It is not uncommon for people to interchange the use of the words accountant and bookkeeper. Although both professionals do provide financial support for the business, it is two different aspects of business finance.
To help to understand the differences, and to determine if your New Jersey business needs a bookkeeper or accounting service, consider the following responsibilities for both types of jobs.
The Role of the Bookkeeper
The term bookkeeper may seem outdated in today’s world of online record keeping and financial management for businesses, but it is really a very good description of the job of these professionals. Bookkeeping services often work on-site, but they can also work remotely to reduce the cost of in-house financial staff.
The bookkeeper will manage the accounts for the company. Typically, for a small business, this means all types of accounts including payroll and accounts receivables. Larger companies may have specialized bookkeepers focusing on the management of one type of account.
All bookkeeping services include the day to day management of the accounts, purchases, payments to the company and other financial factors. Bookkeepers often use specific software programs and are responsible for both data entry as well as verification of all entries.
The Role of the Accountant
It is possible for an accountant to provide bookkeeping services, but he or she also has additional training to allow the professional to provide financial advice, tax planning information as well as assisting in the short and long-term financial planning for the business.
Most New Jersey businesses will find a bookkeeper and an accountant will be required, as well as tax preparation services. Some financial advisory firms provide all three services, which can be very helpful to a small business by combining all financial services with one trusted partner to the business.