Difference Between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant

Difference Between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant

Learning bookkeeping and accounting are both essential subjects if you want to start a career as a bookkeeper or an accountant.

These two professions are considered as one of the most demanding and profitable career worldwide since every business is mandated by law, in the jurisdiction in which it operates, to keep a record of its business transactions and provide financial reports of its condition and performance.  As such, both bookkeeping and accounting play an important role in a business entity.

In this article, you will learn the difference between bookkeeper and accountant.  It is relevant to know how to differentiate the two professions in order not to interchange them in the future.

What is Bookkeeping and Accounting?

Bookkeeping is a process responsible in keeping a complete and accurate record of the financial transactions of a business.

On the other hand, accounting is an information system which includes the process of recording, summarizing and interpreting the business financial condition and performance.

To learn more about the difference between bookkeeping and accounting, you read to this article entitled, “Difference Between Bookkeeping and Accounting“, read more here.

Because of one similarity in the nature of work, oftentimes, a bookkeeper and accountant are believed to be the same and used interchangeably.  However, despite the fact that both perform the process of recording business transactions, a bookkeeper and an accountant are two different professions or careers.

What is the Difference Between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant?

Although both professions perform the recording process of business transactions, bookkeeping and accounting are two different careers.

In a simple comparison, a bookkeeper does the bookkeeping process – which is the recording of business transactions.

An accountant, on the other hand, performs the whole accounting process – which involves recording, analyzing, classifying, summarizing, reporting and interpreting the financial information of a business.

In short, a bookkeeper is responsible for recording alone while an accountant have a wider range of responsibility compared to a bookkeeper.

Due to the simple nature of work of a bookkeeper, it made the job position open to anyone who has knowledge and understanding of the bookkeeping process.  As such, even non-accounting graduates can become a bookkeeper.

Being an accountant, on the other hand, is a more complex and highly technical profession which can only be performed by accounting graduates or professionals.  To be qualified as an accountant, one must have a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy. For some business or organization, passing the accountancy licensure exam and gain the title, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), is required.

Unlike a bookkeeper, who only performs record keeping of business transaction, an accountant is responsible in the whole accounting process – from record keeping, summarizing, reporting and interpreting business transactions.  Additionally, an accountant can work in various areas of accounting, such as financial accounting, managerial accounting, tax accounting, cost accounting, auditing, and review services.

I hope this article has been helpful for you to learn the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant. Feel free to share your thoughts, additional information, queries or concerns via comment box below.

Recommended Reading:

If you want to learn more about Accounting, you will gain deeper knowledge with this book:

Accounting by Warren, Reeve and Duchac

This book will help you understand that you find important accounting information quickly.  It uses an integrated learning system to help you acquire accounting knowledge and mastery. It provides clear examples and high-impact writing that will guide you through the understanding the recording of business transactions and preparation of financial statements.  Additionally, it gives a framework for learning what accounting is all about and accounting’s evolving role. Read more here.

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