Accounts Receivable Representative Job Facts

Explore the career requirements for account receivable representatives. Get the facts about education requirements, salary, certification and job outlook to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Accounts Receivable Representative?

An accounts receivable representative is an accounting clerk who reviews customer accounts for businesses, making sure that the appropriate payment is received for goods bought or services rendered. At large companies, they may specialize specifically in this area, dedicating all of their efforts to recording and organizing invoice information. For this, they use specialized software and databases, which they may consult in order to prepare reports for company executives or clients when requested.

Learn about the education and certification options for this position, along with the salary potential and a detailed description of the job skills.

Education Required High school diploma at minimum; undergraduate degree preferred
Education Field of Study Accounting
Key Skills Computer literacy, math skills, problem-solving, attention to detail
Certification Optional
Job Growth (2014-2024) -8% (for all bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks)*
Average Salary (2015) $38,990 (for all bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is an Accounts Receivable Representative?

The very foundation of business is in the receipt of payment for products or services. Accounts receivable representatives work in small, medium and large companies. They're responsible for processing a business's incoming payment transactions. This position also supports the accuracy of a company's financial information by reconciling, or comparing, financial data at the end of a financial period. As an accounts receivable representative, you may work on assigned accounts or in a more general capacity.

What Kind of Work Will I Perform?

In this position, you'd perform tasks related to reviewing and reporting account data, processing payments and working with delinquent account holders. For example, if you manage a large account with multiple percentage discounts, you'd ensure customer invoices reflect accurate pricing. In smaller companies, you may be responsible for depositing payments, including checks or cash.

An account becomes delinquent when a customer falls behind on his payments. In some positions, you may research delinquent accounts and contact customers to secure payment. You may also perform account reconciliation and the analysis of financial reports or statements.

What Education or Certification Will I Need?

Most positions require high school diplomas, at minimum. Many employers require some post-secondary education, such as an associate's degree in accounting. Accounting programs at the associate's degree level typically offer courses in math, business law and accounting. Pursuing a bachelor's degree may over qualify you for account representative opportunities.

The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers offers the Certified Bookkeeper credential, which validates your knowledge and skills in the industry. You must have at least two years experience in accounting or bookkeeping and pass an examination.

How Much Money Could I Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks earned an average $38,990 annually in 2015 (www.bls.gov). The 10% to 90% percentile of clerks earned between $22,940 and $57,920 per year, reported the BLS. Your earnings will vary depending on your location, education and the company for which you work.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Instead of working as an accounting clerk, you might be interested in getting a job as an auditing clerk. In this position, your job would be to review documents and postings, including accounts receivable invoices, in order to verify their mathematical accuracy. At minimum, auditing clerks need a high school diploma, but some college education may also be required. Another clerking job that you might be interested in is a position as a payroll clerk. Payroll clerks are in charge of issuing paychecks based on records of employee hours and attendance. They need to have at least a high school diploma.

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