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  • Author: Rebecca Lake

Bookkeeper Vs. Accountant


by Rebecca Lake on Sep 25, 2014

I found this article from Quickbooks and I would like to share with you.

What Does a Bookkeeper Do?

Bookkeepers are responsible for maintaining accurate records of a business's day-to-day financial operations. The actual scope of the job may vary based on the size and type of business, but it typically includes things like recording sales transactions, documenting business expenses, processing payments, completing the payroll, and making sure that the books are balanced at the end of the month.

Keeping track of accounts payable and accounts receivable is another duty that normally falls to bookkeepers. On the accounts payable side, their job is to make sure that vendors are billing the correct amount and invoices are being paid in a timely manner. When it comes to receivables, they're in charge of sending out invoices to customers, recording payments, and contacting clients who have bills outstanding. Other functions bookkeepers may carry out include handling petty cash accounts and creating basic financial statements.

The Role of an Accountant

Bookkeeping tends to focus on what's happening with a business from a transactional perspective. Accounting generally takes a much broader view. While accountants are qualified to perform all the same tasks as a bookkeeper, what they actually do for small businesses is often quite different. This may include analyzing the books to look for discrepancies, analyzing sales trends, completing end-of-year financial statements, and handling your tax filing.

Accountants may prove to be an invaluable resource when you need advice about financial decisions that impact your long-term business strategy. For example, if you're looking to expand, they can help you to identify areas for potential growth and develop accurate financial forecasts. If you're applying for a business loan, they might assist you with getting all of the necessary documentation together.

In terms of tax preparation, an accountant's job is to ensure that you're in compliance with the tax laws and that your return is accurate and filed on time. They'll look over your income and expenses to find which credits and deductions you qualify for and make sure that you have the appropriate records to support each claim. While the primary goal is to help you avoid an audit, an accountant can guide you through the process if your business becomes subject to closer scrutiny by the IRS.

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