Accounts Payable Specialist Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Accounts Payable Specialist, or Accounts Payable Clerk, is responsible for handling many transactions and calculations for a business, and ensuring that business stays in good financial shape. Duties include distributing payments to suppliers and employees, negotiating with vendors and workers, and keeping accurate records of transactions.

 

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What does an Accounts Payable Specialist do?

An Accounts Payable Specialist helps a business keep its finances, credit rating, and reputation in good standing. Some take care of day-to-day activities, and others prepare budgets and reports. Many Accounts Payable Specialists work in-house during regular business hours, but some spend part of their time working from home. Some Accounts Payable Specialists work nights and weekends as well. They often collaborate with other employees, tax authorities, regulators, and managers.

 

Accounts Payable Specialist duties and responsibilities

Some Accounts Payable Specialists help with a wide range of tasks while others have more specialized roles preparing income taxes, creating budgets and more. Accounts Payable Specialists work for a wide variety of companies, or they may be employed with an accounting firm that serves multiple organizations. Duties and responsibilities in an Accounts Payable Specialist job description may include:

  • Changing paper records to a digital format through data entry
  • Accurately calculating billing amounts
  • Recording daily, weekly, and monthly expenses
  • Meeting with Auditors, as needed
  • Explaining bills to customers and collecting payments
  • Maintaining inventory levels by placing orders with suppliers as needed
  • Searching for vendor discounts and other savings opportunities
  • Anticipating future costs like equipment upgrades or repairs
  • Distributing payments to suppliers and employees, including granting or denying petty cash requests

 

Accounts Payable Specialist skills and qualifications

Successful Accounts Payable Specialists usually have a combination of social and technical skills, and are organized and professional. Some top skills and qualifications for Accounts Payable Specialists include:

  • Customer service
  • Inventory management
  • Written and verbal communication
  • Data entry skills
  • Ability to use bookkeeping programs and other financial software
  • Basic understanding of how banking and financial systems work
  • Good comprehension of basic math

 

Accounts Payable Specialist experience requirements

Many Accounts Payable Specialist jobs require three to five years experience. However, you can expand hiring options and reduce salary costs by considering candidates with less experience. It’s often a good option to hire Accounts Payable Specialists with less experience as long as they have plenty of education.

 

Accounts Payable Specialist education and training requirements

Some Accounts Payable Specialist positions require a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or a related field, while others will consider applicants with an associate’s degree or equivalent. No professional licenses or certifications are mandatory in Canada, but candidates should be willing to go through on-the-job training.

 

Accounts Payable Specialist salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Accounts Payable Specialist is $19.92 per hour. Pay rates for individuals can depend on locations, education and experience levels, and the employer.

 

Job description samples for similar positions

If an Accounts Payable Specialist isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, here are some other job description samples that may fit your needs:

 

Accounts Payable Specialist job description FAQs

 

What is a typical day like for an Accounts Payable Specialist?

Most Accounts Payable Specialists work in offices or call centres. Some specialize in making payments to employees and calculating payroll taxes. Other Accounts Payable Specialists send payments to vendors or ensure compliance with the company budget. They spend most of their time answering phone calls, operating computers, making transactions, and keeping detailed records.

 

Who does an Accounts Payable Specialist work with and report to?

Accounts Payable Specialists generally report to department heads or managers. They can work in any department, but they’re usually part of a financial department. Accounts Payable Specialists collaborate with clients, customers, and suppliers, and some supervise clerks and similar employees.

 

How is an Accounts Payable Specialist different from a Bookkeeper?

Accounts Payable Specialists focus on keeping up with payments to employees, suppliers, landlords, and utility companies. They sometimes handle other tasks, but they work as a team with other employees. Bookkeepers perform a wider range of accounting tasks, but they generally work for businesses with smaller workloads. Rather than reporting to department heads or managers, they communicate directly with business owners. Like Accounts Payable Specialists, most Bookkeepers have at least an associate’s degree and some experience. 

 

What makes a good Accounts Payable Specialist job description?

To write an appealing, informative Accounts Payable Specialist job description, include an overview of your company and its history, culture, and values. You should also highlight the position’s key responsibilities and the skills, education, and experience levels your company prefers. Outline the most common day-to-day activities of the position, the location where your new Accounts Payable Specialist will work, the hours and schedule required, and any benefits that come with the job. 

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