Recently I have reached the almighty privilege of close voting. Around the same time I achieved the Deputy badge for 80+ flags.
While trying out close voting, I have noticed that questions I vote to close are not reflected as a helpful flag in my profile.
Also, I have noticed the following. If I "flag" a question as "very low quality", this counts as a flag.
If I "flag" a question as off topic, belonging on site X, it becomes a close vote.
This makes the Marshall badge harder to attain. The point I am trying to make is I believe that successful closes should count as helpful flags.
Lately I have been focusing on flagging "low quality" posts rather than closing as I am trying to increase my helpful flag count. If close votes contributed to the flag count, then this could be a good thing in reducing the work of moderators.