The Difference Between Bookkeeping and Accounting

bookkeeping vs accounting

Depending on the size and nature of your business, you might be able to handle the bookkeeping initially by yourself with the help of your accountant. But as your business grows and becomes more complex, you’ll want to seek out a full charge bookkeeper. This person will make sure that your records are sufficiently organized so that you have the information you need to effectively manage your business. The client gets notified, then reviews the PDF of the vendor bill and approves it for payment. The bookkeeper then pays the vendor bill through, which syncs the bill and bill payment to their accounting software.

Sophisticated Reports

If you want flexible banking features with the ability to reconcile transactions manually, you should consider QuickBooks Online. Another weak point is customer service as Wave has no live customer support, like phone or live chat. However, users can easily forgive this since it’s part of the trade-off for Wave’s very low price tag.

bookkeeping vs accounting

Do You Need a Bookkeeper or an Accountant for Your Business?

As a small business owner, employing an experienced bookkeeper who can set up your books and maintain them accurately will free up invaluable time. Likewise, leaning on a skilled accountant can help you understand your business beyond the day-to-day and set you up to make smart choices about the future. Investing in both a bookkeeper and an accountant on your team ultimately sets up your business for the most success while keeping you free to focus on what you’re truly passionate about.

Enroll in an undergraduate degree program.

  • Both of these aspects of your business are crucial for financial management and decision-making.
  • Bookkeepers play a vital role in managing financial records, while accountants offer valuable expertise and financial advice.
  • Some of the major differences include their training and day-to-day work, and each has its pros and cons to consider.
  • While single-entry bookkeeping is simpler, double-entry is more thorough and less likely to produce errors.
  • In comparison to Wave and Zipbooks, GnuCash was one of least intuitive platforms tested — the mobile support isn’t great, and the interface was pretty hard to navigate.
  • With an accurate record of all transactions, you can easily discover any discrepancies between financial statements and what’s been recorded.

Without any hiccups or last-minute scrambles, you’ll be able to enter tax season confidently. When it’s finally time to audit all of your transactions, bookkeepers can produce accurate reports that give an inside look into how your company delegated its capital. The two key reports that bookkeepers provide are the balance sheet and the income statement.

bookkeeping vs accounting

Traditionally, bookkeepers have managed the day-to-day financial transactions in a business. Bookkeepers have also often provided full back-office support, including invoicing clients, paying bills, and processing payroll. Online accounting services can perform a wide range of tasks for busy business owners. Some — such as virtual controllers, chief financial officers and CPAs — provide high-level accounting services, like internal audits and financial planning and analysis. Look for more than just a bookkeeping solution; accounting software should include more detail and let you generate invoices and detailed reports.

A real world example showing the differences between cash and accrual accounting

A trusted accountant can help guide you through that process and help handle any audits that may arise. Businesses of all sizes need to keep careful track of income, expenses, and transactions, which includes everything from daily sales and invoices to receipts and payroll. While a bookkeeper can help with the precise details of the business, an accountant is better suited to do bigger-picture analysis and strategic planning. Having accurate records and an up-to-date awareness of how your business flows on a short-term basis is a key component for deciding where to go next, and that’s where a bookkeeper comes in. While a bookkeeper will remain an important partner for strengthening that foundation of a company, when it comes to creating pathways for the future, you should look to an accountant. Your accountant will also use information from the ledger to prepare your tax documents, so it is crucial the two roles work together for accurate IRS reporting.

  • You can also run reports that use either method, so you can compare how your finances look with each.
  • Engaging both a bookkeeper and an accountant ensures that you receive the best advice for your business.
  • Additionally, maintaining the books on a daily or weekly basis prevents having to play catch up when tax time rolls around.
  • A bookkeeper can manage most of these tasks, but an accountant takes them further by using those financial statements to offer valuable financial advice.

You’d pay more for the same service a bookkeeper could do for less and, in the process, underutilize the accountant’s expertise. Wave Accounting is one of the most fully featured free accounting software options for small businesses. Its user-friendly dashboard, low learning curve, and easy expense tracking make it ideal for freelancers and small-business owners who don’t mind finding another app to manage inventory. It’s also a lot more comprehensive than most other free cloud-accounting software options. For as little as $299 monthly, Bench costs far less than you would pay a local independent bookkeeper, and you can even add on tax filing and advisory services.

Finally, ease of setup and ease of use is about what we expect for a desktop program, but much harder than cloud-based software. Xero scores extremely well across all the major accounting functions like banking, A/R, A/P, inventory, project accounting, and reporting. While we think it’s a little harder to use than QuickBooks Online, it can do pretty much anything that QuickBooks can do. QuickBooks Online also has great inventory accounting, and we think it is a little easier to set up and use than Xero. The problem is that if you need over five users with QuickBooks Online, then you must upgrade from Plus to Advanced, which increases the price from $90 or $200. Xero gives companies with inventory a solid option for unlimited users and a much lower price.

Bookkeeper360 Review: Features, Pricing & Alternatives 2024


Users wished it offered sales tax support and a free trial because pricing can be expensive compared to other competitors. Since the software works best when integrated with QuickBooks and Xero, we took user scores from the app stores of each accounting software. If you’re unsure whether Bookkeeper360 is the right assisted bookkeeping service for you, check out our guide on the best online bookkeeping services for more choices.


Customer Support: QuickBooks Live Wins


While QuickBooks Live only offers monthly service, bookkeeper360 lets companies choose between pay-as-you-go, monthly, and Weekly service. The monthly cost for each service level is determined by the level of monthly expenses and whether your company wants cash or accrual accounting. Bookkeeper360 allows you to choose from its established plans or get a customized quote based on your company’s needs and whether you require add-ons like payroll or tax filing. There are additional fees for its other services, such as CFO advisory and tax filing. QuickBooks Live received high praise from reviewers who appreciated the responsiveness and knowledge of the customer support team. They also said that the fees are affordable and the dashboard itself is easy to navigate.

  • The columns represent the volume of cash inflows and outflows while the line shows your net cash position.
  • Bookkeeper360 has two levels of pricing, depending on whether you use the cash or accrual method of accounting and the desired frequency of service.
  • Both have similar approaches when it comes to working with your bookkeeper, but QuickBooks Live offers more ways to communicate and a transparent view of the tasks that have been completed.
  • It allows business owners to create business and financial plans, conduct cost and margin analysis, generate income statements, and calculate sales taxes.
  • The only complaint we found was that it is more expensive than its competitors.

QuickBooks Live

  • Online bookkeeping services can also automate certain tasks, such as reconciling bank statements, generating financial reports, and tracking expenses.
  • You’ll be able to view a step-by-step task list, which gives real-time updates on action items.
  • While referred to as an “app,” it’s a desktop app, not a mobile app, which is included in all Bookkeeper360 plans or can be purchased separately for $19 a month.
  • Xero does not offer a mobile app, so Bookkeeper360 users should choose QuickBooks Online as their software if they want mobile accounting.
  • Visit Bookkeeper360’s Back-Office Technology page for more information about these services.
  • Although Bench does not provide tax services, it can work directly with your CPA during tax time or connect you to a tax professional in its network.

It also fails to provide complete pricing information for many of its services. is a great Bookkeeper360 alternative if you already use QuickBooks and prefer pricing based on transactions. Plus, with a similar setup process to Bookkeeper360, you have the opportunity to talk directly to the team to learn more about its offerings and find out if its service will work well for you. Note that both of the plans only offer monthly services. Moreover, with each of these service types, you’ll receive U.S.-based support and a platform with which to communicate with the Bookkeeper360 team, making its service not only expansive but accessible. Additionally, Bookkeeper360 offers custom app integrations based on specific project and business needs.

CFO Advisory

  • One of the notable benefits of Bookkeeper360 is that almost all of its reviews online are extremely positive.
  • We evaluated whether the online bookkeeping service offered tax and consulting, and the scope of those services.
  • Meanwhile, accrual accounting records revenue and expenses when earned or incurred.
  • Also, while both work with QuickBooks Online users, Bookkeeper360 also works with Xero.
  • Xero doesn’t assess any individual advisor’s or firm’s proficiency as an accountant, bookkeeper or financial advisor.
  • Moreover, costs arising from Scooby Snacks can be a mixed cost because it has fixed and variable components.
  • You have the option to create a custom solution; however, you can also choose one of the three pre-designed packages Bookkeeper360 offers.

They specialise in helping to choose apps that integrate with Xero to boost business performance for some of those industries. Click on the tabs below to see the costs based on monthly expenses. Like Bookkeeper360, QuickBooks Live varies its subscription price depending on the amount of monthly expenses. QuickBooks Live has no monthly expense cap for its High Volume plan whereas Bench requires a custom quote for companies with over $100,000 in monthly expenses.

  • Another advantage of online bookkeeping services is that they offer real-time data tracking and reporting.
  • You can also opt to use the Bookkeeper360 App without subscribing to the bookkeeping service for $19 per month.
  • Excluded in the bookkeeping service would be customer invoicing, inventory management, and vendor billing because these fall under a separate product called Back-office services.
  • Similarly, Bookkeeper360 offers Advisory, Coaching and Inventory options for its CFO Advisory services.

Two complaints are that there aren’t any bill pay or invoicing and income tax filing or advisory services available. Also, reviewers commented that they wished that QuickBooks Live offered a free trial so that they could try the service before committing. We evaluated Bookkeeper360 based on bookkeeping services, personal bookkeeper, user reviews, tax and consulting services, and pricing.

The features you opt for depend on your specific needs and the business strategy that you develop during the consultation. All plans come with your own dedicated bookkeeper, who also serves as your point of contact. QuickBooks Live offers only basic bookkeeping features while Bookkeeper360 offers a customized service plan that includes tax filing and advisory support. This makes it a great option for many small businesses seeking a wider range of services.

Compare Bookkeeping Services

Bookkeeper360 has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and no listed customer complaints. For HR solutions, the HRS360 app can be purchased monthly or annually, at $15 per month or $150 per year. If you’re interested in HR projects or consulting, prices for these services start at $1,000 for projects and $350 per month for consulting. When it comes to its payroll services, on the other hand, Bookkeeper360 bases pricing on the number of employees you have.

Business Check Stores

Xero certification means that some or all team members have completed courses and been assessed by Xero as proficient in the use of the Xero application. In 2016, Bookkeeper360 partnered with Canine Companions for Independence ( to support a great cause in our community. Deciding on the right business phone system for your company can take a lot of research. In the realm of business operations, even the smallest details can have a significant impact on efficiency and cost savings.