What Is a Full Charge Bookkeeper

A full charge bookkeeper will play a different role in a small business than a regular bookkeeper. Their job is more complex and comes with greater responsibility. The full charge bookkeeper will handle all the account needs of a company, including preparing financial statements. Full charge bookkeepers are found in small-to-midsize companies that are not yet large enough to require a controller or accountant of their own. Full charge bookkeepers report to the management or owner of the business or the uppermost level of management. They also work together with outside CPA firms to prepare the financial statements and tax returns for a business when the time comes.

Education and Experience

Being a full charge bookkeeper requires a minimum education level of at least a high school diploma. A full charge bookkeeper will require further education and certification to seek gainful employment. Employers will usually require that their full charge bookkeeper has at the very least an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a field related to their work such as business or accounting. There are some certifications available to full charge bookkeepers, including the Certified Bookkeeper designation offered by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers(aipb). This kind of certification is often sufficient for an employer. Obviously having a degree or certification in the field, will boost one’s chances of being employed. Many companies will prefer their full charge bookkeepers to have experience in the field as well as their advanced education. This is not an entry-level position. Jobseekers can gain an edge by having experience with advanced accounting software and by being trained in the latest software developments.


A full charge bookkeeper handles all accounting responsibilities, or they will supervise other people as they handle basic tasks like managing accounts payable. It is up to them to code and enters vendor and expenses invoices, bill customers, run checks, and formulate bank deposits. They must ensure that the right general ledger account is being debited and credited accordingly. They will also process workers timesheets, run payroll, and manage monthly and quarterly tax return. Full charge bookkeepers handle all of the banking needs of the company, including monitoring cash flow and reconciling monthly bank statements. They do it all, and it takes a strong work ethic to be a full charge bookkeeper.

General Ledger

A full charge bookkeeper has a much deeper relationship with financial statements than a regular bookkeeper. They prepare and enter journal entries for accounts including depreciation and fixed assets. They will run a trial balance at the end of every month to verify the general ledger accounts are balanced properly. A full charge bookkeeper will analyze this trial balance and make the necessary changes to journal entries to fix any discrepancies. The finished trial balance is approved by the owners or managers of the company, or an outside CPA firm before the bookkeeper finally closes the books for the month. Everything has to be perfect.

Financial Statements

A full charge bookkeeper will typically prepare income statements, balance sheets, and other financial statements at the end of each month. These are performed after the books have been closed and they will be submitted to a CPA to verify their accuracy. The statements are then submitted to the owners or management of the company, who will appraise them to determine the financial health of a company. It’s important that these documents be accurate so that they paint an accurate picture of how a company is doing financially. Bookkeepers can also run cash-flow statements and statement of an owner’s equity according to the needs and structure of their company. Owners and management might request that the full charge bookkeeper provide them with periodic reports, including sales reports and job-cost reports. All in all a lot is expected of a full charge bookkeeper, and their work is never done.


A full charge bookkeeper may work alone in a small company. They will process all of the basic bookkeeping and financial reporting by themselves. With larger business, however, they will be assisted by administrative assistants and bookkeeping clerks who help them manage basic tasks. This frees them up to handle more complicated things. These assistants may help with data entry on accounts payable invoices and with preparing bank deposits. These employees are supervised by the full charge bookkeeper, who helps to organize their workflow and verify the accuracy of their work. A full charge bookkeeper in a small business is going to end up performing a wide range of tasks as they work or supervise in purchasing, inventory, human resources, and more.