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This is a question we often come across. When starting out or building a business it is difficult to know which is the right solution to accelerate business growth; an accountant or a bookkeeper?

Ultimately, they both play an important part in your business growth, especially when it comes to avoiding fines and making the most of your hard-earned income.

Here are a few tips on which is the perfect solution for your business right now.


Bookkeepers are trained and use the same financial recording methods as accountants. They do this so that your accountant can quickly and easily process your financial information. They will:

  • take all your receipts, invoices and other transaction details.
  • record the information in accounting software using proper accounting methods.
  • work with you to make sense of the numbers, for example assigning costs to specific clients.

But there’s more to bookkeeping than recording daily transactions. People who do this work are usually highly skilled at using accounting software. They will be able to advise you on:

  • add-on solutions to streamline your business workflow, such as POS tools (see our blog on Xero Apps here) payroll services to simplify the way you pay your staff
  • bookkeeping rescue work, tidying up mistakes made by inexperienced staff training for small business on using accounting software.

They can also offer day-to-day support for small business owners. In fact, a good bookkeeper is your partner in keeping things running smoothly within your business.


Accountants can give you strategic advice and come up with clever ways to save money or boost revenue. They’ll also remove or automate administrative tasks that distract you from your core business. Getting an accountant will help you run your business with more clarity and confidence.

  • They’ll help launch your start-up business by testing your idea, identify your start-up and operating costs, and create credible revenue forecasts.
  • Help with your business strategy by working with you to set goals – personal, professional and financial – then give you tools to measure your progress.
  • Fix / manage and advise on your cashflow
  • Help with financing and debt strategies by finding the least expensive borrowing strategies for your business – with the right mix of repayment flexibility and low interest.
  • Deal with unpaid invoices – therein of every business owner’s life.

For your business to run smoothly, ideally you need both people. You’d hire a bookkeeper to look after the day-to-day work. And you’d hire an accountant to handle official reporting and high-level business advice.

The Finance Department specialises in helping your business go from start-up to scale-up by being able to provide bookkeeping, accounts and your full finance department throughout your entire business lifecycle.


Take a look at how other businesses have benefitted from outsourcing their bookkeeping and accounting »