Difference Between Bookkeeper vs Accountant vs Certified Public Accountant (CPA)


Bookkeepers are required to have between two and four years of experience or an associate’s degree.

- Issuing invoices to customers
- Recording invoices from suppliers
- Recording cash receipts from customers
- Paying suppliers
- Recording changes in inventory
- Processing payroll
- Processing petty cash transactions


Accountants have a four-year college degree.

- Accruing or deferring expenses
- Accruing or deferring
- Creating the chart of accounts
- Setting up the general ledger
- Designing the financial statements
- Issuing customized management reports to address specific issues
- Altering the classification or recordation of transactions to meet certain accounting standards
- Creating a budget and comparing it to actual results
- Compiling tax returns from the financial information
- Creating a set of controls within which the financial system operates
- Designing a record keeping, archiving, and document destruction system revenue

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Certified public accountants have a focused education in accounting and must pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination.

- CPAs perform auditing, tax and financial services for individuals, corporations and other business or nonprofit organizations.
- Public sector companies must file annual reports with the Securities Exchange Commission, which require a CPA audit and review of the financials before compiling and submitting the annual report.