First of all, if you’re a business owner, you know how tough it can be to keep track of your company’s money. Even for a small business, it can be a lot to handle when added to all the other work that goes into running a company. Most business owners choose to hire a CPA or bookkeeper to keep track of finances and keep the company in operation. But deciding which one is best for you can be another tough decision.
At Hacker Accounting we work with quite a few small business. We’ve got some things for you to consider as you make that choice.
Related: Small Business Budgeting Tips
What’s the difference?
A bookkeeper is responsible for keeping track of a business’s daily transactions Generally they are an employee of the company whose books they keep, though some companies may choose to hire a contractor for this. Bookkeepers generally don’t have a degree in accounting, though some of the duties they perform may overlap with some of the duties of an accountant. A bookkeeper records data about business expenses, purchases, income and payroll, usually with the help of bookkeeping software.
A Certified Public Accountant, or CPA, is a trained professional who has a degree in accounting and is authorized to represent businesses to the IRS. Most people usually only think of accountants in terms of filing taxes. A CPA can do so much more than tax returns and income statements. Their role is to take the data recorded by a bookkeeper and analyze it. They provide a clearer picture of the company’s financial state. This can include business trends, market forecasts, and other projections of the company’s financial future.
Which one do I need?
Every business needs someone to keep track of their finances. Some businesses do just fine with only a bookkeeper while others may need a more complete accounting service. Generally the larger the company, the more important it is to have both. However, even small businesses can benefit from having both. Often a bookkeeper and an accountant work in tandem to produce a comprehensive examination of the company’s finances. Many accounting companies work closely with other bookkeepers and can recommend someone who will be a good fit for your company.