If you are using (or looking to use) someone to record your transactions, you are working with a bookkeeper. If you want someone to provide business insights based on your recorded transactions, you are looking for an accountant.
Bookkeepers are the detail-minded, organized support staff that lay the foundation of information for your business. They produce your invoices, record and pay your bills, manage inventory, maintain and balance your journals and ledgers. They will even enter, track and produce your payroll. They do not necessarily have a college degree but they have inquiring minds and enjoy working with numbers. A Bookkeeper is not to be taken lightly!
Accountants are the ones that take the information that a Bookkeeper has painstakingly gathered and produces models and insights of where your business has been, where it is, and where it can go. They will prepare your financial statements, analyze your costs, and help with strategic planning. They usually hold a degree, have inquiring minds and enjoy working with numbers. They may also acquire additional certification such as becoming a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or an Enrolled Agent. Accountants are ever so useful!
While the difference between the two may seem small and interchangeable, each are no less important than the other. Together they create a great team that will help make your business grow.