Accountant vs Bookkeeper: Which one do you really need?

Accountant vs bookkeeperAs a business owner you understand your time is valuable.You need to be on top of everything from sales to marketing plus a wide variety of other activities such as web development, social media, prospecting. There are a number of reasons some business owners decide they will keep their books themselves – either they see it as an unnecessary expense, or as a job they should be able to perform (or train a staff member to perform). Both will lead to the same place. Often a business owner never finds the time to input the information, or the input is entered incorrectly which can lead to costly mistakes.

To be clear, bookkeepers and accountants have different functions. A bookkeeper will record daily inputs such as sales, purchases and expenses plus ensures bills are paid on time. Bookkeepers also ensure your business is ready at year end tax time. Accountants on the other hand will advise on budgeting, provide financial analysis, and prepare your year end tax returns.

So in answer to the question “Do I need a bookkeeper or an accountant?” the answer is probably both. Deciding to hire a bookkeeper either as an out sourced employee or in house will be decided based on the type and size of your business. Most business owners will find a qualified bookkeeper who will find and fix errors both big and small which will save money in the long run. Bookkeepers will look for duplicate expenses, make sure the bills are paid on time to avoid late fees, track purchases and expenses as well as sales, and will be able to give a financial big picture to help you make informed decisions when you take the information to an accountant.

Deciding to hire an accountant will ultimately relieve you of many stresses. You will find an accountant will show you where there is the potential for problems down the road, help you budget and plan to make big purchases or re-locate, advise on financial strategies, prepare financial statements, income tax returns, and help you grow your business.

By outsourcing these two jobs to qualified people, you as the business owner will have more time to concentrate on what you know and love – your business. Comment below to let us know if you have both a bookkeeper and an accountant, only one or neither as well as your thoughts on hiring them.

Jim Walker can help you with all of your accounting needs. Wondering how much help you really need? Call (905) 272-4000 to schedule your free initial consultation!

Posted in Business Growth, Business Management, Small Business Accounting, Start Ups, Tax Tips, Year End Planning

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