The difference between accounting and bookkeeping

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The Difference Between Accounting and Bookkeeping

Due by Saturday, 11:59 p.m. (MT) end of Week 1 (120 pts)

What is the difference between bookkeeping, accounting, and accountancy? When someone says they are an accountant, are they really a bookkeeper? Does it really matter?

In conjunction with the information presented below, perform additional research and write a 1,250 word paper, with a minimum of two references (APA format, double-spaced, 12-point font) discussing these differences. Include your individual thoughts in relation to your educational pursuits.


Bookkeeping is the process of systematically recording the financial transactions of a business, so as to show how the transactions relate to each other. Bookkeeping is largely a mechanical process and does not involve any analysis of the financial transactions, but rather the recording of them.

Traditionally, the records were kept in a book, hence the name bookkeeping. These days, bookkeeping is normally performed using a bookkeeping software package, but the names of the books (daybook, cashbook, journal, and ledger) are still used.

A bookkeeper's function is primarily one of recording transactions in the journal and posting to the ledger, and is sometimes referred to as an accounts clerk.

There are two types of bookkeeping: single entry and double-entry. In single entry bookkeeping, the record of each transaction is carried to either the debit or credit column of a single account. In double-entry bookkeeping, two entries of each transaction are carried to the ledger: one to the debit side, and one to the credit side, of the corresponding account. This is so the two entries can be used to check each other.


Accounting is the systematic recording, reporting, and analysis of financial transactions of a business. As bookkeeping involves making a financial record of business transactions, it is true to say that the role of bookkeeping is encompassed within the scope of accounting, and the bookkeeping system used by a business would form part of the accounting system.

Accounting also includes the preparation of statements concerning assets, liabilities and the operating results of a business.

Accountancy is the occupation related to accounting, and an accountant is the person who does, or at least is responsible for, the work. Accountants often specialize in a particular area of accounting such as taxes, auditing, or management.

In a small company, all of the bookkeeping and accounting tasks may well be performed by a single person. In this situation, that person would normally be referred to as an accountant.


Dixon, J., 2008, John Dixon Technologies

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Tutor Answer

School: University of Virginia



The Difference between Accounting and Bookkeeping
Institution Affiliation




The terms bookkeeping, accounting, and accountancy are common in the business world.
All business or non-business activities and all business organization including the non-business
organization which deals with economic resources or money requires the accounting in order to
account how the resources are used. Accounting and bookkeeping are two different terms which
are often confused when accounting for money. The operation of any organization requires a
well-organized financial records system since financial information plays a major role not only
in decision-making but also for the success of every organization that deals with money. This
creates the need hiring an individual who is competent to prepare the financial records and this is
where there is confusion in choosing between a bookkeeper and an accountant. This paper
differentiates accountancy, accounting, and bookkeeping by looking at the definitions of the
terms, the objectives, and also the functions of each position.
Meaning of Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Accountancy
Bookkeeping involves the recording of financial transactions in journals, posting of
ledgers, and balancing of accounts. Bookkeeping can thus be described art and science of
financial transactions in the books of records accurately so that the financial condition of an
entity can be ascertained correctly (Dixon, 2008). Bookkeeping only deals with recording the
transactions of the entity related to the core business and which are expressed in money terms. In
the information system, accounting is the process which identifies, measure and communicates
the organization’s economic inform...

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