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Should I be an Accountant or a Bookkeeper?
The terms Accountant and Bookkeeper are often used interchangeably, and most people who are not in the field of financial services may not even know the distinction.
Today, the notion that both roles are similar, has brought confusion to many who are not really affiliated with the financial world. Who knows, there might even be Australians in the financial business that still get confused today.
Comments and questions like “What’s the difference?’ or “What do you do that the other doesn’t?” are common to accountants and bookkeepers, and these are questions they may have even asked for themselves at the beginning of their careers.
Are you one of those people? Do you still wonder if you should become an Accountant or are you better off as a Bookkeeper?
If you’re looking to pursue a career in Financial Services and are seeking the right answer to the question above, then this is the guide you need!
Being a Bookkeeper VS Being an Accountant
Bookkeeping, as a profession, is designed to generate and record data regarding the financial activities and transactions of an organisation. These include purchases, receipts, sales, and payroll.
All the nitty-gritty numerical work falls under the responsibilities of a bookkeeper. This is expected more from a bookkeeper as compared to an accountant. Attention to detail must be exceptional and almost flawless.
Bookkeepers cannot afford to commit careless and rookie mistakes. Errors that seem so small and irrelevant at the time can lead to bigger problems and more expenses in the long run.
Accounting, on the other hand, analyses data that the bookkeeper provides. Generally, while the accountant’s role encompasses a few bookkeeping tasks, the work they do are more advisory and analytical in nature as compared to those of bookkeepers.
They are more concerned about looking at the “big picture” of a company’s financial situation. Accountants are often hired for their ability to give out financial accounting advice that will aid the organisation’s financial stability in the long run. Sharp logic skills and excellent problem-solving abilities are an accountant’s asset.
Accountants are also in charge of the company’s taxation matters. Unlike bookkeepers, accountants and are the ones best suited to give advice regarding meeting tax requirements and compliance with tax laws and regulations.
Which Role is Best for You?
If you are eyeing a long-term career in the financial services industry, then it is best to pursue a career as an accountant.
A career in accounting offers better upward mobility and better income as compared to bookkeeping. Meanwhile, if you’re not yet set to commit to a long-term career and would want to test and see the financial services industry’s ins and outs, a career in bookkeeping should suit your needs.
Being a bookkeeper is an ideal starting point for those who want a decent salary and is still planning out the long-term scheme of their career path.
Another point to consider in choosing which career to pursue is the educational background required.
Landing a job in accounting requires a higher level of educational attainment such as advanced accounting courses, as compared to bookkeeping. A huge chunk of the study load comes from learning the ins and outs of taxation.
It is an accountant’s duty to keep every tax-related matter in check — and one of which is the monitoring the BAS of an organisation.
The Business Activity Statement or BAS is a form submitted to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) by registered business entities to report their tax obligations such as GST, PAYGW and a few more.
Pursuing a bookkeeping role on the other hand, has lighter educational requirements. Again, this is mainly because bookkeepers do not need to extensively analyse data, offer any financial insight or advise, and to be involved in the business’s tax regulations. But just because it’s lighter than being an accountant, doesn’t mean that it’s the easier career choice.
It’s important to note that bookkeepers do serious number-crunching work in keeping tabs of the company’s financial records and transactions — and that’s no light work. Which means an aspiring bookkeeper needs to undergo serious training that would prepare them in the gritty world of bookkeeping.
How Can the Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping Help you Decide?
If you’re wishing to pursue a career in the financial services industry, and are still undecided if you want to specialise in accounting or in bookkeeping, then it may be a relief for you to know that the Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping course is a mix of accounting and bookkeeping qualifications.
Holding this qualification will qualify you as a competent bookkeeper. And if in your time as a bookkeeper you find yourself wanting to be an accountant, then you can actually shift your specialisation.
The same thing goes if you initially decided to be an accountant, and later wanted to shift into a bookkeeper.
This is the perfect qualification to undertake if you are still undecided on as to where would you specialise in the financial services industry.
Now, don’t get the notion that this course is only for those who are still undecided. If you are already certain that you want to become an accountant or a bookkeeper, this is also the course for you!
Imagine the competency and training you will be able to have once you complete this course, as you will be taking units specialised for bookkeeping and for accounting.
If you want to know more about the Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping course, please click here to visit Inspire Education’s course page and enquire now to get all the latest news and updates!
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