CPA vs. Bookeeper

Written By Geoff Burns

When speaking with potential clients, I am often asked if I would perform the services of a CPA. Likewise, several CPA’s I know are asked to perform bookkeeping services, which is not what being a CPA is about. Today, I hope to delineate some of the differences between CPAs and Bookkeepers so you can better understand what each does and how they work together for your business.

In my previous article, I expressed some of the key reasons you should hire a Professional Bookkeeper for your business. Now lets look at CPAs and how they compare to the Bookkeeper you should have.

Forest vs. Trees

We have all seen those nature documentaries that are so popular these days. Imagine that the wilderness is your business, a CPA is in the helicopter, flying over the area in question, and the bookkeeper is the person or team on the ground collecting and processing the data. CPAs take the macro approach to your business. They look at your the data to file your taxes and provide strategic advice. 

Your bookkeeper deals with the daily activities of the business. They manage the receipts, handle invoicing, prepare financial reports, and anything else pertinent to the daily financial operations of your business. 


  • Strategic Advice
  • File Taxes
  • Review Tax Advantages of Business Structure
  • Big Picture and Overall Health
  • Bottom Line Focus


  • Daily Transactions
  • Create Reports for CPA and Stakeholders
  • Cashflow Management
  • Software Integration
  • Every Line Focus

CPA or Bookkeeper?

Yes! Ok, so that wasn’t helpful. In many cases, you probably need both. There are some CPAs that will provide bookkeeping services. There are also bookkeepers that will file taxes for you. However, it is my professional opinion that these two services should be separated. 

I would dare say that you need a bookkeeper and you should have a CPA. Many business owners think that they can save money by doing the work of the bookkeeper or CPA on their own, but business owners seldom have the time to spend on keeping up with the books and the ever-changing tax landscape. The reality is that a good bookkeeper, combined with a good CPA, will save you time and money by working together for the best tax strategy and cashflow management. The value of these services far outweigh the cost. And, it frees you up to focus on your business. 

We are a Professional Bookkeeping Services provider and we offer Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Services as well. But we work with CPAs so we can provide the best service possible to our clients. We work with CPAs to achieve both the overall tax and business strategy goals, and to maximize cash flow while minimizing waste. 

To summarize, you need a professional bookkeeper, not just a friend or family member who is willing to help. A professional will add value to your business and help you achieve your goals. You likely need a CPA to work with that bookkeeper to maximize your tax strategy and overall business goals. 

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