What is the difference between a bookkeeper and an Accountant?
A Bookkeeper will:
Assist you to record your transactions according to accounting principles.
Take a shoebox full of receipts and bank statements & turn this into financial records for your accountant to prepare financial reports from.
Advise you on what accounting software/payroll software to use.
Teach you how to use software and record keeping systems.
Make sure your income and expenses are recorded according to accounting conventions.
Liase with your accountant for oversight and assistance.
Prepare GST and PAYE Returns on your behalf.
Typically charge between $50 and $90 per hour.
An Accountant will:
Prepare financial reports for companies.
Provide advice on taxation issues.
Provide legal advice on the structure of companies.
Manage their clients' compliance issues with IRD.
Typically charge between $200 to $800 per hour.
Should I do my own bookkeeping?
If you are a sole trader with relatively few transactions, then there's a good chance you can look after your own bookkeeping. It can still be a good idea for your bookkeeper to provide you with a couple of training sessions. By the same token, if you don't have too much to record, then it should be relatively cheap for a bookkeeper to do the work for you.
If your company has more stringent reporting requirements, it is probably a good idea to have a bookkeeper visit regularly to keep things in order. Not only will this help to keep your records compliant, it should also enable your accountant to provide valuable business advice during the year - instead of just focusing on compliance.