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Become An Accounts Payable Clerk

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Working As An Accounts Payable Clerk

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $39,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Accounts Payable Clerk Do

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks produce financial records for organizations. They record financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records for accuracy.

Duties

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks typically do the following:

  • Use bookkeeping software, online spreadsheets, and databases
  • Enter (post) financial transactions into the appropriate computer software
  • Receive and record cash, checks, and vouchers
  • Put costs (debits) and income (credits) into the software, assigning each to an appropriate account
  • Produce reports, such as balance sheets (costs compared with income), income statements, and totals by account
  • Check for accuracy in figures, postings, and reports
  • Reconcile or note and report any differences they find in the records

The records that bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks work with include expenditures (money spent), receipts (money that comes in), accounts payable (bills to be paid), accounts receivable (invoices, or what other people owe the organization), and profit and loss (a report that shows the organization’s financial health).

Workers in this occupation have a wide range of tasks. Some are full-charge bookkeeping clerks who maintain an entire organization’s books. Others are accounting clerks who handle specific tasks.

These clerks use basic mathematics (adding, subtracting) throughout the day.

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks use specialized computer accounting software, spreadsheets, and databases to enter information from receipts or bills. They must be comfortable using computers to record and calculate data.

The widespread use of computers also has enabled bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks to take on additional responsibilities, such as payroll, billing, purchasing (buying), and keeping track of overdue bills. Many of these functions require clerks to communicate with clients.

Bookkeeping clerks, also known as bookkeepers, often are responsible for some or all of an organization’s accounts, known as the general ledger. They record all transactions and post debits (costs) and credits (income).

They also produce financial statements and other reports for supervisors and managers. Bookkeepers prepare bank deposits by compiling data from cashiers, verifying receipts, and sending cash, checks, or other forms of payment to the bank.

In addition, they may handle payroll, make purchases, prepare invoices, and keep track of overdue accounts.

Accounting clerks typically work for larger companies and have more specialized tasks. Their titles, such as accounts payable clerk or accounts receivable clerk, often reflect the type of accounting they do.

The responsibilities of accounting clerks frequently vary by level of experience. Entry-level accounting clerks may post details of transactions (including date, type, and amount), add up accounts, and determine interest charges. They also may monitor loans and accounts to ensure that payments are up to date.

More advanced accounting clerks may add and balance billing vouchers, ensure that account data are complete and accurate, and code documents according to an organization’s procedures.

Auditing clerks check figures, postings, and documents to ensure that they are mathematically accurate and properly coded. They also correct or note errors for accountants or other workers to fix.

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How To Become An Accounts Payable Clerk

Most bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks need some postsecondary education and also learn some of their skills on the job. They must have basic math and computer skills, including knowledge of spreadsheets and bookkeeping software.

Education

Employers generally require bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks to have some postsecondary education, particularly coursework in accounting. However, some candidates can be hired with just a high school diploma.

Training

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks usually get on-the-job training. Under the guidance of a supervisor or another experienced employee, new clerks learn how to do their tasks, including double-entry bookkeeping. In double-entry bookkeeping, each transaction is entered twice, once as a debit (cost) and once as a credit (income), to ensure that all accounts are balanced.

Some formal classroom training also may be necessary, such as training in specialized computer software. This on-the-job training typically takes around 6 months.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks become certified. For those who do not have postsecondary education, certification is a particularly useful way to gain expertise in the field. The Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation, awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, shows that those who have earned it have the skills and knowledge needed to carry out all bookkeeping tasks, including overseeing payroll and balancing accounts, according to accepted accounting procedures.

For certification, candidates must have at least 2 years of full-time bookkeeping experience or equivalent part-time work, pass a four-part exam, and adhere to a code of ethics.

The National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers also offers certification. The Uniform Bookkeeper Certification Examination is an online test with 50 multiple-choice questions. Test takers must answer 75 percent of the questions correctly to pass the exam.

Advancement

With appropriate experience and education, some bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks may become accountants or auditors.

Important Qualities

Computer skills. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks need to be comfortable using computer spreadsheets and bookkeeping software.

Detail oriented. These clerks are responsible for producing accurate financial records. They must pay attention to detail in order to avoid making errors and recognize errors that others have made.

Integrity. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks have control of an organization’s financial documentation, which they must use properly and keep confidential. It is vital that they keep records transparent and guard against misappropriating an organization’s funds.

Math skills. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks deal with numbers daily and should be comfortable with basic arithmetic.

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Accounts Payable Clerk Career Paths

Accounts Payable Clerk
Staff Accountant Accountant Accounting Manager
Assistant Controller
6 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Finance Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Manager Finance Planning And Analysis
8 Yearsyrs
Staff Accountant Accountant Office Manager
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Accountant
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Payroll Administrator Office Manager
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Payroll Administrator Office Manager Controller
Accounting Director
11 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Senior Accountant Controller
Finance Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Senior Accountant Accounting Manager
Plant Controller
10 Yearsyrs
Specialist Consultant Accounting Manager
Senior Accounting Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Credit Analyst
Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Accounts Receivable Specialist Credit Analyst Credit Manager
Credit And Collection Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Consultant Senior Accountant
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Credit Analyst Credit Manager
Collections Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Buyer Manager Controller
Assistant Director Of Finance
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Consultant Assistant Controller
Comptroller
6 Yearsyrs
Analyst Senior Finance Analyst Accounting Supervisor
Manager, Accounting Operations
7 Yearsyrs
Charge Bookkeeper Accountant And Office Manager
Account Human Resources Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Executive Assistant Office Manager/Administrative Assistant
Office And Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Cost Accountant Project Accountant
Management Accounts Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Account Payables Analyst Accounts Payable Supervisor Accounts Payable Manager
Account Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Accountable Clerk 3.7 years
Accounting Clerk 3.4 years
Finance Clerk 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Accounts Payable Clerk
Bookkeeper 6.2%
Cashier 5.5%
Accountant 3.6%
Teller 2.4%
Secretary 2.1%
Top Careers After Accounts Payable Clerk
Accountant 6.5%
Bookkeeper 6.2%
Cashier 4.8%

Do you work as an Accounts Payable Clerk?

Accounts Payable Clerk Demographics

Gender

Female

73.4%

Male

16.0%

Unknown

10.6%
Ethnicity

White

60.3%

Hispanic or Latino

17.2%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

7.6%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.8%

French

7.0%

Mandarin

4.8%

Chinese

4.3%

German

2.7%

Russian

2.6%

Cantonese

2.6%

Portuguese

2.4%

Italian

1.8%

Japanese

1.7%

Vietnamese

1.5%

Hindi

1.5%

Arabic

1.4%

Korean

1.3%

Polish

1.1%

Tagalog

1.1%

Carrier

0.8%

Thai

0.5%

Hmong

0.5%

Turkish

0.4%
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Accounts Payable Clerk Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

33.4%

Strayer University

10.9%

Kaplan University

5.7%

University of Houston

4.3%

Ashford University

4.2%

Houston Community College

4.1%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.1%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.3%

Liberty University

3.3%

University of Maryland - University College

3.1%

American InterContinental University

3.0%

Miami Dade College

2.9%

Baker College

2.6%

San Jose State University

2.6%

Florida International University

2.4%

Davenport University

2.3%

Monroe College

2.1%

Northeastern University

2.1%

Grand Canyon University

2.0%

The Academy

1.9%
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Majors

Accounting

39.6%

Business

30.0%

Finance

4.4%

Health Care Administration

3.5%

Management

2.2%

General Studies

2.0%

Psychology

2.0%

Criminal Justice

1.7%

Human Resources Management

1.5%

Education

1.5%

Liberal Arts

1.4%

Computer Science

1.4%

Marketing

1.2%

Nursing

1.2%

Medical Assisting Services

1.2%

Communication

1.2%

Legal Support Services

1.1%

Secretarial And Administrative Science

1.0%

Economics

0.9%

Computer Information Systems

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.3%

Other

26.5%

Associate

18.8%

Masters

9.1%

Certificate

5.6%

Diploma

2.1%

License

0.4%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$39,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$30,000
Min 10%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$50,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
College Board
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.5 years
How much does an Accounts Payable Clerk make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Accounts Payable Clerk in the United States is $39,064 per year or $19 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $30,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $50,000.

Real Accounts Payable Clerk Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Accounts Payable Versace USA Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $48,000
Account Payable Specialist Security Storage of Washington Washington, DC Apr 07, 2010 $45,000
Account Payable Specialist Security Storage of Washington Washington, DC Apr 11, 2011 $45,000
Account Payable Specialist Security Storage of Washington Washington, DC Apr 02, 2011 $45,000
Accounts Payable Specialist Teoco Corporation Fairfax, VA Apr 11, 2013 $43,846
Accounts Payable Specialist Teoco Corporation Fairfax, VA Apr 12, 2010 $42,000
Accounts Payable Specialist Southern Management Corporation Vienna, VA Oct 01, 2011 $40,810
Accounts Payable Clerk Summer Infant, Inc. Woonsocket, RI Oct 01, 2010 $39,000
Accounts Payable Clerk Blendtec, Inc. Orem, UT Jan 09, 2016 $38,459
Coordinator, Accounts Payable Giorgio Armani Corporation New York, NY Mar 21, 2011 $38,002
Accounts Payable Hospitality Property Management, LLC Miami Beach, FL Mar 30, 2010 $38,000
Coordinator, Accounts Payable Giorgio Armani Corporation New York, NY Sep 28, 2011 $38,000
Coordinator, Accounts Payable Giorgio Armani Corporation New York, NY Sep 29, 2011 $38,000
Accounts Payable Coordinator Giorgio Armani Corporation New York, NY Oct 01, 2012 $38,000
Coordinator, Accounts Payable Giorgio Armani Corporation New York, NY Jan 03, 2011 $38,000
Accounts Payable Gansevoort South, LLC Miami Beach, FL Mar 12, 2010 $38,000
Accounts Payable Clerk Allcare Medical Management, Inc. San Bernardino, CA Jun 01, 2011 $37,566 -
$45,914
Accounts Payable Clerk Theranos, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Sep 14, 2013 $37,566 -
$46,102
Accounts Payable Clerk Alexander S Kirzhner D/B/A Serenity Laser Dental New York, NY Nov 19, 2010 $37,357
Accounts Payable Clerk Pacific Trellis Fruit, LLC Los Angeles, CA Nov 19, 2014 $36,585
Accounts Payable Clerk Pacific Trellis Fruit, LLC Los Angeles, CA Aug 05, 2015 $36,585
Accounts Payable Clerk Black Cloud, Inc. New York, NY Aug 26, 2009 $36,525
Accounts Payable Clerk Metrotech Medical Support Programs, Inc. New York, NY Dec 17, 2010 $36,358
Accounts Payable Specialist Wilmington University New Castle, DE Jan 01, 2014 $36,000

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Top Skills for An Accounts Payable Clerk

  1. Vendor Invoices
  2. Accounts Payables
  3. Purchase Orders
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Communicated with assigned facilities to ensure accuracy and timely processing of vendor invoices.
  • File and reconcile Accounts Payables invoices, as well as communicating extensively with Project Managers, Purchasing and Field Office Managers.
  • Investigated past-due invoices and old purchase orders; ran weekly accounts payable reports.
  • Analyze financial statements to insure proper reporting of period results along with explanation and information for department heads.
  • Expense Report Processing: Reviews all expense reports for accuracy, completeness of documentation and appropriate approvals obtained.

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Top 10 Best States for Accounts Payable Clerks

  1. Alaska
  2. Connecticut
  3. Rhode Island
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Texas
  7. Arizona
  8. Washington
  9. Delaware
  10. Minnesota
  • (38 jobs)
  • (254 jobs)
  • (69 jobs)
  • (125 jobs)
  • (577 jobs)
  • (1,456 jobs)
  • (493 jobs)
  • (496 jobs)
  • (51 jobs)
  • (527 jobs)

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