Bookkeeper vs. Accountant – What is the difference?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a bookkeeper and an accountant?

Well, here is my best explanation:



  • Control and organize source documents (receipts, invoices, statements etc)
  • Accurately classify and record transactions in the general ledger through data entry
  • Perform bank and credit card statement reconciliations
  • Record and track accounts payable, accounts receivable
  • Report and reconcile GST returns
  • Prepare WCB returns
  • Provide payroll services including T4 and ROE preparation
  • Reconcile Corporate tax payments
  • Review and analyze the General Ledger along with the business owner for accuracy
  • Provide useful and customized reports for the business owner including internal financial statements
  • Ensures the business books are ready for review or audit by an accountant for year end procedures and corporate tax preparation
  • Have an understanding of the “big picture” and are familiar with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)


  • determine the best set-up and internal controls for a business owner’s  bookkeeping system
  • Monitor the system and interprets the results
  • Monitor budgets and cash flows
  • Offer strategic planning and tax planning
  • Review bookkeeping and perform year end procedures in preparation for filing yearly taxes
  • Prepare and files business tax return
  • Monitor acquisitions and disposals of capital assets
  • Perform depreciation calculations on capital assets
  • Provide final year ending financial statements
  • Prepare any necessary resolutions needed for the Corporation”s Minute Book
  • have an in-depth knowledge of GAAP and the Income Tax Act

Now, that is all in a nutshell and both of these services will provide more to business owners than just what is listed here…but you get the idea.

It is important that your bookkeeper and your accountant have a good working relationship and communication between them in order to provide the best overall financial picture you and your business are facing.



About Cougar Ridge Bookkeeping

We know that to be successful in business, keeping good records is vital. We also know that operating a successful business takes hours of dedication and hard work. For many, it means that the bookkeeping gets put on the "to-do list". We are here to help you!
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