All CPAs are accountants but all accountants are not CPAs. In many states, anyone can call himself/herself "accountant." In order to become a CPA, almost all states require that an individual meet educational, experience and ethical requirements and pass the Uniform CPA Examination. Only then are individuals granted licenses to practice by State Boards of Accountancy. Also, only CPAs can perform the Securities and Exchange Commision’s mandatory audits of all publicly traded U.S. companies.
Bookkeepers specialize in the entry and maintenance of the financial statements, balance sheets, income statements and other accounts of a business. Read more about bookkeeping at a professional association web site, or read the Bookkeeping entry in the Gale’s Encyclopedia of Business.