Tuesday, 9 July 2013

What’s the difference between an Accountant and a Bookkeeper

www.oakbookkeepingservices.co.uk      Based in Lower Earley, Reading

Well the joke answer to this is about £30 an hour?  Ok I don’t expect you to be rolling on the floor at that one but on a serious note do you pay your accountant to do your bookkeeping? If so why?  Do they charge a cheaper rate for the bookkeeping  or charge you at their normal rate.  Do they do your bookkeeping  themselves or do they outsource it to a bookkeeper?

If your accountant is a good one they are probably advising you how to keep your tax costs down after they have examined your books.  If they are doing your bookkeeping too then any savings may have been wiped out by the accountancy bill.  

So what’s the advantage of having a bookkeeper?  If you are a sole trader or small limited company or partnership then having a bookkeeper do your books on a regular basis means you will not be waiting till the end of the year before finding any problems or unexpected surprises.  You may only have them working for a day a week or month but as they have a more hands on feel to the business they can point out irregularities, overpayments, debtors outstanding, problems with cash flow etc sooner.

Obviously this does depend on the experience of the bookkeeper so just picking the cheapest because ‘all their doing is inputting to an accounts package’ is not always going to be the best option. Value for money is finding one that understands your business and understands you. 

Finally if your one of those traders that hand over a bag of receipts to your accountant at the end of January asking for it to be done urgently as the taxman wants paying,  then think about having a bookkeeper look at the first half of your accounts now. You might be surprised what a difference it makes.