Starting and running a successful business can be a challenging adventure, especially when it comes to deciding on the method in which you choose to handle your business’s finances. There’s always the option of in-house financial management or even online software. However, for most businesses, hiring a bookkeeper or a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is the most effective manner to ensure that your books are accurate, your tax preparation is in order, and your financial systems exceptional.
But even then, it can be difficult for a business owner to fully understand the differences between a bookkeeper and a CPA.
While the two share common goals, bookkeepers and CPAs do play different roles in the financial cycle. Generally speaking, a bookkeeper will work with you much more frequently to maintain proper coding of incoming funds and expenditures while providing you daily financial updates and reports. On the other hand, you may not touch base with a CPA as often, but they can provide you more insight into your finances as a whole and can offer proactive tax advice. CPAs can analyze your financial situation in its entirety and perform audits to provide holistic business advice.
Your trusted team of financial advisors, which can include a CPA and bookkeeper, should work in unison to focus on what is best for your business and financial needs.
And this is exactly how Gonzalez & Arrambide, Inc. works. Our office provides a comprehensive list of services that can meet all of your needs – from quality bookkeeping and small business accounting services to full-fledged CPA expertise – Gonzalez & Arrambide, Inc. can get the job done.
Now let’s get a bit more in depth to understand the differences between a bookkeeper and a CPA.
What is a bookkeeper?
Bookkeepers perform the daily accounting functions of a given business. Their responsibilities usually include maintaining accurate books, tracking accounts, and developing procedures to track monies. A bookkeeper’s education can vary between being self-taught with several years of professional experience to having an associate’s degree. An accountant will usually supervise a bookkeeper’s work.
What is bookkeeping?
Bookkeepers of course deal with bookkeeping. Bookkeeping is the record keeping of daily transactions to help a business track its income and expenditures in a manner that will help it to maintain a strong business model.
The processes of bookkeeping can include, but are not limited to:
- Maintaining and balancing general ledgers
- Recording financial transactions
- Posting debits and credits
- Producing invoices
- Completing payroll
Your bookkeepers primary role will entail managing the general ledger. The general ledger can be created with specialized accounting software, a computer spreadsheet, or even a lined sheet of paper, and will be used to track the amounts from sale and expense receipts. The level of knowledge your bookkeeper will require is dependent on the size of your business and the number of transactions that take place on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
What is a CPA?
Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are generally required to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting and must pass rigorous testing standards set by the state they wish to practice in. In the state of Texas, after passing the Uniform Certified Public Accountant exam, the individual seeking to become certified must then gain one year of professional accounting work experience under the guidance of a CPA.
The process of becoming a CPA is noticeably quite stringent in comparison to that of a bookkeeper.
Once certified, an accountant can offer a variety of services including auditing, financial consulting, and tax preparation. It’s important to recognize that because CPAs are considered professional experts, their services are usually rendered at a hourly rate.
What is accounting?
While bookkeeping is largely based around transactions, accounting is intended to analyze this compiled information to help produce financial models that will make an organization run more efficiently.
The processes of accounting can include:
- Preparing company financial statements
- Preparing and completing income tax returns
- Analyzing costs of operations
- Analyzing financial entries from the bookkeeping processes
- Assisting a business owner in understanding the impact of financial decisions
The processes of accounting are intrinsically tied in with the processes of bookkeeping, but they help an owner develop a better understanding of the bigger picture of their business, the actual profitability of their services, and the cash flow of the establishment.
Let Gonzalez & Arrambide, Inc. Serve Your Bookkeeping and CPA Needs
The fact of the matter is that when you are looking for a meaningful team of financial advisors, you’ll want your bookkeeping and accounting members to have a great collaborative relationship. Having properly organized financial records and a balanced system to track your finances are both going to be key factors for your business’s success – and they require bookkeeping and accounting practices to work in harmony.
Gonzalez and Arrambide, Inc. can meet all your financial needs – whether you’re a growing business or in need of a bookkeeping/accounting transformation – our team has what it takes to get the job done. Give us a call at (956) 447-9009 to find out how we can help your business grow.