What Does an Accounts Payable Clerk Do?
An accounts payable clerk is responsible for processing all the invoices for a company and processing all payments. They might typically handle utility bills, product or inventory invoices, employee expense accounts, and reimbursements. Some accounts payable clerks also assist with payroll. Accounts payable clerks must be familiar with accounts payable practices, general accounting procedures, and have a good working knowledge of relevant accounting software, such as QuickBooks.
Accounts payable clerks need to be organized, have excellent attention to detail, strong communication skills, and great problem-solving skills. They might have to resolve payment discrepancies or disputes and must be comfortable working with vendors and suppliers. Some accounts payable clerks also provide administrative support to a company or private office by maintaining inventory files and financial documents and ensuring the safety and confidentiality of employee records and other financial documents.
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National Average Salary
Accounts payable clerk salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for an Accounts Payable Clerk is:
Accounts Payable Clerk Job Descriptions
The first step in the search for an exceptional accounts payable clerk is a well-crafted job description. Below we have multiple real-world examples to get you started and set the foundation for attracting the exact talent your team needs.
Accounts payable clerks work under the supervision of the accounting manager and are responsible for receiving, processing, and verifying invoices. They handle all aspects of accounts payable, including purchase orders, bank deposits, and bills. They must be extremely accurate, able to meet payment schedules and deadlines, and have excellent attention to detail. [Your Company Name] is looking for an experienced accounts payable clerk to take our company to new levels. As an ideal candidate, you have experience in bookkeeping, working with accounting software, and processing payments.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Maintain petty cash
- Log all incoming invoices and outgoing payments
- Monitor all vendor contracts and supplier agreements
- Identify discrepancies and resolve billing issues
- Reconcile payable reports on a monthly basis
- Keep track of all credits owed to the company and ensure they are appropriately applied to vendor payments
Education and experience
- This position requires an associate’s degree in accounting, finance, or a related discipline
Required skills and qualifications
- Excellent attention to detail
- Strong organizational ability
- Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite
- Effective corporate communication skills
- Ability to consistently meet deadlines
- Excellent data entry skills
- Strong bookkeeping and accounts payable skills
- Proven experience calculating, posting, and managing financial records
- Solid mathematical skills
- Proficiency with spreadsheets and accounting software
- Attention to detail
- High level of accuracy
We are seeking someone who is high-energy, organized, and a team player. Jobseekers who are highly organized, and attentive to details with a growing knowledge of accounting systems and rules tend to do great at this position.
Essential duties and responsibilities
- Drop-Ship Delivery: Matching drop-ship deliveries to invoices, reconciling differences, batching, and data entry of batches
- Creating debit memos
- Filing various documents
- Communication with store personnel and/or vendors
- Coding utility bills
- Assisting with expense invoice processing
- Data entry
Skills and qualifications
- Attention to detail
- Communicates effectively
- Growing knowledge of accounting systems and rules, and an understanding of business activities
- Regularly verifies all work thoroughly and efficiently to ensure accuracy
- Experience in Microsoft Office, particularly Excel
- Must be organized and be able to multi-task
- Recover outstanding invoices and requests needed for approvals
- Enter invoices in an accounting system
- Create weekly payables reports and submit them for approval
- Responsible for weekly check runs, collecting invoices, and submittals for signature
- AP adjustments
- Accounts Payable
- Attention to detail
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Solid computer skills
- Full cycle AP including reviewing, verifying, coding, and processing invoices and expense reports
- Research and resolve invoice discrepancies
- Weekly check runs
- Assist with month-end closing
- Provide supporting documentation for audits
- Verifies vendor accounts by reconciling monthly statements and related transactions
- Protects the organization’s value by keeping information confidential
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office with strong data entry skills
- Responsive team player with the ability to quickly prioritize among numerous pressing tasks
- Excellent spoken and written communication, interpersonal, and relationship-building skills
- Strong sense of customer service
- Excellent analytical, organizational, and problem-solving skills with attention to detail
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Certified Accounts Payable Professional (CAPP) – The CAPP sets candidate’s apart from their peers by designating that you have demonstrated the knowledge and skills required to be successful as an accounts payable professional. This self-paced program contains 13 modules that thoroughly cover accounts payable best practices and procedures. Two or more years of work experience is required to obtain certification. The certification must be renewed every 2 years.
- Accredited Payables Specialist (APS) – The APS shows a candidate’s strong understanding of accounts payable fundamentals, best practices, and commitment to accuracy and compliance. The self-study online program covers invoices, payments, internal controls, taxes, and more. Three years of experience is recommended without a degree and 1 year of experience with a degree. To maintain certification, they are required to complete 15 continuing education units per year.
How to Hire an Accounts Payable Clerk
Consider the following when hiring an accounts payable clerk:
- Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to source and recruit for this role successfully?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid, or even junior-level skills suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project, or an indefinite need?
- Management: Can you effectively direct the work effort?
- Urgency: Are there any deadlines associated with this need?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, various great options exist for every scenario, no matter how unique. For hiring an accounts payable clerk, we recommend the following options:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend using CareerBuilder when hiring an accounts payable clerk:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- Why do you want to be an accounts payable clerk?
- How familiar are you with accounting software? Which ones have you used?
- What is the accounts payable process?
- How accurate are you in performing data entry?
- What would you do if you found a discrepancy in an invoice?
- What are the steps involved in making a payment?
- How do you prioritize your work?
- How do you deal with a difficult customer? Can you give a past example?
- How does the accounts payable department impact the overall success of a business?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Can you describe a mistake you made and explain what you learned?
- How do you verify an invoice?