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What is the difference in salaries between a bookkeeper and an accountant?

Author:
Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA

I  estimate that a bookkeeper’s salary will be less than half of an accountant’s salary. For example, an accountant with a year or two of experience might earn $60,000 per year while a bookkeeper will earn less than $30,000 per year. More experienced accountants will be able to earn higher salaries but bookkeepers will not see significant salary increases. Some explanations for the salary differences are listed below.

Generally, a bookkeeper’s formal education will be less than a four-year college degree. Accountants generally have a 120 or 150 credit college degree including at least 30 credits of accounting courses plus 30 credits of other business courses.

A bookkeeper is likely to be employed at a smaller company or organization and will process a large volume of routine transactions. An accountant is likely to be employed at a larger company and will be able to delegate the processing of the high-volume routine transactions to accounting clerks. In turn, the accountant will deal with more complicated transactions, will review the financial statements, and will assist management in the planning and control of the organization.

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About the Author

Harold Averkamp

For the past 52 years, Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has
worked as an accounting supervisor, manager, consultant, university instructor, and innovator in teaching accounting online. He is the sole author of all the materials on AccountingCoach.com.

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