The difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper

Should I hire an Accountant or a Bookkeeper?

Deciding whether to hire a bookkeeper or an accountant is often a dilemma for new startups and small business owners. You want someone to stay on top of your finances, handle your records, and help you maintain positive cash flow, but don't know if an accountant or a bookkeeper is the best fit. Although the functions of Accountants and bookkeepers may overlap, there are differences between the roles of the two professionals. To decide which one is best for your business, you need to understand the differences between an accountant and a bookkeeper.

What is bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is the recording of all your business financial transactions. A bookkeeper will create ledgers and journals, and help you record how money comes and goes out of your business. Bookkeepers can work in your office or carry out their functions remotely through online software like QuickBooks, Xero, and Sage.

What are the duties of a Bookkeeper?

Keep things clear for HMRC

Bookkeeping is essential for your business financial stability and overall success. The duties of a bookkeeper include:

  • Recording all your expenses, bills and payments
  • Preparing sales invoices for your customers
  • Reconciling your business bank accounts
  • Staying on top of your accounts payables and account receivables
  • Preparing your business' initial financial statement
  • Collecting debts (a bookkeeper can help you contact your customers with overdue accounts and follow-up if the debt isn't paid by the agreed date)
  • Completing VAT returns
  • Dealing with financial paperwork and filing
  • Payroll processing
  • Establishing an accounting system
  • Preparing bookkeeping reports
  • Liaise with tax accountants
  • And many more...

Depending on your type of business, a bookkeeper may carry out more duties than those listed above.

The difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper

What is accounting?

The accounting process starts where the bookkeeping function ends. Accounting involves the interpretation, classification, analysis, report, and summarization of the data prepared by the bookkeeper. In simple terms, an accountant helps you understand the financial condition and performance of your business by analysing the financial data prepared by a bookkeeper.

What are the duties of an Accountant?

Although an accountant can perform some of the duties of a bookkeeper, the role of an accountant is more of analysing your financial data and giving you financial advice. Some of the duties of an accountant include:

  • Auditing your business records
  • Preparing final accounts
  • Corporate reporting and compliance
  • Guiding you on taxation
  • Analyzing your financial data and making projections
  • Providing financial management advice
  • And more...

Should I hire an Accountant or a Bookkeeper?

Big businesses will be fine with both an accountant and a bookkeeper. However, if you are a startup or a small business, hiring both professionals may not be cost-effective, and it is okay to choose one.

You should know that hiring an accountant is more expensive than a bookkeeper. If all you need is to stay on top of your finances, keep accurate financial records, process payroll, tax filing, maintain positive cash flow, and more, a bookkeeper may be all that you need. However, if your business requires more complex functions like corporate reporting, auditing, and more, you should go for an accountant.

Good news for startups and small businesses!

If you are on a budget, you can outsource your bookkeeping and accounting needs rather than employing an in-house professional. Outsourcing this function will cost you a fraction of the cost of keeping the professional in your office.

Lukro Ltd is a bookkeeping company based in Peterborough. We offer online bookkeeping services to help startups and small businesses stay on top of their finances. What more, we work together with accountants to provide the best bookkeeping services in the UK and help our clients grow their businesses.

Want to ask questions or make an inquiry? Please, contact us now. We'll be happy to help.

Written on 09-04-2020

Agnieszka from Lukro Ltd

This article was written by Agnieszka - a professional bookkeeper with several years of experience in the financial service industry. Agnieszka works with Lukro Ltd, the accounting and bookkeeping company provides professional and friendly bookkeeping and business support services to individuals, sole-traders, partnerships, and small businesses. We help welders, plumbers, engineers, electricians, hairstylists, beauty therapists and many more.

You might be also intersted in:

Can I use a personal bank account for my business?

Can I use a personal bank account for my business?

Having a business account is fundamental and very important to the success of your business. Most self-employed business fall into the trap of using personal accounts for your business transaction and end up facing issues ...

Read more

The process of starting a business

The process of starting a business

Starting a new business requires you to have proper planning, make necessary financial decisions and get the necessary legal documents. It can look a bit complex, especially for new small business owners; however, by taking informed steps, you can begin to build your business.

Read more

How bookkeepers can help your business during covid-19?

How bookkeepers can help your business during covid-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting most small and big businesses in the UK negatively and forcing business owners to find a new way to survive. Read more to find out how can our online bookkeeping services can help you stay in business.

Read more

What is Bookkeeping?

What is Bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is the daily recording of business financial transactions, which include income and expenses. It is necessary because it helps to measure the performance of the business. Proper bookkeeping makes it easier for companies to keep track of all their financial information.

Read more