What is the Difference Between Bookkeeping and Accounting

what's the difference between bookkeeping and accounting

The bookkeeping process involves summarising and organising all the company’s financial transactions chronologically in a systematic manner. In the past, both bookkeeping and accounting were manual, paper-based jobs. However, with technological advancement, the functions of bookkeeping and accounting are changing.

  1. While bookkeeping is all about recording of financial transactions, accounting deals with the interpretation, analysis, classification, reporting and summarization of the financial data of a business.
  2. They often bookkeepers work a few jobs for various clients if they work as a consultant.
  3. Bookkeeping is the daily financial tracking of all of your daily financial transactions.
  4. Here’s a list of the most common tasks that financial support professionals can assist with, and how to handle them even without accounting and bookkeeping assistance.

At first glance, there seems to be very little difference between bookkeeping vs. accounting. Now that you understand how bookkeeping and accounting differ, it’s time to decide which one is right for your business. While this decision is personal and depends on your needs and business goals, here are some signs it’s time to outsource your bookkeeping how to do a cash flow analysis and accounting needs. Other bookkeepers get certified in the bookkeeping software they use with clients. Growing a business requires an increasing number of accounting transactions. You might start your business by handling accounting tasks yourself, then decide to hand off the day-to-day transaction input to a bookkeeper as you grow.


Awarded by the CFA Institute, the CFA certification is one of the most respected designations in accounting. In this program, accountants learn about portfolio management, ethical financial practices, investment analysis and global markets. To complete the program, accountants must have four years of relevant work experience. There is a difference between an accountant and a certified public accountant (CPA). Although both can prepare your tax returns, a CPA is more knowledgeable about tax codes and can represent you if you get audited by the IRS. The most important focus of bookkeeping is to maintain an accurate record of all the monetary transactions of a business.

what's the difference between bookkeeping and accounting

In addition, bookkeeping and accounting help the business evaluate its worth and take future decisions. Many small business owners find it convenient to do their own bookkeeping and accounting using solutions like QuickBooks. Others meanwhile prefer to record transactions in their business and then let have an accountant look over their records. As a new business owner, it is important to understand whether you need to hire a real accountant on top of using your bookkeeping and accounting software. Accountants and bookkeepers provide similar services, but accountants can also provide financial advice where bookkeeps can’t. Bookkeepers can be an effective resource if you need to design a financial recording system—even when you have a relatively complex business.

What Is an Income Statement?

Accounting consolidates financial information to make it understandable and clear for all stakeholders. It helps businesses to maintain timely and accurate records of their finances. Better yet, with the best of both bookkeeping and accounting functionality, you can gain detailed insights into how your business is growing and track revenue, profit, cash flow and more. An accountant records, analyzes, and interprets financial information and transactions. They typically present insightful financial data to stakeholders and other decision-makers, who use it to steer the business in the right direction.

Another part of accounting focuses on providing a company’s management with the information needed to keep the business financially healthy. Although some of the information comes from recorded transactions, much of the analytic process and reporting includes estimated and projected amounts based on various assumptions. Generally, this information is not distributed to people outside of the company’s management. A few examples of this information include budgets and estimated selling prices when quoting prices for new work.

Bookkeeping vs accounting: What’s the difference?

In financial parlance, the terms bookkeeping and accounting are almost used interchangeably. While bookkeeping is all about recording of financial transactions, accounting deals with the interpretation, analysis, classification, reporting and summarization of the financial data of a business. Accountants not only record financial transactions but also create financial statements, conduct audits, and offer strategic financial advice to help organizations make informed decisions. As you can see, there often isn’t a certain size a small business must get to know that hiring a bookkeeping and accounting professional is necessary. However, the conventional function of a bookkeeper is to record daily transactions and keep your books organized.

Julia is a writer in New York and started covering tech and business during the pandemic. Discover more free Small Business Resources at the Intuit QuickBooks Resource Centre to help grow your business in South Africa today. You can also look at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to find CPAs with skills in certain areas, such as employee benefits or personal finance. Bookkeeping is said to be the basis of accounting, whereas accounting forms a part of the broader scope in finance.

For small businesses or individuals, bookkeeping might be sufficient to manage day-to-day financial activities. As businesses grow or face more complex financial situations, the need for accounting becomes crucial for strategic planning and compliance. With the right tools on your team, bookkeepers and accountants alike can streamline their workflows, reduce the risk of errors, and focus on providing more value to your business.

Here are some of the top industry picks for accounting and bookkeeping software. As with any other profession, bookkeepers charge different amounts depending on their years of experience, what state they live and work in, and what industries they work for. On average, bookkeepers charge around $22 per hour in the U.S., but freelance bookkeepers may charge anywhere from $30 to $45 per hour.

Accounting is more subjective, giving you insights into your business’s financial health based on bookkeeping information. Bookkeeping is the process of recording all financial transactions a business makes from its opening to closing. This practice helps establish the company’s financial outcomes and allows owners to track where their money is going. With something as important as your financial records, however, it’s best to get ahead of it and not wait until the integrity of your books is a problem. Being proactive about the addition of accounting and bookkeeping support is the only way to address the growing needs of any company.

With their combined expertise, you can confidently focus on expanding your business, knowing that your finances are in capable hands. It’s best for bookkeepers to handle, even if they work for you part-time or you hire a service. Like taxes and accounts receivable (AR), many small business owners are perfectly capable of doing these tasks, but they can eat up a lot of your precious time.

Accountants rely on financial statements from bookkeepers to do their work, but they also look for larger trends and the way money works across the business. Modern digital bookkeeping and accounting solutions blend certain aspects of both roles to give business owners greater control over and insight into their businesses. https://accountingcoaching.online/ On the surface, both activities appear similar, as both deal with the financial management of a company. Yet, there are some key differences between the two that it is important for every business owner to understand. You are able to assess your finances, including tax obligations, and make timely payments.