Financial Analyst vs Accountant: What’s the Difference?

bookkeeper vs accountant salary

Understand how accountants use financial data to inform complex business decisions with this free job simulation. Financial analysts use data analysis to fuel company decisions, particularly with raising capital and boosting profits. The most common type of financial analyst is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Bookkeepers also usually have a deeper knowledge of the specific accounting processes within a company. They understand how to use specialized accounting software and they can troubleshoot when systems are malfunctioning. Accounting assistants may assist with these activities, but usually in a support role rather than a hands-on one.

bookkeeper vs accountant salary

She uses a variety of accounting software for setting up client information, reconciling accounts, coding expenses, running financial reports, and preparing tax returns. She is also experienced in setting up corporations with the State Corporation Commission and the IRS. One possibility is to start out by hiring a bookkeeper to handle all of the books and financial reporting and then hire a CPA down the road to handle your taxes during tax season. Both can be a huge benefit as your business grows and the finances become more time-consuming and complex. These detailed records may save you money down the road if you ever decide to hire an accountant.

A Brief History of Bookkeeping and Accounting

That’s why it’s not a bad idea to hire a bookkeeper first to get those services at a minimum and then hire an accountant later to just handle the taxes. With all of this information pulled together in financial statements and reports, an accountant can provide business owners with sound financial advice. This includes where your business stands financially, what that means for your business, what you should do about it if anything, and where your business should go from here. Here’s an easy way to think about it—bookkeepers lay the groundwork by recording financial transactions so that accountants can analyze financial statements and provide strategic recommendations. The average salary for an accounting assistant is $49,794 per year, while the average salary for a bookkeeper is $49,431 per year.

  • The two roles can have a significant impact on the success of your business.
  • The first thing to figure out is whether you need an in-house bookkeeper or an outsourced one.
  • Accounting assistants and bookkeepers have some of their job duties in common, such as filing documents and entering data.
  • The dedication required to pass the CPA Exam demonstrates to employers that you are committed to the profession and worthy of consideration for leadership and management positions.
  • As a bookkeeper, your income level may vary based on your location, experience and employer.

Over the same period, the demand for accountants is projected to grow by 6%. Accountants will remain in demand because they can generally offer insights that a computer law firm bookkeeping cannot match. In addition, the globalization of commerce, new and more complex tax laws, and expanding technologies may lead to new opportunities for accountants.


The salary ranges are not specific to students or graduates of University of Phoenix. Actual outcomes vary based on multiple factors, including prior work experience, geographic location and other factors specific to the individual. University of Phoenix does not guarantee employment, salary level or career advancement. Information for a specific state/city can be researched on the BLS website.

  • As a result of this, even new CPAs usually fall between the 50th and 75th percentile.
  • A bookkeeper is not required to analyze transactions and often lacks the experience and education to do so effectively.
  • In contrast, the average hourly wage of more than 1.6 million bookkeepers was $17.62 per hour, for an average full-time wage of $36,640 per year.
  • And now that you know the answer to the question “How much does a bookkeeper cost?
  • As a result, certification can lead to advancement opportunities in other areas of accounting, as well as finance and management positions.

If you’re not prepared to take on these challenges with expert-level financial strategy and accuracy, you may want to consider hiring a professional. Thanks to Pacioli’s double-entry method, today’s small business owners can get a comprehensive look at where their business stands, with the help of a bookkeeping and accounting team. As most things these days, bookkeeping has transitioned from the paper scrolls and feather pens from Pacioli’s days to managing business finances online. This allows business owners and their finance teams to update and access information remotely, and centralize their financial data in one repository, rather than tracking countless accounting journals. Accounting assistants and bookkeepers have some of their job duties in common, such as filing documents and entering data. However, accounting assistants often have more administrative responsibilities than bookkeepers.

Jacob Dayan, Esq.

Smaller firms are usually more flexible and offer greater access to management, so individuals have greater say in the perks and fringe benefits available. Let’s take a look at the estimated salaries for general private accounting work. It’s important to do your research on the different public accounting paths and the different types of firms so that you can find the perfect fit for your desired lifestyle. As with almost all professions, the complexity of an accountant’s role, as well as their experience level, is going to have a great influence on expected salary.

An accountant’s duties include verifying that financial records comply with relevant regulations and standards. In this career, you might also complete tax returns, assess budget performance and financial operations, and work on financial risk management. As great as it is to talk about potential bookkeeping costs and get estimates, we know that seeing an actual average for your state can yield excellent value for you as a business owner. Please see the chart below with data pulled directly from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics 2022 data to learn more about the average salary and hourly rate for bookkeeping. For example, a certification from California State University, Fullerton costs $2,195.

Andrew Jordan, Chief Operations Officer at FinancePal

Accountants can specialize in government or nonprofit accounting, consulting or freelance, or work in areas like forensic accounting, auditing or education. All these career paths often start with the same type of education, with many accountants pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree. When deciding if you should do your bookkeeping yourself or hire outside help, the decision is entirely up to you. For example, if you have the time to handle bookkeeping yourself, you might continue to do so to save money. On the other hand, if you’d like to use the time you spend bookkeeping focusing on other aspects of your business, then the cost of a bookkeeper may be worth it.

bookkeeper vs accountant salary

Some parts of the United States also expect to see above-average demand for qualified bookkeepers in their local labor markets. Also, note that the degree-related salaries cover all accounting professionals who hold that degree. The demand for qualified employees is another area where accounting and bookkeeper careers are very different.


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