Do I need a Bookkeeper or an Accountant?

Do I need both an Accountant and Bookkeeper

Many small business owners don’t understand the difference between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant which is understandable, as the roles are very close. The ideal solution is to have both.

What a Bookkeeper does………..

A Bookkeeper will record all past income and expense that a business has generated, often on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. A good bookkeeper will always reconcile business bank accounts regularly to ensure nothing is missed. VAT will be recorded, with the VAT returns calculated and submitted to HMRC as required. Payroll will be processed and entered into the bookkeeping system correctly if applicable. Regular reports will show the business owner how their business is performing with up to date information that can help them with important business decisions that may have to be made such as when and how to grow.

What an Accountant does….

An Accountant will take the figures that have been recorded by either a bookkeeper, or the business owner and prepare a set of ‘End of Year’ Financial Accounts. The figures from these End Of Year accounts will be used to calculate and submit either a self-assessment to HMRC for Sole Traders and Partnerships, or to Companies House when a business is incorporated (Limited), along with a Corporation Tax calculation. An Accountant will also help to ensure the business is taking advantage of any tax benefits that may be available and help with forward planning.

Where Bookkeepers and Accountants cross over

The crossovers happen with some bookkeepers offering end of year accounts preparation and self-assessment submissions, plus some accountants offering in-year bookkeeping, VAT returns, Payrolls and management accounts as additional services. Although this can offer the customer a one-stop shop, it’s not always the best solution. Bookkeepers are good at Bookkeeping, Accountants are great at End of Year Accounting and are equipped to offer advice on items such as tax planning.

Bookkeepers are often not as experienced as Accountants when it comes to End of Year and forward planning – and then Accountants aren’t necessarily good at doing bookkeeping!

The best solution is to have a bookkeeper doing the in-year and an Accountant doing the end of year.

 This doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. A bookkeeper can save you money by:

  • making sure you’re claiming everything you’re entitled to claim
  • saving you the time and stress of doing this work yourself, freeing you up to earn more money doing what you’re good at.
  • Giving you up to date regular reports of all your income and expense trends so that you know where the business is exceling and where it may need tweaks or improvement.
  • Working closely with your Accountant, often resulting in a lower bill from them, as they know figures are correct and only need minimal checking and adjustment.

Why is Lady of Ledger Different from other Book Keepers?

Lady of Ledger has been trading since 2004 so has over 14 years of experience with many different types of professions. We are insured and licenced under the International Association of Bookkeepers. We’re a friendly team that works hard at offering a modern and plain language service.

We scan all paperwork into the accounting software, so that you, and indeed anyone else you choose to allow, will have the opportunity to view this from any internet enabled device.

We work exclusively with QuickBooks Online (QBO) software, this means we know the software inside out, and in the unlikely event there’s something we don’t know, we can liaise directly with QuickBooks – thanks to our Gold ProAdvisor status membership following our Advanced Certification Training.

Why not have a read of many of our customer testimonials – we’re very proud that many of them mention our confidence and knowledge as the main reason they chose us from others in the first place – and why they stay with us.