Eventually, most small businesses will need to hire a bookkeeper and accountant. If you are struggling to keep up with daily transactions like invoicing customers and paying bills, you need to hire a bookkeeper. If you’ve got daily tasks under control but need someone who can interpret financial statements, it’s time to hire an accountant.
Virtual bookkeeping service companies like Bench will track your income and expenses, reconcile bank accounts, and produce monthly financial reports for as low as $125 per month. They have skilled bookkeepers who specialize in small business bookkeeping.
What the Bookkeeping Role Is
Bookkeeping is the process of recording the daily financial transactions for a business. This includes keeping track of all income and expenses, reconciling bank accounts, and managing payroll. If using an accounting software, this will also include producing financial statements to hand off to the accountant. If bookkeeping is manually tracked using a ledger or an Excel spreadsheet, the accountant will prepare the financial statements.
The bookkeeping role is comprised of, but not limited to:
- Tracking income and expenses: Recording all income and expenses in a ledger, Excel spreadsheet, or accounting software.
- Invoicing customers: Creating customer invoices and sending them to customers via email or U.S. mail to keep track of sales and services provided on credit to customers.
- Paying vendor bills: Keeping track of unpaid bills and writing checks or setting up online payment to ensure bills are paid on time.
- Reconciling bank accounts: Making sure all bank and credit card transactions reported by your financial institution have been recorded on your books is called reconciling. This should take place at least monthly if not more often.
- Processing payroll: Using a payroll software to track hours worked by employees and calculate paychecks, as well as printing payroll checks or creating direct deposits. This will also include completing all federal and state forms that may be due on a monthly or quarterly basis, along with making payroll tax payments.
To summarize, the bookkeeping role is very detail oriented and tedious work. It is one of the most important aspects of your business, which is why it’s important you hire the right person for this role. If you prefer to outsource bookkeeping services, we recommend that you use Bench. They are experts at managing the books for small businesses so that you can focus on other aspects of your business.
What the Accounting Role Is
Accounting picks up where bookkeeping leaves off in the accounting cycle. After all business transactions have been recorded, the accountant’s job is to review and analyze the financial statements. This includes making any necessary adjustments to entries to the books, reviewing account balances for any red flags, such as high A/R or A/P balances, and analyzing the overall health of the business.
The accounting role is comprised of, but not limited to:
- Reviewing transactions for accuracy: Reviewing the books to ensure transactions were properly recorded by the bookkeeper
- Preparing adjusting entries: Recording transactions not recorded during the year (e.g., depreciation expense, inventory adjustments)
- Analyzing account balances: Reviewing and analyzing balances for key accounts, such as bank accounts and loans, to ensure they agree with statements from financial institutions
- Preparing final financial statements: Finalizing the balance sheet and income statement (aka profit and loss or P&L) before completing income tax return.
- Filing income tax returns: Taking the final financial statements and using the data to complete federal and state tax returns for the business.
- Advising business owners on their financial outlook: Providing the business owner with a summary of the overall health of the business and advice on tax planning and other business strategies as needed.
Unlike the bookkeeper role, which is more transactional, the accountant role is focused on the “big picture” of the overall business. This includes reviewing the financial reports to ensure the day-to-day transactions are properly recorded and making the business owner aware of any “red flags” related to overall cash flow, money owed to vendors (accounts payable or A/P), and money owed by customers (accounts receivable or A/R).
When to Hire a Bookkeeper
If you are struggling with staying on top of invoicing customers, paying bills, and other day-to-day financial tasks, you need to hire a bookkeeper. As discussed in the previous section, a bookkeeper’s role is to stay on top of the daily business finances. If you’re not recording your business transactions consistently, your first step should be to hire a bookkeeper to get your financial reports up-to-date. Once that’s in order, you can transition to an accountant.
Some examples of when it’s right to hire a bookkeeper are:
- Customer payments are consistently late: If customers are not paying on time, this is generally because you are not sending invoices out quick enough, the payment terms need to be adjusted or you’re not sending payment reminders to customers.
- Bills are rarely paid on time: If you are not paying your bills on time this could damage your relationship with your vendor suppliers. As a result, your credit limit may be reduced or eliminated altogether.
- You don’t have up-to-date financial reports: If you’re not recording sales and expenses on a consistent basis, you will not have access to up-to-date reports. Without access to reports, it’s difficult to know how your business is performing.
If one or more of these examples describes your business, you need to hire a bookkeeper. You can hire a local bookkeeper or go with a virtual bookkeeping service like Bench. Bench will keep track of your income and expenses, reconcile your bank and credit card accounts and provide you with monthly financial statements.
When to Hire an Accountant
If you have a good handle on your day-to-day bookkeeping tasks but have questions about your financial statements or cash flow, or you’re thinking about expanding your business, it’s time to hire an accountant. An accountant can explain your financial statements or show you what’s causing the cash flow shortage, plus they can prepare the accrual-based financial statements, that are required by financial institutions for business loans.
A few examples of when it’s right to hire an accountant are:
- You don’t understand what the reports mean: Your bookkeeper records all of your transactions and provides you with the financial reports each month but they don’t analyze financial statements. An accountant can help you with this.
- Customer billings are high but cash flow is low: From your perspective, business is booming and you are providing services and invoicing to more and more customers, but you don’t seem to have much cash in the bank. An accountant can help you figure out why.
- You’re thinking about expanding but want to know the impact of doing so: Say you want to add a new product or service to your business. An accountant can help you need project revenue and expenses for the expansion to see what the impact will be on your business.
If you’ve got a handle on the day-to-day tracking of income and expenses but need a better understanding of what the numbers say about your business, it’s time to hire an accountant. An accountant can help provide clarity about your cash flow, profitability, and other aspects of your business. If you want to grow, you will eventually need to have an accountant and bookkeeper on your team.
When Hiring Both an Accountant & Bookkeeper Is Right
Many businesses need both an accountant and a bookkeeper. For example, a sole proprietor with employees may need an accountant to file payroll tax returns. Limited liability companies, S corporations, and C corporations tend to have complex requirements that go beyond a bookkeeper’s knowledge. Any business that needs strategic forecasting or tax planning should hire an accountant.
If one or more of these examples apply, you may need both an accountant and a bookkeeper:
- File payroll tax returns: If you pay employees, it’s OK to have a bookkeeper process the payroll, but you should hire an accountant to complete and file your payroll tax returns. There are significant fines and penalties if you fail to make your payroll tax payments and file all payroll tax forms on time.
- Your business is an LLC, partnership, S-corp, C-corp or nonprofit: These entities require special paperwork to be filed and they must adhere to strict guidelines to maintain their status. Bookkeepers can handle the daily tasks but when it comes to filing state and federal forms as required, accountants and CPAs are more familiar with this process.
- You need help with strategic planning: An accountant can help you gain insight into the outlook of your business in the next three to five years. Creating a budget or forecast is one of many tools accountants use to help small businesses plan strategically.
A bookkeeping services company like Bench can handle your day-to-day finances. But if you’re looking for help with payroll tax returns or want to ensure you maintain your LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp status, it’s time to bring an accountant on board.
Bookkeeper vs Accountant: Key Differences in Qualifications & Duties
Bookkeepers and accountants differ in five key areas: cost, education, certifications, work experience, and the duties they perform. Accountants tend to have a higher level of education than bookkeepers which is why the average hourly rate for a full-time accountant ($37.46 per hour) is more than double what a full-time bookkeeper ($18.87 per hour) will cost you.
The key differences between a bookkeeper vs accountant are:
Bookkeeper vs Accountant: Key Differences at a Glance
|Cost||Full-time:$18.87/hour & up|
Part-time:$23/hour & up
Virtual: $125/month & up
|Full-time:$37.46/hr. & up|
Part-time:$180/month & up
Virtual:$250/month & up
|Education||High School or Associate degree||Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or Finance|
|Certifications||Certified Bookkeeper (CB)||Certified Public Accountant (CPA)|
|Work Experience||Two years or more||Two years or more|
|Duties||Responsible for recording day-to-day income and expenses||Provides an explanation of what the financial statements mean|
Bookkeeper vs Accountant: Cost
The three most common types of bookkeepers and accountants small businesses hire are: full-time and part-time (freelancer). On average, bookkeepers make a lot less than accountants .
For example, a full-time bookkeeper makes $18.87 per hour vs an accountant who makes on average $$37.46 per hour. A part-time bookkeeper averages $23 per hour vs $42 per hour for an accountant.
The costs you will incur for a bookkeeper and accountant are:
What a Bookkeeper Costs
What you will pay for bookkeeping services will vary based on the type of bookkeeper you hire. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average full-time bookkeeper costs $18.87 per hour. This is just a little lower than a survey by Zip Recruiter that reported the average freelancer at $23 per hour. Keep in mind, these rates vary based on geographical location, education, and experience of the bookkeeper.
Average costs of a full-time bookkeeper, a part-time freelancer, or a virtual bookkeeper are:
- Full-time bookkeeper: Per the BLS, the average salary of a full-time bookkeeper is $18.87 per hour or $39,270 per year. Keep in mind that this will vary based on your geographical location. Plus, this does not include benefits, payroll, and unemployment taxes.
- Freelance bookkeeper: According to a survey conducted by Zip Recruiter, the national hourly rate for a freelance bookkeeper is $23. This rate will vary based on geographical location, work experience, and education. Unlike full-time bookkeepers there are no additional costs to worry about if they are 1099 contractors vs full-time employees.
- Virtual bookkeeping services company: Virtual bookkeeping services can cost a lot less than hiring a full-time bookkeeper or a freelancer. Because these companies are able to keep their costs down by not having a brick and mortar location, they are able to offer affordable pricing to their customers. These services start as low as $125 and go up from there.
If you prefer to save a few dollars and avoid the headache of dealing with payroll taxes, we recommend Bench. Bench is a virtual bookkeeping services company that provides bookkeeping services as low as $125 per month. To give you an idea of what you can expect when you become a Bench customer, they will take one month of your transactions, reconcile them, and produce a set of financial reports free of charge.
What an Accountant Costs
Similar to bookkeepers, the cost of an accountant will vary based on geographical location and the type of accountant you hire. According to the BLS, the average cost of a full-time accountant is $37.46 per hour, more than double the average rate for a bookkeeper at $18.87 per hour.
Average costs for a full-time bookkeeper, a part-time freelancer or a virtual accountant are:
- Full-time accountant: Per the BLS, the average salary of a full-time bookkeeper is $37.46 per hour or $77,920 annually. This will vary based on location and the education and work experience of the accountant. This does not include payroll taxes, unemployment taxes, and other costs that come with hiring full-time employees.
- Part-time accountant (freelancer): Most freelance accountants charge a flat rate based on the type of work they are doing and the frequency. For a periodic review and analysis of your books, you can expect to pay on average $180 per month. This does not include tax return preparation, which is an additional cost. Unlike the full-time accountant, you don’t have to worry about payroll taxes or benefits with a freelance bookkeeper.
- Virtual accountant: Virtual accountants will provide accounting services for a flat fee. Depending on the menu of services you need and the frequency (e.g., monthly, quarterly) pricing can start at $250 and up.
The ability to afford what it costs to hire a bookkeeper or an accountant is key for small business owners. If you need a person to come in everyday to get your business finances in order, hire a full-time bookkeeper. If you’ve got your books organized but need guidance on strategic growth and planning, consult with a freelance accountant or hire a virtual accountant.
Bookkeeper vs Accountant: Education Requirements
Whether you are hiring a bookkeeper or an accountant, the ideal candidate should possess a combination of formal education and work experience. Education can be a two or four year degree for an accountant or completion of a bookkeeper certification program for bookkeepers. I also recommend at least one or two years of prior work experience that can be verified with a reference check.
The education requirements for a bookkeeper vs accountant are:
Bookkeeper Education Requirements
When hiring a bookkeeper, it’s a good idea to hire someone who has more than a high school diploma. Chances are, they were not exposed to bookkeeping in high school which means they don’t have any bookkeeping knowledge. Formal education could be a two or four year degree in business, accounting, or a related field. The other form of acceptable education is the completion of a bookkeeper certification program through an accredited educational institution. We will discuss a few of the recommended certification programs in the bookkeeper certifications section.
Accountant Education Requirements
Similar to hiring a bookkeeper, you need to hire someone with a combination of formal education and work experience as an accountant. At a minimum, the accountant should have an associates or bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a related field. Completion of an accounting certification program at an accredited school is also acceptable.
Bookkeeper vs Accountant: Certifications
To ensure a bookkeeper or accountant has the knowledge to manage your books and/or provide accounting services, consider hiring a certified bookkeeper or a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Both professions require candidates to pass an exam and obtain work experience. The primary difference is you don’t have to be certified or have a degree to work as a bookkeeper. However, accountants must have a degree in accounting or a related field.
A certified bookkeeper is someone who has successfully passed a certification exam and has at least two or more years of work experience as a bookkeeper. The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) is a national organization that has certified thousands of bookkeepers. To maintain certification, bookkeepers must complete 60 hours of continuing professional education every three years.
While it’s not required, many accountants like myself decide to become Certified Public Accountants (CPA). Each state has their own set of rules on how you can become a CPA, but generally all of them require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in accounting with a certain number of hours in the subject of accounting. Each state requires CPA candidates to submit proof of their work experience and each candidate must successfully pass a certification exam.
Like certified bookkeepers, CPAs are also required to complete continuing education classes. As a licensed CPA in the state of California, I am required to complete 80 hours of continuing education every two years. Again, this will vary depending on what state you are in.
Bookkeeper vs Accountant: Work Experience
When it comes to work experience, I recommend that you hire a bookkeeper or an accountant that has worked in the field for two or more years. Bookkeepers and accountants gain the knowledge that they need from the formal education or certifications they have obtained. However, the true test of success is how well they can apply their “book” knowledge to the actual “real world” situations.
The work experience required for a bookkeeper vs accountant are:
Bookkeeper Work Experience
As mentioned previously, bookkeepers should have at least one or two years of work experience. If you hire a certified bookkeeper, they will have two or more years of experience under their belt. While degrees and certificates demonstrate that someone has completed the educational requirements to be a bookkeeper, nothing beats actual work experience.
As a matter of fact, if I have a candidate with a degree and no work experience vs a candidate with at least two years of work experience and no degree, I would probably go with the candidate with the work experience. They will require a lot less training than someone who has never worked as a bookkeeper.
Accountant Work Experience
Similar to bookkeepers, accountants should have at least a year or two of experience working in the field. If you hire a CPA, you are guaranteed to get someone that has at least two years or more of experience. My philosophy is the same for accountants as mentioned for bookkeepers — work experience trumps education. However, the ideal bookkeeper has a combination of both education and work experience.
When it comes to work experience, you can hire a bookkeeper or accountant who has never worked in the field. As a matter of fact, they will probably cost less than someone who has work experience. However, the difference is that you will spend a lot more time bringing the person who is fresh out of school up to speed than someone who has previously worked as an accountant for a few years.
Bookkeeper vs Accountant: Duties
What is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant? One of the key differences between a bookkeeper vs accountant is the type of work that they do. Bookkeepers are responsible for recording all of the money coming in and going out of your business on a daily basis. Whereas, the accountant is responsible for making sure the work the bookkeeper has done is correct and to finalize the financial statements before preparing the income tax return.
The duties of a bookkeeper vs accountant are:
Bookkeeper vs Accountant Duties at a Glance
|Bookkeeper Duties||Accountant Duties|
|Recording income and expenses in a ledger, Excel spreadsheet or accounting software.||Reviewing the books to ensure transactions were accurately recorded.|
|Creating and sending invoices to customers to record sales on credit.||Preparing adjusting entries to record transactions typically recorded when closing the books (e.g., depreciation expense).|
|Managing vendor bills to ensure timely payment.||Analyze key account balances (e.g., business loans, A/P, A/R).|
|Reconciling all bank/credit card accounts to monthly statements.||Prepare key financial statements: Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow statement.|
|Managing payment to employees by ensuring payroll checks are calculated, checks are printed and payroll tax payments and forms are filed on time.||Complete tax returns, entity structure, strategic tax planning, and long-term financial business decisions.|
A bookkeeper will ensure the transactions that occur on a daily basis like billing customers, paying bills, reconciling bank accounts, and paying employees are completed. Bookkeeping duties should be completed on a daily or weekly basis. If this is not possible, I recommend you do this at least monthly to stay on top of open invoices and ensure bills are paid on time.
An accountant oversees the work completed by a bookkeeper. While most people tend to engage an accountant once a year to complete their tax return, I recommend you have an accountant review your books quarterly. This will help you to gain an understanding of how your business is doing throughout the year so you can make adjustments as needed.
How to Hire a Bookkeeper vs an Accountant
Hiring a bookkeeper and an accountant involves finding quality candidates, verifying their education and work experience, interviewing potential candidates to see if they will be a good fit for your company, and checking references to verify their work history. If you’re new to hiring, check out our step-by-step guide on how to hire and keep employees.
How to Hire a Bookkeeper
By now, you know that a bookkeeper should have a combination of education and work experience. As mentioned previously, the ideal candidate would be a certified bookkeeper. As a certified bookkeeper, they have demonstrated that they have both the knowledge and skills to manage your books.
If you’re not sure where to find quality bookkeepers, I recommend the AIPB Jobs Site or QuickBooks Find-A-ProAdvisor. You can also check out our tips for finding the right bookkeeper to learn more.
Below are two resources to help you locate quality bookkeepers:
- AIPB jobs site: The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers has a job site that employers can use for free. It includes a database of certified bookkeepers located in the United States.
- QuickBooks Find An Accountant: A directory of more than 50,000 bookkeepers and accountants who are certified in QuickBooks. It is free to use and all you have to do is enter your ZIP code to find a local expert in your area.
If you’d rather leave the bookkeeping to the experts so you can spend your time growing your business, we recommend that you check out Bench. Bench will track all of your income and expenses, reconcile your bank and credit card accounts and provide you with monthly financial reports. Pricing plans start at just $125 per month and there are no contracts.
How to Hire an Accountant
Similar to bookkeepers, you want to hire an accountant that has education and work experience in the field. If it’s in your budget, hire a CPA because they have proven they have accounting knowledge and expertise. If you’re not sure where to start, I recommend that you check with the State Board of Accountancy for your state or the QuickBooks Find-A-ProAdvisor website.
A couple of resources you can tap to help you hire an accountant are:
- State Board of Accountancy: Your state’s board of accountancy is responsible for making sure accountants obtain and maintain a CPA license. Each one has a website with a directory of CPAs where you can check a CPA’s status before you hiring them. Check out the list of state boards of accountancy provided by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
- Fit Small Business Bookkeeper Directory: This directory includes over 500 bookkeepers, CPAs, and accountants located within the U.S. They provide bookkeeping, accounting, advisory, payroll and tax preparation services. Finding a local expert is as easy as typing in your ZIP code.
Similar to hiring a bookkeeper, you want to make sure that the candidate is a good fit for your business. While it will require a time investment, it’s important to screen candidates thoroughly. This includes verifying their education, work history, and even asking for one or two references. When it comes to sharing your financial data, you want to be sure to do your due diligence.
Shifting Roles of a Bookkeeper vs Accountant
In the traditional sense, the role of a bookkeeper is to record all financial transactions by manually entering them into the accounting system. With the introduction of cloud accounting, bookkeepers can connect bank and credit card accounts to the accounting system so they automatically download — essentially eliminating the data entry. As a result, bookkeepers are doing less data entry and more advising on processes, procedures, and the technology stack for small businesses.
Similar to bookkeepers, the traditional role of accountants is changing with artificial intelligence and block chain on the rise. As a result, accountants are moving into other areas such as tax resolution which is assisting small businesses who owe back taxes. Moving into the personal finance field by becoming Certified Financial Planners (CFP) is also becoming increasingly popular.
Pros & Cons of Hiring a Bookkeeper vs Accountant
There are pros and cons of hiring bookkeepers and accountants. One of the pros they both have that they can save you time. Instead of spending your time managing your books, you can invest that time in other areas of your business. As far as the cons go, the services of bookkeepers and accountants are not free which means you will need to budget for these costs.
Pros & Cons of Hiring a Bookkeeper
There are pros and cons of hiring a bookkeeper. Hiring a bookkeeper can save you time, money and make it easier to file your taxes. The primary con of hiring a bookkeeper is that you have to budget for a bookkeeper because they are not free. In addition, you may have to purchase accounting software, if you haven’t done so already.
Pros of Hiring a Bookkeeper
The pros of hiring a bookkeeper are:
- Catching potential costly errors: Bookkeepers have the knowledge and expertise to catch potential errors such as incorrectly categorizing an asset purchase as an expense or something simple like transposing a number. If these errors are caught in time, you can avoid reporting incorrect information on your tax return.
- Saving time: Hiring a bookkeeper means you no longer have to spend time managing your books. Instead, you can invest that time in other areas of your business.
- Making tax time a breeze: Hiring a bookkeeper will make tax time a lot less stressful. Instead of organizing a year’s worth of data in a few short weeks, tax time will consist of your bookkeeper providing financial reports to your CPA; or you can give them access to your data and they can get the information needed to prepare your tax return.
Cons of Hiring a Bookkeeper
The cons of hiring a bookkeeper are:
- Paying to hire a bookkeeper: Bookkeeping services are not free. You will need to determine how much you can afford to pay for bookkeeping services. The more experience a bookkeeper has, the more they will cost. However, it will pay off in the long run in time you will save by not having to do the books yourself.
- Potentially paying to train your bookkeeper on accounting software: If you don’t use an accounting software that most bookkeepers are familiar with, like QuickBooks, you may have to invest time in training the bookkeeper on how to use your current software or switch to QuickBooks.
- Giving control of your finances to someone else: Many small business owners don’t hire a bookkeeper because they worry about giving a stranger access to their financial data. To alleviate this feeling, you should take a “hands on” approach with your bookkeeper. Stay in the loop by setting aside time to go over the financials each month.
When you look at the pros and cons of hiring bookkeepers and accountants, the pros far outweigh the cons of making this crucial investment. Small businesses that have a bookkeeper or accountant on staff are much more successful than those that do not.
Pros & Cons of Hiring an Accountant
Similar to hiring a bookkeeper, there are pros and cons to hiring an accountant. On the plus side, the level of expertise, amount of time they can save you, and the ability to help you make strategic decisions is invaluable. However, their services are not free, they sometimes make mistakes, and the possibility of distancing yourself too much from your finances are a few of the downsides of hiring an accountant.
Pros of Hiring an Accountant
The pros of hiring an accountant are:
- Level of expertise: You can be confident when you hire an accountant, they know what they’re doing. As mentioned previously, accountants require a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. In addition, they may be a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Finally, hire an accountant that has at least two years of experience.
- They can save you time and money: Similar to bookkeepers, accountants have been trained to catch errors that could help you avoid penalties and fees later on.
- They can assist you in making strategic decisions: In addition to crunching the numbers, accountants can help you make strategic business decisions on how to grow your business. For example, if you’re thinking about expanding your product line or offering a new service, an accountant can create a forecast to help you decide what to do.
Cons of Hiring an Accountant
The cons of hiring an accountant are:
- Their services are not free: Like bookkeepers, you will have to pay an accountant to review your books. Depending on your budget and needs, you can hire a full-time, freelance, or virtual accountant.
- They’re not perfect: Unfortunately accountants can make mistakes; however, they should take responsibility for their errors and take steps to fix it. If it’s a small error that doesn’t cost you much, it may not worth worrying about. But if it’s something you would have caught, then it might be worth looking for a new accountant.
- You may end up relying too much on them: An accountant can save you a ton of time, but it can also cause you to lose touch with the financial aspect of your business. To avoid this, set aside a monthly meeting with your accountant where you review the financials and get clarification on anything you don’t understand.
Bookkeeper vs Accountant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In this section we have included answers to the most frequently asked questions about accountant vs bookkeeper. If you don’t see your question, visit the Fit Small Business Forum and post your question there. An industry expert like myself will respond to your question.
The most frequently asked questions about accountant vs bookkeeper are:
What is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant?
There are three primary differences between a bookkeeper and an accountant: duties performed, education, and cost. Bookkeepers perform daily tasks like invoicing customers and paying bills whereas accountants review and analyze the financial statements on a periodic basis. Bookkeepers don’t need a degree but accountants do. Finally it costs more to hire accountants than bookkeepers.
Can a bookkeeper call themselves an accountant?
Anyone can call themselves an accountant because the word accountant is not regulated. This is why it’s important to verify the credentials of all candidates, including work history before hiring. If hiring a certified bookkeeper or CPA you can verify the candidate is certified by checking with the organization that issued the certificate or license.
Do I need a bookkeeper or an accountant?
Deciding between a bookkeeper or an accountant depends on the type of work you need them to do. If you need help with daily tasks like invoicing customers or reconciling bank accounts then you need a bookkeeper. If you want to know how to reduce your tax bill, you need an accountant.
Now that you have a better idea of what is the difference between a bookkeeper vs accountant, it’s time to decide which one you need to hire. If you are staying on top of daily bookkeeping tasks like invoicing customers but you want to know how you can lower your tax bill, you need an accountant. On the other hand, if you are in over your head with staying on top of daily tasks you need to hire a bookkeeper.
If you just don’t have the budget to hire a full-time bookkeeper, try Bench. Bench can take over tracking your income and expenses so that you can devote time to other areas of your business. Bench has experts on staff to answer your questions and on a monthly basis they will provide you with a complete set of financial reports. Get started for only $125 per month.