What is a Bookkeeper vs. Accountant vs. Controller?

The Oakley Group

October 4, 2022

The Oakley Group offers a variety of financial services across multiple tiers of skills and knowledge. Bookkeepers, Accountants and Controllers have shared goals; however, with a varied level of knowledge and experience, they provide support to our clients during different phases of the accounting cycles. What is a Bookkeeper vs. Accountant vs. Controller?

How does the Oakley Group define a Bookkeeper?

A bookkeeper is a professional who properly identifies, records, and classifies all of the day-to-day financial transactions and events within a business, as well as maintains work paper support. A bookkeeper performs the first steps of the accounting cycle.

How does The Oakley Group define an Accountant?

An accountant is a professional who summarizes, analyzes, and interprets the data inputted by a bookkeeper to prepare and maintain financial records and reports, evaluate financial operations, identify variance and any upcoming issues. An accountant performs the closing procedures of the accounting cycle.

How does The Oakley Group define a Controller?

Controllers are professionals who handle the entire accounting system for an organization. They set up accounting infrastructures and create financial integrations of data to monitor a company’s financial health. They perform financial data analysis as well as establish and oversee forecasting, budgeting, and cash-flow management. They also perform the month-end close and work closely with a tax team in preparing tax returns. The Oakley Group finds it important to offer all financial skill levels because every small business is in a different growth stage. By offering different levels, we can accommodate each stage of a growing business and those business owners can find security in knowing that their financial data is being properly taken care of.

“By offering a variety or levels as well as the ability to hire an accounting team brings credibility to a business owner’s numbers. A multi-level full-service accounting team implements and executes a financial strategy that brings continued success to businesses.” – Alyssa Fredes

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The Oakley Group

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