Accounting: Lesson 4

Accountants, CPAs, and Bookkeepers

Lynn Talbott, founder and owner of HR Business Solutions, teaches you the difference between CPAs and bookkeepers. 


Test Your Knowledge

To receive credit for taking this course through TSBDC, watch the video and take the quiz that will appear below to demonstrate your knowledge.

Video Lesson Topics


A CPA is a Certified Public Accountant who typically has an accounting degree and has passed the CPA exam. Not all tax preparers are CPAs, and  not all CPAs actually prepare taxes. A tax preparer can be an enrolled agent (EA) and file taxes on your behalf. The CPA, or your tax preparer, is concerned with filing your federal and state taxes according to the tax laws. They ensure that all income and expenses are properly recorded. Typically, the CPA does not want to get into the details of each transaction; they want the big picture. They also offer tax advice on how you and your business can benefit from certain tax laws. If needed, the CPA can represent you in front of the IRS. 

- Bookkeeper

Although the bookkeeper knows the tax laws, they generally do not give you tax advice. A good bookkeeper helps you build your detailed monthly financial statements, organize receipts and daily entries, reconcile the books, clear any mistakes, and maintain the general ledgers of the business. Most importantly, they ensure each transaction is in the proper place on your profit and loss statement or your balance sheet. This helps make sure that when your books get to the CPA, they have already been vetted, and it helps the CPA do their job. Doing this could help reduce the bill you receive from your CPA. Your CPA does not want to do your books or go through your receipts; they simply want to do your taxes. So, leave these activities to the bookkeeper. A good bookkeeper will work as a team with a CPA throughout the year; both of them are essential to your business. 

Topics & Lessons

Each Below Topic Contains a Video Lesson and Helpful Downloadable Information


Basic Accounting


Financial Statements


Common Accounting Questions and Errors


Accountants, CPAs, and Bookkeepers


Accounting Systems and Software


Taxes (Links to Taxes/IRS Videos)


Why it Matters


Types of Tax Obligations


Franchise & Excise Taxes


Payroll Taxes


Sales Tax


IRS and State Tax Resources and Due Dates


Selecting a Business Tax Professional


Want to learn more about how this topic relates to your business?

Schedule a meeting with one of our consultants! All counseling sessions offered by the TSBDC are no-cost and provided by our staff of professional business consultants.