How Do You Know When You Need a Bookkeeper vs. an Accountant vs. a Controller?

Let's start from the beginning....

With the growing business needs and competition, the need for Bookkeepers, Accountants, and Financial Controllers also increases. To kick start a good business the need for good books is a must.

To go with hand-to-hand accounts, we need books to be written which is done by Bookkeeper and to ensure the bookkeeping we need Accountants to check on Bookkeeper and then need occurs for Financial Controllers to ensure the work of Accountant. All three roles are interlinked with each other.

With the increasing cost of labor, the concept of Virtual Bookkeepers, Accountants, and Financial Controllers is increasing at a growing pace. Virtual Service providers are affordable and provide the best quality of work within the ensured timelines.


A bookkeeper is one who prepares data entries which may include bank payments and deposits, cash payments, and deposits, Payroll sheets, enters purchase and sales, journalizes Utilities and Incomes. It can be summarized as a person who maintains proper and accurate books of accounts by entering transactions for a business.

The work of bookkeepers is verified by Accountants.

Bookkeeper provides services as follows:

Ø  Making Bank and Credit Card Reconciliation

Ø  Accounts Reconciling services

Ø  Bookkeeping services to CPAs.

Ø  Manually Journalizing entries.

Ø  Accounting setup Wok

Ø  To work upon financial Reporting.


An accountant is a person who analyses accounts of a business which may include managing data, Consulting and analyzing, creating the financial statements with final adjustment journals or entries, and ensures fulfillment in the business accounting procedures.

Accountants must report Controllers for their Work.

Role of Accountants  

While performing work, Accountants provides various services viz may include as following:

Ø  Reconciliation Services of General Ledger

Ø  Services for Cost Accounting

Ø  Cash Flow Analysis and management with forecasting services

Ø  Preparation of Financial Statements

Ø  Budgeting Services for Financials

“Only accountants can save the world – through peace, goodwill, and reconciliations.”


The controller is one who is responsible for the whole of the accounting-related activities. It includes the top managerial personnel who with their acumen takes the decisions on the true picture of the financial statements.

In big entities, the Controllers reports to Chief Financial officers (CFO) but in some small entities, these two positions may merge into one.

Role of Controller

Ø  General accounting oversight

Ø  Creating internal policies and spend controls

Ø  Coordinating external tax accountants

Ø  Setting up bank accounts

Ø  Ensuring payment is received from customers and other debtors

Based on the above three discussions it may be described that the Three of the above roles are interlinked with each other. The chart below will explain the hierarchy better.

An accounting system with solid checks and balances looks something like this:

  • The bookkeeper enters the data.
  • The accountant reconciles the work of the bookkeeper.
  • The controller supervises the work of the bookkeeper and the accountant.

To perform the above task Bookkeepers, Accountants and Controllers need various software, Viz. QUICKBOOKS, XERO, and various other software as per the business need occur.


At 365KPO, we understand each business is unique in its own terms and has different requirements depending upon the size and volume. Some companies have grown to a position where a CFO is necessary to solidify long-term strategies. Smaller companies that are just starting out may do well with simple bookkeeping services.

Depending on your business lifecycle stage - We meet you where you are!

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