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What’s the difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper?

Bookkeeping, Business, Law - 21/06/2021

Bookkeepers and accountants can often be mistaken for one another. But both have distinct and important roles to play in the running of your firm’s finances. 

Bookkeeping vs. Accounting: definitions

Bookkeeping is the process of keeping an exact record of the money that has been spent or received by a business or other organisation.

On the other hand, accounting involves interpreting and reporting on the data recorded by a firm’s bookkeeper

The two roles are closely related and work together to provide detailed, accurate financial reports for firms, which then helps to inform them how to manage their finances going forward.

What will a bookkeeper do for your firm?

A bookkeeper will often have a set of core duties centred around keeping accurate, up to date reports about your firm’s finances. 

Their reports go to business owners and managers to help them make decisions. Some bookkeepers, however, are actually involved in strategy development.

Core duties include creating monthly reports, data entry of all your financial transactions, and bank reconciliation. This means checking your financial reports against bank statements and other important documents to ensure that everything is accurate. 

Some bookkeepers can also offer other services such as managing invoices and payroll.  

Ultimately, a firm cannot make financial decisions solely based on the data provided by a bookkeeper. Their main objective is to keep all records accurate and up-to-date, so that when you present them to an accountant, you’ll have an informed picture of what your financial situation looks like.

Attention to detail is key. That’s why outsourcing with an expert is often a safer route to take. Their sole focus is ensuring the accuracy of your accounts. If you did your bookkeeping in-house, you may overlook things or make mistakes because you’re also focusing on other aspects of your business.

What will an accountant do for your firm?

Accountants will oversee your accounts and produce statutory accounts and tax returns in compliance with the law. 

For an accountant, expert analysis skills are essential. A key responsibility of an accountant is to interpret the data given by your bookkeeper. Based on these reports, they assess whether the company is profitable, as well as its individual products and services. They then use this information to help managers and directors make informed business decisions.

This means they need to have expert understanding of current financial legislation and ethical issues. That way the advice they give you will ensure that everything is above board and in the best interests of your firm, its reputation, and of course, your clients.

Do you need both?

To ensure your accounts are managed as well as they can be, it’s recommended to use both a bookkeeping and an accountant. 

Both roles have different responsibilities and different expertise. Using them together will ensure that all aspects of your accounts management are done accurately and efficiently.

What can Numero offer?

At Numero, we offer expert bookkeeping services, from training to accounts management and invoicing. Let us focus on keeping everything up-to-date and accurate, so that you can focus on the other aspects of your business. 

Get in touch with us today to find out more about our services.

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