Introduction to bookkeeping and accounting Open University


It’s one of those jobs where you just need some computer skills and a good passion for numbers. If bookkeeping keeps getting pushed aside as your business starts growing and you simply can’t find the time to get your books in order every month, you should consider hiring a professional to help you. If you’re a busy small business owner with a million things to do, it’s easy to let bookkeeping fall by the wayside.

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  • You monitor their pay, finances, and accounts, record every transaction they make or their company makes, and perform data entry services as needed.
  • For a long-term career, accounting offers much more upward mobility and income potential.
  • Later, the amounts in the journals would be posted to the designated accounts located in the general ledger.
  • This account can include items like outstanding invoices, loans, lines of credit, accounts payable, wages, etc.

Knowing the differences between the two can help people find their niche in the industry and can give guidance to companies on who to hire for their needs. Forensic accounting is a highly specialized field of accounting. A forensic accountant’s job is to investigate, audit, and prove the accuracy of financial documents and dealings. These accounting detectives’ work often centers around legal issues. There are opportunities for forensic accountants in many industries, like nonprofit work, government and law-enforcement agencies, law firms, and large corporations. As a business leader, you should have a good idea of which professionals best suit the needs of your company.

Bookkeeping vs. Accounting

Once the format of the financial statements has been established, the software will be able to generate the financial statements with the click of a button. Cynthia Uzialko is a retired small business owner and bookkeeper with three decades of experience managing financial record-keeping for both public and private organizations. Theincome statement is developed by using revenue from sales and other sources, expenses, and costs.

Growth for accountants and auditors is expected to continue for the next several years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 6% job growth in this field from 2021 to 2031. There are various career paths for accountants , from working as a forensic accountant to becoming a financial auditor or an enrolled agent.

Bookkeeping for Beginners: 6 Basic Concepts to Get You Started software has become an invaluable tool for any bookkeeper, helping simplify and automate redundant processes, as well as locate specific details within complex bank statements. By preparing financial statements on a regular basis, you will be able to gain valuable insight into your business’s financial health. These are your four critical financial statements, which are the result of all the bookkeeping activity.

What pays more accounting or bookkeeping?

The salary range for bookkeepers and accountants differ per state and on other important factors. But typically, accountants earn more than bookkeepers, and their midpoint salary is higher.

There are several standard methods of bookkeeping, including the single-entry and double-entry bookkeeping systems. While these may be viewed as “real” bookkeeping, any process for recording financial transactions is a bookkeeping process. A general ledger is an account or record used to sort, store and summarize a company’s transactions. It is used to store bookkeeping entries for balance-sheet and income-statement transactions. These can include accounts like cash, accounts receivable, investments, inventory, accounts payable, accrued expenses, customer deposits and more.

Which Accounting Reports are available in FreshBooks?

Expenses refer to purchases made by the business or costs the business incurs. The Structured Query Language comprises several different data types that allow it to store different types of information… Expenses are all the money that is spent to run the company that is not specifically related to a product or service sold.

An accounting degree requires deep education and training in tax and other laws with which businesses need to comply, plus finance and business management. While some bookkeepers may have developed similar skills, that level of training isn’t required to be called a bookkeeper. Bookkeeping traditionally refers to the day-to-day upkeep of a business’s financial records.

Keep your general ledger current

The amounts are then posted to the appropriate accounts such as accounts receivables, cash accounts or asset accounts. In a double-entry bookkeeping system, debits and credits are essential components as every transaction involves at least two parties. They’re used to record transactions – from where money is flowing in and to all the places it’s going. A company’s financial ledger is made up of individual accounts, which serve as records for money management. By using these accounts, bookkeepers can effectively report daily transactions with total accuracy. Lenders and investors want a clear idea of your business’ financial state before giving you money.


As such, it’s important to know whether you need a bookkeeper or an accountant to keep track of your affairs. That may be tough since the roles and responsibilities may intertwine. Bookkeepers line up all the small pieces of a company’s financial records, and accountants view and arrange those pieces. After all of the adjustments were made, the accountant presented the adjusted account balances in the form of financial statements.

Whether you’ve started a small business or are self-employed, bring your work to life with our helpful advice, tips and strategies. There a number of accounting methods – eight, to be precise – you… Remittance refers to payments that a company makes in relation to an invoice or bill.


Bookkeeping is just one facet of doing business and keeping accurate financial records. With well-managed bookkeeping, your business can closely monitor its financial capabilities and journey toward heightened profits, breakthrough growth, and deserved success. Many applications connect with your business’s checking account so you don’t have to manually record entries. Proper bookkeeping gives companies a reliable measure of their performance. It also provides information to make general strategic decisions and a benchmark for its revenue and income goals. In short, once a business is up and running, spending extra time and money on maintaining proper records is critical.

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