Do you have a keen eye for detail? Do you excel at accounting and clerical tasks related to what a company owes to its suppliers? If so, a position as an accounts payable specialist might be an ideal one for you.
Accounts payable specialists play a vital role in assuring their organization’s bottom line and helping them manage and process their payments for the goods and services used every day.
This role is vital for balancing all the financials within a company, tracking budgets, monitoring vendor agreements and contracts, and confirming that all payments are correctly processed. If you are detail-oriented, have time management expertise, and effective communication skills, this may be a position where you can thrive.
Sample job description
The accounts payable specialist is responsible for accurate and timely processing of all invoices received by the company. They will also be responsible for maintaining vendor files and preparing weekly and monthly reports. The ideal candidate for this position is a detail-oriented individual with strong organizational skills and a good working knowledge of Microsoft Excel. You may be reviewing supplier invoices for accuracy and completeness, entering invoices into the accounting system, processing payments, maintaining vendor files, and preparing weekly and monthly reports.
Typical duties and responsibilities
Maintain petty cash
Log all outgoing disbursements
Monitor all vendor payment agreements
Be responsible for paying all sales taxes on relevant invoices
Verify discrepancies and resolve clients’ billing issues
Reconcile payable reports each month to confirm that all amounts paid were accurate
Keep track of all credits owed to the company and ensure they are appropriately applied to vendor payments
Education and experience
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a related discipline
Required skills and qualifications
Excellent attention to detail
Strong organizational ability
Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite
Effective corporate communication skills
Ability to consistently meet deadlines
Excellent data entry skills
Proven experience in accounts payable
Excellent attention to detail
Strong organizational skills
Good communication skills
Knowledge of accounting software packages
Typical work environment
The accounts payable specialist typically works in an office environment, with the opportunity to work both independently and as part of a team. Accounts payable specialists will typically work 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday, from 9 AM to 5 PM. You can expect to be sitting for the majority of your work day, but there will also be times that you will be moving around as you assist different employees or consumers.
The typical work hours for an accounts payable specialists are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in an office setting. However, longer or different hours may be necessary, depending on the needs and hours of an individual company.
Steps to become an Accounts Payable Specialist
If you want to stand out from the rest of the applicants, you can take classes that will help showcase your talents and knowledge. We recommend Udemy or Coursera for their wide libraries of accounting information. There are also excellent certifications you can obtain.
Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) – The CPP designation is designed for those who handle payroll functions or payroll management. To earn the CPP designation, you must pass an exam that covers seven main areas of knowledge. You’ll answer questions about core concepts like taxes and benefits. You’ll also be quizzed on compliance issues and calculation methods. Payroll systems and accounting are also addressed in this exam.
The first step to becoming an accounts payable specialist is earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or related field. Beyond that, candidates can gain skills and accreditation by earning accounting certifications like the Certified Accounts Payable Associate (CAPA).
US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook
SOC Code: 43-3031
Projected Employment in 2030
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift
The accounts payable field is continually evolving. Rather than being viewed as a back-office function, accounts payable departments are beginning to be seen in a more strategically important way. In addition to depending on this department for its traditional function, companies will be looking to accounts payable departments to supply essential data.