If you're having trouble deciding whether your business needs a bookkeeper or an accountant, don't fret too much. Chances are you'll need both — and you can probably meet those needs through judicious use of outsourcing.
Here's a look at some important distinctions between bookkeeping and accounting, and how to get the best of both worlds by using each for the right job at the right time.
Who Does What?
Bookkeepers tend to be involved in day-to-day functions, such as accounts payable and accounts receivable. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) must fulfill certain licensure requirements and generally focus on high-level tasks that occur at wider intervals, such as filing tax returns.
I've heard the difference between bookkeepers and accountants explained this way: Consulting an accountant is like visiting the dentist every six months for a checkup, cleaning and fluoride application. It's an important part of your dental health — but so is daily brushing and flossing. That's the bookkeeper's specialty. Let's start there.