Accounts Payable Clerk Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Accounts Payable Clerk, or Accounts Payable Assistant performs accounting and clerical tasks that are related to accounts payable transactions. Their duties include receiving and logging invoices, maintaining and updating an accounts payable ledger and generating financial statements and reports.

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Accounts Payable Clerk duties and responsibilities

The duties of an Accounts Payable Clerk depend on their work environment. Those who work in a large finance department may have a smaller remit, while others who work in smaller settings may have a wider scope of duties. Additional responsibilities may include producing payment forecasts for the management or liaising with suppliers regarding agreed payment profiles. In general, their key tasks include:

  • Communicating with relevant suppliers to process invoicing or payment queries
  • Attaching the correct documentation to invoices and reconciling purchase orders to invoices received
  • Posting invoices and credit notes and ensuring they’re coded correctly in the system
  • Preparing monthly supplier statement reconciliations
  • Dealing with external and internal queries by phone and email
  • Preparing and processing supplier payments and ensuring that a senior Finance Manager has signed all payments off
  • Ensuring that all accounts payable activities comply with relevant financial policies and procedures
  • Investigating and resolving outstanding creditor items
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What does an Accounts Payable Clerk do?

An Accounts Payable Clerk typically forms part of a company’s accounts payable team. Accounts payable is an accounting term that refers to the monies that a company owes suppliers and vendors for goods or services received. Accounts Payable Clerks make sure that a company pays all outstanding monies on time and that the invoices the company receives are correct. They check, for instance, that all invoices they receive meet VAT and general invoicing requirements and the amounts owed are correct. These employees sometimes also have added tasks, such as reviewing and approving employee expenses.

Accounts Payable Clerk skills and qualifications

Accounts Payable Clerks are responsible for ensuring that a business pays its creditors and vendors on time. These professionals also prevent unnecessary and potentially costly errors, such as unintentionally overpaying creditors. To avoid mistakes and effectively keep track of accounts payable transactions, Accounts Payable Clerks must work meticulously and pay careful attention to detail. A successful Accounts Payable Clerk will also have various other prerequisite skills and qualifications, these include:

  • Working knowledge of general accounting procedures
  • IT literacy, including knowledge of relevant accounting software, such as QuickBooks, Sage and ERP systems
  • Strong organisational skills, as they typically handle high volumes of invoices
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to actively listen to others and relay information clearly
  • The ability to build effective relationships with suppliers and creditors
  • The ability to work well in a team and collaborate with others

Accounts Payable Clerk experience requirements

The level of experience an Account Payable Clerk needs depends on the position. In general, employers expect that candidates have at least one to two years of experience in a finance-focused environment. Candidates typically need to show knowledge of general accounting procedures and may also need a working knowledge of relevant accounting and ERP systems.

Accounts Payable Clerk education and training requirements

There are no fixed education and training requirements for this occupation. However, employers often require that candidates have at least a few GCSEs at grades 9 to 4, usually including English and maths. Some candidates choose to develop their skills and knowledge in the field by completing college courses. Relevant qualifications include the Level 2 Certificate in Accounting and the Level 2 Certificate in Manual and Computerised Bookkeeping. Professional bodies like The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) also offer relevant qualifications, such as a Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping.

Accounts Payable Clerk salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an Accounts Payable Clerk in the UK is £14.10 an hour. Salaries vary depending on factors like location, employer and level of experience.

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Accounts Payable Clerk job description FAQs

What are the hours of an Accounts Payable Clerk?

Accounts Payable Clerks typically have a regular Monday to Friday, 35 to 40-hour per week schedule. They may rarely need to put in overtime or work extra hours.

What's the difference between a Bookkeeper and an Accounts Payable Clerk?

Both Bookkeepers and Accounts Payable Clerks help manage a company’s financial records. However, a Bookkeeper has a wider scope of duties, which typically involve working with multiple accounts and performing financial analysis tasks. In contrast, an Accounts Payable Clerk only focuses on accounts payable transactions.

Who does an Accounts Payable Clerk report to?

The organisational structure and size of a company usually determine who Accounts Payable Clerks report to. They may report to an Accounts Payable Manager, a Financial Accountant or a Finance Director.

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