A life lived in numbers, that is what these people are; at least, what is common among them. They may not be geniuses all, but they have one thing they really are good at: common sense. With it, they can whip up the most perfect tax return for you, if you give them everything they need to know.
Just like a cook or chef who can come up with culinary excellence from basic unpalatable stuff, these are the professionals that you would need to hire or sign a contract with to take care of your federal requirements.
Everybody, at one time or another, may require their services, from a salaried individual to a small business owner and, more so, with the larger corporations. Although individuals may opt out of their services but a clean-cut tax return with all the credits and deductions offsets the cost of one.
But who is who and what is the difference? One is better than the other? Well, to cover everything in one sweep, we will not answer each question, instead, we present the whole gamut of these professionals.
Bookkeeper. They are the ones responsible for the recording, maintaining, reconciling, and balancing all financial aspect of a company, among other responsibilities not listed here. They can also do individual tax return, especially, if she is your girlfriend.
To be a bookkeeper, one must have math skills derived from high school curriculum; no complicated equations or formulas needed. A bookkeeper must have the ability to solve problems since it is his/her duty to reconcile books or identify sources of errors, among others.
Bookkeepers also need to be meticulous that every line of a financial report or the payroll is exact and substantiated down to the last cent. Obviously, one must have the organizational skill to not let all these financial records and the myriad of documents fly with the wind.
The managers and owners would want to know where the company stands financially at any time they deem necessary. So, a bookkeeper of high integrity is the most preferred; not one who can vanish dollars contrary to what the financial report says.
To become a bookkeeper, one does not need a college degree; all you need is to finish a bookkeeping course that may take about a year. This profession, without a college degree, is one of the most rewarding jobs.
Accountant. The duties of an accountant are absolutely similar to a bookkeeper, financial aspects of a company. The difference between the two professions are few in general, but more in medium and large corporations.
First, accountants have college degree in Accountancy. Whereas a bookkeeper has a one-year associate diploma, accountants have it at full four years. This would translate, of course, to a higher rank with a higher pay grade; not to mention, a higher responsibility.
Of the three professions stated in the title of this article, this one is in the middle, but this specific profession is not accredited or recognized by the Internal Revenue System (IRS) to represent any client for any matters in front of the IRS.
Accountants are also not allowed to sign any tax returns which makes them superior to the bookkeeper and inferior to the profession next, in rankings, of course.
CPA. Certified Public Accountant is the complete title for a professional who has taken a college degree and has passed and completed exams and statutory licenses of a particular state and duly certified by that state.
Duties are similar to that of a bookkeeper and an accountant in preparing and finalizing financial reports. This time, however, CPAs have more specialized responsibilities than the previous two professions.
They are able to sign tax returns, meaning the return is robust and clean to ease up the IRS functions. They can also represent taxpayers for audits and other tax matters in physical audience with the IRS.
Higher rank, higher pay, cloud-high responsibilities; these are the generals of the accounting army.
At Liberty Tax they can extend to your satisfaction their impeccable performance and solid representation for your federal and state taxes.
At A Glance.
All three professions have the same basic duties that differ as the responsibility climbs. Which one you need is dependent on who you are. An individual, a bookkeeper will prepare but you have to file it yourself. A small company get an accountant, at least. Choose wisely.