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Bookkeeper vs Accountant vs. CPA: What is the Difference?

Here is how to choose the financial health pro for your business. No, we’re not talking about a WWE showdown of finance professionals. We’re defining the difference between accountants, bookkeepers, and CPAs. Working in the cloud helps protect the most critical financial data your company holds, mitigates disastrous cybersecurity events, and ultimately, protects your business’s reputation.

The advantage of hourly pay is you receive 1.5 times your average wage for hours worked more than 40 per week. In bookkeeping, extra hours are typical during the busy tax season of January to mid-April. There are critical differences in job growth and salaries between the two.

Key Differences

Your business’s accounting needs might not require the in-depth expertise of a hired professional. You might also be watching your company’s list of expenses and wondering where to reduce spending. In either case, consider handling the accounting yourself or delegating this https://accounting-services.net/what-is-the-difference-between-a-csv-and-xml/ responsibility to one or a few of your current employees. For a long-term career, accounting offers much more upward mobility and income potential. The education required to be competitive in the field is greater, but the payoff down the road can be considerably higher.

Bookkeeper? Accountant? CPA? What is the Difference?

A bookkeeper is also limited by licensing which a Certified Public Accountant has for the issuing of audited statements. Companies need these commissioned documents to fulfill regulations for permits and licenses or when dealing with other financial institutions such as banks. To qualify for the title of an accountant, generally an individual must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting. For those that don’t have a specific degree in accounting, finance degrees are often considered an adequate substitute.


The company may also only require the services of just an accountant, especially where accounting software has memorized transactions and automated the reports. Such an accountant will have to make bookkeepers classifications and transaction recording processes to begin the accounting Bookkeeper? Accountant? CPA? What is the Difference? procedures. A CPA is an accountant who has passed certain examinations and met all other statutory and licensing requirements of a state to be certified by that state. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the national professional association for CPAs.

  • Bookkeepers record every company transaction that involves money, accountants provide a more in-depth analysis of the financial transactions, and CPAs are state-approved accountants.
  • The initial classifications and recording of a company’s transactions like bills paid, daily sales and payroll or another expenditure fall to a bookkeeper.
  • Bookkeepers aren’t required to be certified to handle the books for their customers or employer, but licensing is available.
  • And if you don’t have an accountant, we can handle your tax filing too.
  • These accountants may also offer advice on tax structures or tax deductions.

Industries that work with complex financial systems and high-volume transactions require accountants (i.e., government agencies, colleges, hospitals, etc.). When looking for a certified bookkeeper, first decide if you want to hire an independent consultant, a firm or a full-time employee if your business is large enough. Ask for referrals from friends, colleagues or your local chamber of commerce, or search online social networks like LinkedIn for bookkeepers.

When to hire a financial professional

This 10 part guide will provide you with the most basic fundamentals of accounting for your business. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur with your first start-up or a stay-at-home mom selling knit hats on Instagram, lay the groundwork. Whether you choose a bookkeeper or accountant, give them the cloud. In 2023, offering client accounting and advisory services is a must.

  • I can’t tell you that you must get a CPA, but as I mentioned above, an accountant who is not a licensed practicing CPA cannot represent you before the IRS.
  • This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice.
  • In addition, you must be a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
  • While daily transactions are better looked over by a bookkeeper, the accountant is vital to a company’s decision making with periodic financial reviews.
  • A CPA is like having a team of specialists on hand to boost your business or heal a specific problem area.
  • Whether you choose a bookkeeper or accountant, give them the cloud.