Bookkeeper VS Accountant
Accounting vs. bookkeeping has long been a subject of debate and confusion among business firms seeking to carry out these duties to sustain their financial performance. Both accounting and bookkeeping are related to the economic domain, need a core financial base, and are ultimately concerned with the task of classifying and generating reports based on financial transactions. Thus they surely seem to be two peas in a pod.
Since bookkeeping is the initial step in the accounting process, the job of a bookkeeper and accountant frequently coincide. However, these two methods are fundamentally distinct, and each has its own set of advantages. To simply explain, bookkeeping involves recording and documenting business transactions, whereas accounting comprises understanding, categorizing, analyzing, reporting, and summarizing financial data.
This blog delves into the roles of accountants and bookkeepers, the difference between accounting and bookkeeping, and the benefits these services provide business owners.
What is Bookkeeping?
Bookkeeping is the process of measuring, documenting, storing, and retrieving financial transactions for businesses. A bookkeeper keeps an accurate record of money flowing in and out of business, undertaking responsibilities such as managing day-to-day cash flow, producing year-end tax returns, and assisting in the smooth operation of the finances. Bookkeeping expertise is extremely valuable for business entities. It is a vital part of the process of maintaining track of a firm’s financial issues. Also, here you can opt for inhouse bookkeeping or outsource bookkeeping.
As stated earlier, bookkeeping and accounting frequently overlap, and it covers specific duties such as:
- Keeping track of financial transactions
- Preparing invoices
- Maintaining the general ledger updated
- Payroll management
- Keeping records of debits and credits
- Keeping track of accounts payable and receivable
Among the most crucial components of bookkeeping is managing a general ledger. It is a record used to classify, preserve, and summarises transactions of a company. The intricacy of your ledger might vary depending on your company’s size and the number of transactions you process regularly.
Benefits of Bookkeeping
Having a competent bookkeeper on staff has several advantages. A bookkeeper will collect all financial data, from business receipts to payments, and organize it into simple reports that can be easily reviewed later. So, let us look at the advantages of having an adequate bookkeeping procedure.
1. Thorough documentation
Thorough bookkeeping will ensure proper data recording and aid you in managing your business finances. It acts as a supporting base in the process of the preparation of periodical financial statements or the audit of your business concern.
2. Supports in adherence to the Legal changes at all times
A professional bookkeeper will constantly follow the current legal standards and ensure that all of your accounts and books are updated accordingly. The accountability lies with the bookkeeper, which enables a transparent bookkeeping process saving time and money.
3. Reporting in real-time
In this guide of accounting vs bookkeeping, bookkeeping is the initial step of the accounting process and enables you to get the updated status of your financial affairs on a real-time basis. The timely recording of the business dealings as part of bookkeeping lays the base for easy preparation of financial statements by the accountants. With the help of your bookkeepers, you can easily share inferences about your fiscal performance and create greater trust in both your work as a manager and the company’s ability.
Disadvantages of Bookkeeping
The cost of time is one drawback of bookkeeping. Even with automated bookkeeping software systems, gathering financial information, investigating ledger discrepancies, and locating mistakes can take hours. Maintaining the books by adding new information takes effort and can be quite time-draining.
Another drawback of bookkeeping is the cost involved. While comparing accounting vs bookkeeping cost, retaining a team of bookkeepers in the business entity is an exorbitant affair. Buying bookkeeping management software may also be pricey, especially because they must be updated from time to time.
Unintentional inaccuracies might result in lost time and money since they must be recognized and remedied. Intentional errors with the objective of fraud from untrustworthy workers might also put your business under increased stress.
What do Bookkeepers do?
Bookkeepers conduct day-to-day financial activities such as data input, receipt and invoice recording, bank statement reconciliation, and payment of suppliers and workers. Some even generate financial statements and reports, such as trial balances and income statements, which provide the foundation for analysis. Bookkeepers’ reports give important financial information that your firm can utilize to help plan for the future.
What is Accounting?
Accounting denotes a financial process that comprises gathering, evaluating, analyzing, and reporting financial data. It is also referred to as “the language of business."
Accountants are present at all stages of the accounting process. In contrast, the bookkeepers are active in the initial phases of the overall accounting process.
There are certain duties to be fulfilled by an accountant, it includes:
- Data interpretation to assess a company’s financial health
- Financial statement preparation
- Expenses of operations are being investigated.
- Filling up income tax forms
- Educating small company owners on the financial implications of their decisions
Accounting transforms data from the ledger into financial statements that show a business entity’s financial performance. Business owners frequently seek accountants for assistance with company formation, financial forecasting, tax compliance, tax planning, tax filing, business financing applications, and strategic planning. Now, if you are searching for UK accounting outsourcing firms in India then you must read this guide.
Accounting enables business owners to have a better knowledge of their company’s performance and revenue growth.
Benefits of accounting
Before digging into the difference between accounting and bookkeeping, let us first look into the advantages of accounting.
1. Enables better tracking of a company’s financial records
Because of the volume and complexity of everyday business transactions, the management cannot keep track of every deal. This is where the accounting process comes to the rescue. It methodically documents all financial transactions relating to the respective year in the books of accounts.
Before that you may also want to know what are accounting fees or outsource accounting cost.
2. Financial statement preparation
It assists in preparing financial statements such as the trading and profit and loss accounts and the balance sheet. The appropriate preparation of the financial statements is crucial for most business entities. Submission of reports based on these statements is to the stakeholders, and government authorities are part of regulatory compliances.
3. Aids in taxation concerns
Several financial aspects, such as income tax and VAT, rely on the accounts maintained by the administration to mitigate the tax compliances. Without proper accounting, tax return preparation and calculation are impossible.
4. Company valuation
Accounting data creates the basis to value a company’s business aptly. As a result, it aids in determining a business entity’s worth for different purposes such as during a merger or sale.
5. Comparison of outcomes
Accounting makes it possible to compare the financial performance of a given accounting period with that of the previous periods. It thus provides insights about the business development and growth to the management. It even allows evaluation of business performance with those of the counterpart business ventures.
6. Promotes effective decision making
Management can make better decisions if the financial reports are well prepared. Accounting information helps management to plan future operations, create budgets, and coordinate activities across divisions.
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Disadvantages of Accounting
1.Accounting data is based on estimations
The accounting information involves the use of certain types of premises while preparing financial reports. There are also chances that the accounting data may be skewed.
2. There are possibilities of accounts manipulation
During the accounting process, the accountants may use malpractices such as accounts manipulation and misappropriation of business resources. These instances can put the business entity at great risk.
3.Accounting takes into account only quantitative aspects
Accounting information considers only the quantitative elements of the performance of the business. It does not give many details about the qualitative information regarding the business operations.
What do Accountants do?
Accountants have a deeper understanding of the overall financial frameworks, the accepted accounting principles, and dependent domains such as taxation. They examine the financial data in your accounts to ensure its integrity, determine if the firm is lucrative, and provide actionable insights based on their findings. Their advice might be quite useful if you want to know whether to hire new employees, what to do regarding asset management, taxation, and cost optimization.
They focus on the larger picture, projecting a company’s financial success in the future. Accountants can also provide strategic recommendations for development. If you want additional input and assistance while making financial decisions, an accountant can prove very resourceful.
Difference between Accounting and Bookkeeping
A big misconception about Accounting VS Bookkeeping is that they both are believed to be the same profession. Though they appear to be extremely similar, there are some significant distinctions between the two. To clear up any confusion, we’ve compiled a list of distinctions as part of the tussle- Accounting VS Bookkeeping.
Definition of Accountant and Bookkeeper
Bookkeeping is primarily concerned with the identification, measurement, and recording of financial transactions. Accounting is the process of summarizing, analyzing, and conveying financial transactions recorded in ledgers.
1.Roles and responsibilities
A Bookkeeper records financial transactions, prepares the general ledger, and keeps track of income and expenses. On the other hand, an Accountant analyses and interprets financial data uses information from the general ledger and accounting journal to prepare financial statements and file tax returns.
Although knowledge of a range of financial issues and transactions is required, as is an eye for detail, these are no official prerequisites for becoming a bookkeeper. A bookkeeper’s job is usually overseen by an accountant.
In most cases, a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance is required to hold the title of an accountant. Accounting professionals, unlike bookkeepers, can get a variety of educational qualifications. Accounting credentials such as the AAT, ACA, ACCA, and CIMA are some of them.
Management cannot make a decision based simply on the data provided by bookkeeping. Vital strategies, however, can be made utilizing the inputs given by accountants as part of overall the accounting data.
Although the overall process is similar, there is a difference between accounting and bookkeeping objectives as well. The objective of bookkeeping is to keep appropriate and orderly records of all financial activities. The aim of carrying out accounting is to assess a company’s financial position and then communicate that information to the appropriate stakeholders.
When it comes to skill requirements, there is a disparity in terms of technicality and work complexity. Bookkeeping does not need high-end skills owing to its simplicity.
However, accounting necessitates specialized knowledge owing to its analytical and intricate structure.
When it comes to Accounting vs. Bookkeeping, one of the key distinctions is the analysis component. Bookkeeping does not need a lot of analysis. It basically involves the due recording of financial information. Accounting analyses and interprets data using accounting information before compiling it into reports.
7.Preparation of financial statements
Preparation of financial statements does not fall as a bookkeeping process. However, the fundamental object of the accounting process is the due preparation of the business’s financial statements.
Amidst the clash of Accounting vs. Bookkeeping, it is crucial to realize that both these business processes are co-dependent and critical for the smooth functioning of a business organization. Despite the difference between accounting and bookkeeping, retaining coherence in these two administrative aspects can prove beneficial for your business.
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