Do you enjoy working with numbers and reviewing data? Do you like the thought of working with vendors and suppliers? If so you may be well suited for a role as an accounts payable clerk.
AP clerks serve an important function for any organization that consistently uses a large number of vendors and suppliers. They ensure that invoices for goods and services are paid for in a timely manner, paying close attention to company budgets, processes, and vendor agreements. It’s a great role for detail-oriented professionals who are well organized, disciplined, and enjoy communicating with a wide variety of internal and external contacts on a daily basis.
Sample job description
Accounts payable clerks work under the supervision of the accounting manager and are responsible for receiving, processing, and verifying invoices. They handle all aspects of accounts payable, including purchase orders, bank deposits, and bills. They must be extremely accurate, able to meet payment schedules and deadlines, and have excellent attention to detail. [Your Company Name] is looking for an experienced accounts payable clerk to take our company to new levels. As an ideal candidate, you have experience in bookkeeping, working with accounting software, and processing payments.
Typical duties and responsibilities
Maintain petty cash
Log all incoming invoices and outgoing payments
Monitor all vendor contracts and supplier agreements
Identify discrepancies and resolve billing issues
Reconcile payable reports on a monthly basis
Keep track of all credits owed to the company and ensure they are appropriately applied to vendor payments
Education and experience
This position requires an associate’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
Strong bookkeeping and accounts payable skills
Proven experience calculating, posting, and managing financial records
Solid mathematical skills
Proficiency with spreadsheets and accounting software
Attention to detail
High level of accuracy
Typical work environment
Accounts payable clerks typically work in office settings and spend most of their day in front of a computer. They generally work during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.
Typical hours for this position are between normal business hours from 9 AM to 5 PM. Some accounts payable clerks may have the option to work flexible schedules or full-time from home.
Steps to become an Accounts Payable Clerk
Accounts payable clerks work in many different environments, and many institutions offer classes and certifications to help them improve their skills. If you’re looking for courses to help you with your accounting knowledge then online learning platforms like Udemy or Coursera are excellent choices. They can also help you prep for industry certifications as well. Once you have the necessary skills two of the best certificates for accounts payable clerks are:
Certified Accounts Payable Professional (CAPP) – The CAPP sets you apart from your peers by designating that you have demonstrated the knowledge and skills required to be successful as an accounts payable professional. This self-paced program contains 13 modules that thoroughly cover accounts payable best practices and procedures. Two or more years of work experience is required to obtain certification. The certification must be renewed every 2 years.
Accredited Payables Specialist (APS) – The APS shows your strong understanding of accounts payable fundamentals, best practices, and your commitment to accuracy and compliance. The self-study online program covers invoices, payments, internal controls, taxes, and more. Three years of experience is recommended without a degree and 1 year of experience with a degree. To maintain certification, you are required to complete 15 continuing education units per year.
The first step to becoming an accounts payable clerk is earning an associate’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. Not only is this department depended on for its traditional function, but companies will be looking to accounts payable departments to supply essential data.