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What is a Full Charge Bookkeeper and Do You Need One?

Posted by Devika Hastak

May 14, 2024

Full-charge bookkeepers combine the roles of accounts and standard bookkeepers. Explore whether this financial Swiss Army knife is what your business needs.

Keeping track of the books is one of the most tedious yet crucial parts of owning or running a business. After all, if you aren’t keeping an eye on your finances, how will you measure vital information for your business operations, such as profits, costs, and resource availability? Accounting and bookkeeping outsourcing can help strengthen your financial management.

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It is precisely for tasks like these that a full-charge bookkeeper comes to the rescue. Think of this person as your financial Swiss army knife—equipped with the tools to manage everything from bookkeeping services for SMEs to accounting services and everything in between.

You’re probably now wondering what a ‘full-charge’ bookkeeper is and how they differ from a regular bookkeeper. You’re also probably asking yourself whether a full-charge bookkeeper is really what your business needs or whether you can make do with an accountant. This article will answer all these questions and help you decide whether a full-charge bookkeeper is right for your business.

What Does a Full Charge Bookkeeper Do?

As the name suggests, a ‘full charge’ bookkeeper is responsible for all a company’s accounting tasks. This role combines the duties of a bookkeeper and accountant and manages end-to-end outsourced financial services, typically for small- to medium-sized businesses. These financial wizards help maintain a business’s economic health and stability. One of their significant responsibilities includes ensuring compliance with accounting standards and regulations to protect the company from legal suits, which can be a significant financial drain.

Full-charge bookkeepers have more responsibilities than standard bookkeepers and usually report directly to a company’s business owner, CEO, or president. Their duties cover day-to-day bookkeeping as well as full-cycle accounting tasks. Their responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Managing accounts receivable and payable
  • Monitoring cash flows and transactions
  • Reconciling bank accounts, cash and revenue
  • Managing payroll and vendor payments
  • Creating financial statement and reports
  • Curating information for audit processes
  • Maintaining and updating a general ledger
  • Overseeing tax-related processes and payments
  • Providing updates to senior management and stakeholders
  • Supervising junior clerks and bookkeepers

Full Charge Bookkeeper vs. Accountant

Although full charge bookkeepers combine accounting and bookkeeping services for SMEs, they do differ from accountants in some ways. The main difference is that full charge bookkeepers are not expected to work with audit and tax reports or act as financial advisors. For such matters, they would still seek external assistance from experts in SME and consumer goods accounting services such as controllers or certified public accountants.

Full Charge Bookkeeper vs. In-House Bookkeeper

In-house bookkeepers are usually internal employees within an organization’s accounting team, while full charge bookkeepers fall under accounting and bookkeeping outsourcing services. In-house bookkeepers don’t have the managerial responsibilities that a full charge bookkeeper would be appointed. While full charge bookkeepers work closely with a company’s senior management and board of directors, often managing a wider team, in-house bookkeepers would work as part of an accounting team and report to a manager.

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The biggest difference between in-house bookkeepers and full charge bookkeepers is the extent of their duties. In-house bookkeepers must be proficient in data entry, math, accounting, and bookkeeping software. They primarily handle basic bookkeeping tasks such as tracking transactions, creating financial statements, and recording cash receipts. Full charge bookkeepers take this to the next level and can be expected to manage most, if not all, tasks that would fall under the remit of an accounting team.

Do You Need a Full Charge Bookkeeper?

The decision to hire a full-charge bookkeeper depends on several factors, including the size of your business, its current accounting and bookkeeping requirements, and its current growth trajectory. 

Full charge bookkeeping is the ideal solution for small to medium-sized businesses that want to ensure stable financial management as they continue to grow. If your business revenue is gradually increasing, you might consider hiring a full charge bookkeeper to manage your finances well and handle the complexities that come with business growth. 

Bookkeeping is among the top 5 accounting services that can be outsourced, because it offers greater convenience and expertise for your financial practices. Suppose your team doesn’t have the appropriate training or time resources to accomplish all your financial management tasks. In that case, it can lead to errors or incomplete processes. Since a full charge bookkeeper has the training and skills to carry out comprehensive accounting and bookkeeping services, they can ensure that your financial management tasks are being conducted with the utmost precision and efficiency. If your accounting team is stretched too thin, a full charge bookkeeper can also relieve them of time constraints so they can focus on other core tasks. 

Outsourced financial services such as full charge bookkeeping, offer a variety of other benefits to your business as well. These benefits include cost savings, enhanced efficiency, access to specialized talent, risk mitigation, and the increased ability to focus on value-creating activities.

The Final Word

If you seek an SME and consumer goods accounting services expert who can efficiently manage all your accounting and bookkeeping tasks, consider hiring a full charge bookkeeper. These one-stop financial all-rounders combine the roles of accountants and bookkeepers to provide holistic financial management services. Outsourcing your financial management to a full charge bookkeeper will free up resources, increase efficiency and quality control, and ensure greater financial stability as your business continues to grow.

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Want to know more about how to enhance your financial management practices? In addition to HR, benefits, recruiting and payroll through its PeopleOps, Escalon’s Essential Business Services include FinOps (CFO services, taxes, bookkeeping and accounting) and Risk (business insurance). Talk to an expert today.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. Escalon and its affiliates are not providing tax, legal or accounting advice in this article. If you would like to engage with Escalon, please contact us here.


Devika Hastak
Devika Hastak

Devika Hastak is a dynamic content writer who is passionate about using the power of the written word to promote knowledge sharing and drive business success. She is adept at crafting compelling content tailored to client objectives and successfully executing SEO strategies that significantly impact brand awareness and lead generation. When she’s not wielding her digital pen, you can find her conducting culinary experiments in the kitchen or enjoying a good laugh with her family and friends.

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