8 Top Differences between Bookkeeping and Accounting


Last Updated on August 13, 2021 by Sravan Kumar

Book Keeping and Accounting: In Accounting, most people use the terms of both bookkeeping and accounting interchangeably. But there are some differences you should observe between the two.
This article “8 Top Differences
between bookkeeping and accounting” will clarify you the distinction between Book keeping and Accounting.

So let’s read till the end of this article to gain complete knowledge about Bookkeeping Vs Accounting. Firstly, one should understand the concept of Bookkeeping.

Bookkeeping and Accounting:

Book Keeping

Book Keeping:

Book Keeping is an

  • “Art of recording
  • business transactions
  • in a Set of books

 Book Keeping also a          

  • A set of Primary records.
  • It is a routine & repetitive work,
  • Continuous activity
  • and also a Basis for accounting.

That means, all the business transactions shall be recorded firstly through Bookkeeping only like Purchase transactions, Sales transactions, Cash expenses, etc.
For that, a person will be held responsible to record these transactions in the books of accounts. Such a person will be called as “Bookkeeper”.

A bookkeeper is responsible for keeping all records of a business or only a limited segment such as maintaining the creditor’s position of the departmental store.
The bookkeeping work is done manually by maintaining a proper set of books till computerization. But nowadays, it is taken over by the computers using accounting software.

I hope It is clear that what is book keeping.

Then, let me clarify, which transactions to recorded in the books of accounts?
A 35-year-old Husband bought jewelry of Rs.50,000 for his wife Geetha..?
A Father paid Tuition fees of Rs.10,000 to his son…?
Shall I record these transactions in the books of accounts?
Wait wait…!!

As per the Accounting norms,

  • Only business transactions expressed in terms of money & also
  • Transactions having Transfer of economic value from one person to another.
    Those transactions only recorded in the books of accounts.

The above 2 transactions are even though made in terms of money but they are of personal nature. While recording the transactions in the books of accounts, only business transactions are to be recorded. Read the below example to better understand this topic of bookkeeping and accounting.

Examples of Book Keeping:

  1. Mrs.Lakshmi purchased goods of Rs.10,000 for business from Mr. Chinna and paid in cash.

1st Impact Here, the goods are purchased is a business transaction and it is to be recorded in a Purchase day Book as the goods are purchased and

2nd Impact: Mrs.Lakshmi paid the amount in Cash of Rs.10,000 which is to be recorded in the Cashbook.
The above transaction is in terms of money and it is a business transaction that includes the transfer of economic value (either Money or Money’ worth) from one person to another person.

What kind of benefits we can get if we maintain proper bookkeeping? Is bookkeeping is required?

The main idea behind maintaining book-keeping is

  • To show correct position regarding each head of Income & Expenditure.

For example, A departmental store in Visakhapatnam may purchase goods on credit as well as in cash. When the goods are bought from the supplier Mr. Suryam on credit, a record must be maintained with regard to the person to whom money is owed. That means we shall maintain Mr. Suryam’s record (Which is a Creditors a/c) in the books of a department store.

The Proprietor of the business Mr. Reddy may like to Know, from time to time, What amount is due on credit purchases & to Whom (like Mr.Suryam a/c & other creditors).

If the Proper record is not maintained by the departmental store, it is not possible to get details of the transactions with regard to expenses.

At the end of the accounting period, Mr. Reddy, the proprietor wants to know how much profit has earned or loss been incurred during the course of the period i.e., either for a month, quarter or year.

To know all these, a lot of information is needed which can be gathered from the proper record of transactions.

Therefore, in book-keeping, for proper maintenance of books of a/c’s is important & crucial for any business.

Is there any Legal implication in bookkeeping?

 Case 1: In case of
                          – Sole proprietorship &
                          – Partnership business

  • No Specific legislation regarding maintenance of books of a/c’s & preparation of Financial Statements.

Case 2: In the case of Company

Maintenance of Book-Keeping & preparation of Financial Statements is guided by

  • Companies Act,
  • Banks & Insurance Companies etc.,

I hope you understand about bookkeeping. So now look at the Accounting.

Financial Accounting:

Accounting is a wider Subject than bookkeeping. From the transactions recorded in Book-Keeping, we can able to analyze & interpret the information.

Let’s understand about the Financial Accounting

Financial Accounting is an

  • Art of Recording,
  • Classifying and
  • Summarizing the business transactions
  • In a significant manner and
  • In terms of money
  • the transactions and events
  • Which are in part
  • At least of the financial character &
  • Interpreting the results there of.

What did you understand from the above..!! 
For me, I didn’t understand anything from the above definition.
Yes, You are correct.
So let me brief you, my dear learners..!!

Also Read: Top 10 Objectives of Financial Accounting

Identifying & Recording:

The first step in the process of accounting is

  • to identify the transactions which will find the place in the books of accounts &
  • the transactions having financial impact only to be recorded.

Not all transactions will find a place in the books of accounts. Only business transactions and the transactions which are dealing with money or money’s worth will be recorded.

  1. If Mr. Rahul agrees to sell goods to Mr.X for Rs.1,00,000, It is just an agreement. So it will not be recorded. It is not a transaction.
    Reason: It is just an agreement between Mr.Rahul & Mr.X to sell the goods. There is no transfer of goods from Mr.Rahul and Mr.X has not paid any money on this transaction.
  2. When Ms.deepa enter into an agreement for supply of good for consideration of Rs.2 Crores and supplied to the customer Ms.Revati.

    Reason: It is a business transaction and having the financial impact. So, it is a transaction

The recording is one of the primary functions of accounting. As all the business transactions which are of financial character should be supported by the basic documents or source documents like

  • Purchase Invoice or bill
  • Sale bill or invoice
  • Bank statement
  • Electricity bill etc.,

These transactions shall be recorded in the books of accounts in a book called a “Journal


After the recording of transactions & events, these shall be transferred to subsidiary books i.e., a “Ledger“.

In the ledger, transactions & events are classified  into

  • Income
  • Expenditure
  • Assets 
  • Liabilities

Also Read: Failed in CA.. Don’t Worry


It includes preparation of 

  1. Trial Balance [TB]
  2. Profit and Loss account [PL]
  3. Balance sheet [BS]
  4. Cash flow statement [CFS]
  5. Notes to account


It is the final function of accounting. In this, the data which has been recorded through Journals, ledgers, etc will be interpreted.


If a businessman wants to know total sales during the year (or)
To know whether sales are increased or decreased as compared to previous year etc.,

Now check the Top 8 differences between bookkeeping and accounting

BOOK KEEPING AND ACCOUNTING : 8 Top Differences between Book Keeping & Financial Accounting are as follows:

bookkeeping and accounting



Book Keeping

Financial Accounting



Bookkeeping is a process of Identifying and recording financial transactions.

Financial accounting is the process of classifying, Summarizing, and interpretation of financial transactions.



It is a recording Phase.

It is an accounting Phase that includes summarizing.


Financial Statements

It doesn’t form part of it.

Financial Statements are prepared on the basis of book-keeping records.


Management decision

Management decisions can’t be taken with the help of records maintained in Book Keeping.

Management decisions can take decisions on the basis of these records.


Financial position

One can’t ascertain the financial position of the business using Book Keeping.

Financial Position can be ascertained using accounting reports.


Sub fields

There are no sub-fields in book-keeping.

It has sub-fields like

–       Financial accounting

–       Cost accounting

–       Management accounting etc.,



Bookkeeper does not require special skills to maintain records.

Accounting requires special skills to prepare, maintain and finalize the books of accounts.



Bookkeeping does not have an interpretation part.

Accounting has an interpretation part.

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[…] Therefore, these transactions shall be accounted and classified based on rules of accounting which can also be called “Golden rules of Accounting.” […]

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