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The accounts payable clerk is the person who maintains the accounting duties for payables in an organization or company. Their main responsibilities include processing vendor invoices, reconciliation of accounts, receiving payments from vendors, and paying vendors and customers. They work in the accounts payable department, which is responsible for an organization’s clerical, financial, and administrative support. 

The AP clerk is usually an entry-level position within the accounting department. They match, batch, code, and enter invoices into a company’s records or software program. They also post and reconcile batches. They keep the sub-ledger and general ledger reconciled. Another role is to maintain cash operations, chargebacks, and reconcile accounts.

Accounts payable clerks should do careful, meticulous work. They must give great attention to detail and accuracy. They need to be able to track budget expenses, analyze financial information, and be proficient in computer skills. An AP clerk will possess basic bookkeeping and accounting skills and will need to work closely with the accountant or accountant department. 

What is an Accounts Payable Clerk?

An accounts payable clerk is a key player in the accounting department. In short, they handle all the accounts payable for a company. They record all the transactions in the company’s ledger. They also rectify invoices and expenses for the business. They are in charge of the payable transactions, payment procedures, and verifying/reconciling invoices.

The exact job description of an accounts payable clerk may depend on how big or small a business is and how complex its accounting system is. The AP clerk’s main job is to prepare and verify the AP records for a senior accountant or for the AP manager. One of the AP clerk’s priorities is to meet payment deadlines for accounts payable, interest payments, payroll, and any other expenses of the company. In doing so, the accounts payable clerk ensures the company remains compliant with all its internal and external financial obligations.

What is Another Term for Accounts Payable Clerk?

An accounts payable clerk makes sure a business pays bills on time and accurately. They process invoices, and bills, answer any questions about AP, and take care of supplier statements. The accounts payable clerk is sometimes referred to as a Purchase Ledger Clerk.

What are the Roles of an Accounts Payable Clerk?

An accounts payable clerk mostly assists companies with their invoicing and billing tasks. They are responsible for managing accounts payable through a variety of accounting software and other programs. They have to handle several accounts for vendors and suppliers. A clerk analyzes workflow processes and compares purchase orders, prices, terms of payment, and other types of charges. They process invoices for payments and communicate directly with new and existing vendors.

What Qualities Distinguish a Good Accounts Payable Clerk?

A good accounts payable clerk should be highly efficient, reliable, and trustworthy. They should be proficient in a variety of programs like Microsoft Office Suite. A clerk should be a quick learner, so they can easily learn to use accounting software systems. He or she should be detail-oriented and exhibit exceptional organizational skills. And, of course, they should be able to maintain confidential, meticulous accounting records.

How do I Become an Accounts Payable Clerk?

Even though a high school diploma is required to become an accounts payable clerk, most managers prefer candidates with at least an associates in accounting. Here are the steps to becoming qualified accounts payable specialist.

  1. Obtain your high school diploma.
  2. Enroll in a local community college and obtain an associate degree in accounting or enroll in a university accounting degree program to obtain your bachelor’s degree.
  3. Participate in an internship.
  4. Start searching for open AP clerk positions.
  5. Pass the certification test.

Anyone who is willing to work diligently can become an accounts payable clerk. It’s a competitive market when it comes to finding a job. The higher qualifications you can earn, the more likely you are to obtain a well-paying position.

How to Get Ready for an Accounts Payable Interview?

You may have a lot of questions about how to prepare for an accounts payable position interview. In some ways, it’s like any other interview for a job. It always pays to be prepared. Here are some tips to help you get ready.

  • Preparing for an Accounts Payable interview is about knowing how to answer specific interview questions. Practice answering common interview questions.
  •  Candidates will need to have a general knowledge of the roles and responsibilities. 
  • Be ready for some crazy questions, as interviewers may want to test your knowledge of invoices, tracking purchase orders, and processing payments properly. Here are some of the questions a candidate may be asked during an accounts payable interview.
  • How do you approach working with ledgers?
  • What is interest in the capital?
  • How have you settled past invoice disputes?
  • What is a non-PO invoice?
  • What is consolidation?
  • Please explain the end-to-end process of accounts payable.

The best way to get ready for an accounts payable interview is to look at some of the most common interview questions and try to answer them. Remember, hiring managers don’t always stick to traditional questions. They may test your soft skills too with odd questions like the last book you read.

Where does an Accounts Payable Clerk Keep Track of Transactions?

The accounts payable clerk records transactions in the ledger and the balance sheet. Accounts payable are listed as liabilities on the company’s balance sheet. It accounts for all money owed to creditors. Short- and long-term liabilities are listed. Individual transactions are recorded by the clerk on the AP subsidiary ledger. 

How much can Accounts Payable Clerks Earn?

The median national starting salary for an accounts payable clerk in 2022 is around $40,000 per year. That figures out to be about $18 per hour. However, the salary may fluctuate greatly based on the educational level of the clerk. Of course, the more experience an accounts payable clerk has will also influence their salaries.  If they are just starting out in the accounting field or have only handled a few smaller clients, their salary range will be much lower than those with years of experience.

Is a Degree Required to Become an Accounts Payable Clerk?

No. A degree is not needed to become an accounts payable clerk. However, an accounts payable clerk does need to have a high school diploma or the equivalent. It is worth noting that for the most part, businesses prefer someone who has obtained at least an associate degree in an accounting-related field. Additionally, some companies want candidates to have a minimum of at least two years of experience as well. 

Is Accounts Payable Data Recorded by an Accounts Payable Clerk?

An accounts payable clerk may perform a variety of jobs for a company depending on its financial complexity and size. Invoice management is one of the most sought-after skills in an AP clerk. They take care of recording, processing, and reconciling vendor invoices. This makes sure vendors are paid on time and accurately. Bookkeeping is an essential skill for an AP clerk. Their records are important to ensuring the general accounting ledger is accurate. The accountant, not the AP clerk, takes care of recording AP data in the general ledger.