bookkeeper vs accountant salary

This certification requires passing an exam that covers topics such as accounting principles, payroll procedures, and tax regulations. They must accurately record transactions, reconcile accounts, and prepare reports on the company’s finances. Earning your bachelor’s degree in accounting is the first step to a life-long career in the field. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between Bookkeepers, Accountants, Controllers, and CFOs.

The accounting process is more subjective than bookkeeping, which is largely transactional. A key part of the accounting process is analyzing financial reports to help make business decisions. The result is a better understanding of actual profitability and an awareness of cash flow in the business. The distinctions between accounting and bookkeeping are subtle yet essential. The two careers are similar, and accountants and bookkeepers often work side by side. However, significant differences exist, like work conducted in each career and needed to be successful.

Typical Salary Difference by Education for Most Careers

To become one, you have to either have worked at the IRS or pass an EA examination. It is not an unusual career move for a bookkeeper to gain experience at a job, study, get certified, and work as an accountant. How much you make as a first-year accountant depends mainly on the specific career path you pursue. While accounting can be a lucrative long-term career, most accountants, unlike corporate attorneys or investment bankers, do not command huge salaries during the first few years. Whether you hire an accountant, a bookkeeper or both, ensure they’re qualified by asking for client references, checking for certifications or performing screening tests. When looking for a certified bookkeeper, first decide if you want to hire an independent consultant, a firm or a full-time employee if your business is large enough.

bookkeeper vs accountant salary

According to the BLS, accountants working in this industry had average annual pay of $75,790 in 2012. On the other hand, bookkeepers working for accounting and related services averaged $36,130 per year in 2012, a difference of almost $40,000. Similar to what bookkeepers and accountants charge an hour, their salary is based on different factors as well.

Are bookkeepers accountants?

However, if you have complex accounting needs or require tax advice, then it would be beneficial to hire an accountant in addition to a bookkeeper. Both bookkeepers and accountants are essential for businesses to manage their finances, but the duties of each role differ. Becoming an accountant requires at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field from an accredited college or university. Many employers prefer applicants with advanced degrees such as master’s degrees in accounting or business administration with concentrations in accounting-related topics like taxation and auditing. There are also other credentials accountants can receive such as CFA and CIA that allow accountants to provide a specific set of services to businesses. CFAs or chartered financial analysts are knowledgeable about global markets, investment analysis, ethical financial practices, and portfolio management.

This is very predictable due to the inherent responsibilities of being higher in the hierarchy. People in top positions can easily get double or triple bonus rates than employees down the pyramid. The experience level is the most important factor in determining the salary. We bookkeeper vs accountant salary broke down salaries by experience level for people working as Bookkeeper and this is what we found. Advancement to different positions can vary greatly and not all promotions require a CPA. While some certifications may look fancy, ensure that the experience matches the need.

Is Bookkeeping Certification Worth It? Salary And Job Growth

In particular, the big four firms of Ernst & Young, Deloitte, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers offer larger salaries than mid-size and small firms. Depending on the city, you can expect to earn between $40,000 and $60,000 your first year as a Big Four accountant. While the companies do not publish salaries on their websites, the benefits can be a large draw. For example, KPMG offers employees up to 25 days of paid vacation time, telecommuting opportunities, and a robust health insurance package.

Where do bookkeepers make the most money?

  • New York, NY. $28.75 per hour. 319 salaries reported.
  • Bronx, NY. $26.57 per hour. 30 salaries reported.
  • Los Angeles, CA. $24.99 per hour. 257 salaries reported.
  • San Diego, CA. $24.45 per hour. 68 salaries reported.
  • Waco, TX. $24.38 per hour.
  • Show more nearby cities.

As a reflection of their increased responsibilities, accountants earn significantly more than bookkeepers on average. It can be a difficult decision for small business owners to decide if and when to hire a bookkeeper vs accountant. After earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting and becoming an accountant, career opportunities are wide open. Accountants can work in a wide variety of sectors, including private industry, public accounting, government and nonprofits.

How are salaries changing over time? Listed below is a chart that shows the average salary in recent years.

While there are similarities between bookkeeping vs. accounting are similar, these two fields are not the same. One of the biggest challenges many financial professionals face is being able to create up-to-date, accurate and easy-to-understand financial reports from their accounting software. If they plan to be a CPA or Certified Public Accountant, they will also complete additional studies and pass an exam. Outside of the finance and accounting world, many people are confused about exactly what the different roles and designations mean. Now that you know the functions of bookkeeping and accounting as well as a little bit about their history, let’s discuss what the day-to-day responsibilities of a bookkeeper and accountant look like. For a long-term career, accounting offers much more upward mobility and income potential.

About the author : Philippe

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