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Bookkeeper vs. Accountant: What’s the Difference?

August 14, 2018
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Any major CPA in San Antonio will have both accountants and bookkeepers on staff. You may think they are interchangeable, but each has unique areas of expertise.

A bookkeeper literally “keeps the books.” That means they maintain daily accurate records of your business transactions. An accountant, on the other hand, has received more extensive training in financial matters. Accountants can guide your business decisions, prepare tax returns and assemble complex financial documents. Generally, accountants use the information provided by bookkeepers to advise you in your business and to complete important forms and documents.

You must maintain accurate bookkeeping to build the foundation of good business finance. The best way to do this is to hire a professional bookkeeper through a reputable CPA firm such as Gonzales Group. Bookkeepers can use spreadsheets or computer software to maintain the ledger, or record of sales and expenses. Every financial transaction that your business makes must be recorded in the ledger. Most also require receipts or other supporting documents. Bookkeepers also post credits and debits, create invoices and prepare payroll information. The busier and more complex your business is, the more bookkeeping work there will be to do.

The person doing your bookkeeping does not necessarily need advanced financial training, but they do need a very high level of attention to detail and excellent math skills. They often have an associate’s degree and their work is overseen by accountants or the business owner.

An accountant, on the other hand, uses advanced training and experience to offer opinions and insight on your business matters. Accountants are necessary for preparing tax returns, guiding business owners in decision making and in understanding the impact of a business decision. They are essential for preparing financial statements and other complex work. The accountant can analyze cash flow and help the business owner see ways to cut costs and become more profitable.

Accountants have a four-year degree in accounting or finance. Certified Public Accountants, or CPA’s, have additional training, experience and certification that makes them an especially valuable partner for your business.

Let Gonzales Group help you with your business accounting needs. Call us today at 210-366-9430 to make an appointment with an expert CPA in San Antonio.

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