What is a full charge bookkeeper?

Full charge bookkeepers are professionals who are skilled at completing end-to-end accounting for a small to medium-sized business; this is much more than what a traditional bookkeeper is qualified to do. Can your current bookkeeper handle the end-to-end accounting at your business?

Bookkeeping is typically entrusted to a junior and less experienced member of your business. Think of the standard bookkeeper like your basic car model, no bells and whistles but is functional and inexpensive. A full charge bookkeeper is that same make of car but with the upgraded package that includes heated and power seats, power windows and mirrors, and most importantly, comes with a higher price tag.

What does a full charge bookkeeper do?

Like the car example above, full charge bookkeeping encompasses everything basic bookkeeping does and more. The typical duties of a junior bookkeeper are:

  • Data entry
  • Managing accounts payable and accounts receivable
  • Accounting software experience
  • Managing bank and general ledger reconciliations
  • Cash flow management
  • Process timesheets and records payroll

Full charge bookkeeping includes the above plus:

  • Completing a Month-end close, unassisted
  • Analyze the cost of operations
  • Fixed asset tracking
  • Preparing depreciation schedules
  • Supervising/Managing other clerks and junior bookkeepers
  • Preparing the monthly trial balance and financial statements

Someone who can handle the end-to-end accounting and bookkeeping of small business acts similarly to an accountant or a controller with a 4-year degree. They also assist management in making decisions by interpreting the balance sheet and profit and loss statements. Full charge bookkeepers require less supervision and can generally be expected to handle the majority, if not all the bookkeeping and accounting needs of a small to medium-sized business.

When should you consider hiring full charge bookkeepers?

As small businesses grow, so do the challenges and demands of the current bookkeeping staff. A less experienced bookkeeper and a business owner or a member of management can get a lot done but are you and your less experienced bookkeeper equipped to sustain your company’s financials? You should be planning to hire a full charge bookkeeper if:

  • You are not trained in bookkeeping
  • You have a junior team in need of supervision
  • Management and current staff do not have time
  • Your business revenue is $2M and growing

Consider your overhead costs and current accounting staffing needs before taking the plunge into a full-time hire. Remember the car model example? Someone capable of end-to-end accounting is going to cost a company more than someone less experienced in bookkeeping.

Not sure what’s right for your business? Check out our small business finance and accounting assessment to see if your current team is meeting your needs.

Outsourced bookkeeping or hire full time, which is better?

As a business owner, you will want to leverage talent and strategic hires to foster growth. To hire full time, you will want to source candidates with care. If you have the ability, you can promote from within with a bit of extra training.

Again, it is important to assess your current overhead spend to determine if a full-time hire is needed right now.

Many companies find outsourced bookkeeping solutions, like CFOshare, to be less disruptive to their existing staff. An outsourced hire can fill talent gaps while you decide if promoting within or hiring full-time in the future will continue to foster growth.

At CFOshare, our experience shows that it is more cost effective to employ a junior bookkeeper and outsource an advisory role, like a fractional controller, until after your business clears $6 to $8M in annual revenue.


Great accounting is the foundation for great financial strategy for all sized organizations. CFOshare provides expert accounting and bookkeeping services that are customized to the needs of your business. Contact CFOshare today to discuss your firm’s needs and goals.

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