Bookkeeper vs Accountant: Whats the Difference?

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The process of maintaining certification can help you keep your skills sharp over time as well. To renew your certification, you must complete continuing coursework, attend professional development programs and take part in training workshops. While these requirements may sound tedious, they could benefit your career in the long term.

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AIPB certification requires bookkeepers to have at least two years of full-time work experience and pass a national exam. To maintain the credential, bookkeepers are required to engage in continuing education. Many small businesses don’t have the employment capacity to hire internally, so many opt for external bookkeeping and accounting services.

The Highest Paying Accounting Fields

Hiring an in-house professional can be convenient for business owners who want to have someone in office. However, this route can end up being pretty costly by the time you add in the cost of including this person on your company’s payroll— not to mention additional hiring and onboarding costs. Bookkeepers help small business owners keep their financial paperwork and account history in tact. In general, a bookkeeper’s primary goal is to maintain consistent records to make business management and accounting easier.

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The two roles can have a significant impact on the success of your business. Becoming a CPA involves a level of concentration and work ethic that permanently sets accountants apart from their peers. The title also empowers CPAs to develop exceptional expertise and accomplishment through years of training that impresses employers, clients, and society.

Factors Affecting CPA Yearly Salary

A key part of the accounting process is analyzing financial reports to help make business decisions. The result is a better understanding of actual profitability and an awareness of cash flow in the business. Certified professional accountants have various employment options.

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While some certifications may look fancy, ensure that the experience matches the need. When running a business, it’s important to understand the value that each customer brings to your company. This value is commonly known as Lifetime Value or LTV, which is the amount of revenue a customer generates… A lot of U.S. bookkeepers get the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers certification. It proves that the bookkeeper has signed the AIPB’s Code of Ethics and has successfully fulfilled its certification standards. There’s also The National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers which offers the Certified Public Bookkeeper certification.

Bookkeeper vs Accountant Infographics

We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in oureditorial policy. Department of Labor’s Occupational Handbook, some of the most in-demand accounting jobs include comptroller, accounting manager, senior tax accountant, and internal auditors. A forensic accountant’s job is to investigate, audit, and prove the accuracy of financial documents and dealings. These accounting detectives’ work often centers around legal issues.


That means when your accounting figures change; your reports change too. This can help accountants, bookkeepers and other members of your team to share important information without access to your accounting software. The key to deciding which kinds of finance and accounting employees your business needs is to consider the workload. Still, if you have several employees, payroll, lots of purchasing, invoicing, inventory to manage and so on, it might be more cost-effective to hire a full-time bookkeeper or accountant. Bookkeepers work with actual finance-related documents like invoices, purchase orders, bills from vendors and so on.

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Keep reading, and you will determine which one your business needs right now and how long before you need to set up a whole financial department. As a business owner, you know that running a successful business is about more than just turning a profit. You also have to protect your personal assets and minimize your liability in case of any legal issues or… Outsourced accounting isn’t always cheaper than in-house, so it’s good to compare the pricing by getting several quotes. These topics remain hot because there’s often a lot of confusion about them. To the best of our knowledge, all content is accurate as of the date posted, though offers contained herein may no longer be available.

The incremental cost projection for accountants is 6.1%, while job demand for the bookkeeping profession is expected to decline by 1.9%. This decline can be attributed to the role of technology in automating many of the transactional functions of bookkeepers. Popular software has made it possible for many business owners to track their financial information, while accountants provide deeper insights and advice that software can’t replicate. Here’s an easy way to think about it—bookkeepers lay the groundwork by recording financial transactions so that accountants can analyze financial statements and provide strategic recommendations. Bookkeeping and accounting are sometimes used interchangeably—but there are distinct differences between these roles. From required education to day-to-day responsibilities, let’s compare bookkeepers vs. accountants.

  • These certifications demonstrate mastery over topics such as auditing standards, taxation laws, financial reporting practices, and ethics codes for professional accountants.
  • Increasingly, bookkeepers are experiencing similar trends in role expansion.
  • In general, accountants must have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance to qualify for an accounting role.

CFAs must also pass a challenging three-part exam that had a pass rate of only 39% in September 2021. The point here is that hiring a CFA means bringing highly advanced accounting knowledge to your business. The rate a bookkeeper charges is based on various factors, including how much work you need done, the level of expertise you are seeking, and the state in which you do business. Each sale and purchase your business conducts must be recorded in the ledger, and some items will need documentation.

Then you can decide whether to hire an in-house specialist, outsource bookkeeping or accounting tasks, or turn to a CPA firm. The United States doesn’t have a standardized qualification for practicing bookkeepers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that those practicing bookkeeping should hold at least a high school diploma, but usually have postsecondary education. For the purpose of certification, they’re mostly required to have at least 2 years of job experience.

They should also be encouraged to communicate regularly and clearly. Finally, they should be made to work as a team instead of creating any barriers. Try Jobber for 14 days to see how easy running your business can be. Use QuickBooks Online and Jobber to access job details, track time, and invoice customers in the office or on the go.

In their turn, accountants consult businesses based on those statements and help with taxation. Typically, professionals in bookkeeping and accounting spheres work together. The first thing to figure out is whether you need an in-house bookkeeper or an outsourced one. Typically, businesses hire in-house financial specialists when there’s a lot of payroll and invoices to process.


Bookkeepers record daily transactions in a unified and easy-to-read way. You might want to acquire additional funds for your business to feel more confident by securing extra cash for emergency purposes. Diligently processed financial statements over an extended period can be a kind of insurance for you to receive the needed investment.

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