Frequently Asked Questions

Accountants, Bookkeepers and Tax Accountants aren’t one-size-fits-all.  Some common questions we are asked frequently include:

  • What is the difference between accounting and bookkeeping?​

    • Both roles are important to the financial health of an organization. My colleague, Ingrid Edstrom said it best. "The dictionary definition of a bookkeeper is antiquated.  Bookkeeping is different now with programs like QuickBooks which records accounting transactions and reconcile bank statements.  Bookkeeping by accountants has taken on a new definition and the distinction is in both training and expertise. An accountant is responsible for understanding the data, classifying operating costs, analyzing the financial health of an organization, and reporting numbers accurately.  Moreover, while an accountant has a solid understanding of bookkeeping processes, the modern-day accountant is tech-savvy, business-minded, and they have people skills.  Today’s accountants should be masterful at navigating accounting technology and accounting programs.  They are skilled problem solvers who are able to identify issues – from something as minor as a lost receipt to something significant such as fraud and embezzlement.  Accountants are able to help business owners identify their major profit centers within their company so that focal points can be identified and efforts for increased profitability can be streamlined.  Bookkeeping certainly has its place in the business world, but thanks to technology, it’s a largely automated function.  Businesses are dependent upon the expertise of an experienced accountant as a way to control costs, increase profits, and manage their financial health and well-being."

  • What is a controller? 

    • A controller is a person who is responsible for all accounting-related activities within an organization.  Basically they are the head of the accounting department, and it’s the type of role I primarily offer to my clients. Many of my nonprofit and for-profit clients don't have anyone internally providing accounting and tax help. This is where I step in as I can be the accounting and tax department for you. 

  • Why do I need an accountant?

    • The world of accounting can be complicated, especially as businesses and organizations grow.  Having expertise in place to ensure that funds are fully accounted for is a tremendous asset (pun intended).  Hiring an accountant can save you time and money, especially since you can be freed up to focus on your strengths rather than spending hours praying you don’t mess up your financial records. 

  • How do I know if I can afford an accountant?

    • Hiring an accountant will free you up to focus on other areas of your business, including securing new business!  It’s an investment to free yourself up to do what you do best!  After all, if you loved doing accounting, your entrepreneurial drive would have sent you down my career path instead of the one you chose!  Blackburn Consulting offers many levels of service. We customize our engagements to fit the client. The bigger question you need to ask yourself – Can you really afford to NOT hire an accountant?

  • What do I do if I have to pay taxes?

    • Congratulations!  If you have to pay taxes, it means you made money!  That’s a great thing!  Don’t worry though – I work with my clients, so they’re prepared at tax time.  When you’re prepared, it’s a lot less scary at tax time! We will work with you to make sure you are legally taking the deductions allowed for you or your business. Tax preparation and tax returns can be complicated. We seek to make it easier for you. 

I really don’t want you to see my books because they are a mess. You don’t see much this bad, right?

  • Congrats for taking the first step, asking for help! You should never feel shame or guilt about your books, your money or your business. You won’t get that treatment with me. I need to see what exists so I can make a plan to improve it. It also helps me to know how to best work with you. This is a judgement free zone!  We work with clients from those that bring in a pile of receipts to those that have things in a somewhat organized manner. We are here to educate you in accounting, bookkeeping and tax not judge you.