What Is An Accounts Payable Clerk?

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Perhaps you are wondering what an accounts payable clerk does, so let’s start with that.

Accounts payable (AP) clerk is one of the positions that are very vital in the accounts payable department in the company. They perform the payment of a business’s bills and make payments to various vendors that the business has contracted with. Users of accounts payable clerks are also very essential in the management of good relations with vendors and in making sure that the company fulfills its obligations on the payments made to the various suppliers.

Duties and Responsibilities

The primary responsibilities of an accounts payable clerk include:

- Invoices Approval – Checking all invoices received from the suppliers to ensure that the details that accompany them including the amount being charged, payment terms, and supplier details are okay. The process of keying in records of the invoices into the accounting software.

- Payment Processing – The step of preparing checks for vendors and delivering them to the respective organization. This entails issues like printing checks, setting up electronic payments, money wiring, and the like. Make sure payments are sent out on time and do not end up costing more because they are past the due date.

- Expense Reconciliation – Verification of expenses for instances whereby two invoices were paid once or discovering fake transactions. Noting any questionable-looking invoices or any violations of company policy when it comes to expenses.

- Vendor Management – Interacting with vendors regarding invoices that have been received and other payments. How timely vendors are responded to their inquiries. Updating vendor contact information.

- Conducting daily operations – Recording vendor and payment information into account payable systems. Preparing and presenting AP reports for accounting and management.

- Matching and Verification – Comparing invoices with the purchase orders to verify the proper quantity and agreed price, correct account code, and any other additional information.

- Managing Disputes – Conducting all the research and negotiation processes necessary to handle any disagreement over the invoice amount or any payment with a vendor. Negotiating solutions where needed.

Skills Needed

To succeed as an accounts payable clerk, the following skills are very important:

- Concentration – Bank reconciliation where one can notice any discrepancies between the invoices and the financial statements. Ensuring that there is a check and balance by comparing the figures or computations made by one person to that of another.

- Record center – Storing and filing vendor files and accounting records systematically. Tracking payments efficiently.

- Among these, the following are considered relevant: Communication Skills – Interacting with the vendors and being polite and concise in the accounts payable department.

- Problem-Solving Abilities – It involves evaluating the data and identifying trends and anomalies that might cause problems.

- Computer skills – Being familiar with or possessing the ability to operate accounting systems, and spreadsheets, and other computer tools.

Education and Qualifications

Most accounts payable clerk positions require some formal education such as:

- Possess a high school diploma or a GED (General Educational Development) certificate.
- Degree in Accounting or Finance or Business Administration with an associate/bachelor’s degree.
- You need to have at least 1-2 years of work experience preferably in a similar payment processing job.

Payroll and accounts payable clerks perform important back-end money management activities for companies. They need to ensure the company pays the right amount of money and at the right time to avoid incurring unnecessary costs. This is created by assigning detail-oriented and competent AP clerks to process vendor checks. This is beneficial in the management of businesses and the enhancement of their financial position.

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