You need to find a bookkeeper for your business. However, as you start searching, you’ll find that some companies use the term “bookkeeper” and others say they’re “accountants.” This can lead to questions about what you actually need for your business or taxes.
It’s important to understand the differences between the two terms. Here’s all you need to know about bookkeepers vs. accountants to find the right one for your needs.
Bookkeeping Is Just the First Part
You’ll often find that the work a bookkeeper does is the work that an accountant will also perform. However, a bookkeeper won’t do everything an accountant does. There is some overlap in the earlier stages.
Bookkeepers work with the daily financial information. They’ll track the sales, payment of bills, payroll etc. Their role is all about keeping an accurate record of everything you do within your business.
This can often mean you’re working with the bookkeeper on a daily basis. You need to find a bookkeeper that you’re happy working with and who you get along with. It’s also important to find someone who pays close attention to detail.
You’ll also find that a bookkeeper charges less than an accountant. While they have gone to school, it’s not usually for a four-year degree. They’re also not responsible for the later stages of the tax paperwork.
Accountants for the Taxes
While you’re trying to find a bookkeeper, you may find that you actually need an accountant. This depends on whether you want someone to handle the day-to-day record keeping or you’re looking for someone to prepare and finalize the tax paperwork.
Accountants will work with the bookkeepers to turn the daily paperwork into the tax forms. They’ll help to fill all the right paperwork when it comes to tax time, finding ways to help you save money on your tax bill.
Accountants will also help you through the auditing process if that happens. You’ll have someone to work through all the details to make sure the right information is sent off.
Need help analyzing the information your business has? Need someone to help with where to invest the money or what to do to save more on your tax bill? This is something else the accountant will do for you.
You won’t usually work with an accountant on a daily basis. This is often done on a less frequent basis, like at each quarter. It’s easier to get a bigger picture on your finances to work out what’s right for you.
Find a Bookkeeper or an Accountant?
So, what do you need? This really will depend on the size of your business and what you want to gain from the person you’re hiring.
If you’re a small business, you likely need someone to help with the reporting of your income. You’ll want someone who provides a service at a low cost just to keep the daily admin to a minimum. In this case, you’ll want to find a bookkeeper. Otherwise, you’re looking for an accountant.