accountant at work

Understanding the Difference Between a Tax Accountant and a Bookkeeper

The world of finance has many roles and terms that all entrepreneurs need to understand. This is because even small businesses need financial and tax services at one point or another. Terms such as bookkeeper and tax accountant, for example, are often used interchangeably, even though they are not the same. How so? This article will shed light on the difference between the two terms.

Tax Accountant

A tax accountant is basically an accountant that specialises in tax accounting. Normally, Accountants study tax and law and are usually registered by the tax regulatory bodies to provide tax services. This is because carrying out tax accounting requires in-depth knowledge of tax laws and systems.

Also read: How a Tax Accountant Can Help Minimise Your Small Business Tax Bill?

Duties of a Tax Accountant

  • Tax accountants have the responsibility of preparing tax returns for the businesses or people they represent. They also do all the paperwork and reports that are necessary for filing taxes. In addition, they must make sure that tax returns are filed correctly and on time.  Secondly, tax accountants carry out the necessary research on difficult tax issues and identify solutions.
  • Another key role of tax accountants is to manage the business’s tax database. They are in charge of all tax matters relating to their clients. This means that they are responsible for all the tax information coming in and out of the business. Moreover, they determine tax savings and recommend strategies to improve profits for their client’s businesses.
  • Lastly, tax accountants advise their clients about tax liabilities and obligations under the tax laws. Most importantly, they represent their clients when dealing with the tax commissioner and other tax regulatory bodies.


Bookkeepers are basically responsible for maintaining the accounting records of a business. They do this by recording all financial transactions of a business in either account books or computerised accounting software. Notably, a business can hire an internal bookkeeper or decide to outsource bookkeeping services.

Duties of a Bookkeeper

First, a bookkeeper is responsible for maintaining records of the day to day financial transactions of a business. Besides this, they are responsible for monitoring cash flows and lines of credit. Every once in a while, bookkeepers are expected to prepare financial statements for a business, such as budgets and expenditure reports.

A bookkeeper has the fundamental role of:

  • Preparing invoices
  • Purchase orders
  • Reconciling statements

Additionally, they should verify recorded transactions and report any irregularities to the management.  Lastly, bookkeepers are expected to help tax accountants by providing them with any financial information needed to calculate and file tax returns.

Contact Griffiths Advisory Today

Are you a Perth business owner looking for a bookkeeper or a tax accountant? Look no further! Griffiths Advisory is just a call away. We offer the best accountancy and bookkeeping services in Perth at a very affordable price. Contact us and run your business hassle-free!

Phil Griffiths

Phil Griffiths

Bachelor of Commerce
Certified Practising Accountant
Diploma in Financial Planning
Professional Certificate in SMSF
Approved SMSF Auditor

Phil has been the Managing Director of Griffiths Advisory for 29 years, combining his expertise in taxation, business advisory, superannuation, negative gearing, and wealth creation. He also loves an active lifestyle, indulging in surfing, cycling, snowboarding, and spending quality time with his wife and two children.