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What Is the Difference Between a Bookkeeper and Accountant?

And, as a home business owner, when do I need each one?

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In short the difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper is that the bookkeeper is tasked with recording financial transactions while an accountant analyzes those transactions.

This is a typical question for new home-business owners. When many small and/or home businesses launch, the owner may act as the bookkeeper or accountant or both. But eventually the owner may find that the business is better served by outsourcing one or both of these functions.

Depending on the complexity of the business's finances, the owner may have the knowledge to do bookkeeping but necessarily the time. She may need to ask herself if her time isn't better spent on other tasks, such as long-term planning, sales, employee management, etc. On the other hand, an owner may find that as her business expands her knowledge of accounting, taxes and other financial issues may not be enough to grow the business. In both scenarios bringing in a professional can free up the owner's time and bring in valuable expertise.

If you are a small business owner, who is doing (or considering doing) her own accounting or bookkeeping you may find these resources helpful:

If you are a small business owner considering outsourcing these functions, you may find these resources helpful:

If you are an accountant or bookkeeper looking for a work at home job check out these companies.

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