a company’s financial health.

  • Transparent and trustworthy financial statements are mandatory for most dealings that involve partners or financing institutions.
  • Bookkeepers and accountants occupy a continuum beginning with recording financial transactions and continuing through categorization, preparation of specialized reports, and financial analysis.
  • A bookkeeper’s job usually entails entering financial transactions into a database or bookkeeping software.
  • The following analysis compares the education requirements, skills required, typical starting salaries, and job outlooks for accounting and books.
  • One of the main differentiators between a CPA and an Accountant is that CPAs have an extended academic profile and resume.
  • And having a professional on your side provides a level of confidence that you are managing potential enterprise risks that could arise from mistakes on your tax return.

As an accountant, you must pay attention to figures and financial details, but it is more essential to possess sharp logic skills and big-picture problem-solving abilities. While bookkeepers make sure the small pieces fit correctly into place, accountants use those small pieces to draw much more significant and broader conclusions about a company’s finances. Bookkeepers interested in switching jobs but not have a college degree might consider becoming an enrolled agent after a stint with the IRS. This job doesn’t require a college degree, only five years of tax experience with the IRS.

Similarities Between A Bookkeeper And An Accountant

Bookkeeping is the process of keeping records of the financial affairs of a business. As a small business owner, having a good grasp of your business financials is key-even if you’ve hired an accountant. Bookkeeping can be a career for anyone who’s finance-oriented or enjoys math. While a degree isn’t necessary to become a bookkeeper, some employers will look for candidates with postsecondary education. If you have any kind of accounting and bookkeeping requirements, feel free to write to us or talk to one of our representatives and we will get back to you within 24 hours. If I had to draw one conclusion, it’s that bookkeepers are a very diverse group of professionals given that they all do the same thing.

  • The BLS notes that job growth for accountants should track fairly closely with the broader economy.
  • They create a physical record of a business’s financial activity—tracking any money that comes and goes.
  • We have won multiple awards like “Top QB Enterprise Winner” by Intuit , “Expert Choice” by FinancesOnline , “High Performer” by G2 .
  • They take the outputs from accountants and deliver them to the appropriate stakeholders.

Not only does the accountant need to understand, but they also need to explain it to other staff members clearly. They’ll explain your finances to your executive director, who will from there explain everything to the board of directors. Whether you decide to recruit volunteers, outsource the services , or hire internally for these positions, your organization should understand what you’re looking for in each role. Small nonprofits generally rely on their executive director to take on all of the financial responsibilities necessary to run the organization.


Keep reading our Bookkeeper vs. Accountant – What Is the Difference? Guide for a more detailed explanation of the differences between bookkeeping and accounting as well as how to hire an accountant or bookkeeper if needed. Accountants typically oversee the bookkeeper and may perform billing, make general ledger entries, review accounts payable activity and reconcile payroll.

Bookkeeper vs Accountant

If yours is a small business, the ledger can be maintained using a lined sheet, but if your business transactions are complex, you may need specialized software to manage the transactions. While all of these professionals handle the finances and work towards a common end goal, their scope of work varies drastically. Along with the scope of work, there is also a difference between their professional status.

Bookkeeper Vs Accountant Infographics

Bookkeepers sometimes do accounting tasks, such as generating financial reports from the accounting software, making journal entries for depreciation and accrued expenses, and more. Other bookkeepers get certified in the bookkeeping software they use with clients.

Bookkeeper vs Accountant

Rarely does a bookkeeper work on one big project for an eight-hour shift; instead, a typical workday involves juggling five or six smaller jobs. There are various career paths for accountants Bookkeeper vs Accountant , from working as a forensic accountant to becoming a financial auditor or an enrolled agent. As an accountant, you may have to crunch numbers, but those are not the only skills needed.

Advantages Of A Bookkeeper

If your goal is to move upwards within a company and have more power, then accounting will offer a better position to do so. If you want to start by testing the field, then bookkeeping is a good first step into the business of finance. The CFO oversees everything regarding the financial health of a business.

All EAs must have 72 hours of continuing education every 36 months. If you are already a CPA, you can act as an enrolled agent without passing the exam. Bookkeepers may start working for a small business to gain experience and then go back to school for a degree in accounting or finance. Enrolling in one of the best online bookkeeping classes is a smart way for those interested in this career to bolster their existing financial knowledge. You can become a bookkeeper right out of high school if you prove you are good with numbers and have strong attention to detail. In fact, many aspiring accountants work as bookkeepers to get a foot in the door while still in school. Additionally, bookkeepers who excel at their jobs are sometimes promoted to accounting positions, even if they lack the level of education the company typically prefers.

All our fixed price accounting packages come with a 50% off for 3 months. In most instances, a bookkeeper’s work is overseen by an accountant or small business owner. The process of accounting generates reports that convey important financial information. If your company needs the expertise of an experienced bookkeeper, you can find one on Upwork. Because many professions have standardized educations, one could assume that bookkeepers do as well. There is nothing that regulates what a bookkeeper needs to declare themselves a bookkeeper.

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