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Do I need a bookkeeper or an accountant?

Do I need a bookkeeper or an accountant?

Although ‘accountant’ and ‘bookkeeper’ are terms which are sometimes used interchangeably, in reality each perform different roles and offer varying levels of support to your business. While there is some crossover between the tasks they do, namely processing your incomings and outgoings, compiling financial statements, and administering your payroll, an accountant can offer you a more diverse portfolio of services.

Which is best for my business?

Despite the additional offerings provided by an accountant, this is not to say that they are necessarily the best or most appropriate choice for your business. A bookkeeper can be a hugely useful addition to your business, particularly if you are running a relatively small operation and you simply require help with keeping on top of your administrative and tax obligations. Although an accountant will be able to complete all of these tasks for you, you will typically find they will charge you much more for these services than a local bookkeeper would. Therefore if you are simply looking for help reconciling your accounts and keeping your books in order, you may be best seeing if a bookkeeper could assist you in the first instance rather than paying an accountant for an extended range of services your business does not require.

If your company is larger, however, an accountant will be able to offer you a more comprehensive support system for your business, including financial management, tax advice, and general business help and guidance. They can be invaluable not only in the advice they can provide, but also in the money they can help your company save through carefully money management and tax planning.

What each professional can offer you:


  • Producing and processing invoices and flagging up any missed payments
  • Reconciling your incomings and outgoings
  • Managing your payroll
  • Recording (rather than analysing) financial transactions
  • Paying suppliers and outstanding creditors
  • Paying in cheques and managing payments from customers and clients


  • Tax planning
  • Preparing tax returns
  • Helping start-ups in the compiling of a business plan
  • Auditing services
  • Advice on financial planning
  • In depth analysis of your current financial position
  • Guidance on sourcing commercial funding

Put simply, a bookkeeper can be seen as handling the more administrative side of your business, while an accountant can provide detailed insights, analyse your past and current performance figures, and provide suggestions to aid the future growth of your company.

The benefits of both are clear and luckily, it is quite often the case that you do not have to choose either an accountant or a bookkeeper to help you with your company’s financials. Instead an accountant will typically have someone who can perform bookkeeping duties on their team and will then build on the data they produce to provide the added insight and analysis that their client needs to grow a successful business.

If you are looking for an accountant to provide financial help, guidance, and support for your business, Handpicked Accountants can help. Through years of working alongside accountancy professionals, we have selected only the very best ones to join our network and so we can confidently recommend each and every Handpicked accountant. Find your perfect accountant today by using our search tool, or alternatively let our advisers match you up with the ideal accountant for your business based on your individual needs.

David Tattersall
Speak to a Handpicked Expert today

Hi there - I'm David from Handpicked Accountants. If you need help finding the right accountant, simply give me a call. My expertise is in connecting business owners with the very best professional services and I'm on hand to assist you today.

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