Difference Between Bookkeeping and Accounting

Bookkeeping and accounting are the two critical aspects of any venture. Bookkeeping and accounting keep track of all the financial data of the company that helps in the smooth function of a company.

Both bookkeeping and accounting need basic accounting and economics knowledge. The confusion arises between both terms because although they are different, they are used for similar purposes.

They deal with the financial transactions of the company. Bookkeeping and accounting are usually used as synonyms, but both of them have different functions.

Bookkeeping vs Accounting

The difference between bookkeeping and accounting is that bookkeeping keeps a record of all the financial records, whereas accounting interprets, analyzes, and summarizes the financial records.

Bookkeeping is used merely to keep or record the financial data; no decisions are taken by the records of bookkeeping by the management.

Bookkeeping vs Accounting

The financial reports that are produced due to accounting are taken into consideration while making any decision that affects the finance of the company. 


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonBookkeepingAccounting
DefinitionBookkeeping is related to the recording, measuring, and identifying the financial data of a company.Accounting is the process wherein the company’s financial data is summarized, and a report is prepared for the same.
ManagementManagement doesn’t take any financial decisions by analyzing the records of bookkeeping.Management decides upon financial decisions after reading the summary report obtained by accounting.
PurposeTo store and organize the financial data of a companyTo analyze the financial data and make future financial decisions accordingly. 
Financial statementThe financial statement is not prepared using the information obtained from bookkeeping.The financial statement is prepared using accounting information.
SkillsBookkeeping doesn’t need the bookkeeper to have any special skill set to handle and manage the financial records.An accountant needs special skills to record, interpret, and analyze the financial data to prepare reports.
AnalysisNo analysis is carried.Accounting uses the record from bookkeeping to analyze the financial data to prepare reports.
TypesSingle entry and double entry.Cost accounting and managerial accounting.
EmployeeAn accountant oversees the work of a bookkeeper.An accountant that is certified doesn’t need guidance.
EntryA bookkeeper records the financial data on a daily basis.The accountant prepares the financial summary at the end of the month or on a yearly basis, depending on the type of report and demands of the company.


What is Bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is the process of recording financial data of a company on a regular basis.

The financial data includes sales, purchase, receipts, etc. of an individual or of a company. The bookkeepers handle the bookkeeping.

Bookkeeping is crucial in a business because it provides a systematic order to all the financial data.

During the accounting process, it’s easier to access the book of all the financial records to make financial reports and statements.

Bookkeeping is also important for all external financial sources like investors, financial institutes, and government.

Before an investor makes a decision to invest in a company, he will check the financial records of the company maintained in bookkeeping.

A bookkeeper is always supervised by the accountant, and at times, they work together as well.

Bookkeeping provides the company with a record of all its revenues because of which the company can tally its expected income and expenditure goals with the actual income and expenditure.

This helps them to maintain a benchmark for future financial decisions. There are two major types of bookkeeping.

There is double-entry bookkeeping and then, there is single-entry bookkeeping. In the latter type, there is the only entry of one side of the transaction.

It either only records the credit or the debit entries of the company. In double-entry bookkeeping, both the credits and debits are recorded.

For every credit, a debit is also recorded and vice versa. 


What is Accounting?

Accounting is the analysis, interpretation, and summarization of the financial data of a company. The accounting checks the bookkeeping records and makes a financial report of the same.

All financial decisions are taken by management only after going through the reports of the accounting.

The management even approaches higher authorities if the reports spot the financial transactions to be more different than the normally expected transactions.

The professional accountants take out the gist of the data pertaining to finances. Then, this data is sent to different authorities for further work.

The accounting report has a record of the financial transactions that take place over a decided accounting period. It is a summary of the firm’s operations.

Also, it contains information about the financial position as well as the cash flow of the firm. There are two types of accounting: cost accounting and managerial accounting. Cost accounting helps a businessman decide the price of a product.

Managerial accounting helps the management make proper decisions regarding the future investments of the company. 


Main Differences Between Bookkeeping and Accounting

  1. Bookkeeping records the financial data in a systematic order, but the accounting analyses the financial records and prepares a financial report to the statement.
  2. Bookkeeping doesn’t help the management in making any decisions regarding finance, whereas the reports prepared by an accountant help the management to make decisions regarding future financial transactions.
  3. Bookkeeping isn’t used to make the financial reports, but the reports prepared by accountants help in making financial reports.
  4. A bookkeeper doesn’t need any special skill set to handle bookkeeping, whereas an accountant needs a certificate to do his job.
  5. Bookkeeping records aren’t analyzed, but they are used by the accountant to prepare their financial summary.
  6. The two types of bookkeeping are single-entry a double entry. The two types of accounting are cost accounting and managerial accounting.
  7. Bookkeepers are supervised by the accountants, but certified accountants don’t need any guidance.
  8. The data is recorded in bookkeeping daily, whereas the financial reports are prepared monthly or yearly depending on the company policy.
Difference Between Bookkeeping and Accounting


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09585209500000049
  2. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/229739
Search for "Ask Any Difference" on Google. Rate this post!
[Total: 0]
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments