What is the difference in salaries between a bookkeeper and an accountant?

To earn these certifications, candidates must pass an exam that tests their knowledge of bookkeeping principles. A career in accounting or bookkeeping can be both challenging and rewarding. If you’re interested in working with numbers and keeping financial records organized, then one of these positions may be a good fit for you. Though accounting assistants and bookkeepers share some similarities, there are several key differences between the two roles. People tend to use the terms accounting and bookkeeping interchangeably; however, the two roles require different skills and qualifications.

Earning a QuickBooks certification involves studying the material provided by Intuit, which often includes online training modules and practice exams. Bookkeepers record financial transactions, post debits and credits, create invoices, manage payroll and maintain and balance the books. Explore the bachelor’s degree in accounting to see how it can fuel long-term career growth in this exciting field. To maximize earning potential and secure long-term job stability, it’s worth pursuing a career as an accountant.

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If you’re not prepared to take on these challenges with expert-level financial strategy and accuracy, you may want to consider hiring a professional. Most businesses will still need a bookkeeper to keep track of the books but it will become a lot more than just data entry, balancing bank ledgers, and bank reconciliation. They can specialize in areas like auditing, tax accounting, management accounting, or forensic accounting. Accountants can also advance their careers by becoming Certified Public Accountants or pursuing organizational leadership roles. Because their job responsibilities vary, bookkeeping and accounting require different skill sets. Generally, bookkeepers need to have excellent attention to detail, be well-organized, and understand accounting software well.

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  • Therefore, those who do not like math, get confused easily when making simple calculations, or are generally opposed to number crunching should not apply.
  • If you are interested in becoming an accountant, it may be beneficial to your career to become a certified public accountant (CPA), which has its own exam.
  • They also need to have attention to detail to ensure that all the numbers in the financial records are correct.
  • Additionally, your employer might be inclined to promote and offer higher salaries to certified bookkeepers.

What’s more, a bookkeeping certification will help you hone your skills and provide more in-depth job training. This also provides a competitive advantage for bookkeepers beginning their careers. The answer depends on where you are in your career, along with a few other factors. If you’re just starting out as a bookkeeper, earning a certification can help you stand out from the competition.

Bookkeeping vs. Accounting: An Overview

While AI has automated many bookkeeping tasks, the analysis, interpretation, and decision-making aspects of accounting still require human expertise. Technology assists in streamlining the accounting process but doesn’t replace the need for a knowledgeable professional. Bookkeepers and accountants must stay updated on local, how to choose the right bookkeeper state, and federal tax laws and regulations. The regulations include filing accurate tax returns for individuals and businesses, understanding deductions and credits, and complying with tax deadlines. Both bookkeeping and accounting are crucial for managing finances but involve different tasks and serve distinct purposes.

Why is Bookkeeping Important?

Bookkeepers and accountants are both critical for the financial health of a company. If you’re not tracking daily expenses, you’ll have very little information to give to your accountant and they won’t be able to make informed decisions. If you’re only focusing on expenses and not big-picture financial data, you’ll miss out on some strategic opportunities.

Essential Finance Skills

Your credentials show prospective employers that you’re a qualified bookkeeper and you’re willing and able to grow professionally. As a result, certification can lead to advancement opportunities in other areas of accounting, as well as finance and management positions. If you’re a seasoned bookkeeper, however, a bookkeeping certification may not be worth it.

Financial decisions cannot be made exclusively based on bookkeeping records but can be considered based on accountant records. The main objective of bookkeeping is to keep all financial transactions recorded properly and systematically. Accounting’s objective is to gauge a company’s financial situation and to communicate that information with the relevant people.

Ready to make your move in accounting? Gain insights for every career stage in our free Accounting Career Guide.

Generally, a bookkeeper’s formal education will be less than a four-year college degree. Accountants generally have a 120 or 150 credit college degree including at least 30 credits of accounting courses plus 30 credits of other business courses. These industries generally provide specialized services to clients that do not employ bookkeepers internally. In 2020, they combined to account for more than 11.5% of all bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks working in the United States. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) groups bookkeepers with accounting and auditing clerks in its job-related data.