While both a bookkeeper and an accountant have the same overall goal of helping you with your financials, it depends on your current needs whether you need a bookkeeper or an accountant, or both. A bookkeeper’s responsibilities include tracking your day-to-day financial transactions and classifying them into their appropriate journals. They also will create your financial reports and reconcile your accounts on a regular basis. Bookkeeping is characteristically considered a data-entry profession. They use the data already provided to do their tasks. Bookkeepers also do not require any specific degrees or certifications.
An accountant does not typically do the day-to-day work, they handle your tax needs and offer you financial advice to help with your business. An accountant uses their acquired knowledge to analyze and evaluate the records and reports the bookkeeper produces. An accountant goes through more schooling and has more qualifications than most bookkeepers do, which is why it costs more to hire an accountant. You do not want your accountant doing or catching up on your books, that is a bookkeeper’s job. Paying an accountant to do a bookkeeper’s job is a significant unnecessary expense.
Whether your business needs an accountant or a bookkeeper, it is always important to do your research before hiring anyone. Make sure you read reviews of current and past clients and inquire about any accreditations and experience that they have.