Do I need a bookkeeper or an accountant?

You’ve set up your business, sales are pouring in, the paperwork is piling up, you need some help with keeping on top of the accounts, but you don’t know who to turn to. You ask yourself “Do I need a bookkeeper or an accountant?”

By the end of this post, you will know what a bookkeeper does and what an accountant does.

A bookkeeper:

  • enters all sales and purchase information
  • enters all bank transactions
  • enters all petty cash transactions
  • keeps the sales ledger and purchase ledger up to date
  • reconciles all bank accounts
  • prepares and files VAT returns
  • prepares accounts to trial balance

Some bookkeepers can also:

  • calculate and submit all payroll info to HMRC
  • prepare the profit & loss statement
  • prepare the balance sheet
  • submit self-assessments

An accountant:

  • provides tax advice
  • Help prepare budgets
  • files self-assessments and corporation tax returns
  • analyses the financial statements & provides advice
  • prepares financial statements
  • and many more tasks….

Bookkeepers and accountants regularly work together to ensure that a business is receiving the best advice and support possible.

It is very important that before hiring a bookkeeper or an accountant, you check that they are registered with a professional body and that they hold a valid practicing certificate and insurance. Do not be afraid to ask them to see their certificate or credentials.  A bookkeeper in the UK should be registered with either the ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers) or the IAB (International Association of Bookkeepers).  An accountant in the UK will be registered with the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales), CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), CIPFA (The Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy) or ICAS (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland).

Come back tomorrow to find out the Top 5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Bookkeeper!

If you would like to know more about the bookkeeping services we offer, have a look at our bookkeeping page, or contact us via the Contact Us Page, our Facebook Page, or on Twitter.