Accounts Payable Clerk Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Accounts Payable Clerk, or Purchase Ledger Clerk makes sure a business pays its bills accurately and on time. Their duties include processing invoices, answering accounts payable queries and reconciling supplier statements.


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Accounts Payable Clerk duties and responsibilities

Account Payable Clerks main duty is to make sure businesses pay their invoices accurately and on time. Some of their typical responsibilities include:

  • Receiving and recording the receipt of invoices
  • Processing invoices to make sure payments are correct and on time
  • Requesting receipt of statements from invoicing contractors or businesses when they are not provided
  • Processing payment runs
  • Matching and filing invoices and receipts
  • Reconciling business accounts to make sure amounts paid reflect goods and services received
  • Answering queries from suppliers, contractors and other business departments about accounts payable or payments made
  • Distributing invoice copies to finance staff and other relevant departments


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What does an Accounts Payable Clerk do?

An Accounts Payable Clerk processes supplier invoices so their company meets their financial obligations. They also maintain good relationships with suppliers, contractors and other business partners. This work enhances the business’ reputation and may also encourage other companies to work with the business. Accounts Payable Clerks also make sure their business avoids late fees and other financial penalties. The work they do processing invoices helps their business operate within their budgets and manage their cash flow. An Accounts Payable Clerk is an integral part of a business’ accounting team.


Accounts Payable Clerk skills and qualifications

Accounts Payable Clerks rely on technical and soft skills to process payments and build business relationships. A successful Accounts Payable Clerk candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include:

  • Good organisation skills, including the ability to multi-task and prioritise, to manage multiple accounts
  • Strong verbal communication skills, including active listening and telephone manner
  • Interpersonal skills, including conflict resolution, for building strong relationships with suppliers, contractors and business partners
  • Mathematics for reconciling invoices and identifying areas of concern
  • Data entry for accurately processing invoices and payment runs
  • Basic bookkeeping and accounting knowledge
  • Computer literacy, including confidence using Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and accounting and accounts payable software


Accounts Payable Clerk experience requirements

Businesses usually prefer candidates with previous accounts experience, including experience in statement reconciliation. Experience in a customer service role is also transferrable to an Accounts Payable Clerk position. Businesses who have time for training new employees may hire well-educated Accounts Payable Clerk without experience.


Accounts Payable Clerk education and training requirements

There are no education requirements for Accounts Payable Clerks. However, most businesses expect candidates to have some GSCEs, including good marks in maths and English. Businesses prefer candidates with A level in these subjects, but they are not essential. Candidates with a relevant bachelor’s degree usually have an advantage over their competition. Degrees in finance, accounting or business administration teach finance and administration concepts relevant to accounts payable roles. Accounts payable certification from the AP Network can also help candidates improve their job-specific knowledge and employment prospects.


Accounts Payable Clerk salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an Accounts Payable Clerk in the UK is £21,114 per year. Salaries can vary depending on experience, education, location and employer.


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Accounts Payable Clerk job description FAQs


What qualities do successful Accounts Payable Clerks have?

Successful Accounts Payable Clerks are meticulous and detail-oriented people who accurately input invoice details, process payments on time and notice discrepancies in receipts and invoiced amounts. They must be personable people because they answer queries from suppliers and contractors. However, as much of their work is solitary they should also be self-motivated and self-sufficient. As they work with sensitive financial data, Accounts Payable Clerks should also be discreet.


What should you look for in an Accounts Payable Clerk CV?

A strong Accounts Payable Clerk CV shows the applicant has experience maintaining accurate financial records. The best Accounts Payable Clerks can manage different tasks at once, so look for CVs showing applicants that have had diverse duties in past jobs. Often candidates who worked at smaller companies have a broader range of experience, as small business jobs tend to be less specialised.


What is the difference between an Accounts Payable Clerk and an Accounts Receivable Clerk?

Accounts Payable Clerk works with a business’s expenses, or money going out. In contrast, an Accounts Receivable Clerk works with a business’s income, or money coming in. Both these professionals work in the accounting department and have similar duties. However, Accounts Payable Clerks communicate with the people and companies the business owes money to. Accounts Receivable Clerks communicate with the people and companies that owe the business.

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