Bookkeepers and accountants make up two sides of the one coin.

There is a misconception that bookkeepers and accountants provide the same services.

The truth is bookkeepers only deal with your day-to-day aspects of your books and may provide limited tax services, such as BAS lodgement (requiring registration as a BAS agent). Accountants manage the higher-level compliance work including the preparation of annual financial statements and the preparation of your tax returns.

Most bookkeepers are unable to perform the same services as accountants and most accountants can provide the services of bookkeepers.


So, why should you use the same place to do your bookkeeping and accounting?

When looking for an accountant and bookkeeper, you should find a business that offers all the services under the one roof. The benefits for this are:

  • Better communication between bookkeepers and accountants
  • Save money – Accountants won’t need to adjust or correct your books when the bookkeeping is prepared correctly by bookkeeping staff
  • Accountants are available to provide guidance to the bookkeepers on the treatment of transactions
  • Faster turnaround – When preparing tax returns, the accountant has everything they need available to them. There is no waiting on documents to be sent back and forth from the bookkeeper
  • Security – There is a reduced risk of information breach

The options

As a business owner there are a few options available when managing bookkeeping and accounting requirements.

1 – Hire a bookkeeper to help manage your records while you focus on running your business. At the end of the financial year, find an accountant to prepare your compliance and tax requirements.   This option is generally the most expensive and not ideal. You may be missing out on tax planning advice and be paying both parties extra costs as they must spend more time on your business records than other options.

2 – Do your own bookkeeping. With some training, it is possible to manage your own bookkeeping. The main issue with going it alone is it may cost more to pay your accountant to fix your records than to have it prepared correctly in the first place.  If the business is complicated, the records may be difficult to reconcile. We recommend only doing your own bookkeeping if you understand correct practices and your business operations make for simple bookkeeping. An accountant is still required to undertake compliance and tax return services.

3 – Using an accounting firm that also provides bookkeeping services. This is the most efficient way to have your records accurate and your compliance sorted in a timely manner. The time savings and peace of mind that comes with knowing everything is taken care of.  If you are looking to undertake some of your own bookkeeping, then it is generally easier to work with one place to create a hybrid arrangement. You can work with your bookkeeper and accountant to have your records up to date and enjoy the benefits of tax planning options and accounting advice throughout the year.

Alchemy Accountants provide both bookkeeping and accounting services to a range of industries. If you are looking for a bookkeeper/accountant that understands your business, please reach out to us. If you only see your accountant once a year, it may be time to find a new one.

We will work closely with you towards business success. Contact us for a FREE consultation.

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