If you possess the practical skills for crunching numbers and analyzing costs, a career in accounting is undoubtedly the right fit for you. It will put you on track to a steady, well-paying job in a fast-paced organization. It is both competitive and rigorous. You’ll need to put in a significant amount of time and money earning your first degree, completing rigorous certification processes and searching for a job. So before you commit it all, be sure you’re up for the challenge. To excel in an accounts payable position, here is what you need to know in terms of education and licensure requirements, salary scale, and potential job growth.
Primary Roles and Responsibilities
Often times, accounting clerks work under close supervision of accounts managers or accounts supervisors. The accounts payable job description includes processing all bills from various corporate departments and assigning purchase order numbers for each account. They also review invoices and ensure vendors and creditors are paid on time. Other duties and responsibilities include:
What Education Level Will I Need?
As an entry-level accountant, hiring managers will typically require you to have at least have a high school diploma. Depending on the employer or industry, you may be required to have postsecondary training or a bachelor’s degree. To increase job prospects and opportunities in new sectors, you may want to consider sitting for certifications like CPA (Certified Professional Accountant). Other accounting credentials include CFA (Chartered Financial Accountant) and CMA (Certified Management Accountant). However, these require you to put in a lot of time, effort, and resources, so it’s critical to know what you’re getting into ahead of time.
Important Qualities and Skills
When you’re responsible for a company’s finances, your employer expects you to have the ability to interact with vendors and employees in a professional manner. Therefore, you must have the ability to communicate effectively, verbally and in writing. Although many accounting jobs require the same general skill set, being able to interpret internet data is a must for accounts payable jobs. Also, you should be comfortable with basic arithmetic, be of high integrity, pay attention to details at all times and be comfortable using computer spreadsheets and bookkeeping software.
How Much Do I Earn?
Salaries in most jobs depend on many factors, including your duties, the company, industry and your location. The median annual wage for accounting clerks, in general, is $39,240. You can expect higher wages working as an accounts payable specialist in finance or technical service industries. Average salaries in these sectors are $41,260 and $40,910, respectively, in 2017. In the state of Oklahoma, the median base salary of an accounts payable supervisor is $61,159 – higher most other states in the country.
It is projected that employment of accounting clerks will grow by 10% between 2016 and 2026. That means there will be plenty of accounts payable job openings from workers leaving the occupation.