After a search for accounts payable jobs, you’re left wondering exactly what the job is. After all, a basic description of duties does not give you an idea of what your day to day life in this position will be. Rest assured: your search is over.
Here is everything you need to know before applying for an accounts payable job.
What is Accounts Payable?
First, if you are working in an accounts payable position, your work life will center on payments. In every industry, there will be two sides to every financial transaction. In Accounts Payable, your main concentration is on processing invoices and outgoing payments. These may be payments to vendors or suppliers for services or goods received by your company. In either case, it is money that your company owes. On the other end of the spectrum is the accounts receivable transactions. Accounts receivables are incoming payments, or assets owed to your organization. Some employees are AR/AP clerks (or specialists) and they handle both ends. This is not always the case, as many organizations hire different people to fulfill each role.
Accounts Payable Job Duties
Despite the close nature of the positions, accounts payable jobs have distinctive duties. An AP clerk or specialist will have duties, such as:
- Verifying and recording accounts and invoices
- Processing incoming invoices according to company policies and procedures
- Resolving billing issues and investigate discrepancies
- Completing various day to day financial tasks
- Generating financial reports
It is important to note that duties may extend beyond these basics. You may also perform everyday tasks that are industry specific. In some cases, employers may combine related tasks. Common extra duties include payroll, accounts receivables, data entry and accounting.
Traits of a Top Accounts Payable Employee
Accounts payable clerks or specialists have a key role in the company’s finances. Because of this, employers have a long list of traits that they are in search of during the hiring process. To be most successful in this position, you should have the following traits:
- Detail oriented
- Customer service skills
- Negotiation skills
- Well organized
- Ability to meet deadlines
- Good with mathematics
- Financial knowledge
Educational and Experience Requirements
While these traits are important, experience and education also play an important role. Each of these requirements will vary from one organization to another. Yet, most employers are seeking candidates with at least a high school diploma.
- A Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, finance, or business administration
- Accounting software and Microsoft Office know-how
- Ability to write comprehensive reports in English
- Experience with creating and maintaining spreadsheets
- Data entry experience
- Ability to calculate, record and maintain financial data
- Previous experience as an accounts payable or receivable clerk
The Work Environment
As for the industry of employment, there is an immense level of diversity. This is because all businesses incur regular expenses. Whether you have prior experience in a hospital or a shoe store, there is no shortage of specialties. This gives you the freedom to choose your surroundings to best suit your skillset. In every industry, you will work from an office where you have a computer, phone and company software. In some instances, you may even have the opportunity to work from your home office. In these cases, you will report to a manager but most socialization will be with vendors or suppliers.
Daily Interactions as an Accounts Payable Worker
In comparison to other office jobs, working as an accounts payable clerk is similar. Although you will spend the majority of your time at a desk, you will collaborate with co-workers. Likewise, you will have regular contact with vendors or service providers. Unlike those in account’s receivables positions, your focus is on paying invoices. Because of this, most payments are already pre-approved before they reach your desk. This means that you will spend less time negotiating cost and more time verifying rates. Despite this, good negotiation tactics and customer service skills are
helpful for discrepancies.
Perks of the Job
One of the biggest curiosities surrounding accounts payable jobs is financial compensation. Like most jobs, the salary offered is generally commensurate with experience and education. The average salaries for accounts payable positions range from $36,185 to $44,905 per year. Aside from financial compensation, expect to encounter many other perks.
Some of the most typical benefits in this field include:
- Opportunities for advancement
- Work/Life balance
- Health Insurance
- Dental Coverage
- Mobile Eye Clinics
- 401(k) with employer match contributions
- Job security
- Paid vacation and holidays
- Paid sick time
- Life insurance
- Flexible spending accounts (FSAs)
- Parental leave (either paid or unpaid)
- Wellness programs
- Tuition reimbursement
These corporate perks vary depending upon the size and industry of the organization. Other perks, like on-site gyms and daycare centers, are less common in these positions.
Recent Accounts Payable Jobs
Now, you have a better understanding of what to expect from an accounts payable job. Be sure to explore some of the top current openings in the field. From a children's hospital to an accounting firm, these positions range in industries.
Each one offers top benefits along with an impressive salary:
- Accounts Payable Associate I, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) (Replace with link to current job)
- Accounts Payable Coordinator, Jack Schwartz Shoes, Inc (New York, NY) (Replace with link to current job)
- Accounts Payable Clerk, DLS Events LLC (Los Angeles, CA) (Replace with link to current job)
- Accounts Payable Specialist, Prime Group (Hollywood, FL) (Replace with link to current job)
- Senior Accounts Payable, Resource Staffing (Houston, TX) (Replace with link to current job)
- Payroll and Accounts Payable Clerk, Paycor INC (Montgomery, AL) (Replace with link to current job)
- Accounts Payable Specialist, Aerotek (Fort Wayne, IN) (Replace with link to current job)
- Accounts Payable Clerk, Creative Financial Staffing (Geneva, IL) (Replace with link to current job)
- Accounts Payable Specialist 1, Crawford Thomas Recruiting (Federal Way, WA) (Replace with link to current job)
- Accounts Payable Professional, Robert Half Finance & Accounting (Colorado Springs, CO) (Replace with link to current job)
Now that you know what an accounts payable job is, you can determine if it is the right career path for you.
Understanding the basic duties of a position is part of searching for a job. But, there are other factors to consider. Being familiar with average compensation rates and perks allows you to know what to look for. As you continue on your job search, also consider the industry. This is a unique aspect of an AP position. Be sure that the industry is also inline with your skillset for optimal fulfillment.