Accounts Payable

What is Accounts Payable?

The Accounts Payable department is responsible for the financial, administrative and clerical support of a company. They are in charge of making payments owed by the company to suppliers and other creditors, paying vendor invoices or bills, and recording the company’s short-term debts. This department is vital for the smooth functioning of any business entity. Accounts Payable is usually its own department in larger companies but in smaller businesses accounts payable and receivable tasks are usually combined.

To work in Accounts Payable, an employee must apply accounting principles and handle work that is analytical, evaluative, and advisory in nature and that requires an understanding of both accounting theory and practice. Professionals are expected to have the ability to pay attention to detail and enter a high volume of data. They are generally in daily communication with employers and vendors.

Education Requirements

  • A degree is not mandatory
  • An understanding of basic bookkeeping and accounting skills is required
  • A degree in the following subjects would be beneficial:
    • Finance or Economics
    • Business Studies
    • Accounting

Accounts Payable Essential Skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Detail oriented and organized
  • Computation skills
  • Leadership abilities
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Problem solving skills

Accounts Payable Roles & Responsibilities

  • Post business transactions, process invoices, verify financial data for use in maintaining accounts payable records
  • Provide other clerical support necessary to pay the obligations of the organization
  • Maintain meticulous records of outstanding payables
  • Ensure the accuracy of an organization’s financial documents for payment, auditing and tax purposes
  • Protect businesses against unintentional overpayment
  • Practice effective monitoring to ensure payments are made to vendors in a timely manner

Day-to-Day Duties

  • Clarify any questionable invoice items, prices or receiving signatures
  • Assemble and review invoices to be completed for payment
  • Maintain copies of vouchers, invoices or correspondence necessary for files
  • Type periodic reports and other records
  • Obtain proper information and/or data regarding invoice payments
  • Check vendor files for any previous payments and assign voucher numbers
  • Prepare vouchers listing invoice number, date, vendor address, item description, amounts and coding per accounting policies and procedures
  • Reconcile bank statements
  • Input daily bookkeeping and record keeping
  • Verify invoices against purchase orders and ensure goods or services were received before issuing payment to vendors

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