an accounts payable officer bookkeeper

How to Become an Accounts Payable Officer

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ACCOUNTS PAYABLE OFFICERS are responsible for paying invoices owed by a company to its suppliers or vendors.

They typically work in medium to large-sized businesses, where they may also be called an accounts officer and be responsible for investigating the cost of wages, materials, overheads and other operating expenses.

Here are some of the other common tasks you’ll find in an accounts payable officers job description.

Accounts Payable Officer & Working with Creditors

There is some overlap in the role of a bookkeeper and an accounts payable officer, and many bookkeepers also provide accounts payable services to clients.

The daily tasks of an accounts payable officer

The day-to-day tasks that an accounts payable officer will perform include:

  • Preparing and processing documentation related to accounts payable
  • Reconciling invoices and despatching payments
  • Calculating, analysing and investigating the costs of proposed expenditure, wages and standard costs
  • Preparing bank reconciliations
  • Allocating expenditure to specified budget accounts
  • Summarising expenditure and receipts
  • Preparing records of standard costs and values for items such as raw materials and packaging supplies
  • Recording cost variations and contract price movements
  • Compiling cost data for preparation of operating budgets, and profit and loss calculations

An accounts payable officer may also work in a call centre. 

Accounts payable officers are typically employed by a business on a part-time or full-time basis. Some accounts payable officers also provide bookkeeping and BAS services on a contract basis.

The soft skills of an accounts payable officer

Accounts payable officers need to have a good head for numbers, as well as the ability to work with and analyse an array of data. They need to possess the following attributes:

  • Keen eye for detail
  • Numerical accuracy
  • Strong problem solving skills
  • Data analysis skills
  • Good communication and intra-personal skills
  • Ability to work autonomously and in a team
  • Good computer skills
  • Ability to multitask and meet deadlines

The qualifications of an accounts payable officer

Accounts payable officers don’t require any formal qualifications as such, although some people working in accounts payable certainly possess degrees in accounting, finance and economics or business. At the very least, a person working in accounts payable will require a strong grasp of most accounting software and bookkeeping terms and general level maths.

Accounts payable training options include:

Career pathways for accounts payable officers

Working as an accounts payable officer, either in a large company or at an accounting / bookkeeping firm, is a good way for prospective BAS agents to gain the supervision and work experience necessary to register with the Tax Practitioners Board.

In medium to large businesses the workload in this specific area can be huge so you’ll be doing the same or similar tasks all day long but when you start working for smaller businesses you’ll be expected to know more about a variety of different skills taught in our Xero Advanced CertificateMYOB Advanced Certificate and QuickBooks Online Advanced Certificate courses.

Learn more about how our Beginners and Advanced Courses will help you achieve your desired job outcomes.

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Steve Slisar

Steve Slisar has been training people how to use computers since 1994, opened a training centre in 1999 in Dee Why and by 2005 had 3 training centres and created over 35 individual courses that include Screen videos with audio commentary, training workbooks for those who prefer to read to learn, and exercise files that are used with the tasks in the workbooks so you get practical experience in the software you are trying to learn. Now the creator of 5 of the most popular online MYOB training courses in Australia.