EXPENSES, INCOME, VENDORS, CUSTOMERS, PAYROLL ………………. HELP!!!!
A CPA or Certified Public Accountant has an education that brought them up to the level that they could pass the Uniform CPA Exam and become licensed by the state board of accountancy. A Bookkeeper can be certified as well under AIPB (American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers).
However, the term Bookkeeper does not mean the person has been certified, whereas the term CPA, does mean they are certified. A Bookkeeper can refer to someone literally filling in numbers and calculating from pre-made ledgers. Every accountant starts off at the Bookkeeper level, what makes them more qualified is learning state and federal laws, accepted accounting practices and how to determine what methods are best for your personal or business situation.
As a general rule, the more experience, knowledge and education; the more you are going to pay for that professional. So the key for you as a client, is to determine what your accounting needs are, and how much you can afford to pay for those needs. Accounting is critical to maintaining and running your business and personal assets successfully. So this decision needs to be made through a process of outlining what you need today.
Armed with that information, you will be able to see what level professional you need at this point. As your business or situation grows, you may need more knowledge about tax laws, depreciation and right-offs. Always feel free to ask the person you have chosen about their knowledge and experience with those specific issues. A professional will let you know if they feel your needs are above their level of education.
Never presume the person doing your books is an expert in all levels of accounting. It is a complex ever changing environment which takes continued updating and education. With that in mind, your professional will keep you updated to those changes every year. This doesn’t mean they are behind on information, but that they are doing their job in keeping you on track to be successful.