Throughout history, short-term niggling bookkeepers have made wrong decisions. Access all Xero features for 30 days, then decide which plan best suits your business. You can also look at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to find CPAs with skills in certain areas, such as employee benefits or personal finance.

When looking for a certified bookkeeper, first decide if you want to hire an independent consultant, a firm or a full-time employee if your business is large enough. Ask for referrals from friends, colleagues or your local chamber of commerce, or search online social networks like LinkedIn for bookkeepers. There are several types of accounting certifications that accountants obtain to expand their skill sets and gain positions within larger organizations.

What does a bookkeeper do?

Although both can prepare your tax returns, a CPA is more knowledgeable about tax codes and can represent you if you get audited by the IRS. Bookkeeping is a direct record of all purchases and sales your business conducts, while accounting is a subjective look at what that data means for your business. Here’s what you need to know about these two roles to determine which one your business needs. Many have significant influence on accounting procedures and internal financial controls. Salaries rise, hours remain average, and satisfaction increases.

Complies with federal, state, and local legal requirements by studying requirements; enforcing adherence to requirements; filing reports; advising management on needed actions. Prepares financial reports by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing account information and trends. A person responsible for keeping records or documents, such as of a business. Her mom worked as a bookkeeper after high school, and eventually co-owned several small businesses, including a dress shop and an escrow company.

Common Health Benefits for a Bookkeeper

Some bookkeepers use their knowledge and experience to pursue accountant careers. Certified public accountants are one of the most popular such paths. Beyond how to become a bookkeeper, aspirants should also consider the pros and cons of entering the profession. Historically, bookkeepers have benefitted from strong demand among small and mid-sized businesses. As of 2020, there were more than 1.6 million bookkeeping jobs in the United States. Accountants on the other hand, go through rigorous training and standardized exams to become certified public accountants. Bookkeepers are friendly, highly organized, and have strong verbal and written communication skills.

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  • While bookkeepers record daily transactions, accountants use the information compiled by a bookkeeper to produce financial reports.
  • Bookkeepers have been around as far back as 2600 BC—when records were tracked with a stylus on slabs of clay—making bookkeeping not the oldest profession, but pretty darn close.
  • On the other hand, an accountant reviews the bookkeeper’s financial records and statements to facilitate analytical interpretations.

With double-entry bookkeeping, you create two accounting entries for each of your business transactions. Most recently bookkeeper she was a senior contributor at Forbes covering the intersection of money and technology before joining

Examples of bookkeeper

If your taxes have become too complex to manage on your own, with multiple income streams, foreign investments, several deductions or other considerations, it’s time to hire an accountant. An accountant can save you hours and help you stay on top of important matters like payroll, tax deductions and tax filings. It may take some background research to find a suitable bookkeeper because, unlike accountants, they are not required to hold a professional certification.

As bookkeepers work closely with raw data, they tend to develop a good understanding of how a business works. The origin of book-keeping is lost in obscurity, but recent research indicates that methods of keeping accounts have existed from the remotest times of human life in cities. Babylonian records written with styli on small slabs of clay have been found dating to 2600 BCE.