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What is the Difference Between Accounting & Bookkeeping?

As a small business owner, trying to understand the differences between accounting and bookkeeping can be daunting.

Despite being extremely similar services overall, bookkeeping and accounting practises are slightly different and can often have different pros and cons for companies in various industries. As a Dublin accountancy firm and business advisory service that does both, here the team at SVCO will run through the differences between accounting and bookkeeping so that you can decide which service suits your business requirements better.


Despite being a term often used interchangeably with bookkeeping, accounting is a slightly more in-depth and complex service. Unlike bookkeepers, who go through accounts, finances, and paperwork on a surface-level basis, accountancy services tend to manage your company’s entire accounting operations. Accountancy services can be hired on a once-off or contractual basis and generally consists of an appointed accountant inspecting, managing, and filing all incoming and outgoing finances in your business. Accountants look after all finances for your company ranging from payroll to end-of-year financial statements, tax returns, day-to-day budgets, and more. Accountants also have the power to draw up and file end of year accounts for CRO and can give business and accounting advice to customers when needed. Simply put, an accounting service takes all business accounting operations off your hands and manages them in full for you. This is the perfect service for a sole trader or company who wants to outsource all accounting operations in their business.


When it comes to bookkeeping, one of the easiest ways to explain this service’s difference from accounting is that it acts as a kind of “first step” in the accounting process. Unlike accounting, which manages all aspects of financials and compliance for a client, bookkeeping is generally a more “surface level” service designed to help you organise your finances and paperwork for easier access and inspection. Here at SVCO, our Dublin bookkeeping services include options such as cash flow budgets, expense claims, VAT returns, accounts reconciliation, and more. While still an extremely beneficial service that helps many companies in a range of industries, bookkeeping helps to streamline your internal accounting operations rather than doing them for you. As it is a less in-depth service, hiring a bookkeeper can often work out cheaper than hiring in-depth accounting services.


Unfortunately, there’s no right or wrong answer to this question as no two businesses are the same. For many people, hiring an accountant is a must to help manage all their company finances. For others, an outsourced bookkeeper works better and is hired in conjunction with an internal accounts team or individual. If you’re unsure of the best type of financial controller service to hire for your company, get in touch with SVCO today. We offer both Dublin bookkeepers and Dublin accountants and can advise you on the best service to suit your individual company in terms of budget and expectations.

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