What is Full Charge Bookkeeper? Job Description & Salary

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Full Charge Bookkeeper definition

A full charge bookkeeper takes center stage in the multifaceted world of financial management. 

But what exactly is it, and why do you need one? 

This unsung hero is not only a keeper of accounts; they’re also an integral part of any business’s financial success. 

In this article, I’ll take you through a closer look at full charge bookkeeping, including:

  • What it involves
  • How you can enter the job, and 
  • Why it is crucial for the vitality of any growing business.

Key Takeaways

  • A full charge bookkeeper manages a business’s financial records and performs certain accounting duties.
  • The average full charge bookkeeper in the United States earns roughly $45,560 annually, or $21.90 per hour.
  • The position can offer a wealth of insight into the business world without a formal qualification.
  • If you’ve never considered hiring a full charge bookkeeper before, know that not only will they save you money, but they can also be a vital asset in helping to maintain and improve your business’s financial health.
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Understanding Full Charge Bookkeeping: Definition & How It Works

Typically, a full charge bookkeeper works independently and is solely responsible for the financial record-keeping needs of a small business or organization. 

Although we’re not exactly sure about the origins of bookkeeping, recent research suggests that we humans have been using various methods of keeping accounts since the earliest days of urban civilization!

The double-entry system we use today was established in 1494 by the Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli, but the history of bookkeeping goes even further back than that. 

Archaeologists have discovered ancient Babylonian ledgers detailing transactions dating as far back as 2000 BCE!

What does a full charge bookkeeper do?

A full charge bookkeeper holds a pivotal role in managing an organization’s financial records and transactions. 

The role entails a variety of responsibilities, from processing account receivables to producing income statements. 

They also help to handle tax obligations and, in some cases, assist in creating budgets, monitor outgoing expenses, and predict future financial trends based on historical data.

Related: What a traditional bookkeeper does

What is the average salary of a full charge bookkeeper?

The pay of a full charge bookkeeper can vary based on the location, experience, and college education. Being a freelancer or in-house full charge bookkeeper also affects your salary!

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a full charge bookkeeper can expect to earn an average of $45,560 annually or $21.90 per hour.

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

Now that you understand what a full charge bookkeeper is, you might be wondering how they might differ from in-house bookkeepers.

For starters, those who work as full charge bookkeepers are not only knowledgeable in accounting principles but also possess a higher level of expertise. 

Beyond that, they also have a comprehensive knowledge of financial reporting standards, financial software, and double-entry accounting!

For businesses that require daily financial maintenance without extensive financial analysis, in-house bookkeepers are better suited as they specialize in single-entry accounting and maintaining specific financial functions. 

I know what you’re thinking: what exactly is double and single-entry accounting? Take a look below:

Record KeepingRecords the changes in assets, liabilities, equity, revenue, and expenses.Tracks generated revenue and any outgoing expenses.
Business InsightCan provide valuable insight into a company’s financial health and well-being.Lacks the ability to provide any meaningful analysis beyond the financial numbers.
Best ForSmall businesses with considerable inventory, liabilities, or assets.Service-based businesses that are run by a single person or a small team, such as freelancers or sole proprietors, and typically have very little in terms of assets, liabilities, or inventory.

Benefits of Using a Full Charge Bookkeeper

Here are a few of the key benefits for using a full charge bookkeeper.

Financial Management

From payroll to tax preparation, full charge bookkeepers take care of all your financial needs – allowing you to focus on running your business

Efficiency and cost savings

An experienced full charge bookkeeper can handle multiple financial tasks, saving time and money that would otherwise be spent on hiring separate professionals

Valuable insight

By leveraging their knowledge of your company’s financial data, they can help you make strategic financial decisions

Avoid tax debts

By hiring a full charge bookkeeper, your company can avoid costly penalties and any unwanted tax debt by keeping your financial affairs in proper order.

How to Become a Full Charge Bookkeeper

Here are the steps you need to take in order to become a full charge bookkeeper.

1. Earn an associate or bachelor’s degree

Whether you’re pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree, you can find programs in accounting and business administration that focus on business law, tax procedures, payroll accounting, and economics

2. Get experience

Employers usually provide on-the-job training for new hires. This training may include learning how to use accounting software and implementing best financial practices. 

In addition to regular duties, employees may also be responsible for company-specific tasks like managing payroll or tracking overdue accounts

3. Obtain AIPB Certification

I recommend also taking the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) exam!

To help you prepare, the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) has a certification program you can enroll in. 

While the certification isn’t a must to enter the job, it can still help you receive better pay and a higher level of professional status.

Final Thoughts

The role of a full charge bookkeeper extends beyond crunching numbers; some argue a proficient bookkeeper is the beating heart of any thriving business! 

These individuals have a keen eye for detail and can take on multiple responsibilities, ranging from keeping track of your financial records to helping you with your tax obligations.

As you may have realized by now, a full charge bookkeeper can be extremely essential for business success.

Full Charge Bookkeeper FAQs

What are the educational or training requirements for becoming a full charge bookkeeper?

It is possible to work as a bookkeeper with only a high school diploma and in-house training. 

However, it’s important to remember that employers often favor job candidates who have completed some college education in the field.

What skills are necessary for becoming a good full charge bookkeeper?

To become a full charge bookkeeper, you need to have an exceptional eye for detail, computer proficiency, and excellent communication and organizational skills.

Can you work at home as a full charge bookkeeper?

Yes, it’s possible to work as a full charge bookkeeper from home! 

Like many other industries, bookkeeping has also seen a rise in remote work arrangements – especially among small- to mid-sized businesses.

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Donny is the founder of SMB Guide. He is a seasoned small business owner and entrepreneur, with over 17+ years of experience growing and building companies. He is a well traveled and multi-faceted individual with several successful six figure business exits.