What is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant?


A bookkeeper is the “assistant” of an accountant. The accountant oversees all work done by a bookkeeper. He also has the responsibility to fix any errors made.

Key Takeaways

  • The responsibilities of a bookkeeper and an accountant differs from company to company.
  • Generally, a bookkeeper handles all typical bookkeeping. This includes data entry and accounts receivables and accounts payables collections.
  • An accountant generally takes care of less routine tasks such as inventory management.
  • An accountant will have to use journal entries for out of the ordinary transactions. He reviews all the work done by the bookkeeper.

What are the responsibilities of an accountant and a bookkeeper?

This varies depending on the company and industry.


  • Data entry
  • Payroll
  • Accounts receivables and accounts payables collections


  • In charge of less routine tasks (e.g. inventory management)
  • Preparation of end-of-month and end-of-year journal entries
  • Preparation of financial statements
  • Journal entries
  • Review all work done by the bookkeeper
  • May have to do tasks usually done by a bookkeeper

So what exactly is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant?

A bookkeeper and accountant both record all a company’s transactions. But an accountant usually handles more “complex” transactions that need journal entries.

An accountant can do everything that a bookkeeper can. An accountant has the responsibility to manage a bookkeeper’s work. An accountant earns more than a bookkeeper. Because an accountant takes on more senior responsibilities and accountability within the company.