You might be surprised to learn that a bookkeeper and an accountant are not the same. An accountant is a bookkeeper, but a bookkeeper is not an accountant. What does that mean? It means that an accountant can do a bookkeeper’s job, but that logic doesn’t work the other way around. In order to know which is right for your business, you need to know the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant.
A bookkeeper is exactly how they sound – they keep track of your books. Whether they do this through a physical ledger or through bookkeeping software such as QuickBooks, they organize and monitor your finances, assets, liabilities, and other important numbers pertaining to your business. Bookkeepers often don’t have formal training, just an eye for details and the ability to crunch numbers efficiently along with the possibility of some basic experience. For some businesses, a bookkeeper is all they need. For others, an accountant might be required.
Accountants are bookkeepers, but they are also so much more than that. Accountants have formal training, which means they cost more but also that they have more to offer. They are capable of taking your bookkeeping data and analyzing it on a deeper level to find trends and other critical information. They utilize this data to find ways to keep your business growing and evolving.
Which Do You Need?
What you need depends on your business and your budget, so think carefully before you decide. Some businesses have both, which is a good safety net. Two heads are better than one, and two sets of eyes on the data are more likely to catch inconsistencies and issues. Sometimes a small business just needs a simple bookkeeper to make sure the finances are balanced. Larger businesses, or ones hoping for exponential growth, should consider an accountant that can analyze the data and make suggestions on how to improve. For either, a professional is the best choice because they will have the knowledge and expertise needed to help you keep track of your finances and catch errors others might miss.
Trust the Professionals at the Harding Group
Unlike other accounting firms, The Harding Group, located in Annapolis, MD, will never charge you for consultations and strive for open communication with our clients.
Are you interested in business advising, tax preparation, bookkeeping and accounting, payroll services, training + support for QuickBooks, or retirement planning? We have the necessary expertise and years of proven results to help.
We gladly serve clients in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore, Severna Park, and Columbia. If you are ready to take the stress out of tax time, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 573-9991 for a free consultation. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn for more tax tips.