What is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant?

What is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant?

Are you looking to outsource some of your core business processes, including the financial operations? You’ll want to know what the difference is between a bookkeeper and an accountant. We’re covering exactly that in our quick guide to help you choose the right service for your business.

What is a bookkeeper?

Bookkeepers provide accurate, up-to-date financial information for businesses. They write up reports which business owners can review and use to make informed decisions. They may also prepare annual financial reports.

They record and classify a company’s daily financial transactions, including sales, payroll and bills, etc. Their focus is on accurate record keeping, cross-referencing the books against bank statements and other documents to ensure all the numbers add up.

Bookkeepers routinely record data, balance the books and check for accuracy.

The importance of hiring a reliable, accuracy-driven bookkeeper shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s the foundation that business owners need to keep their business compliant and to make informed decisions.

Bookkeeper tasks include:

  • Data entry
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Monthly reports

See what our outsourced bookkeeping service can offer you.

What is an accountant?

Accounting is the next step from the essential bookkeeping functions. An accountant works with the information supplied by the bookkeeper. They are usually responsible for filing accounts, tax returns and compliance with HMRC & Companies House.

Core accountant tasks include:

  • Review, analyse and interpret financial statements
  • Produce reports
  • Share advice based on what the reports say

We have a range of outsourced accounting services that can help you.

How are they different?

There is a crossover of some tasks between a bookkeeper and an accountant, but the roles are different. An accountant is more focused on interpreting the financial data, whereas a bookkeeper primarily records and processes information.

Which one do you need?

Bookkeeping is essential business housekeeping. As a general rule of thumb, if you need insight and advice on how to improve your business operations with a view to scaling up, you will need an accountant. Still unsure what service you require for your business? Speak to our team about our bookkeeping and accounting services at Ratiobox today. We tailor our services to suit you.