Bookkeeper? Accountant? CPA? What is the difference?

When people are using the terms bookkeeper, accountant or CPA, they are not aware that between these three words there are differences, starting from their first base of work, the daily or monthly activities they do and even their professional status.

I am going to divide these three professions into three parts, just to be clear what each of them can do for a company.


The name says itself. A bookkeeper is someone who keeps the financial books. They are responsible for recording transactions (accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory, and from time to time doing payroll). They are also responsible for providing financial reports on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. 

 Depending on the company where the bookkeeper works, they might have other responsibilities such as making payments in the name of their employers, paying the sales taxes of the employer, keep track on how much they owe on credit cards and at the end of each month making a report. 


If we compare bookkeepers and accountants, we can say that accountants are one level above bookkeepers. Their intent is to prepare detailed financial statements, prepare reports for tax purposes and even perform audits of the books of public companies. Although they perform audits of the books, they have no standing in signing tax returns or representing their clients during tax audits.

Certified Public Accountants (CPA)

As we already spoke, accountants are not allowed to represent their clients during tax audits or even sign tax returns, but that doesn’t count for the CPA. They have an additional level of credibility and expertise. They are basically certified accountants, that passed certain examinations and met all the licensing requirements. Beside all these tasks, they also prepare tax returns and represent the taxpayers before the Internal Revenue System (IRS) for audits.

Whether it comes to a small or even large company, they need someone to keep track of their books. That is why, as a company, you need to have a bookkeeper who is going to work for an accountant or CPA. We at Causeway Connect can provide you with everything you need and is connected in Finance and Accounting. 

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