What is Full Charge Bookkeeping?

What is full charge bookkeeping ( www.betterteam.com )

A full charge bookkeeper is accountable for all the accounting tasks in a small or medium-sized company. If you have a passion for finance and enjoy performing bookkeeping tasks, you might want to contemplate pursuing this career path. Being a full charge bookkeeper comes with added responsibility compared to regular bookkeeping, and you can evaluate whether this job aligns with your professional interests and requirements. This article explores the role of a full charge bookkeeper, their responsibilities, and how it differs from in-house bookkeeping.

What does full charge bookkeeping entail?

Full charge bookkeeping involves performing accounting and bookkeeping functions for a company, usually a small or medium-sized enterprise. The term "full charge" implies that these bookkeepers oversee all of the company's accounting requirements. In addition to the standard duties of maintaining the company's ledger, they also prepare financial statements and tax returns, record complex transactions, and process timesheets and payroll. In larger organizations, accountants or controllers may handle some of these tasks.

Therefore, full-time bookkeepers have greater responsibilities and often report directly to upper management, such as the business owner or president. They may also collaborate with external experts, such as certified public accountants (CPAs), and supervise a team of accounting clerks.

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What are the duties of a full charge bookkeeper?

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A full charge bookkeeper employed by a small or mid-sized organization assumes the responsibilities of both a standard bookkeeper and an accountant or controller. Some of the typical tasks associated with this position include:

- Managing accounts payable and accounts receivable

- Reconciling cash, bank accounts, and revenues

- Maintaining an accurate general ledger and making adjustments as necessary

- Creating journal entries for all accounts, including fixed assets

- Monitoring the company's cash flow

- Generating invoices and collecting payments from customers

- Preparing tax returns, monthly and quarterly financial statements

- Submitting payroll, income, sales, and use taxes

- Processing employees' timesheets and administering payroll

- Supervising accounting staff, such as payroll clerks, billing clerks, or accounts payable clerks

- Collecting information for audit purposes

What is the typical salary for a full charge bookkeeper?

The average national salary for a full charge bookkeeper is $20.57 per hour, with salaries ranging from $15.04 to $30.27 per hour. The salary of a full charge bookkeeper can vary based on their level of experience, location, and employer. Freelance full charge bookkeepers can set their fees based on industry standards and the scope of the services they provide.

Full Charge Bookkeeper vs. In-House Bookkeeper: What's the Difference?

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While full charge bookkeepers and in-house bookkeepers share some similarities in their roles, they also have significant differences. The following categories illustrate some examples of how these two professions compare:

- Definition: An in-house bookkeeper is an internal employee who performs bookkeeping tasks for an organization rather than an outsourced hire. As regular bookkeepers, they carry out basic bookkeeping tasks. They usually do not have managerial responsibilities and may work within an organization's accounting team.

A full charge bookkeeper assumes full responsibility for their organization's accounting duties. This title represents a more advanced position than a regular in-house bookkeeper due to its additional responsibilities. Businesses may employ full charge bookkeepers as full-time staff members or outsource them. In some cases, a business may provide training resources to its existing in-house bookkeepers to enable them to take on full charge bookkeeping duties.

- Responsibilities: A regular in-house bookkeeper is responsible for recording an organization's incoming and outgoing financial transactions. Their typical duties may include creating financial reports, processing payroll, and managing customer or client invoices. A full charge bookkeeper also performs these duties, along with tasks typically carried out by accountants or controllers for larger organizations. For instance, they can prepare and analyze financial statements to generate reports. They may also have more managerial duties, such as supervising a team of staff members or working directly with upper management or a company's board of directors.

- Requirement: To become a regular bookkeeper, the minimum requirement is a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may hire individuals with no prior bookkeeping experience and provide on-the-job training to help them understand the responsibilities of the role. This training could involve learning about the business's preferred bookkeeping practices and procedures, as well as how to use specific bookkeeping software.

For the position of full charge bookkeeper, some employers may prefer candidates who have at least an associate's or bachelor's degree in a relevant field. This is because full charge bookkeepers have a higher level of responsibility, and employers appreciate candidates who have more years of experience or in-depth knowledge of finance and accounting. Bookkeepers in both regular and full charge roles can also obtain certification to demonstrate their professional knowledge and skills.

- Salaries: As previously stated, the average hourly salary for a full charge bookkeeper is $20.57 across the nation. On the other hand, the national average salary for a bookkeeper is slightly lower at $18.30 per hour. However, the salaries for both full charge bookkeepers and regular bookkeepers can vary depending on factors such as the bookkeeper's level of experience, location, and place of employment. In certain locations or organizations, regular bookkeepers may earn a salary that is comparable to that of a full charge bookkeeper.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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For those interested in pursuing a career as a full charge bookkeeper, here are some commonly asked questions about this profession:

- What are the educational or training requirements to become a full charge bookkeeper?

While a high school diploma is the minimum educational requirement for full charge bookkeepers, you typically need additional bookkeeping training and certification. Many employers prefer candidates who have an associate's or bachelor's degree in a relevant field, such as accounting or business administration. These degree programs offer coursework that teaches you skills related to tax, auditing, and accounting procedures, as well as knowledge about economics, business law, and business math. Employers also often provide on-the-job training to new employees to teach them about specific software or practices used by the organization.

To practice professionally as a full charge bookkeeper, you must obtain certification from a recognized organization, such as the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers or the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers. You may also obtain certifications from educational or career institutions. The requirements vary but typically include prior professional experience in the field and passing an exam. Obtaining certification demonstrates to employers that you understand and follow industry standards.

- What skills are necessary for full charge bookkeepers?

To succeed as a full charge bookkeeper, you must possess a combination of hard and soft skills. These skills enable you to perform typical accounting and financial duties associated with the role and collaborate effectively with colleagues. Essential skills for full charge bookkeepers include:

• Accounting and Financial Knowledge : Full charge bookkeepers are responsible for managing all of the accounting tasks of an organization, which requires knowledge of relevant accounting and regulatory standards. This includes understanding concepts such as generally accepted accounting principles and International Financial Reporting Standards in order to maintain consistency when preparing financial statements. It is also important to be familiar with the applicable financial regulations that the organization must adhere to, as this helps to ensure accurate performance of the job while keeping the best interests of the business in mind.

• Computer proficiency: Full charge bookkeepers rely heavily on computer technology in their daily work, using spreadsheets and specialized accounting software to manage various tasks. These skills may be acquired through education and certification training or through hands-on experience in the field. While different companies may use different software, having a strong proficiency in this area demonstrates your ability to adapt and learn new programs as needed. In addition to showcasing your abilities, computer proficiency can also make your job more efficient and effective by automating certain repetitive tasks.

• Communication skills: Effective communication skills are essential for full charge bookkeepers, as they need to interact with a range of stakeholders. As a full charge bookkeeper, you must be able to communicate information clearly and effectively, both verbally and in written formats such as financial reports. Strong communication skills enable you to convey complex financial information in a confident, concise, and easy-to-understand manner. It is also important to be able to adjust your communication style to meet the needs of individuals with varying levels of financial knowledge or understanding who you may encounter in your work.

• Organizational skills: Full charge bookkeepers are responsible for managing a large amount of financial information, and therefore require strong organizational skills. These skills are critical in order to efficiently use your time and resources. Prioritizing tasks, managing deadlines, and creating effective filing systems for financial data and reports are all examples of how organizational skills can be applied. By organizing your time and tasks, you can also improve your focus and minimize distractions. This allows you to accomplish your objectives efficiently and effectively.

• Attention to detail: Attention to detail is a crucial skill when performing accounting activities. This ability allows you to carefully review ledgers and other sources of financial information to identify any inconsistencies or errors. Maintaining accuracy in your ledgers and financial reporting is a top priority in this role, and having a strong attention to detail helps to achieve this goal. Error-free reporting can also minimize the risk of audits or investigations by regulatory agencies, making this skill essential for full charge bookkeepers.

- What is the work environment like for full charge bookkeepers?

Full charge bookkeepers who are employed by organizations typically work in office settings, although some employers may offer work-from-home positions. Freelance full charge bookkeepers also have the option to work remotely. A typical work schedule for full charge bookkeepers is 40 hours per week, although longer hours may be required during busy periods such as tax time or the end of the fiscal year in order to meet deadlines.

Source: https://www.indeed.com

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