FAQ: “Do I Need a Bookkeeper If I Have an Accountant?”

We talk to a lot of small business owners who are doing a great job at growing their businesses, but find themselves tied down more and more with administrative tasks like bookkeeping than actually doing the things that earn the business money or find new customers.

One of the most common questions we get asked is whether a business that already works with an accountant needs a bookkeeper. Bookkeepers and accountants provide different value to your business so there is room for both.

Bookkeeper vs Accountant

To answer the question of whether your business needs an accountant and a bookkeeper it’s important to understand what services and value they each brings to your business.

The Services and Value of a Bookkeeper

A good bookkeeper helps small business owners and managers with the day-to-day finances of their business. Some of the bookkeeping services they offer include:

  • creating invoices to send out to your customers and clients and making sure they get paid on time

  • entering the invoices from your suppliers and making sure they get paid on time so there’s no interruption to the products and services that they provide

  • managing your company payroll including source deductions, benefits, WSIB and employee expense reimbursement

  • reconciling your business bank accounts and credit cards at the end of each month

  • maintaining accurate inventory records

  • filing, remitting and paying your source deductions, HST, WSIB and other taxes on a timely basis

  • regularly reviewing your balance sheet and income statements with you so you understand exactly how your business is performing

  • prepare your books for your year-end

The biggest value a bookkeeper provides is to keep your business in compliance with the Canada Revenue Agency throughout the business year and to make sure that the business ownership and management team have access to up-to-date and accurate financial information about the business. It’s very difficult to make the right decisions for your business if you’re not looking at the right information at the right time.

The Services and Value of an Accountant

A professional accountant does not work as closely with your business management team on the day-to-day finances of the business, but works at a higher, strategic level to plan and track how the business gets established, sustains or grows.

As part of the planning process, the accountant will create timelines of goals for how the business is expected to perform in terms of sales, cost of goods, operating costs and overheads, and payroll costs. The accountant will regularly review how the business is performing compared to what was expected, and adjust course accordingly.

An accountant also compiles and files the year-end financials for an incorporated company, something that a bookkeeper cannot do. But the accountant typically won’t do all the prep work for the year end, and won’t do things like help with taking stock of the assets and inventory of the business or make sure that all of the invoices and expenses are entered – these are things that the bookkeeper would normally do.

Do I Need a Bookkeeper If I Have an Accountant?

There is no reason why you wouldn’t hire a bookkeeper even if you already work with an accountant. In fact, it might be a bit strange if your accountant wanted to do the things that a bookkeeper does because a professional accountant is way overqualified to provide bookkeeping services and accountants typically charge a lot more than bookkeepers for their services.


While bookkeepers and accountants both work on the finances of a business, they offer entirely different services and bring different values to the business ownership or management team. Your accountant provides higher level strategic and year-end filing services, while your bookkeeper helps manage the day-to-day finances of your business. There is no reason why you shouldn’t hire a bookkeeper even if you are already working with a good accountant.

Simply Bookkeeping1 provides professional bookkeeping services for freelancers, solopreneurs and owners of unincorporated and incorporated businesses. We customize our services based on your needs – we only see some of our clients a few hours a month but others we see on a more regular basis. Our services are reasonably priced and we tightly track the amount of time we spend working for you so you only pay for the services you get.

To learn more about us, please visit our website at www.simplybookkeeping1.com or contact Michele Hyde by phone at (647) 668 – 9363 or by email at michele@simplybookkeeping1.com.

Have Your Say

Are you thinking about whether your business needs an accountant, a bookkeeper or both? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Also, please share this article using the social media share buttons – other people going through the same process might benefit from this post!

#SmallBusiness #Bookkeeping #Accounting #TipsandAdvice #FAQ

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