Accountant vs Bookkeeper: What’s the Difference

Currently, there are almost 2 million accounting positions filled, but there is an expected 4% growth demand for these jobs until 2029. For those considering a career in accounting, this is a great time to start looking for jobs.

Yet, the accounting world isn’t only filled with accountants, bookkeeping options are available too. What’s the difference between an accountant vs. bookkeeper? Read on to find out.

Job Responsibilities of an Accountant vs. Bookkeeper

Although an accountant and a bookkeeper work with finance, their duties are different. When it comes to an accountant vs. bookkeeper, one focuses on analyzing records while the other records them.

Let’s dive deeper into these responsibilities:


So, what is an accountant? An accountant will highly analyze a business to offer advice and create financial models.

Accountants will check different variables that influence the success of a company. A bookkeeper will make consistent transactions while an accountant will create strategies from those transactions.

They also have the following job responsibilities:

  • Creating financial statements
  • Analyzing expenses
  • Suggesting areas for saving money
  • Filing tax returns
  • Forecasting the outcome of financial decisions
  • Maintaining tax law knowledge
  • Consulting
  • Offering financial management advice

Although an accountant and bookkeeper differ, accounting skills and bookkeeping certification go hand in hand.

If an accountant does all of these things, what is a bookkeeper?


Each day a bookkeeper has certain tasks that they need to complete. They spend most of their time with a business recording and organizing transactions that occur. Their daily responsibilities include:

  • Updating the ledger
  • Recording income and payments
  • Verifying financial records to meet requirements
  • Managing payroll accounts
  • Processing paychecks
  • Organizing invoices, receipts, and reimbursement requests
  • Producing budget reports
  • Calculating business tax deductions

In short, a bookkeeper is most on-hand with day to day financial activities of a business.

Qualifying for Bookkeeping vs. Accounting

If you’re trying to decide between becoming an accountant or bookkeeper, your qualifications will be considered. Since accountants provide business financial advice, they need more advanced qualifications.

Those wanting to become an accountant often have to go to school for it. In contrast, you don’t need any prior college education to become a bookkeeper. You’ll need to gather experience hours and pass an exam.

Someone with great attention to detail and a love for numbers could find success as a bookkeeper. A bookkeeper often works with the business owner directly or an accountant.

Qualifications for each job are different, but having college experience and gaining a certification will make someone a better candidate for the job.

Which Career Path Will You Take?

So, what’s the difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper career? To sum it up, accountants analyze and interpret financial data that a bookkeeper organizes.

When it comes to becoming an accountant vs bookkeeper, both career paths are great for those interested in numbers and people who have great attention to detail. The choice is up to you, which career path will you take?

If neither career seems right for you, check out the other articles on our blog for more options.

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