accounting vs bookkeeping

Because of accounting’s analytical and complex nature, accountants require more formal education and training than bookkeepers. Accounting is the practice of keeping track of a company’s financial activities. Summarising, analyzing, and reporting these transactions to oversight authorities, regulators, and tax collection entities are part of the accounting process.”

  • Accounting can be more subjective, and needs skilled interpretation.
  • Analysis is also a key part of their job so they should be able to delve deeper into the figures to give you a better understanding of trends and variances.
  • In the case of accountants, they can also make some strategic recommendations for improvement.
  • While bookkeeping may have started as scratches on a stone tablet, today the practice revolves around software solutions like Xero or Freeagent.
  • The most popular accounting software available today, Xero, is trusted by millions worldwide.

And when you’re competing for the top accountancy and bookkeeping roles, how do you stand out? Preparing management accounts, which are likely to be a detailed set of reports that assists business owners/ management to run their business. The frequency, complexity and nature of these reports will vary considerably from one business to another. These reports may incorporate KPI’s and dashboards to assist in this goal. To sum up, bookkeeping involves recording data and financial information, while accounting involves analyzing, classifying, and interpreting this data.

What is the difference between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant?

Accountants also have a different and higher level responsibility and level of training and certification than is required by Bookkeepers, due to regulatory and governance requirements related to filing accounts. Let us also not forget to mention that you’ll be well paid from the get-go, with the average salary of accountants in the UK being upwards of £23,000. Save 100’s on your yearly accounting by comparing quotes from local companies. To get peace of mind from someone who understands tax and accounting regulations inside-out.

The exact roots of bookkeeping are unknown, but we do know that the function dates back thousands of years. Bookkeeping is the daily activity of recording financial data and classifying and analysing business transactions. Your bookkeeper is a professional who makes sure that you can see exactly what is going on with your finances. As a business owner, you need to make sure you have the right support around you.

Why is bookkeeping IMPORTANT?

However, bookkeeping has fewer barriers to entry, so learners can qualify quickly and for less overall expense. Whereas aspiring accountants take a while longer to become qualified, but they’re rewarded with significantly higher earning potential. An accountant takes the data given to them by the bookkeeper and produces financial reports, analysis, and statistics for wider company decisions.

This is then tallied at the end of the day and also at the end of the month. Accountants are responsible for maintaining and analysing financial records, and recommending appropriate courses of action. The majority of accountants are professionally qualified, although some firms trade as accountants without qualifications. Accountants retail accounting perform a wide range of finance-related tasks, either for individual clients or for businesses and other organisations. The accounting process provides reports that bring key financial indicators together. The result is a better understanding of actual profitability, and an awareness of cash flow in the business.

On the basis of skills

The qualifications provided by the Association of Accounting Technicians are universally respected and internationally recognised. So, whether you study bookkeeping or accounting, you can gain skills you can take with you around the globe. You add meaning to their financial data by carrying out audits, generating their financial statements and evaluating efficiency. All of which enables you to forecast the company’s future business needs and helps keep them financially on track. As an accountant, you focus your time assessing the bigger financial picture, which involves utilising the data provided by bookkeepers.

The key to a successful business is staying on top of your finances. Thankfully, the bookkeeping and accounting roles can be instrumental for the financial well-being of a business. As a bookkeeper, you’re responsible for keeping accurate and complete records of the financial transactions of a business.


Accounting is the thing that happens after your bookkeeper has got everything in order. When you hand your books over to your accountant they can look at the figures and provide you with an analysis that shows you how healthy your business is. On a more practical level, it also lets them look at your tax position, advise you on how much you’ll need to pay to HMRC as well as prepare and file your tax return. A bookkeeper is essential for maintaining high-quality financial records. Bookkeepers will manage your accounts and make sure your day-to-day processing and transactions run smoothly.

In this blog, we will find the differences and similarities between both bookkeeping and accounting. If the answer to any of the above questions is ‘no’ then at the very least an accountant or a bookkeeper can help you set up your business properly and teach you some of the basics. If you hire them on an interim basis and feel you can proceed without them until you ramp up your business, that’s a perfectly viable option as well. There are tons of government guidelines, rules, regulations and deadlines that you must abide by in order to remain compliant with your business finances.

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