All you need to know about Accounts Payable Jobs
The APA understands how essential and fluid the job market is within the Accounts Payable sector. Especially when the world is experiencing unprecedented times in 2020. We hope to provide as much support for those looking for new roles, as well as AP teams searching for that key new member of the team.
We hope you find this content and the job board helpful, please do get in touch if you require any assistance.
What does working in Accounts Payable consist of?
With a role in Accounts Payable, your objective is to process the payment of goods and services on behalf of organisations within the business sector.
General AP Responsibilities
- Logging transaction details
- Preventing misuse of company funds
- Detailing business expenditure using spreadsheets/databases
- Avoiding late payment, contractual violations & additional charges
- Ensuring the accuracy of invoices using Accounting programs/software
- Occasionally assisting HR teams with processing payroll
General AP Requirements
- IT proficiency
- Demonstrable arithmetic skills
- Ability to problem-solve
- Ability to meet deadlines
- Willingness to work overtime when necessary
- Attention to detail when keeping accurate records and correcting errors
- Experience or further education of Accounting is beneficial
- Proven experience in Accounting
- Further education in Accounting, Finance or Payroll is preferable
A Bachelor’s Degree is not necessary to gain employment or advance your career in Accounts Payable, however it may help accelerate your progression by reducing the amount of managerial experience required.
Accounts Payable Salary
With a career in Accounts Payable, the below guide is, approximately, what you can expect to earn depending on your experience & qualifications.
- Clerk: £16k – £22k
- Specialist: £22k – £26k
- Manager: £26k – £45k
Interview Tips & Guidance
Nerves are natural for all job interviews, but learning to keep composure is vital when working in professional environments. If you can maintain confidence before potential employers, you’re more likely to do the same in meetings.
Consider how you express yourself
No matter how qualified or experienced you are, your first impression is the best opportunity to sell yourself. From the moment you meet, to how you conduct yourself in conversation, it’s important to use body language to display friendliness and confidence. Dress appropriately, smile, give a firm handshake, sit upright and make sure you look interested.
Plan your route so that you aren’t late, bring relevant certificates and more than one copy of your CV, just in case. Ensure that you’re knowledgeable and articulate. The more you’re able to elaborate on topics, the more likely you are to impress a potential employer. It’s highly likely you’ll be asked what you know about the company, the industry and the latest trends, so take time to do research. You’re also likely to be asked about your character & experience, keep in mind what makes you the perfect candidate. Bringing notes along with you can be a huge help.
As much as you need to be able to answer questions, be mindful of how you listen to your interviewer. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, they want to see enthusiasm about the role.
For more advice, take a look at our blog on interview guidance for Accounts Payable professionals or 6 tips for Accounts Payable interview success.
Becoming an AP Leader and achieving career success
Leadership is essential in all industries, in order to maintain productivity, develop your team, satisfy both your clients & superiors, and advance your career. The Accounts Payable industry involves a lot of teamwork, collaboration, decision-making, problem-solving, policies & procedures, so if you aspire to lead a team, read below to learn what makes a great AP leader and a successful career.
- Learn to handle stress
- Value your team’s input
- Treat your staff with respect
- Encourage team engagement
- Don’t shy away from responsibility
- Be quick with your decision-making
- Never ignore mistakes, find solutions
- Set achievable targets and offer rewards
- Encourage automation to boost efficiency
- Be transparent with your superiors, collaborators, and vendors
- Build familiarity with everyone you work with and those you work for
- Focus on your strengths so you can delegate to more skillful staff in your weaker areas
- Adhere to procedure, the risk of fraud can have a detrimental effect on your company and your career
Tips for Success
For a long-term career in Accounts Payable, develop the following skills to attain success:
- Learn to prioritise
- Work with your team
- Be able to negotiate
- Practice organisation
- Gain expertise in accounting
- Understand numerical codes
- Enhance your arithmetic skills
- Become proficient with spreadsheets
- Research new programs and software
- Expand your knowledge of bookkeeping
- Communicate in a manner that builds rapport
- Take responsibility, for the sake of your team if not yourself
- Maintain accuracy and avoid errors, especially when entering data
Find out more about what makes a successful career in Accounts Payable here.
What can Accounts Payable experience lead to?
Learning to process invoices and pay bills involves a wide range of procedures for financial best practice. As a result, the skills acquired in Accounts Payable can help you succeed in many other occupations. If you were to consider aiming for promotion, or venturing into different industries, your experience could make you suitable for a variety of roles requiring similar skill sets.
Any time you spend in leadership, even managing or training temporary staff, forms experience & capability of supervising teams and their workloads. Whether you aspire to advance within Accounts Payable, or if your interest turns to an entirely different sector, you could possess the requirements needed for all manner of management positions, from Team Leader to Head of Department.
A Career in Finance
Handling payment information opens the door to many avenues within the finance sector. While a Degree or any other certifications/qualifications you may have earned are beneficial, there are many vacancies that will seek your experience, and no more than secondary school education.
Accounts Payable experience can make you a viable candidate for positions in Banking or Accountancy, as a Clerk at the very least. With other certifications or further education, you could be suitable for General Ledger or Commercial Loan Officer positions.
By working closely with vendors and purchasing departments, you can gain proven experience of procurement and negotiation. You can apply these skills to a role as an Agent or Clerk within Purchasing or Inventory Management. From there, you can develop into a Manager or Buyer.
To start or advance your career in Accounts Payable, take a look at our Certifications for accredited AP & P2P programmes:
- Recognised by hundreds of acclaimed employers.
- Flexible courses
- Develop industry skills
- Strengthen your CV
- Earn higher salaries
For more information & advice, contact the Accounts Payable Association today!