Accountants vs Advisors: Which One Should You Choose?


“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the main event. In this corner, weighing in at 225 pounds and been an official profession since 1897, THE ACCOUNTANT.  In this corner, we have THE ADVISOR; while newer in the industry, the advisor weighs in at 207 pounds and brings a powerful left hook into the ring. Let’s get ready to Rumble!!!” Both come to the ring with effective strategies but before we pick a crowd favorite, let’s do some research, ask some questions, and figure out which one you should cheer for.

The Accountant

The accountant focuses more on today and highlights what has happened in the past. They focus on specific, exact details of the day-to-day operations of a company and the financial accuracy of the daily grind, including the company’s taxes. One way to describe what an accountant does is to illustrate the current reality of their client’s finances (whether a company or an individual) and perform the duties of auditing and taxes.  A career in accounting is excellent for those who find joy and excel at examining raw data, auditing, and reviewing financial statements.

Education Requirements

To be a certified accountant, one must earn a Bachelor of Accounting or higher and pass the CPA certification test. According to USNews, in 2020, the average accountant salary in the US was $73,560.00.

The Advisor

Advisors are more forward-thinking. They predict future trends and the direction of their client. They review financial decisions based on market trends, client’s objectives, and possible investment options. Advisors study the different economic trends that may affect their clients and any market movements to forecast future financial situations.

Education Requirements

A degree in Finance is the most beneficial for an aspiring Advisor. A degree in economics or math is also acceptable. Often advisors also have their MBA. Advisors may make more money on average than accountants due to how they bill their clients.

Deciding for Your Situation

While they are similar and obviously in the same industry, key differences can help you decide which is a better fit for you and your situation. The best question is which is a better fit for you and your situation. Accountant or Advisor, or maybe a perfect combination of the two.

To answer this question, we need to ask a few additional questions.

  • What are your business and financial goals?
  • What do you want them to accomplish?
  • How involved do you want them to be in your business?
  • Are your needs day-to-day or future forward?


Final Thoughts

The significant difference boils down to someone either gathering data to make recommendations or collecting data to ensure accuracy.

Before putting your money on either fighter, take your time deciding between The Accountant or the Advisor path. Both are excellent but have very different strengths.  Based on the answers to the questions you ask yourself, you will discover which is best for you. Maybe it comes down to a combination of both accountant and advisor.

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