Accountants vs. Bookkeepers

Actually, the title of this article is not correct because an accountant works together with the bookkeeper to achieve the same result, so they can’t be competing with each other, rather supporting and working together. This might confuse others who are not aware of each function and works.

I should also say that sometimes the lines can be blurred and a bookkeeper can be responsible for some tasks that are considered accounting department and then some accountants would also perform some bookkeeping tasks. Let’s take a look at what each of them actually does, so we can understand how the both of them fall into place in a business.

A bookkeeper gathers all the paperwork like sales statements, receipts, paid bills, and anything else that shows income or expenses and records the amounts, dates, and sources for each of them into some sort of a spreadsheet. It can be a regular paper, columnar pad that’s been used for decades for this purpose or can be computer software.

Either way, the act of recording this data is called bookkeeping. Now, we know the first part of this team, the second part is the accountant. People should understand that working as a bookkeeper and being an accountant don’t need to compete each other; working together could benefit the company and can make things happen smoothly and accurately.

An accountant then takes the data that has been collected and recorded by the bookkeeper and processed into an easier to understand means, like reports, charts, and graphs. They also are the ones that take care of the reporting and filling forms for taxes and other similar purposes. It is considered a higher step in the financial department to be an accountant and the bookkeeper would usually report to the accountant.

When it comes to education for becoming either a bookkeeper or an accountant, there is a difference too. It requires a lot more schooling to become an accountant, as bookkeepers do not. For someone to become a bookkeeper it would require one to three years in college as to become an accountant you would need a degree in accounting, and associate’s or even a master’s degree. Being an accountant or a bookkeeper can have a difficult task that is why it is urgent that you will study hard before you can be considered one of the elite bookkeepers or accountant.


Accountants do make almost twice the amount of money a bookkeeper does, so if an accountant would make $80,000 per year, a bookkeeper would make about $40,000. I am not saying that this is how much they earn everywhere; I am just saying that a bookkeeper will earn half of what an accountant does pretty much anywhere in the US. So, it looks like going to college for the extra two years to get a master’s degree in accounting really does pay off. for more details, visit

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