Difference between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant

Bookkeeper vs Accountants

Bookkeepers and accountants both help you manage the financial health of your business. There are overlaps in their work but also significant differences. Accounting is a broad field with many specialisations and different functions and bookkeeping is just a subset of this broad field. So what functions do they perform and how can they help your small business grow? Keep reading to learn more.

What are bookkeepers?

Bookkeeping involves recording financial transactions - purchases, sales, and payments for a business. They ensure all the records are up to date and maintained in a systematic, chronological way. 

Common tasks that bookkeepers need to do

  • Record¬†financial transactions on a consistent basis
  • Manage payroll, invoices and debt
  • BAS preparation and lodgement
  • Single Touch Payroll for tax and superannuation reporting
  • Management Reporting to keep track of where your business is going
  • Financial Reporting -¬†manage balance sheet, profit and loss statements, accounts receivables and payables, and cash flow
  • Streamlining reconciliation with the bank
  • Using cloud-based accounting software like Xero

What are accountants?

Accounting is a process of recording, storing, retrieving and analysing financial transactions.

‚ÄćAccountants verify and analyse the financial records of an individual or business so they can make informed decisions. They also prepare reports and perform audits to ensure the books are watertight.¬†

Common tasks that accountants do

  • Establishing a new business and deciding the business structure¬†
  • Tax planning and advice, file tax returns
  • Reporting and compliance¬†
  • Financial advice by evaluating business trends and present new opportunities for growth
  • Forecasting cash flow and budgeting
  • Regular Auditing
  • Assist you with setting up your Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF)

Similarities between bookkeepers and accountants

Before we discuss the differences between the two, lets discuss their similarities.

Obviously, both of them deal with numbers and have overlaps in the work they do. Some of the similarities between them are:

  • Dealing with financial transactions and reporting
  • Ensuring the financial records are accurate
  • Maintaining a strong financial health of your business.

Although they have common goals but perform totally different functions and come in handy at different stages of your business. For example, for day-to-day tasks, bookkeepers are perfect. While accountants can help you with financial advice and file your taxes during tax season.

Differences between bookkeepers and accountants

  • Bookkeepers record financial transactions whereas accountants analyse it.¬†
  • Bookkeeping is a subset of accounting.
  • Bookkeepers help you with collecting the data regarding your business. Accountants analyse the data and turn them into relevant information for your business. They can help you understand the big picture of your business - where your business is currently and how you can grow your business.¬†¬†
  • Different study pathways - The qualifications differ for accountants and bookkeepers.
    Bookkeepers need to go for a Certificate or Diploma course in Accounting and Bookkeeping. They can provide BAS services if they are registered with the Tax Practitioners Board as a BAS agent. While Accountants pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting and are more qualified and specialised. They also need to meet the accounting code of practice and need to be reigstered with the accounting bodies in Australia like Certified Professional Accountant (CPA), Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ).

Should you hire a bookkeeper or accountant?

Did you know that over 66% of small businesses shut their operations within 10 years? Why?

It is mainly due to the lack of operational CASH FLOW and poor BUDGETING! With limited resources and money, small business owners can find it challenging to manage their budget and as a result lose money. That’s where the help of professional accountants comes in really handy. A good accounting firm will have bookkeepers and accountants who can assist you in every phase of your business. 

Bottom Line Control - Best Accountants in Sunshine Coast

Are you unsure of how you can manage your cash flow and the sustainable growth for your business? At Bottom Line Control, we can help you with a holistic solution for your business - bookkeeping, investment, tax advice. Our experienced accounting team has helped a lot of businesses grow and would love to help you too.  Contact us today at 5471 7077 or complete our online quote form.



Accountant & Bookkeeper Reviews

Bottom Line Control Reviews


Bottom line Control, headed by Malcolm Chilman, have been by tax agent/accountant/book keeper for more than 10 years now, and I have nothing but praise for the efficient and cost effective way they go about their work. I have recently given them my SMSF as well and am impressed by the meticulous way he goes about the process of staying within the lines of the over-complex Superannuation law. Whether it is simple BAS bookkeeping or complex questions of tax law, Malcolm is always there to help. And if he does not know some intimate detail of our almost incomprehensible tax process, he knows where to find the answer. Every business has the occasional need for a quick answer, so one of the characteristics that I appreciate here, is Malcolm's ready availability, by phone and email.

PA Apartments - Business Accountant Client

Byron Scott

PA Apartments

Business Owner & Investor

40 Wholseley St, Woolloongabba, Qld 4102

Phone: (07) 3891 1742 | Email: info@PAapartments.com.au

Thank you for your support, and assistance over the past several years. I personally feel that from our cooperative services that Ram Automotive has been able to grow toward the sustainable company of which is today. Bottom Line Control has given myself a great understanding of the companies finances, and also through ongoing fiscal performance meetings. Now knowing what Ram Automotive can expect for the future. I look forward to an ongoing relationship with Malcolm and Bottom Line control, to secure our future within our community.

PA Apartments - Business Accountant Client

Matthew Katterns

Ram Automotive

Proprietor of Ram Automotive Coolum Beach

We changed all of our financials over to Bottom Line a few years ago and have been quite impressed with the service and advice we have received. Nothing is too much to ask of them. Thank you to Malcolm and staff for being there for us.

PA Apartments - Business Accountant Client

Wayne & Penny Rex

Rex and Turtle

Business owners and Property Developers

We switched to Bottom Line Control after realizing that our previous accountant was giving us incorrect advice and charging a premium for it. We have now been using Bottom Line Control for several years and have found Malcolm to be thorough and reasonably priced. He always finds ways to save money on our taxes. Malcolm and his staff are highly responsive and very easy to work with. We highly recommend.

PA Apartments - Business Accountant Client

Alex & Rebecca Watson

Equathon Horse Riding

PO Box 301 Noosa Heads, QLD 4567

Phone: (07) 5474 2665

Thanks Malcolm for saving me the stress of sorting through all the issues of self-employment, and the many confusing deductions and tax items associated with that. Although I was extremely late in lodging my tax return, it was not a problem for you, and you managed to get me a healthy refund when I was sure I was going to have a bill! I will certainly be using your services in the future and have already been recommending you to others.

PA Apartments - Business Accountant Client

Kim Anderson

The Anderson Outloook

Freelance Journalis