Bookkeepers deal in taxes, cash flow, which include cash receipts and cash disbursements, sales, purchases and different business transactions of the company. Bookkeepers first record all the appropriate figures – in the books of original entry, or Journals. At the end of a period, usually a month, the totals of each book of original entry are posted into the proper page of the Ledger. The Ledger shows all the expenditures and all the earnings of the company. On the basis of all the totals of each account in the Ledger, the bookkeeper prepares a Trial Balance. Trial Balances are usually drawn up every quarter.
The accountant’s responsibility is to analyse and interpret the data in the Ledger and the Trial Balance.
The accountant is to determine the ways in which the business may grow in the future. No expansion or reorganization is planned without the help of the accountant. New products and advertising campaigns are also prepared with the help of the accountant. The work of accountants is rather sophisticated.
Many accountants have special certificates after they pass examinations in Institutes of Accountants. Certified accountants in England are called chartered accountants. In the USA the certified accountants are called certified public accountants. But it is not necessary to have a certificate to practice accounting. Junior employees in large companies, for example, often practice accounting and then take the examination.
The chief accounting officer of a large company is the Controller or Comptroller. Controllers are responsible for measuring the company’s performance. They interpret the results of the operations, plan and recommend future action. This position is very close to the top executives of the company.