Career Development

What Does an Accounts Payable Manager Do?

Find out what an accounts payable manager does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an accounts payable manager.

The role of an accounts payable manager is one that requires a great deal of attention to detail. They are responsible for managing the flow of payments from a company to its suppliers. This includes reviewing purchase orders, invoices, contracts and other documents related to purchases made by their organization.

Accounts payable managers also commonly manage relationships with vendors, ensuring that they receive timely payment on delivered goods or services. In addition to this, they may be tasked with overseeing the creation of new vendor agreements, as well as monitoring existing ones to ensure compliance with contractual terms.

Accounts Payable Manager Job Duties

Accounts payable managers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Negotiating prices for products or services with vendors
  • Reviewing purchase orders to ensure that all terms have been met and that the order is ready for payment
  • Reviewing payables reports to ensure that accounts are accurately recorded
  • Monitoring cash flow to ensure that bills are paid on time
  • Reviewing and approving invoices for accuracy and ensuring that all required information is included
  • Coordinating with accounting staff to process payments, including writing checks and entering electronic fund transfers
  • Reviewing invoices to ensure that goods or services have been received by the customer
  • Verifying that funds are available in the company’s bank account to cover payments
  • Coordinating with other departments to ensure that all invoices are paid within specified timeframes

Accounts Payable Manager Salary & Outlook

Accounts payable managers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $82,500 ($39.66/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $112,000 ($53.85/hour)

The employment of accounts payable managers is expected to decline over the next decade.

Organizations are increasingly outsourcing their accounts payable functions to third-party service providers. This allows organizations to focus on their core business activities and reduces costs.

Related: Accounts Payable Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Accounts Payable Manager Job Requirements

The following are some of the requirements that are often looked for in an accounts payable manager:

Education: Accounts payable managers need at least a high school diploma or GED certificate. Many employers prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Relevant coursework includes accounting, business law, finance and economics.

Training & Experience: Accounts payable managers typically receive on-the-job training in their new role. This training may last for a few months and may include shadowing the current accounts payable manager or another member of the accounting or finance department. The training may also include learning the company’s specific accounting software.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications enable professionals to prove their qualifications to current and future employers. Accounts payable managers can earn certifications to gain more theoretical knowledge of their responsibilities, test their professional skills and further advance their career.

Accounts Payable Manager Skills

Accounts payable managers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Organization: Organization is a crucial skill for an accounts payable manager. This role requires the ability to manage multiple tasks and projects at once. Having strong organizational skills allows you to prioritize your work and keep track of invoices, payments and other financial documents. Organization also allows you to delegate tasks effectively and ensure that your team is working on the most important projects.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is a necessary skill for an accounts payable manager. This role requires you to review invoices and ensure the company is paying the correct amount for the services or products they’ve received. It’s also important to check for errors in the invoice and verify the invoice is legitimate. This role requires you to review large amounts of data, so attention to detail is necessary to ensure you’re paying the correct amount for the correct products or services.

Communication: Communication is the act of transferring information from one person to another. As an accounts payable manager, you communicate with many people, including employees, suppliers and other managers. You use communication to relay information, request information and answer questions. Effective communication is an essential skill for an accounts payable manager.

Leadership: Leadership is the ability to motivate and inspire others to work together to achieve a common goal. As an accounts payable manager, you may be responsible for overseeing a team of several individuals. Effective leadership can help you to motivate your team to work efficiently and to achieve the company’s financial goals.

Financial knowledge: Financial knowledge is a crucial skill for an accounts payable manager. This is because they are responsible for managing the company’s finances, including its accounts payable. Having a strong understanding of financial concepts like cash flow, interest rates and budgeting can help an accounts payable manager make informed decisions about the company’s finances.

Accounts Payable Manager Work Environment

The accounts payable manager typically works in an office environment, although some travel may be required to attend meetings or visit other branches of the organization. The job is generally performed during regular business hours, although some overtime may be required during busy periods. The work can be stressful at times, due to the need to meet deadlines and maintain accuracy in all transactions. However, the accounts payable manager typically has a good working relationship with other members of the accounting and finance team, as well as with vendors and suppliers.

Accounts Payable Manager Trends

Here are three trends influencing how Accounts Payable Managers work. Accounts Payable Managers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of the Gig Economy

The gig economy is growing rapidly, as more and more people are turning to freelance work as a way to make ends meet. This trend is having a major impact on the accounting profession, as businesses are increasingly looking for professionals who can manage their accounts payable.

Accounts payable managers can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in managing payments for freelancers and contractors. They can also develop skills in areas such as payroll and tax filing, which are important for any business that hires independent workers.

More Focus on Cost Reduction

As businesses look for ways to reduce costs, they are placing increased focus on the accounts payable department. This means that accounts payable managers will need to be able to find ways to streamline processes and reduce expenses.

In order to be successful in this environment, accounts payable managers will need to be familiar with the latest technologies and tools that can help them track spending and identify areas for improvement. They will also need to be able to communicate effectively with other departments within the company in order to get buy-in for changes that will benefit everyone.

Greater Use of Technology

Technology is playing an ever-increasing role in the world of business. This is especially true in the area of accounts payable management, where technology is being used to automate many tasks that were once done manually.

As technology continues to evolve, accounts payable managers will need to learn how to use it to their advantage. This includes learning how to use software to track payments, manage invoices, and communicate with suppliers.

How to Become an Accounts Payable Manager

When starting your career as an Accounts Payable Manager, it’s important to consider the company you want to work for. Do they have a culture that supports professional development? Are there opportunities for growth within the organization? What is their compensation package like?

It’s also important to build relationships with vendors and customers. This will help you better understand how the accounts payable process works and make sure that payments are made on time. Additionally, it’s important to stay up-to-date on changes in the law and regulations that affect accounts payable.

Advancement Prospects

The most common way to advance in this career is to move up within your current organization. As you gain experience and prove yourself to be a reliable and competent employee, you will likely be given more responsibility and eventually promoted to a higher position. Alternatively, you may choose to move to a different organization, where you can use your experience to get a higher-level position.

Another way to advance in this career is to get more education. If you have an accounting or business-related degree, you may be able to get a job as an accountant or financial analyst. These positions usually require more education than an accounts payable manager position, but they also offer more responsibility and higher salaries.

Finally, you may choose to start your own accounts payable consulting business. This can be a great way to use your experience and knowledge to help other businesses, while also giving you the flexibility to set your own hours and work from home.

Accounts Payable Manager Job Description Example

The Accounts Payable Manager is responsible for the accurate and timely processing of vendor invoices and employee expense reports. This position reports to the Assistant Controller and works closely with the accounting team and other departments within the company to ensure timely and accurate payment of invoices. The Accounts Payable Manager will also be responsible for maintaining vendor relationships, resolving invoice discrepancies, and ensuring compliance with company policies and procedures.

The ideal candidate will have a minimum of five years of accounts payable experience, as well as experience leading and managing a team. He or she will be highly organized, detail-oriented, and able to work independently with little supervision. Additionally, the candidate will have excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Ensure that all invoices and employee expense reports are processed in a timely manner
  • Verify accuracy of invoices and other accounting documents or records
  • Update and maintain accounting journals, ledgers, and other records detailing financial business transactions (e.g. disbursements, receipts, accounts payable, etc.)
  • Reconcile accounts payable transactions
  • Monitor vendor accounts to ensure timely payment
  • Research and resolve invoice discrepancies and issues
  • Maintain supplier files
  • Process 1099 forms at year end
  • Prepare analyses of accounts
  • Assist with month end closing
  • Train and supervise Accounts Payable staff
  • Perform special projects and ad-hoc reporting as requested by management

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, business administration, or related field
  • 5+ years of experience in accounts payable or similar role
  • Proven leadership and supervisory skills
  • Working knowledge of accounts payable software and ERP systems
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Certified Accounts Payable Professional (CAPP) certification
  • MBA or Master’s degree in related field
  • Experience with auditing and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance
  • Advanced Excel skills


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