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CPA vs Bookkeeper: What is the Difference?

It's common knowledge that if you own a small business, you need a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to handle and file your tax returns.

But why would a Bookkeeper be necessary as well?

Your CPA is probably doing hundreds of tax returns in a year. And yours is just one of them. Your tax professional is concerned with your taxes. And accounting/bookkeeping does not equal tax. Tax pros simply do not have the time and resources to handle bookkeeping, nor are they paid for that.

Bookkeepers, however, are small biz accounting generalists. Our job is to get all things finance and back-office organized. We want everything - sales, operations, marketing, and management - to be running smoothly and coherently. We can handle maybe a couple dozen companies at most.

In other words, if your business is doing well, you need your accounting updated at least on a monthly basis and your reporting needs to be tailored to performance, not to tax returns.

- Thomas Kim from Tabular LLC

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