What is the difference between bookkeepers and accountants?

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Bookkeeping and accounting are two functions which are extremely important for every business. In the simplest of terms, bookkeepers are responsible for the recording of financial transactions in order to produce financial data. Accountants are responsible for interpreting, classifying, analysing, reporting, and summarising that financial data.

Bookkeeping and accounting may appear to be the same profession to an untrained eye. This is because both accountants and bookkeepers deal with financial data, require basic accounting knowledge, and classify and generate reports using the financial transactions. At the same time bookkeeping and accounting are inherently different and have their own sets of required skills and desired outcome.

The line between accounting and bookkeeping is slowly blurring as modern accounting and bookkeeping software is making use of technological advancements to streamline the basic data entry requirements. It is an opportunity for accountants to support their clients through this change, and allow them to offer services which may have previously been prohibitively expensive by using the help of the latest software.

While most businesses will still need a bookkeeper to keep the books, bookkeeping will become a lot more than just data entry, balancing bank ledgers, and reconciling bank statements. These functions will slowly diminish in the coming years and may even become obsolete, as most of the tasks will be handled by bookkeeping software.

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