Many people use the term 'bookkeeper' and 'accountant' interchangeably. Sometimes unconsciously, or sometimes because they do not know the difference between the two. It is an often mistaken thought that accountant is the ‘polite synonym’ for bookkeeper. A bookkeeper and an accountant are not the same profession. In this article, we explain the main differences between a bookkeeper and an accountant.
We will discuss the differences below one by one.
A (starting) accountant also has a lot more practical experience than a (starting) bookkeeper, because an accountant must first gain three years of practical experience before he or she can be registered in the Register of Accountants. For a bookkeeper, there are no obligations to study or gain practical experience. However, this does not mean that you should immediately shy away from bookkeepers, as bookkeepers are often very eager to gain a lot of knowledge and experience in the form of, for example, courses.
The title ‘bookkeeper’ is not protected. This means that anyone can call themselves a bookkeeper, even though there are no compulsory studies. There are, of course, multiple courses and training programmes for becoming a bookkeeper, but it is not compulsory to take them. Anyone can offer work as an accountant. We only work together with qualified and accredited bookkeepers, so that you can be sure that the bookkeeper is knowledgeable.
A bookkeeper, on the other hand, is not obliged to take out liability insurance. If the bookkeeper has made a mistake that causes financial damage to your company, you cannot necessarily recover the damage from the bookkeeper. If a bookkeeper has not taken out liability insurance, then you have no guarantee that the full damage will be covered. Are you starting a collaboration with an adminstration office or bookkeeper? Always ask whether they have taken out liability insurance.
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