After the sales team closes the deal and the goods or services have been delivered, the accounts receivable department ensures that your customers meet their payment deadlines. Receiving timely B2B payments reduces potential cash flow issues, ensuring vendors and employees are paid and the business continues growing. An accounts receivable specialist has certain defined responsibilities within the department.
What are the duties of an accounts receivable specialist?
Accounts Receivable Specialist/Clerk
Accounts receivable specialists may also be referred to as "A/R clerks". As the job title suggests, an accounts receivable specialists' primary responsibility is receiving payment on accounts. The A/R specialist may be part of an accounts receivable management workflow with other specialists such as the credit manager or the accounts receivable manager.
Accounts Receivable Steps to Getting Paid
Before payment can be collected, the client will need to be invoiced or billed. Billing the client will include other steps such as:
- Setting a credit policy
- Reviewing your client's credit-worthiness with a business credit check
- Setting payment terms
- Setting a collections policy
- Obtaining a signed agreement
Accounts Receivable Specialist Duties
The accounts receivable specialist will report to an A/R manager who is responsible for supervision over billing, credit policies, collections and increasing accounts receivable turnover. The A/R manager may also act as a liaison with the legal department if an invoice is disputed during the accounts receivable collections process.
An accounts receivable specialist or clerk will have specific A/R management responsibilities:
- Preparation and sending of invoices
- Contacting clients for payment resolution
- Negotiating payment arrangements
- Recording and reconciling payments
- Resolving payment discrepancies
- Maintaining billing accounts and records
- Producing reports as required by management
- Assisting with collections
Other A/R Roles & Responsibilities
Depending on the size of the organization, the accounts receivable department may hire specialists for other particular A/R tasks. These tasks could be related to:
- Extending credit to clients
- Reviewing and updating the current credit policy
- Managing or supervising the entire department or subsections of the A/R department
- Accounts Receivable Collections
As your company grows, your accounts receivable department will grow too. If you're looking to hire more employees and are unsure where to start, download free sample A/R job description templates here. These templates can be used to create job descriptions or can offer some guidance on defining roles, qualifications and responsibilities for your growing A/R department.