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  • Vanessa Gonzalez-Penaloza

What's the Difference Between a Bookkeeper and a CPA?

Are you looking for a bookkeeper or a CPA to help with your business? Perhaps, you heard different opinions on which is more qualified.


BUT to understand the difference, we need to look at their definitions.


A bookkeeper is a professional who tracks and manages an organization's financial records and provides best practices to improve their accuracy on a daily basis.

A CPA is a Certified Public Accountant is a licensed accounting professional who has met specific education requirements and passed exams in order to provide valuable tax advice. Once a CPA gets their license, they need to sustain it as per their state board policies.


The truth is, both professionals are important because they offer different services that can be used together to create a sound financial plan for any company or individual.


We´ll delve a little deeper on the two.

WHAT TYPES OF QUALIFICATIONS AND SERVICES DO EACH OFFER?


Even though the two do work hand in hand, keep in mind that theyŕe qualified differently and provide different services.

Here’s a closer look at their differences:


CPABOOKKEEPEREducation

  • A Bachelor’s Degree

  • 1-2 work years experience

  • Pass Uniform CPA Exam

  • CPA license mandatory to practice as a CPA

  • High School Diploma

  • Can become certified bookkeeper

Job responsibilities

  • Prepare, examine and analyze financial records

  • Draft financial reports

  • Represent clients in legal issues with IRS

  • Building accounting policies and procedures

  • Conduct detailed audits from time-to-time

  • Prepare financial budgets

  • Estimate profit margins

  • Prepare and file tax returns

  • Oversee accounting transactions

  • Assist business decision making

  • Financial consulting

  • Post financial transactions in proper accounts

  • Utilize bookkeeping spreadsheets, databases, and software

  • Observe and report any discrepancies found in the records

  • Maintain general ledgers and journals

  • Receive and record vouchers, cash, and checks

  • Arrange bank deposits

  • Ensure accuracy in reporting and postings figures

  • Generate income statements, balance and other financial reports

  • Track cash, sales, and purchases of a company

  • Post entries

  • Manage employee payroll

  • Prepare financial statements

  • Reconcile bank statements

  • Handle receivable and payable accounts

StatusHave a higher status and are more expensive to hireHave a lower status and are less expensive to hire


Growing your business takes a lot of planning, time and preparation (and money!).

Getting someone on staff who can take care of your financial tasks so they don’t fall through the cracks is a key to success.

A good CPA or bookkeeper will not only make sure all revenue streams are accounted for but also help maintain accurate records and reports so you know where exactly your company stands financially at any given time.

But it's important to know which one you’ll need, a CPA or bookkeeper.


A professional can help with the decision process and show you what will work best for your company.


I’m happy to answer any of your questions or concerns to help bring you the peace of mind that comes from knowing how much money is coming in versus going out.


Let me know if I can be of assistance!


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