You know you need help with the financials but can you get by with only one or the other? When is the right time to bring on a bookkeeper vs accountant?
What does a bookkeeper do?
Bookkeepers can be thought of as your tactical support team. On a day-to-day basis they help your business settle transactions such as recording a sale or paying a vendor. They might be reconciling your bank and credit card accounts to ensure that all of the expenses are recorded and unexpected transactions are investigated and cleared with the owners. They might prepare cheques or electronic payment to pay your expenses. They may be monitoring the cash in your bank account to ensure that you can remain solvent.
A bookkeeper can work inside of an organization or as independent partner contractors. It all depends on how much support you need and how often. In some cases, bookkeeping tasks can be combined with other admin functions such as reception or filing. We expect our bookkeepers to provide a significant value over owner DIY bookkeeping or part time bookkeepers. Our bookkeepers are experts, they’re doing small business bookkeeping full time, they’re extremely tech savvy, they’re supervised and they’re accountable.
What does an accountant do?
Everyone thinks about accountants as tax preparers however that’s only a small portion of what accountants do. Accountants are business generalists and industry specialists. An accountant usually has an undergrad or post-grad degree in business or economics in addition to their accounting training. Accountants will train and work hard to obtain specialized experience and knowledge in a particular industry or niche so they’re aware of industry challenges and solutions.
Accountants use numbers and financial statements to paint a picture of the health of an organization. Accountants analyze profits and losses and provide information to business owners to understand how their company is performing over time and where we’re departing from our plan.
Accountants can review and implement controls. If you delegate any part of the cash collection or disbursement process, your business needs to think about controls. An accountant can help you understand risks and design controls to mitigate those risks.
Accountants may prepare strategic plans to think about where the business will be in the short and long terms. That strategic plan might consider profitability, cash flows needs, capacity planning, capital investments required, human resources required and knowledge gaps.
Accountants help you define and achieve your goals. We’ll start with the big hairy audacious goals and break it down into one year and five-year objectives that can be translated into annual plans.
We’re here to help your business succeed. The first step is always getting to know you and your business better so we can understand your immediate needs and long term goals. Book your systems review to get started.