Bookkeeper vs Accountant: do you need both?

Date: 14th March 2016

If you run your own small-medium business you probably hired an accountant early on, right? But have you considered the benefits of hiring a bookkeeper? If you’ve taken on the bookkeeping work yourself but have no experience or formal training in this field, you may be overwhelmed by the paperwork and numbers! Or perhaps you do have a head for numbers and could potentially do the book work yourself, if only you had more hours in the day… If this sounds like you, read on.

mac computers on desk

Let’s start by taking a look at the differences between an accountant and a bookkeeper and the benefits of each to your business.

How is a bookkeeper different to an accountant?

The two services are often compared, but actually they are complementary. Accountants provide a valuable service, particularly when it comes to strategic advice, annual returns, and tax issues. But they don’t usually see your accounts every day. A good bookkeeper will keep a close eye on your accounts on a regular basis. This will help keep your cashflow under control, which is vital for business growth.

  • Bookkeepers do the day-to-day work and bring the accounts up to a high standard of detail and accuracy. They can also advise you on issues that might affect you in the near future, such as cashflow problems or late invoice payment.
  • Accountants will look at the accounts that have been created, often on a quarterly basis. They will make any minor adjustments required. They will use the information in the accounts to file tax returns and other official reports. They will also provide high level business advisory services.

A bookkeeper is your financial co-pilot

Bookkeepers create order out of chaos. They take all the numbers, receipts, bills and other accounts data that flows through your business. They funnel it all into your accounting software – into the right reports and the right account.

They turn all this data into meaningful financial information. It will all be in the correct place, properly filed and organised. This can be used to give you an immediate view of the health of your business.

They can also offer day-to-day support for small business owners. In fact a good bookkeeper is your partner in keeping things running smoothly within your business.  A good bookkeeping partner will be with you every step of the way as your business grows.

Here are some more reasons why you should consider a bookkeeper.

For your business to run smoothly, ideally you need both people. You’d hire a bookkeeper to look after the day-to-day work. And you’d hire an accountant to handle official reporting and high level business advice.

Sources

Xero Small Business Guides: When you should hire a bookkeeper

Xero Small Business Guides: How to hire the right bookkeeper

Need help?

For more information about how a bookkeeper can help your business, contact Lynley at our partner bookkeeping service, Launch Office or our team.



Posted in: Alexandra, Christchurch, Latest News, Queenstown, Wanaka