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Accounts Payable Job Description

Written by: Evie Courtier
Published on: 1 Sep 2023


Within this Accounts Payable job description, we will dive into commonly asked questions about the role of an Accounts Payable, including: ‘what does an Accounts Payable do?’, and ‘how much does an Accounts Payable earn?’, discovering the requirements and rewards of Accounts Payable jobs in further detail.

  • What is an Accounts Payable?

    Accounts Payable jobs refer to the management of a company's outstanding financial obligations to vendors, suppliers, and creditors. The primary responsibility of an Accounts Payable professional is to ensure that all invoices are accurately recorded, processed, and paid in a timely manner while adhering to the company's policies and procedures.

    Commencing as an entry-level role, working as an Accounts Payable Clerk, can serve as a stepping stone for those looking to build a career in accounting or finance, across a myriad of sectors. With experience and demonstrable ability, individuals may advance to an Accounts Payable Manager position, or explore other paths within the financial department.

  • What does an Accounts Payable do?

    Accounts Payable professionals play a vital role in the financial management of a company, directly impacting the company's cash flow, vendor relationships, and financial reputation. As an Accounts Payable, your day-to-day responsibilities may include:

    •  Invoice processing: receiving and reviewing incoming invoices from vendors, ensuring they are accurate, properly authorised, and match the company's purchase orders or contracts.
    • Data entry: entering invoice details into the company's accounting system, allocating expenses to appropriate accounts and cost centres.
    • Payment processing: scheduling and processing payments to vendors within the agreed-upon payment terms, including issuing checks, electronic transfers, or managing an automated payment system.
    • Vendor management: establishing and maintaining positive relationships with vendors and handling any inquiries or discrepancies related to invoices or payments.
    • Expense reconciliation: reconciling accounts payable transactions to ensure that all payments are accounted for correctly.
    • Expense reports: reviewing and processing employee expense reports, verifying receipts and compliance with company expense policies.
    • Record-keeping: maintaining accurate and organised records of all accounts payable transactions, invoices, and payment documentation.
    • Month-end closing: assisting with month-end and year-end closing activities, including preparing reports and reconciliations related to accounts payable.
    • Compliance: ensure compliance with relevant accounting principles, regulations, and company policies.
    • Continuous improvement: looking for opportunities to streamline and improve the accounts payable process to increase efficiency and accuracy.

  • Accounts Payable career path

    Just like all accountancy jobs, the career path for those in the Accounts Payable field will naturally vary based on an individual's qualifications, experience, and career goals. However, as a general rule of thumb, working within Accounts Payable can pay witness to the following progression:

    •  Accounts Payable Clerk: as a starting entry-level position, you will gain practical experience in handling invoices, payments, and basic bookkeeping tasks.
    • Accounts Payable Specialist: following obtaining experience as a clerk, you may be promoted to the role of an Accounts Payable Specialist. This position involves more complex tasks, handling vendor relations, managing exceptions and discrepancies, and assisting with month-end closing procedures.
    • Accounts Payable Analyst: as your level of proficiency increases and you gain a deeper understanding of the accounts payable process, you may advance to the role of an Accounts Payable Analyst. This position involves more in-depth analysis of financial data, process improvements, and providing insights to management.
    • Accounts Payable Supervisor: with several years of experience and proven leadership skills, you may be promoted to an Accounts Payable Supervisor. In this role, you would be responsible for overseeing a team of accounts payable clerks and specialists, managing workflow, and ensuring the team meets its objectives.
    • Accounts Payable Manager: in a managerial position, you would be responsible for the overall management of the accounts payable function. This includes setting departmental goals, implementing best practices, and collaborating with other departments to optimise processes.
    • Senior Accounts Payable Manager/Director: with extensive experience and a track record of successful management, you may advance to a senior management or director-level position. In this capacity, you would have broader responsibilities, possibly overseeing multiple functions within the finance or accounting department.
    • Controller or Finance Manager: some professionals may choose to move beyond accounts payable and pursue broader roles within the finance or accounting department. These roles could include Financial Controller jobs, Finance Manager jobs, or other financial leadership positions.

    Throughout your career path, continuous learning, professional development, and obtaining relevant certifications (such as ACCA) can help you stand out and advance in your career. Additionally, networking and building relationships within the industry can provide valuable opportunities for career growth.

  • How to become an Accounts Payable

    Building a successful career in Accounts Payable requires dedication, continuous learning, and a commitment to accuracy and efficiency in financial processes. By developing the right skills and gaining practical experience, you can lay the foundation for a rewarding career in this field. In order to start off your career in Accounts Payable, you will have to:

    • Obtain a strong academic record, with high marks in Maths. While a finance / accountancy, or Maths degree is not always mandatory for entry-level Accounts Payable roles, having some formal experience and education in accounting, finance, or business administration would be advantageous.

    •  Gain relevant skills: developing the necessary soft and hard skills for an Accounts Payable role, including attention to detail, data entry, basic accounting knowledge, and proficiency in using accounting software or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

    •  Present prior practical experience, working within an internship, or work experience post handling invoices, payments, and other accounts payable tasks.

    •  Learn accounting software and ERP systems used in the industry, such as QuickBooks, SAP, Oracle, or Xero. Being proficient in these systems can be highly beneficial in your career.

    •  Pursue professional development: consider enrolling in relevant courses such as those run by LSE, or obtaining certifications to enhance your skills and knowledge.

    •  Network: attend industry events, join professional organisations, and network with other accounting and finance professionals. Networking can open doors to new opportunities and provide valuable insights into the field.


  • How much does an Accounts Payable earn?

    According to our annual salary surveythose working in Accounts Payable jobs, can earn up to £31,000. A strong starting salary, 44% of Accounts Payable Clerks also received a bonus in 2023.

    Please note that salaries will adhere to external factors such as location, sector, and company type.

  • Accounts Payable jobs on GAAPweb

    Ready to commence your job search? At GAAPweb we advertise the latest Accounts Payable jobs as well as senior and management roles from Finance Manager to CFO level. View the latest vacancies and start your job search today.

    Find this Accounts Payable Job Description useful? Discover more career advice, and industry insights on the GAAPweb blog.

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