What Are Some Differences Between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant?


Quick Answer

Though the jobs are similar, bookkeepers and accountants differ in the amount of work the role requires, with bookkeepers focusing on recording financial transactions, whereas accountants are responsible for all the finances of the company. Bookkeepers may also prepare payroll and manage a general ledger, while an accountant analyzes a company's financial state and prepares its taxes.

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Full Answer

Bookkeeping is one of the core responsibilities of an accountant, as it refers to the process of tracking and recording all of a company's financial activities. Bookkeepers typically maintain the company's general ledger and accounts, commonly known as its books, to make not of each time the company spends money and for what purpose, as well as when and why it receives money. The bookkeeper may also create invoices for any payments due to the company, as well as see to other daily needs of the business.

An accountant may handle these tasks in addition to a wide range of analytical services that look at the company as a whole. The job involves reviewing the general ledger and making any necessary adjustments for pending or incorrect transactions, create reports that highlight spending activities of a department or the company as a whole and identify any irregularities in activities by reviewing all statements and accounts. The accountant also prepares the company's financial reports and projections, as well as files its taxes.

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