Small business owners play a balancing game with payroll costs. Since it is the largest expense for most companies, employers need to think strategically about work roles. Full charge bookkeeping is a skillset that drives a variety of financial responsibilities. We explain why this is a viable option for businesses just starting out, or looking to expand the accounting department.
In this article:
- What is full charge bookkeeping?
- What is a full charge bookkeeper?
- What does a full-charge bookkeeper do?
- What is the annual salary of a full charge bookkeeper?
What Is Full Charge Bookkeeping?
This style of bookkeeping is most often found in small to midsize companies. Full charge bookkeeping handles all of the accounting needs of a company. Unlike standard bookkeeping which is limited to maintaining the books and basic data entry. Going full-charge means all bookkeeping, AR/AP, data systems, tax, and financial statements are prepared by one person.
What Is A Full Charge Bookkeeper?
It is not an entry-level position. Most companies prefer full charge bookkeepers with a combination of education, experience in the field, and advanced accounting software training. Since full-charge bookkeepers act as accountant-controllers, they handle the full cycle of accounting duties or supervise clerks in basic processing tasks.
What can a full charge bookkeeper do?
- Accounts Payable: Record and pay vendor bills
- Accounts Receivable: Issue customer invoices and collect customer payments
- Maintain a system of accounts, with a supporting filing system
- Payroll: Manage employee records and timesheets, administer pay and benefits
- Prepare monthly and quarterly tax returns for reviewal
- Prepare financial reports and statements for reviewal
- Remit payroll taxes, sales taxes, use taxes, and income taxes
- Accounting for fixed assets and depreciation
- Reconcile bank accounts and petty cash accounts
- Prepare information for internal audits
- Management of banking and cash-on-hand
Month-End Closing Procedure
A full charge bookkeeper manages the ins and outs of the general ledger. Complex journal entries are coded and entered for all accounts. They perform a month-end closing, running a trial balance to verify that the general ledger isn’t off. Like an accountant, a full-charge bookkeeper will analyze the trial balance and make any necessary adjusting journal entries to correct errors.
Financial Statement And Tax Prep By A Full-Charge Bookkeeper
Financial statements and tax preparation are a major responsibility for a full-charge bookkeeper. The balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement are typically prepared in conjunction with the month-end closing. Since they are managing the accounting department, the numbers are easily translated to taxes. Estimated quarterly taxes are filed and paid, and annual returns are prepared for the company.
Full Charge Bookkeeping Management
In a smaller company, the full charge bookkeeper might work alone. As the company grows this role evolves into an accounting management role. They often supervise administrative assistants, AR/AP clerks, and or bookkeeping clerks. With more experience in the field, they could be promoted into a controller position. Note: All the work they perform ALWAYS needs to be approved by a CPA or the owners of the business.
What Is A Full Charge Bookkeeper’s Salary?
The meaning of “full-charge” is twofold. The full charge bookkeeper is literally in charge of the accounting department offering a direct line to money matters for the C-suite. Additionally, they charge the highest salary compared to regular bookkeepers. If they work as an independent contractor they usually earn more for their services.
- U.S. Salary Range: $35,000-$55,000
- Hourly Contract: $20-$25
The Windup: Full-charge Bookkeeping
At Let’s Ledger, we know that small businesses need to preserve funds anywhere they can. The best financial decision you can make for your company when starting out is to hire a full charge bookkeeper. They will wear multiple hats, especially if your business doesn’t have a demanding accounting department. Even more, you will cull loyalty to your venture by offering expansion into a controller position.