Bookkeeping is the tiresome part of the financial activities of a business. It involves the methodical recording of the amounts, dates and bases of each revenue and expense transaction. Bookkeeping is concerned with the structures that enable the financial information to be extracted in the transactions that produce revenue and acquire expense in the business.
Ultimately, bookkeeping is more focused on data entry and the ongoing maintenance of detailed business records. Bookkeepers are ultimately responsible for the reliability of the data that is used by accountants.
Accounting is the larger picture. It is the structure that keeps track of the documents, including people, and records the transaction’s history, as well as taking the information that is acquired through the bookkeeping procedure and using that information to examine the results of the business. Accounting is the structure that provides the reports and information for management to help make decisions as to the path of the business, as well as issues such as taxation, cash flow projection, human resources need etc.
Accounting is much broader than bookkeeping, with the primary task of an accountant is to prepare reports based on the information gathered by the bookkeeping process. Accountants are also responsible for preparing all of the various tax returns documentation for individuals and businesses (e.g. payroll tax returns, income tax returns, personal property returns, etc.). Less mechanical and more subjective, accounting involves setting up a bookkeeping system, monitoring it and interpreting the results.