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Is Hiring a Full-Charge Bookkeeper Right for Your Business?

Posted on 20/02/2024

We understand that bookkeeping can be a chore at times. For one thing, it conjures up images of spreadsheets, receipts, and ledgers. It’s enough to cause any person’s eyes to glaze over. Managing your company’s financial records, on the other hand, does not have to be a chore. If your small or medium-sized firm is in its awkward adolescence, where in-house bookkeepers appear inadequate and employing a controller seems excessive, a full-charge bookkeeper may be the right fit for you.

If you believe that hiring someone who can wear the hat of a bookkeeper while also performing additional, more difficult accounting chores is what your company requires, continue reading to see if a full-charge bookkeeper is the correct option for you.

What exactly is bookkeeping?

Simply explained, bookkeeping, which is a subset of accounting, is the process of keeping track of a company’s financial activities. It entails recording the inflow and outflow of money within a company, including customer and vendor payments. While tangible books were once utilized to keep these records, we’ve come a long way; the procedure may now be done largely digitally.

Bookkeepers are thus responsible for precisely tracking and recording a company’s financial transactions so that they can be easily reviewed. Their role is critical to the seamless operation of a successful firm.

What is a full-charge bookkeeper?

A full-charge bookkeeper might be thought of as a Bookkeeper 2.0. Why? As the title implies, “full-charge” denotes that this person is completely responsible for a company’s daily bookkeeping activities as well as other full-cycle accounting duties.

A bookkeeper performs the following tasks:

  • Keep records and perform data entry
  • Manage accounts payable and receivable
  • Uses accounting software and demonstrates skill in its application
  • Take care of bank and general ledger reconciliations
  • Manage cash flow to achieve efficient financial operations
  • Process timesheets and record precise payroll

A full-charge bookkeeper also does the following tasks:

  • Managing full-cycle accounting responsibilities
  • Complex transaction recording
  • As needed, prepare financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement) and reports
  • Managing other accounting personnel, such as clerks and junior bookkeepers
  • Tax return preparation
  • Payroll taxes, sales taxes, usage taxes, and income taxes must all be remitted
  • Creating schedules for depreciation
  • Keeping track of fixed assets to ensure proper documentation and reporting

As a result, their job and the insights they provide extend beyond the typical obligations of bookkeepers and may become critical for firms seeking to expand and remain competitive in the market.

As a result, full-time bookkeepers are held to a higher standard of accountability and often report directly to upper management. In larger organizations, controllers or accountants may carry out some of these tasks.

Let’s look more closely at the job of a full-charge bookkeeper.

Should You Hire an Outsourced Full-Charge Bookkeeper?

It truly depends on where your firm is, how big it is, what its existing accounting/bookkeeping needs are, and a few other factors. The full-charge bookkeeping function will not meet every company’s needs.

If your company is small or medium-sized, you may discover that the employment of a full-charge bookkeeper fills a gap in your accounting function. There is, however, no one-size-fits-all solution to making this decision.

For example, if your company is in its early stages, you may decide to do your bookkeeping, hire in-house bookkeepers, or outsourced bookkeeping services until your operations reach a specific level. When your company grows or its operations reach a certain point, you may want to consider hiring full-time controllers, or CPAs.

However, it is critical to understand whether the function of a full-charge bookkeeper may be appropriate for you.

As your company expands, the challenges and demands on your present bookkeeping personnel may rise as well. While you may get by with a less experienced “standard” bookkeeper and your or a management member’s involvement, you should ask yourself an important question: Is your existing setup suitably equipped to efficiently sustain your company’s finances? If any of the following points apply to you, it may be time to hire a full-charge bookkeeper:

Inadequate bookkeeping training:

If you or your team are untrained in bookkeeping, it can lead to errors and gaps in financial management. A full-charge bookkeeper delivers the experience and understanding required to tackle difficult bookkeeping chores.

Need for supervision:

If you have a team that requires supervision and guidance in bookkeeping and accounting processes, you may consider hiring a full-charge bookkeeper; they are capable of offering the necessary supervision to guarantee precision and effectiveness in financial activities.

Time constraints:

If management and current staff members are already overburdened with obligations and do not have enough time to devote to bookkeeping, employing a full-charge bookkeeper can relieve the pressure and allow them to focus on their main activities.

Growing business revenue:

If your company’s revenue is constantly increasing, it suggests that you need to improve your financial management. Because they manage a wide range of functions, full-charge bookkeepers are well-equipped to tackle the complications that come with business growth. As a result, by engaging them, you can ensure that your finances are appropriately managed as your firm grows.

However, it is crucial to note that fulfilling the function of a full-charge bookkeeper necessitates cautious thinking. Companies must carefully choose people and provide suitable training.

If your company employs bookkeepers, for instance, you might think about preparing them to handle full-charge bookkeeping tasks. On the other side, you may find it useful to hire fresh employees. As a result, each firm should examine its unique needs and resources to decide the best strategy for hiring or outsourcing a full-charge bookkeeper.

Responsibilities of Full-Charge Bookkeepers

Before we compare the position of a full-charge bookkeeper to that of a controller or CPA, let’s take a deeper look at what their typical tasks might be aside from recording a business’s financial transactions:

Managing accounts payable:

Accounts payable management entails recording and paying bills, managing spending, and maintaining vendor relationships. The full-charge bookkeeper is responsible for ensuring that bills are accurate, approved, and paid on time.

Managing accounts receivable:

The full-charge bookkeeper is responsible for tracking customer invoices, processing payments, and following up on late accounts. They play an important role in ensuring prompt recovery of outstanding payments, which helps to sustain positive cash flow.

Bank reconciliation:

Bank reconciliation is an important aspect of full-charge bookkeeping. Bookkeepers check bank transactions against the general ledger to discover errors and ensure proper financial reporting.

Payroll processing:

full-charge bookkeepers are frequently in charge of the payroll process, which includes calculating employee wages, withholding deductions, and so on. They prepare payroll reports and guarantee that all applicable tax requirements are followed. This includes processing timesheets for employees and ensuring correct and timely remuneration.

Preparing monthly and quarterly tax returns for review:

They could be in charge of drafting monthly and quarterly tax returns as well as assembling and finishing any related documents. After that, qualified people like CPAs and higher management evaluate these returns to ensure accuracy and compliance with tax laws.

Preparing financial reports and statements for review: They may be responsible for creating financial reports and statements that provide a snapshot of a company’s financial performance. These reports are generated for management, stakeholders, or external parties to evaluate to analyze financial health and make educated decisions.

Remitting taxes:

A full-charge bookkeeper’s responsibilities may include handling the process of remitting various taxes on the company’s behalf. Sales, use, and income taxes as well as payroll taxes—taxes that both employers and employees must pay on salaries, wages, and other compensation—fall under this category. They ensure that the required taxes are computed correctly and paid to the appropriate tax authorities on time.

Overseeing other accounting staff:

Supervising other accounting personnel entails overseeing and managing a team of specialist workers within a company’s accounting department, such as billing clerks. The full-charge bookkeeper gives supervision, assistance, and direction to the accounting staff, ensuring that their work is accurate and efficient, and by established policies and processes.

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Topics: Bookkeeping Services




About the Author:

Pramod has over 11 years of experience relating to finance and accounts in diversified industries. He is an expert in resource and process optimization resulting in greater operational efficiencies.

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