Accounts payable clerk job description

Andrew Fennell Andrew Fennell

An accounts payable clerk sits within the finance team and is responsible for processing the company’s outgoing payments.

They check incoming invoices, ensure the amounts are correct, and that they are paid on time.

This detailed guide includes a full accounts payable clerk job description and everything else you need to know about accounts payable clerks, including salaries, skills, qualifications, typical employers and more.

 

Guide contents

  • Accounts payable clerk job description
  • How much do accounts payable clerks earn?
  • What does an accounts payable clerk do?
  • Requirements, skills and qualifications
  • Who employs accounts payable clerks?
  • Which junior jobs progress to accounts payable clerk roles?

 

Accounts payable clerk job description

Accounts Payable Clerk |Henderson Foods

 

About Henderson Foods

As a leading food manufacturer, Henderson Foods employs over 10,000 staff and is the largest croissant supplier in Britain, producing over 50 million croissants per year along side a wide range of other baked goods.

 

About the role

We are looking for an experienced accounts payable clerk to manage the accounts payable process, ensuring that all our outstanding payments are processed in a timely and accurate manner.

 

Responsibilities

  • Processing purchase ledger invoices and reconciling delivery notes to invoices received and purchase orders
  • Generating purchase order numbers and calculating VAT payments
  • Reconciling supplier statements
  • Processing business expenses including receiving, processing, verifying, and reconciling expense accounts
  • Processing BACs payments on a weekly basis, ensuring all invoices and expenses are paid according to agreed terms
  • Liaising with suppliers and resolving a high volume of queries over the phone and via email
  • Setting up of new supplier accounts and maintaining existing account details within the purchase ledger
  • Generating financial statements and reports detailing the status of the account or ledger

 

Location & commitments

  • Permanent, full time role based at our Manchester head office
  • 40 hours per week, Monday – Friday
  • Occasional overtime required during busy periods including month and year end

 

Candidate requirements

  • Extensive experience in high volume accounts payable within a manufacturing environment
  • Solid understanding of basic bookkeeping and accounts payable principles
  • Proven ability to input an process invoices quickly and accurately
  • Experience with Sage Line 50 is desirable
  • Proficient in MS Excel including the use of pivot tables and macros
  • Qualified or studying towards APA, CAPP or AAT is desirable

 

Contact us to apply

Are you a motivated Accounts Payable Clerk looking for a new challenge and an opportunity to advance your career? Then we want to hear from you! Please email your CV and a brief cover letter to our HR Manager, Sarah, at Sarah@HendersonFoods.com.

 

How much do accounts payable clerks earn?

Accounts payable clerks earn an average salary of £26,406 with plenty of opportunities for progression and promotion available within the finance field.

 

Accounts payable clerk salaries in the UK

  • Low: £23,000
  • Average: £26,406
  • High: £32,500

Source: Total Jobs

 

Accounts payable clerk salaries will vary hugely depending on;

  • The industry of the employer – Is the AP clerk employed in retail? banking? Marketing etc.
  • The scale of the employer’s finances – depending on the size of the business the accounts payable clerk could manage anything from 10 to hundreds of invoices per week
  • General salary factors – such as level of candidate experience, qualifications, performance, and location

For example, an accounts payable clerk working for a technology company, managing over 500 invoices a week is likely to earn a higher salary than an accounts payable clerk working for a non-profit business, only managing 50 invoices a week.

Bear in mind that these are average figures taken from job advert samples, and they do not include extra benefits such as bonuses, overtime, and non-financial benefits such as healthcare.

 

What does a accounts payable clerk do?

Looking at the job description, here are the typical tasks and responsibilities that accounts payable clerks will carry out across their average week;

  • Process invoices – scan received invoices into accounting software and match to the corresponding purchase order and delivery note, code the entry for the correct amount and department and send this to the correct person for approval
  • Generate purchase orders – purchase orders are documents sent from the buyer to the supplier with a request for goods or services, including information such as type of item, quantity, and price. Invoice processing requires a purchase order, and because of this they are sometimes generated at invoice processing stage
  • Calculate VAT payments – calculate the required amount of VAT due on a product, and the amount of VAT the business can reclaim
  • Reconcile supplier statements – ensure each supplier statement (detailing all orders made to that supplier) matches with the purchase ledger before payments are made, identifying any invoices or credit notes that may be missing to ensure correct payment
  • Process expenses – verify expense requests with the staff member and allocate payment for the expenses on the agreed date
  • Process BACs payments – ensure all payments are submitted to BACs in a timely manner, ready for the bank to process and pay to the recipient on the agreed date
  • Manage supplier queries – resolve queries around supplier payments, including outstanding invoices and discrepancies
  • Set up new suppliers – inputting new and updating existing supplier information such as company VAT number, registered address, payment terms etc.
  • Generate financial statements – before the close of each financial period all entries into the purchase ledger must be complete so the ledger can be closed, and a statement can be generated showing a summary of what transactions took place

 

What do accounts payable clerks need?

candidate requirements

Accounts payable clerks need a range of skills, experience, and knowledge to carry out their role.

Exact requirements will depend on the seniority of each job, and the industry and scale of the employer’s finances, but typically this is what’s required.

 

Experience

Junior accounts payable clerk positions require the candidate to have had some experience working in an administration role, with finance exposure preferred. Some large companies will sometimes hire candidates with no finance related experience for trainee positions.

Intermediate to senior accounts payable clerk positions require candidates to have significant experience managing the accounts payable process from end to end alongside strong excel skills and experience of process improvements and implementation.

 

Accounts payable clerk skills

Accounts payable clerks need the following skills to succeed in this career path:

  • Attention to detail: To track of all financial transactions, avoid mistakes and monitor potential errors in calculations and records
  • Communication: To work with clients and co-workers in person, over the phone and via email to source accurate information within reasonable timeframes
  • Organisation: To manage large numbers of financial records, locating records in a timely manner, and processing information for month and year end
  • Problem solving: To manage unexpected issues and find resolutions to problems

And the more industry specific “hard skills” include:

  • Accounting software: Use of a variety of accounting software such as Excel, Sage, MS Dynamics, and BACS
  • Accounts payable process: Maintaining a solid understanding of basic bookkeeping and accounts payable principles
  • Data analysis: Reviewing financial records for potential errors and examining areas in which the business could reduce its costs
  • Mathematical skills: Reviewing financial records and invoices for accuracy including adding or subtracting by hand to ensure the numbers are correct

 

Accounts payable clerk qualifications

Although qualifications are not essential to work within an accounts payable role, it does require a good understanding of basic bookkeeping and accounting skills.

There are also professional qualifications that are recognised across the finance industry and will help candidates to secure an accounts payable role, besides helping them perform their role.

 

Undergraduate degree

An undergraduate degree in on the following subjects would be beneficial for an individual looking to pursue a career in accounts payable:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics
  • Business studies

 

Professional qualifications

There are several professional qualifications that will assist in the career of accounts payable professionals:

  • Accounts Payable Association (APA) – this course helps its learners to identify and carry out all the core processes and procedures needed to work within an accounts payable function
  • Certified Accounts Payable Practitioner (CAPP) – this course gives learners the specialist knowledge ad skills required for a successful accounts payable career, including teaching proven best practices while understanding how to improve processes and reduce fraud risks
  • Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) – AAT offers a variety of courses which focus on broader, practical, real-world accounting skills, including how to manage finances, budgets, and cash flow

 

What is expected of accounts payable clerks?

Typically, an accounts payable clerk is expected to commit the following;

  • Full or part time hours – accounts payable roles are often available on both full and part time contracts depending on the size of the business
  • Possibility of occasional overtime – occasional overtime at month and year end
  • Location – based at the employer’s office

 

Accounts payable clerk benefits

Accounts payable clerks in permanent roles will usually receive a good benefits package, including things like:

  • Bonuses – based on performance
  • Pension
  • Career progression
  • Study support – to study professionally recognised finance qualifications

 

 

Who employs accounts payable clerks?

Employers

All companies who make a high volume of purchases will require an AP clerk to process them, so employment is available across many industries.

Large companies often employ accounts payable clerks as part of a wider finance team, whereas small companies do not have the need for a specific accounts payable clerk and may instead choose to hire an accounts assistant with a broader skillset.

Typical accounts payable clerk employers include companies within:

  • Retail
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Manufacturing
  • Transport
  • Construction
  • IT
  • Finance
  • Entertainment
  • Housing
  • Utilities

 

Which junior jobs progress to accounts payable clerk roles?

Although some businesses will offer entry level accounts payable positions, most are looking for some related experience in roles such as:

 

Accounts administrator

Junior accounts staff member, responsible for processing and verifying invoices and requests for payment.

Finance assistant

Junior finance role, completing general finance admin such as data entry, updating records and processing invoices.

 

Which senior jobs do accounts payable clerks progress to?

Accounts payable is a great springboard into more senior and higher paid accounts payable and wider finance positions, such as:

 

Accounts payable supervisor

Some accounts payable clerks progress into a supervisory position, overseeing a team of accounts payable staff and completing monthly reports.

Accounts assistant

Accounts assistants handle a variety of basic finance duties including accounts payable, accounts receivable, credit control, processing payrolls and preparing VAT returns.

 

Accounts payable clerk job description – conclusion

The role of an accounts payable clerk is a skilled and fast paced position and it can include managing many complaints from disgruntled suppliers.

It offers positive career progression opportunities, and the position is in demand across the UK from a wide range of industries and employers.