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How Much Does an Accounts Payable Professional Make?

accounts-payable-professionalWhen setting your sights on a potential career, “How much will I make?” is inevitably one of the first questions you’ll ask. It’s an important question. A career with strong income potential can make the difference between living paycheck to paycheck and having enough money to retire comfortably.

What Does an Accounts Payable Professional Do?

Accounts payable professionals are responsible for processing and monitoring payments and expenditures, as well as monitoring the payroll system. Day-to-day activities for an accounts payable professional include:

– Receive and verify invoices for goods and services
– Maintain the general ledger
– Print and distribute monthly financial reports
– Verify that payments are made in accordance with financial policies and procedures

Accounts payable professionals are also responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of all financial documents. Accounts payable professionals play an important role in any modern corporation.

How To Become an Accounts Payable Professional

Some Accounts Payable clerk positions don’t require formal education beyond a high school diploma or GED. However, a four year accounting degree or business administration is typically required if you are interested in becoming an Accounts Payables Manager. In addition to formal education, several organizations offer formal certification, which could help secure a position as an accounts payable professional or boost potential salary.

Certifications that could improve job prospects include:

CAPA (Certified Accounts Payable Associate), a certification for individuals who perform accounts payable operations in a non-supervisory role.

CAPP (Certified Accounts Payable Professional), a certification for individuals who perform accounts payable operations in a supervisory role.

The CAPP and CAPA are both granted by the Institute of Financial Operations.

How much do Accounts Payable Professionals Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks earned an average of $34,030 per year – about $16.36 per hour – in 2010. This type of job is projected to grow about 14% over the next 10 years, which is about as fast as the average growth of jobs of all types.

The top 10% earned more than $54,470 per year, while the bottom 10% earned less than $21,270 per year. About a quarter of all accounts payable clerks were employed on a part-time basis as of 2010.

By contrast, the BLS reports that Accounts Payable Managers and General Ledger Managers earn, on average, $61,690 per year. This position generally requires a bachelor’s degree and entails a great deal more responsibility than the accounts payable clerk position. The fact sheet for Accountants and Auditors can be found here.

As with all jobs, salary is contingent on level of experience, level of education, and the individual employer.

While the average salary of a particular career path is one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself when choosing your career, other considerations should include the work environment, the amount of responsibility the job entails, and your personal preferences. Job security is also of paramount importance. Generally speaking, a high level of educational achievement corresponds with a high degree of job security.