Do I need an Accountant or a Bookkeeper?

Updated: Mar 28

Every business, however big or small, requires some form of financial records. This may be as little as a simple ‘money in and out’ or as complicated as expenses, payroll, profit, loss, net, gross and any number of other headings.


Large business usually have one or more employees who deal specifically with the company’s finances but small or new businesses often find this a necessary expense, but one they would prefer to have avoided. It is often seen as ‘waste of money’ as it brings no direct benefit to the company, but if you consider that around half of new businesses fail due to money problems, an effective way to control the budget becomes more important than it appears.


Recognising this leaves a question – is a bookkeeper or accountant best, and what is the difference?


The difference is really quite simple.


A bookkeeper keeps financial records. They list expenses, profit, bills, payments and so on in an organised fashion. They literally ‘keep a book’ with all financial dealings laid out in such a way that anyone picking it up knows immediately how much money is coming in and how much is going out.


An accountant’s job starts with this easily read ‘book’ (it was once a ledger, although now is a file), and using this they can give you advise. They are trained to look at the ‘in/out’ money movement and advise you where to save money if you are in difficulty, or how to invest or expand if things are going well.


In short; a bookkeeper counts your money, an accountant offers analysis for moving forward better.


An accountant may not be necessary for a new or small business, but a bookkeeper is. Yes a business owner can do their own sums, but there are two important facts about this to consider; one time spent counting money is time the owner is taking away from his business, the other is financial records have to be presented to tax authorities in a certain way, and that means learning this system. Once again this steals time from the actual business.


Finding a good bookkeeping solution saves time, hassle and stress and is more important than most people realise. Taking this burden off your shoulders is why we set up ProBookkeeper, and to date all our customers find our bookkeeping solution easy to use, cost effective and a great addition to their business.

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