Accounts Receivable Specialist Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Accounts Receivable Specialist, or Accounts Receivable Clerk, is responsible for collecting payments for a company using skills in project management, organization and communications to collect the payments from clients and customers. Accounts Receivable Specialists track payments, make banking deposits and run reports that document profits and losses for an organization.

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Accounts Receivable Specialist Duties and Responsibilities

An Accounts Receivable Specialist manages incoming payments, properly tracking them into the system to maintain accurate bookkeeping records. An Accounts Receivable Specialist has the following responsibilities:

  • Maintain bookkeeping databases and spreadsheets, updating information as needed
  • Communicate with previous clients and customers to request payment and arrange payment plans
  • Collect payment from customers and accurately record it into the system
  • Create reports and balance sheets that document overall profits and losses
  • Update client accounts based on payment or contact information

What does an Accounts Receivable Specialist do?

Accounts Receivable Specialists work in accounting departments of businesses and organizations to provide administrative and bookkeeping support and streamline their financial recordkeeping. They are in charge of managing all communications relating to invoices and incoming bills, and may work with Accounts Payable Specialists to balance company financial records. They maintain knowledge of company bookkeeping policies, audit business ledgers, organize invoices and begin the collections process for client accounts with past-due balances. Accounts Receivable Specialists also process and record any unique billing situations that fall outside of regular operations such as custom payment plans.

Accounts Receivable Specialist Skills and Qualifications

An Accounts Receivable Specialist will often have certain skills and qualifications, which include:

  • Communication: Developed written and verbal communication skills are necessary when working as an Accounts Receivable Specialist. Account receivable specialists will often communicate with clients, requesting payment or setting up payment plans.
  • Project management: Strong project management skills are useful as an Accounts Receivable Specialist as they are often managing multiple projects at one time.
  • Organization: Organizational skills are crucial as an Accounts Receivable Specialist. The ability to closely pay attention to detail will ensure that records and reports are accurate.
  • Computer: Advanced computer skills are useful as an Accounts Receivable Specialist. Specialists will often work with accounting and bookkeeping computer programs to identify past due accounts and to report payments.

Accounts Receivable Specialist Salary Expectations

The average yearly salary for an Accounts Receivable Specialist is $32,064. Some Accounts Receivable Specialist salaries will range between $13,920 – $59,328, depending on geographical location, level of experience, and industry in which the specialist works. An Accounts Receivable Specialist with previous experience who works in a large company can usually expect a higher salary than an entry-level Accounts Receivable Specialist who works for a smaller company.

Accounts Receivable Specialist Education and Training Requirements

A minimum of an associate’s degree or training in accounting and billing is often recommended to become an Accounts Receivable Specialist. Hiring managers often prefer related coursework in accounting, finance, business or bookkeeping. Many entry-level Accounts Receivable Specialists will receive on-the-job training, working with other bookkeeping specialists. As an Accounts Receivable Specialist earns more experience, they may choose to become certified. Certification requires at least two years of experience and the successful completion of the certification exam. Depending on the bookkeeping practices of the company, some hiring managers may also require program-specific training from new Accounts Receivable Specialists.

Accounts Receivable Specialist Experience Requirements

Previous experience is not usually required to become an Accounts Receivable Specialist, but some hiring managers prefer it. Otherwise, Accounts Receivable Specialists will learn important job skills while working with experienced Accounts Receivable Specialists. Some employers may also require Accounts Receivable Specialists to become certified during employment.

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Frequently asked questions about Accounts Receivable Specialists

 

Do Accounts Receivable Specialists have different responsibilities in different industries?

While the invoicing process can vary from company to company, most Accounts Receivable Specialists have similar responsibilities regardless of the industry they work in. Businesses that have higher volumes of accounts may have teams of Accounts Receivable Specialists working together to collect payments and process all client invoices, while smaller companies might have a single Accounts Receivable Specialist that oversees all outstanding accounts, billing processes and contact with clients about upcoming payments.

 

What should you look for on an Accounts Receivable Specialist's resume?

When hiring for an Accounts Receivable Specialist, look for in other bookkeeping roles and administrative positions where they facilitate the organization and workflow of an organization. Candidates should emphasize their ability to work with large sets of data, listing the types of database software they have used in the past. Top candidates may have experience handling money through different payment methods, interacting with clients and keeping track of multiple deadlines at once, ensuring that they will be able to collect payments from customers according to schedule.

 

What makes a good Accounts Receivable Specialist?

In addition to having a basic knowledge of accounting principles and the ability to perform quick mathematical calculations, good Accounts Receivable Specialists are detail-oriented and work well as part of a larger team. They have excellent time management abilities and are able to effectively communicate bookkeeping information to others. Good Accounts Receivable Specialists need to be extremely organized in order to keep track of all of the emails, letters and calls related to client invoices.

 

What is the difference between an Accounts Receivable Specialist and an Accountant?

The biggest difference between Accounts Receivable Specialists and Accountants is their level of experience and the scope of their work. Both are types of accounting positions, but Accounts Receivable Specialists usually have a two-year degree and focus on bookkeeping while Accountants have a four-year degree and work with the overall financial health of an organization. Accountants may also earn the status of Certified Public Accountant, a professional classification that indicates their expertise in the financial field.

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