Differences between Bookkeeping and Accounting

len Alfred Ajibola - Thu, 25th April, 2019 @ 10:14: AM

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Bookkeping VS Accounting:

Although bookkeeping and accounting involves financial data; they are not the same thing.

In a large business organization, financial transactions occur on a regular basis and at a high rate; and as a result, an accounting personnel may not be able to efficiently enter all the business transactions. For this reason, the services of a bookkeeping personnel or bookkeeper may be required.

Bookkeeping can be defined as all the activities that have to do with the orderly classification and recording of financial data or business transaction.

Bookkeeping assist the process of accounting via the taking of an accurate record keeping.

Accounting covers the entire process and practice of managing the finances of an individual or an organization.

Please read on the Principle of Double Entry, its Advantages and Disadvantages here.

Note: In smaller organizations, a bookkeeper’s job may go beyond simple transaction recording, as they may also be involved in the accounting process of the organization. On the other hand, accountants may have to record financial transaction in addition to analyzing financial transaction.

Differences between Bookkeping and Accounting

Below are some of the differences between bookkeeping and accounting:

  • Definition / Meaning

Bookkeeping: It deals with the orderly classification and recording of financial data.

Accounting: It covers the entire practice of finance management.


  • Scope

Bookkeeping: It is only a branch of accounting.

Accounting: It is financial management in itself. It has various subset or branches of which bookkeeping is just one of them.

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  • Ability to take financial decision

Bookkeeping: Financial decisions cannot be taken on the basis of bookkeeping alone.

Accounting: Account records serves as the basis on which financial decisions can be taken.


  • Financial status of an organization

Bookkeeping: It cannot be used to determine the status or strength of an organization.

Accounting: It shows the financial strength or status of any institution.

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  • As a part of Account Statements

Bookkeeping: It is not necessarily required to make a financial statement of account.

Accounting: It is required in the making of a financial statement.


  • Associated tools

Bookkeeping: Journals and Ledgers are related to bookkeeping.
Please read on Journals, its Characteristics and Advantages here.

Accounting: Profit and Loss Account, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statement are related to accounting.


  • Types or Methods

Bookkeeping: Single Entry System of Bookkeeping and Double Entry System of Bookkeeping.

Accounting: Financial Accounting, Cost Accounting, Human Resource Accounting and so on.


  • Function

Bookkeeping: The bookkeepers record financial transaction in a chronological order (order of occurrence). The bookkeepers are therefore considered to lay the foundation on which accountants build on.
Please read on Balance Sheet Reconciliations here.

Note: Nowadays, softwares are present that can easily and efficiently carry out bookkeeping functions. The use of bookkeeping software can be expensive and slow while the amount of storage may become exhausted.

Accounting: They analyze financial transactions in order to give an accurate result and status of a business. Such reports will assist the business managers in making a more informed decision.
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Some acountants may review the job done by the bookkeepers while also advising them on the right way to go about their job.


  • Salaries

Bookkeeping: They earn lower salaries when compared to accountants.

Accounting: They earn higher salaries than the bookkeepers.

Please read on Clerical Staff, their Qualities and Functions here.


Importance of Bookkeeping

  1. It brings accuracy into the recordings of the daily business transaction.

  2. They provide the information on which financial accounts are prepared.

  3. Aside from its importance in business organizations, it can also be used by nonprofit organizations and individuals.

  4. It can also take record of liabilities, assets, loans. This function of bookkeeping can be crucial for many businesses.
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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

Amazing facts in Accounts

It is believed that Bookkeeping is the only English word to contain three sets of double letters repeatedly.

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