Accountants and bookkeepers – what's the difference?

As we’ve already explored in an earlier article, bookkeepers and accountants are considered essential to business, despite people often not knowing exactly what it is they do – and referring to them as bean counters.

It is true that bookkeepers and accountants are intrinsically linked by the very nature of their work dealing with a company’s figures. But there is plenty that one does, and the other does not.

Here, we explore the differences between them to help boost the understanding of both professions – and break down the bean counter stereotype!

What do bookkeepers do?

As their name suggests bookkeepers are essentially tasked with looking after a company’s books – which means they are the main set of eyes keeping a close watch on the firm’s day to day figures.

Their main role is to keep an accurate and complete record of a company’s finances, which is why they keep such a beady eye on all transactions. By following the finances so closely, bookkeepers are able to give a real-time update on any aspect of the company’s numbers, whenever it is called for.
Their work is the first step in the accounting process.

What do accountants do?

An accountant’s job is to analyse, summarise and interpret figures – supplied by bookkeepers – and use this information to make predictions, which is then fed back to their clients to help them plan for the short and long term. 

Most accountants will have started their careers doing bookkeeping work and taken additional qualifications to move into accounting. There are differing levels of qualifications accountants can take, allowing them to specialise in certain areas.

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What’s the difference between the two? The main difference between the two roles is what they do with a company’s numbers – bookkeepers record them, accountants analyse them.

Bookkeepers are the vital first step to keeping accurate, up to date figures – an essential element of any business no matter its turnover – while accountants represent the next stage of what can be done with these figures, to help a company plan for its future and predict trends.

How AMR are different

At AMR we provide comprehensive bookkeeping services. Our qualified and experienced team can deal with large volumes of work for companies of all sizes.
What sets us apart is that alongside bookkeeping we also offer additional, complementary services, including payroll, credit control and auto enrolment, making us true experts in all areas of a company’s first level finances. 

To find out more about any of our services, or to discuss your bookkeeping needs, call our team on 01892 559480 or complete our contact form.   

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Why choose AMR Bookkeeping Solutions?


We combine the highest level of professionalism with a friendly, clear approach for all of our clients.


Our approach is tailored to the needs of each individual client, and we build personal relationships to make sure that our clients can have complete trust in what we do.

AAT Qualified

All of our services are provided by our team of Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualified bookkeepers, highly experienced bookkeeping experts and certified accountants.

CPD Trained

Each member of the team undergoes Continuing Professional Development (CPD) which keeps them right up to date with changing tax legislation.

Accredited Experts

All our bookkeepers are accredited in leading accountancy software Sage, Xero and QuickBooks.

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Xero Gold Partner
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Intuit Quickbooks ProAdvisor Gold
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Get in touch for a free, no obligation consultation

Find out how AMR Bookkeeping Solutions can provide the right support for your business, send us your details and one of our experts will get in touch with you without delay.

Alternatively, you are welcome to contact us by phone on 01892 559480

You can also pop into our offices in Tonbridge.