Finance Software

Category Compare: Bookkeeper vs. Accounting

By | 3 min read | Published

In this report, we define and compare bookkeeper software and accounting software to help you decide which one suits your business needs.

Bookkeeper software and accounting software are often mistaken for each other because both are categorized under financial reporting. While they are interconnected functions of a business, they are also distinct in functionality. This report will identify the similarities and differences between the two software categories to help you understand which one is better suited to your requirements.

What is bookkeeper software?

Bookkeeper software helps businesses record and track financial data and transactions, such as sales and purchases. It is used to track accounts receivables and account payables, create invoices, make payments, and compare transactions against the balance on the book.

Bookkeeper software simplifies financial recordkeeping by serving as a digital replacement to traditional ledgers. It also helps prepare periodic reconciliation reports, allowing users to conduct easier audits.

What is accounting software?

Accounting software helps accounting teams automate financial functions and transactions with modules such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, billing, and general ledger.

Besides standard bookkeeping tasks, accounting software covers analytical functions such as revenue forecasting, cash flow management, and expense management. It offers comprehensive and real-time analysis of a business’s financial status to facilitate data-driven decision-making.

What do they have in common?

Both bookkeeping and accounting software tools focus on streamlining financial functions. They share a common goal: improving the financial health of a business. Both assist in creating and maintaining systematic records of financial transactions and processing transactions by tracking accounts receivable and accounts payables. They also help businesses stay tax compliant by recording tax rates.

Bookkeeper software features

Accounting software features

Which tool is right for you?

Before investing in any software, assess your business’s financial objectives. Accounting software is a better choice if you need a tool to perform analytical tasks such as budgeting, forecasting, tracking account payables and receivables, preparing financial statements and reports, and reconciling accounts. Accounting software lets you visualize your financial health and make better business decisions.

On the other hand, bookkeeping software is a good fit if your financial management needs primarily include logging revenue and expenses, and recording financial transactions such as tax filing, payroll, and billing.

Bookkeeper software is commonly used by professional bookkeepers, clerks, small business owners, and startups, whereas accountants, finance professionals, project managers, and auditors prefer using accounting software.

Once you decide which software to use, head to our bookkeeper software and accounting software category pages where you can find a sortable list of products, software reviews from verified users, and comprehensive buyers guides.

If you wish to narrow down your search to only the most popular and highest-rated solutions, visit Capterra’s Shortlist report for the top accounting software tools—our reports are based on an analysis of thousands of user reviews.

Note: The products mentioned in the category comparison images are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations by Capterra. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.

Looking for Accounting software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Accounting software solutions.

About the Author

Barkha Bali

Barkha Bali

Barkha Bali is a writer at Capterra, providing expert insights to help small businesses identify the right software for their needs by analyzing user reviews data for the highest rated products in relevant software categories. She has worked in finance, lifestyle, education, and medical. With expertise in marketing and content strategy, Barkha’s work has been featured in Medium and educational websites. When not working, she can be found re-watching “The Office” or “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

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