personal finance

These your 2021 guide to digital marketing for accounting firms white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in oureditorial policy. For a long-term career, accounting offers much more upward mobility and income potential.


A good CFO is driven by forecasts, financial information, and business needs. In conclusion, there is a significant strategic and tactical difference between the value a CFO brings to the leadership of a business and that of a Bookkeeper. Because most small and medium size businesses cannot afford a full time CFO, then a part time CFO would be an ideal arrangement.

An accounting degree is preferred, though degrees in closely related fields, such as finance or business, are often accepted by employers. As a financial support function, bookkeeping can necessitate collaboration with professionals in other departments or industries, providing you with desirable knowledge of general business operations. Candidates should have at least two years of full-time professional bookkeeping experience. Alternatively, they may show evidence of 3,000 hours of freelance or part-time bookkeeping work. CBs can complete this experience up to three years after passing the exam. Complete the bookkeeping, payroll, QuickBooks and accounting certifications through NACPB.

If you want to start by testing the field, then bookkeeping is a good first step into the business of finance. The CFO oversees everything regarding the financial health of a business. They are responsible for seeing the long-term situation and aligning the company’s day-to-day operations to align with business goals. Accountants generally have more education than bookkeepers, but it’s possible that you can get your foot in the door as a bookkeeper and end up working as an accountant. A certificate in accounting can be highly beneficial in navigating this career transition.

Common Roles in Accounting

Like their accounting counterparts, controllers tend to experience a much better work/life balance than others in the financial industry. It doesn’t take years of direct accounting experience to become a controller, but it helps. Controllers, especially those for larger companies, have a wider focus than simply accounting protocol. Many have a Master of Business Administration or another advanced degree in finance. Perhaps the most helpful designation to aspiring controllers is the CMA.

If you don’t know that, it’s impossible to make the kinds of financial decisions that will impact the growth of your company. So how do you know if you need a bookkeeper or an accounting controller? We save you money the moment you hire us by cutting out the expensive cost of hiring an in-house CFO.


Mid-size and small accounting firms pay, on average, about 10% less than these firms. If you choose to work for a company internally instead of in public accounting, the starting salary range is very broad. 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. Bookkeepers are commonly responsible for recording journal entries and conducting bank reconciliations.

If the chart of accounts is set up incorrectly, small mistakes can snowball into larger issues down the road. You can also look at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to find CPAs with skills in certain areas, such as employee benefits or personal finance. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for an accountant in 2020 was $73,560 per year, or $35.37 per hour. However, their years of experience, your state and the complexity of your accounting needs affect the price. However, you might hire a CIA if you want a more specialized focus on financial risk assessment and security monitoring processes. CPAs have passed the Uniform CPA Exam – a challenging exam that tests knowledge of tax laws and standard accounting practices.

What Is Bookkeeping?

The job titles bookkeeper and accountant are used interchangeably but are distinct and have different requirements. However, these certifications are optional; people don’t need one to be a professional bookkeeper. Every time money moves into or out of your company, a transaction should be recorded in the general ledger, a master document that shows credits, debits and balances for each financial account. That transaction could be a sale, purchase or bill, among other things.

Bookkeeper funnelled $1.5m from employer to gambling – Yahoo News Australia

Bookkeeper funnelled $1.5m from employer to gambling.

Posted: Tue, 28 Feb 2023 08:00:00 GMT [source]

When your small business’s bookkeeping and accounting tasks are too much to handle by yourself, it’s time to hire help. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably, and there can be some overlap in what they do, but there are distinct differences. A Cost Accountant is tasked with examining, recording, and summarizing a company’s costs, including products and services.

What Does a Controller Do?

The CFO’s role is much more strategic and entails forecasting, budgeting, managing the capital structure and communicating with investors and lenders. Support and assist with all the other operating departments within the Company. Many operating department heads understand how to run their particular area, but don’t always fully understand the financial and/or tax ramifications of what they do. The financial executive who can take ideas from these other departments and help them translate those ideas into financial rewards is critical to the business. Since the financial executive typically knows the operations of the other departments, he/she is also best suited to assist in the implementation of the strategies. The overall best bookkeeping software includes Zoho Books, FreshBooks, Xero, and Intuit QuickBooks.


Ebony Howard is a certified public accountant and a QuickBooks ProAdvisor tax expert. She has been in the accounting, audit, and tax profession for more than 13 years, working with individuals and a variety of companies in the health care, banking, and accounting industries. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site.

Since accountants have a handle on your company’s overarching finances, having one comes in handy if a lender asks you complicated questions about your business’s performance. They may also be able to advise you regarding the interest rates, terms and conditions of any small-business loan offer you receive. Christine Aebischer is an assistant assigning editor on the small-business team at NerdWallet who has covered business and personal finance for nearly a decade. Previously, she was an editor at Fundera, where she developed service-driven content on topics such as business lending, software and insurance. She has also held editing roles at LearnVest, a personal finance startup, and its parent company, Northwestern Mutual.


With the right amount of experience and networking, CPAs can provide various financial services, including tax accounting, auditing and consulting. Many companies and organizations outsource financial support, which includes bookkeepers. If self-employment appeals to you, bookkeeping offers flexibility in determining a work schedule and building a clientele that suits you. Assembling your own financial management team may become a necessity if your business grows large enough.

CPA vs. CFO vs. Controller vs. Bookkeeper: What is the Difference?

An Accounts Payable Specialist also assists in keeping track of vendor payment agreements and logs outgoing invoices. An Accounts Payable Specialist reviews and reconciles reports within the payables department. Accountants play pivotal roles in tracking and organizing the finances of a business. There’s a consistent demand for accountants, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for accountants to grow by 6% from 2021 to 2031. Get your career started and enquire on an accounting and bookkeeping course today. Accountants may also be responsible for auditing business transactions and financial records to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

At SLC Bookkeeping, you can receive help with a set of services that are customized to your business. If you need help setting up secure accounts payable and payroll procedures, for example, we can help. If you need help reconciling your books or you need certain kinds of reports, such as profit and loss statements, at certain times of the week, month, or year, we can help with that as well. Accountants advise leadership on how to make more strategic financial changes that save the company money or generate more profit.

Today, we’ll go over the differences between bookkeeping and accounting so that you can figure out how to allocate resources effectively. Accountants typically oversee the bookkeeper and may perform billing, make general ledger entries, review accounts payable activity and reconcile payroll. A mid-level position in the accounting department, accountants report to accounting managers, company controllers or financial directors. However, don’t assume in all cases bookkeepers or accountants should also perform Controller functions. For more complex organizations, it is risky to have the same individuals performing both the analysis and data entry and the review of that analysis and data. And definitely don’t fall into the trap of giving a Bookkeeper level person the title inflation of Controller unless they are actually qualified to do the job.


If you enjoy creating organizational frameworks, working with numbers, and helping to problem-solve, then a career in the finance field may be right for you. However, before choosing which career path to follow, you’ll want to look at the differences between the roles of bookkeeper vs. accountant to decide what is a better fit. For many small businesses, splitting off the bookkeeping function is the first step in assembling a true financial management team. As an owner, you probably have a strong reason for starting, owning and running your own business.

Of course, a background in accounting practices will help you ride out a learning curve as a new bookkeeper. Accountants will either quote a client a fixed price for a specific service or charge a general hourly rate. Basic services could cost as little as $20 an hour, while advanced services could be $100 or more an hour. Each sale and purchase your business conducts must be recorded in the ledger, and some items will need documentation.


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