The short answer is; accountants and bookkeepers both have common goals, but service different stages in your financial cycle.
A bookkeeper does tasks like recording and reconciling transactions, issuing and chasing invoices, running payroll and making sure your day to day records are in order.
An accountant will prepare financial statements and complete tax returns, can undertake audits, and importantly, can help you to analyse strategic financial matters, like operating costs and forecasting.
Accountants also have the ability to access extended ATO submission dates for BAS and tax returns.
Accountant Stacey Price from Healthy Business Finances had some great advice, saying “Be clear about what you need. Do you want one-off help, ongoing weekly or monthly services, or an annual workup?”
“Write down what you need, then look online and start asking your contacts for recommendations to find the people who have the skills that fit your list. For example, don’t hire a bookkeeper if you need a tax return, and don’t hire an accountant if you need financial data entry.”
Bookkeepers charge a lower hourly rate than accountants, so you’ll save money by doing as much work as you can with your bookkeeper, before handing it over to your accountant to finalise and lodge.
Your accounting app will connect you, your bookkeeper and your accountant seamlessly, so they can do the work they need and you always stay in control.
It’s also worth considering investing some time looking at training content for your accounting app so you can use it with total confidence. Most online products will have a Help Centre and/or a YouTube Channel where you can find help content.
Create a shortlist of providers based on the services and skills you need, then consider their understanding of your business type, to decide who will be the right fit for you.
At this point, the decision should be a breeze.