Do I Need a Bookkeeper or an Accountant?

When it comes to your small business, you may be wondering whether your best move is to work with a bookkeeping service or hire an accountant.

While these two options may sound similar, there are some important differences. So, you may be better off getting an accountant or a bookkeeper for financial management — but which service do you really need?


Bookkeeping is about working to manage the business’s financial transactions that happen on a daily basis. This can mean creating spreadsheets and keeping them updated, processing such things as payroll and looking through bank statements.


Then there’s accounting, which focuses its energies more on the financial supervision side of things. An accountant will take bookkeeping documents and utilize them. They will come up with a strategy to help organize and strengthen the finances of the company and making sure that it is financially healthy.

Similarities Between Accounting and Bookkeeping

Both accountants and bookkeepers collaborate with their clients, working together to do what they can to provide them with the best services possible. They also report on the finances of the business and have a duty to promote the best financial status for a business and its owner.

They also both serve their clients by providing the best possible analysis that they have of the business, using that to generate advice and strategy for their clients to utilize. Bookkeepers may have advice for how to make a new budget or make accounting more efficient. An accountant may come up with ways that help you with tax liability.

Differences in Services for Small Business

So, what about differences between the two? The biggest difference may be that small business owners usually opt to hire an accountant early and then move on to hiring bookkeepers a little farther into their financial management process.

Accountants help get a lot of the basics down, which is important to iron out early. They’ll be able to help owners figure out entity types, figure out requirements for filing taxes, and offer various financial strategic advice. A good accountant is more likely to be across business law, which helps with compliance, than most bookkeepers.

Accountants will usually have a degree, whereas bookkeepers usually have training on the job or have gone through a training program. Bookkeepers are familiar with the day-to-day organisation of a business, whereas accountants usually have an overview of how the business works and what can be done to take it to that next level.

Outsourced Payroll and Bookkeeping Services

Outsourced payroll and bookkeeping service.

A further key difference is that outsourcing financial tasks — so that an online company takes care of everything — is easier with respect to bookkeeping. The kind of specialist advice an accountant provides isn’t easily done through an online service. But online payroll and bookkeeping services can be set up so everything is taken care of.

Accountancy services can include bookkeeping, but the cost tends to be much higher. The cheapest long-term option is to outsource your bookkeeping services to a specialist online company.

Good value bookkeeping services, such as Amira Drori , offer advantages, such as:

  • reasonable prices, including cheap options for startups
  • an easy onboarding process to get you going quickly
  • a good eye for efficiency improvements
  • scale-up options as your business grows.

Choosing the Right Service Matters

For many owners of a small business, doing a little research and working to become more informed on what is involved with bookkeepers vs accountants will allow them to make a foundation to learn more. As a result, they will be empowered to continue to be the best business managers they can and maintain sound finances in a competitive market.

Knowing more about these differences will allow you as a small business owner to hire the professionals that are best suited to the needs of your business. It will also help you to get more organized and set your business up for current and (perhaps just as important) future success.

Take Home Message

The bottom line is that, as a startup or small business, it’s best to consult with an accountant first. Then, if you need a bookkeeper, you can work your way up from there.

If you already have an accountant you work with regularly but your business is growing, it could be the ideal time to branch out and find an online bookkeeping service and advance your business further.