The bookkeeper for a business is someone who keeps a record of the daily financial transactions for a company. This process of bookkeeping entails tracking sales, purchases, income and expenses that are made by either the company or a person within the company. When a job description specifically refers to a full cycle bookkeeper, it is looking for an employee who is able to complete the entire process of the bookkeeping or accounting cycle.
Duties of a Bookkeeper
A bookkeeper is anybody that performs at least one of the steps in the accounting process. Sometimes a bookkeeper is referred to as an accountant technician or clerk. Often confused with an accountant, the differentiating factor is that the bookkeeper will typically deal with the daily transactions of a company, whereas an accountant is somebody who takes an overall approach to how the financial data is captured. Duties of a bookkeeper include tracking inventory, recording accounts payable and receivable, managing the payroll and reconciling the bank transactions.
Full Accounting Cycle
When a bookkeeper has the ability to perform all of the tasks included in the full accounting cycle, she is referred to as a full cycle bookkeeper. The full accounting cycle steps are: gather and analyze data from all transactions, record the transaction, post these transactions to the general ledger, prepare a trial ledger and make necessary adjustments, prepare all financial statements, close all accounts and prepare a revision of the trial balance after accounts are closed.
Requirements for a Full Cycle Bookkeeper
A full cycle bookkeeper will need to be extremely detailed oriented and organized. Since the skills required are very mechanical, a good bookkeeper will need to have attention to detail. You will need to be able to pay attention to the daily transactions of a company, handle the payroll and prepare reports when needed based on these transactions. Since reports tend to have mistakes initially, it will be required of the bookkeeper to discover those mistakes, correct them and re-issue a correct report.
If you are applying for a full cycle bookkeeper position, understand the differences associated with being a bookkeeper and an accountant. These jobs are often mistaken for each other. An accountant usually manages the way a bookkeeper processes his day to day transactions and a bookkeeper usually submits his data and reports to the accountant at the end of the month. Additionally, be sure the company is clear about what programs it uses to manage its accounting reports. You may be comfortable working with QuickBooks, but the company may use Quicken. It may be a simple matter of brushing up on a new program but you want to be prepared before you go into an interview.