How to Become an Accounts Payable Clerk

Accounts payable clerks are very essential to companies of all types. They provide support to make sure the administrative and financial components operate effectively, accurately, and efficiently. They keep records of all the outgoing funds and are responsible for paying the bills of the company.

What does an accounts payable clerk do?

Accounts payable clerks provide clerical, administrative, and financial services to their employers. They process and screen payments and expenses and prepare and supervise the payroll system. They also calculate interest charges, monitor accounts and loans, and code documents. They make sure the finances of the company are current and accurate and make sure employees and outside providers are paid on time.

Accounts payable clerks verify invoices and requests for services or products and verify all transactions. They complete data entry tasks for reports, payments, and other documents. They also prepare and give out financial reports on a monthly basis.

What kind of training do accounts payable clerks need?

Accounts payable clerks need at least a high school diploma. Many have associate degrees in accounting, business, or other related field. Many employers prefer applicants with some college coursework in accounting. Majority of employers also prefer accounts payable clerks who can effectively use computers and have experience working with word processing systems and spreadsheet software. Most employers provide on the job training and new employees learn the procedures of the company. Some employers require formal classroom training in specific areas including specialized computer software.

Some accounts payable clerks become certified. Applicants must have a minimum of 2 years experience, receive a passing score on a written examination, and abide by the code of ethics.

What are the prospects for a career as an accounts payable clerk?

Employment of accounts payable clerks is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 12% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The growing economy and increase in financial transactions within companies will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be favorable especially for accounts payable clerks with extensive training and experience. Many job openings will also arise from the need to replace employees who retire or leave the profession for other reasons.

How much do accounts payable clerks make?

As of August 2009, the middle 50% of accounts payable clerks earned annual salaries between $29,482 and $38,893. The highest 10% earned annual salaries of more than $43,716 (2).

A career as an accounts payable clerk is a great choice for individuals who enjoy working in an office environment and have a strong ability in working with numbers. Accounts payable clerks should have good communication skills, strong problem solving skills, good organizational skills, and be detail-oriented. They must also be orderly and careful to avoid making errors and they must be able to identify errors made by other people. They must also be trustworthy and discreet because they often work with confidential documents and materials.

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