What roles do accountants and bookkeepers play for small businesses?

What is the difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper?  Do you need to hire both an accountant and a bookkeeper for your small business?

Top voted answer
Lauren June

Lauren June, Business Development Strategist at Lauren June

The easiest answer if the accountant details with your whole company tax and financial requirements.

A bookkeeper details with the day to day accounts processing.

There is also a BAS Agent who deals with BAS related processing eg GST. In Australia you are not allowed to complete BAS work as unless you are a employee without a BAS Registration.

Hitesh Mohanlal

Hitesh Mohanlal, Director at WOW! Advisors & Business Accountants

Top 10% Business Growth


As Lauren said bookkeepers deal with the day to day accounts processing. They process all receipts,expenses and reconcile you bank account.They might prepare your monthly or quarterly submissions to the tax authorities too. Generally bookkeepers give basic GST and payroll advice but they cannot give tax advice in Australia unless they are a registered tax agent.

An accountant will generally reviews the work of bookkeepers and prepare year end taxes.

If the accountant is good they will also provide tax minimisation advice and also business advice too.

Hatty Bell

Hatty Bell, Community Manager at

Would love to get your opinion on this @Leigh Cummings