Accountant or Bookkeeper

You have started your own business, it's growing, and now you're ready to add an accountant or bookkeeper (sometimes spelled book keeper or bookeeper). Which do you choose, and what's the difference?

You can think of an accountant or bookkeeper in medical terms with the bookkeeper as your family doctor and the accountant as a medical specialist.

Bookkeepers are there for your daily work, keeping a record of all your financial transactions - perhaps even payroll processing. Accountants are there to check your financial statements and balance sheets, and to prepare your year-end documents (although some more experienced bookkeepers even do this). A quality accountant will diagnose any big issues with your books, and help prevent any big issues from arising.

Still confused about the difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper? Here's a quick summary of job responsibilities for both positions. Please remember that more qualified bookkeepers will sometimes take on these tasks in some instances (and sometimes at a lower cost). There are certain functions, however, that a bookkeeper will never take on, such as the audit of a public company's books. You will frequently see the breakdown between these two professionals as such:



  • Performs data entry, payment of accounts payable and collection of accounts receivable
  • Processes payroll
  • Prepares the company balance sheet, profit and loss statements (P&L) and other financial reports



  • Performs analysis of balance sheet, P&L statements and other financial reports
  • Prepares the company year-end financial closings and tax filings
  • Recommends policies and processes that will help grow your business

    An accountant or bookkeeper is not just someone who keeps track of the receipts, but a key member of your management team. When trying to decide whether there is a need for an accountant or bookkeeper, the business owner should always assign a dollar value to the services he personally provides, even if he isn't currently taking a salary. It is too easy for a small business owner to just manage everything without taking into account the value of his own time, and comparing that cost of an accountant or bookkeeper performing the same task. The added salary can be justified in two ways: The owner has more time to devote to the core of the business (which leads to growth and more income) or more time to enjoy life. In addition, improper bookkeeping (at times misspelled book keeping or bookeeping), however, can cost a small business a small fortune.

    One of the best recommendations, whether you decide to find an accountant or bookkeeper, is to find someone that understands your industry. This might require the need for sophisticated research and screening that can be provided by an accounting staffing partner.

    To find the right accountant or bookkeeper in your area, you can contact AccountantsGuaranteed.Com. They provide a free research service that helps small businesses get in touch with the right bookkeepers and accountants. A national service, AccountantsGuaranteed.Com offers a no-cost service to small businesses who need bookkeeping and accounting answers. Contact them at www.AccountantsGuaranteed.Com.