What is an Accounts Payable Clerk?

When a company has invoices to verify and reconcile, an accounts payable clerk can be vital for ensuring that these matters are handled properly. An accounts payable clerk is professionally trained in all manner of invoice management, including both their initial receipt and processing.

Education Level Requirement

It’s preferred that applicants for an accounts payable clerk position have an associate’s degree, though a high school diploma is sufficient given the right accompanying skill set and experience level.

Necessary Skills

To become an accounts payable clerk, a candidate must exhibit a sufficient degree of competency in various financial operations. The financial operations that the clerk will be tasked with require experience in contracting, invoicing, resolving payment discrepancies and issuing stop payments. To ensure that there aren’t any unexpected oversights in areas with only a small window of forgiveness for error, the accounts payable clerk will need to ensure that their organization skills are well-honed.

Though it may not itself be a hard skill, the ideal accounts payable clerks will have practiced efficient techniques for accurate memorization and memory recall; though the technical applications will lower the margin of error, being able to recall important details is essential all the same. In terms of practical skills, the accounts payable clerk will need to ensure that they’ve got their bases covered in terms of a PC skills, mathematical knowledge, data entry, statistical examination, and budgeting.

Responsibilities

An accounts payable clerk is counted on to make accurate comparisons between multiple systems reports in order to balance them properly. The clerk will need to conduct thorough analyses of all expense reports and invoice reports so that they may properly charge the right expenses to the right accounts. It is because of a competent accounts payable clerk that organizations are consistently capable of fairly paying their vendors. The clerk may also optimize the vendor payment by keeping a close eye on any opportunities for discounts that might emerge.

An accounts payable clerk must comfortably skilled in the verification of sensitive information such as federal ID numbers. They will be tasked with numerous tight scheduling responsibilities and ensuring that all checks are properly prepared. An accounts payable clerk not only ensures that the right vendors are compensated with the correct amount of currency, but also that the organizations employees and properly compensated as well. The accounts payable clerk will regularly receive and verify advance requests and expense reports.

Organizations will need their historical record archives to be organized, and the accounts payable clerk will be responsible for ensuring that the these statements and documents are kept in proper order and accessible at all times. By recording entries consistently, accounts payable clerks are able to accurately disburse petty cash amounts. The clerk will calculate the extent of requirements on all paid invoices to ensure that sales taxes can be reported properly as well.

To ensure that they’re able to fulfill their responsibilities consistently and appropriately, clerks are expected to continually develop their depth of knowledge regarding the laws and nuances surrounding their line of work.

Related Resource: How Do You Become an Accounting Clerk?

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for accounts payable clerks was approximately $35,700 in the year 2013. The BLS projects the growth rate for accounts payable clerks to be about 11 percent.