Comparing and Contrasting the Careers of Accountants and Bookkeepers

Businesses engage in a handful of core activities. Most people would classify these as sales, marketing, advertising, accounting, and finance, though other businesspeople may add other services to this list of basic business functions. Accounting is one of the most important functions because it’s the broad activity that determines profit and loss figures, counts inventory, and otherwise determines financial performance. How would decision-makers go about their jobs without accounting? Although you might consider bookkeeping as an interchangeable synonym with accounting, this isn’t actually true. Read on to learn more about the differences between accounting services and bookkeeping services.

Bookkeeping Is Mainly Math-Related

One way of relating bookkeeping services to accounting services is to say that bookkeeping is inherently easier than accounting and requires little prior knowledge – if any – outside of basic mathematical functions. Bookkeeping includes producing sales orders, coming up with invoices, paying employees, and formally recording the financial effects of various transactions.

Accounting Is Concerned With Classifying Transactions and Compiling Complex Financial Documents

Only the largest companies are required to pump out financial statements, which are detailed, standardized reports used by investors to gauge a public company’s current, past, and future performance. Accounting responsibilities also include compiling all the documents necessary for filing taxes at every year’s end as well as preparing the tax returns that are actually sent to the Internal Revenues Service. Furthermore, a Madison accountant’s opinion is highly valued when it comes to advising decision-makers on financial performance.

Bookkeepers Do Not Need Formal Education

Besides earning a bachelor’s degree and possibly completing graduate coursework or a graduate degree, a Madison accountant will often seek out certifications like that of Certified Public Accountant to distinguish him or herself. Although education helps bookkeepers obtain and retain their positions, they are not required to have a degree from a university or college.

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