What is a Bookkeeper?

A lot of people don’t understand the difference between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant. They often refer to a Bookkeeper as an Accountant. Both professions pride themselves on their accuracy, so let’s make sure we get this right!

There’s a clue in the name: A Bookkeeper records the day to day financial transactions of a business – sales, purchases, receipts and payments. This used to be done literally in a book, hence the name Bookkeeper. These days it is mostly done electronically, but we still call them ‘books’ or refer to ‘doing the bookkeeping’.

These completed books will be passed to an Accountant who will process them into a set of formal accounts in a format to be filed with HMRC, Companies House, etc. The accountant also might prepare financial reports and offer on tax advice.

Sometimes an Accountant will employ a Bookkeeper as part of their own team, or the Accountant may prefer for their client to engage a Freelance Bookkeeper such as myself. In technical terms, the Bookkeeper usually prepares the books up to the trial balance stage, then the Accountant takes over and produces the income statement and balance sheet.

A Bookkeeper will also carry out some tasks involving direct contact with government agencies such as preparing your payroll, VAT returns and CIS returns. Whilst you could do some of this work yourself, I am an expert in performing it quickly and efficiently and spotting any errors in your data, giving you peace of mind that you have got it right.

By using me to process your transactions, you offload your financial admin and leave yourself free to get on with running your business, knowing that the admin is in safe experienced hands.

I am happy to work on a freelance or monthly retained basis. Call me to discuss your requirements.


Header image: Nick Youngson Creative Commons 3 – CC BY-SA 3.0