Need help but don’t know who to hire? Curious about the differences between a CPA vs. Accountant vs. Bookkeeper?
CPA vs. Accountant vs. Bookkeeper
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Certified Public Accountants are licensed by their state board of accountancy and have proven the highest level of expertise. They have completed 150 college credits, earned a bachelor’s degree, and passed an extremely difficult 4-part exam (only 50% pass each year). They must also follow ethical standards and complete continuing education requirements to maintain their license and stay up-to-date on new developments.
Read about the MN board’s role in public protection here: Public/Consumer Protection | Minnesota Board of Accountancy (state.mn.us)
Accountants love numbers, and usually have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. They may work in the public sector as business advisors and tax preparers, or in the private sector as cost accountants and controllers. Small business accountants often specialize in financial statement review & analysis, as well as tax planning & preparation.
Bookkeepers manage daily finance operations, including accounts payable (paying bills) and accounts receivable (sending invoices & processing payments). They may be in charge of data entry, report generation, and account reconciliation on a daily or monthly basis. Depending on the size of company and segregation of duties, they may also be involved with payroll.
Finding the Right Financial Pro for your Business
When to choose a Bookkeeper
- No time for daily finance operations or data entry
- Struggling to pay bills and/or get paid by customers
- Not reconciling your accounts frequently
When to choose an Accountant
- Need help understanding your monthly financial statements
- Cash flow problems
- Don’t know why your company is doing better or worse than last year
When to choose a CPA
- Don’t know the best tax saving strategies
- Need someone to both ask and answer difficult or complex questions
- Want to work with an independent, certified professional
Working with Haworth & Company, Ltd.
Know what you need? At Haworth & Company, we have all three! Our teams of professionals and proven systems allow us to offer you a complete range of services at a fraction of the cost. Stop by one of our five convenient locations in Minnesota or give us a call and see if we’re the fit you’re looking for.