Accountant Vs Bookkeeper

When the majority of people will think of accountants vs bookkeepers, it’s not uncommon for them to assume that both types of financial specialist offer the same variety of services. The truth is that they may be similar in nature, but hiring one instead of the other can be beneficial to individuals and businesses alike.

What is it that makes them different?

In the simplest terms an accountant is a specialist that is often tasked with managing the accounts of a business – typically their expenses, their overhead costs and their income. Although it can be possible to focus on each individual transaction, the role of an accountant will often be to analyse the spending habits of a business in general and then categorise these activities to minimise taxation whenever possible. The better the accountant, the more a company can potentially save.

On the other side of the coin you have bookkeepers – and as their name might suggest, these financial experts are tasked with keeping the books or managing the individual transactions that take part within a business. Most will strive to provide records and documentation of each transaction should an audit be requested by a tax authority, but as their focus is typically on recording and documenting, it won’t always be their role to offer advice and guidance on a financial level.

Which one is better?

It’s not so much about which specialist is better for hiring purposes – in fact, the decision should have more to do with what a particular business or individual requires from the services of their expert. For larger companies that transact with bigger sums of cash, an accountant may be better suited; simply because they are trained to manage these types of activities.

For a smaller business or a self-employed individual, a bookkeeper may be more sufficient; especially as these types of specialists are well-versed at handling individual transactions and can helped by recording all payments sent and received (should evidence need to be provided).