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Accountant vs bookkeeper: What can they do for you?

Last updated: 17th Oct 2019

Are you at the top of your trade but need some assistance navigating numbers? Enlisting the help of a qualified accountant or bookkeeper—or both—can make managing your business’s financial responsibilities much easier. Professional accounting or bookkeeping services can give you peace of mind that all your finances are in order, so you can focus on the work you do best.

But what’s the difference between accountants and bookkeepers, and what exactly can they do for you?

The role of a bookkeeper

A bookkeeper’s duties include documenting, processing, and storing all records relating to your business’s financial activities. A good bookkeeper will keep a detailed and accurate record of your day-to-day financial transactions, such as sales, payments, purchases, invoices, and receipts. They can also assist you with managing payroll duties and other more complex tasks outside your areas of expertise, such as generating financial summaries including preparing your business activity statement.


The role of an accountant

With the day to day taken care of, accountants are skilled at evaluating how your business is tracking and guiding you on how to achieve your business goals. That includes analysing, and interpreting your financial data, while also generating various management reports and preparing your financial statements.

In addition to your business planning, the most important service accountants perform is ensuring correct and accurate filing of your tax  obligations, which can be both confusing and time-consuming for those without experience. An accountant can also help explain and interpret tricky accounting terminology, and other tax and financial regulations that apply to your business.


Bookkeeper vs accountant: How to know which one you need

While many businesses and companies will employ the services of both a bookkeeper and a dedicated accountant, it’s important to find a solution that fits your situation, and is right for you. A bookkeeper can be an asset when it comes to the day-to-day operation of your business, saving you time and resources, whereas an accountant is better suited to help with your business’s bigger financial picture. You might find you need both bookkeeping and accounting services, particularly since your accountant will benefit from the data provided from accurate bookkeeping.

To better manage their own finances, many businesses are turning to accounting software solutions such as QuickBooks Online. With faster and easier ways to manage business transactions like sales, payments, and expenses, these online tools can cover some of the menial work traditionally performed by bookkeepers and accountants, leaving only the more complex accounting matters to the professionals.


Choosing the right person to work with

When choosing a solution for your business, the most important consideration is that it suits your business and style of working. You should be able to trust that the people you’re working with – whether they are bookkeepers, accountants, or software support teams – are accurate and meticulous. If you’re planning to combine self-management via accounting software and the use of a professional advisor, find one who’s trained in the software you use.

Accurate, up-to-date finances are essential when you’re a tradie, and the right tools and expertise will help you stay on top of your game. This guide will assist you in determining which financial approach is best for you.

Learn more about how QuickBooks Online can help you hold onto your cash.

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