A full-charge bookkeeper is the same as a bookkeeper, except that the "full charge" part of the title designates the person as being solely responsible for accounting. This means that the full charge bookkeeper reports straight to a senior manager, such as the president, and may interact directly with the company's board of directors and auditors. The position can be assisted by an outside CPA who advises on how to record certain of the more complicated business transactions. The full charge bookkeeper may supervise various accounting clerks. For example, a billing clerk, payables clerk, or payroll clerk may report to the bookkeeper.
The position is most commonly found in smaller organizations where there is no need for a controller, and which has relatively uncomplicated accounting transactions. If the company grows to a larger size, supervision of the accounting function is likely to be shifted to a controller. In this case, the full charge bookkeeper position may be converted into an assistant controller position, with responsibility for some aspects of accounting operations. With additional training, a full charge bookkeeper could be promoted into the controller position.
The core education requirement for a full charge bookkeeper may be as little as a high school education, though an associate's degree in business can yield greater familiarity with the accounting subject matter. Some experience is required, such as in a bookkeeper or junior accountant role, in order to gain knowledge of the recordation and reporting of accounting transactions.
The subject areas over which the full charge bookkeeper has responsibility are as follows:
Record and pay accounts payable
Calculate pay and issue payments to employees
Create financial statements and related financial reports
Account for fixed assets
Collect information as needed for the annual audit
Maintain a coherent system of accounts, with a supporting filing system
Monitor cash levels