As you can imagine, there are quite a few differences between bookkeepers and accountants, including the level of education each job requires.
Bookkeepers are responsible for maintaining your business’s financial records. They need solid math and organizational skills, plus a working knowledge of accounting software. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, bookkeepers usually have a postsecondary degree, though not necessarily in bookkeeping.1 And most bookkeepers make around $40,000 a year.1
Accountants are responsible for assessing your business’s finances and making financial recommendations that keep your business in the black. They can also prepare financial statements and record financial information, so accountants should have solid bookkeeping skills. Most accountants have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree, though it might not be in accounting. Most accountants make around $70,000 a year.2
And a Certified Public Accountant, or CPA, is an accountant who has taken a test called the Uniform CPA Examination and met your state’s requirements for state certification. While CPA licensing requirements vary from state to state, they usually include a bachelor’s degree in accounting and at least a year’s worth of on-the-job experience. To maintain their license, CPAs have to continue taking courses throughout their careers.