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Accounts receivable specialist

In the realm of finance and accounting, an accounts receivable specialist plays a vital role in managing a company’s finances.

Accounts receivable specialists ensure that payments are collected promptly and maintain healthy financial relationships with customers.

What is an accounts receivable specialist?

An accounts receivable specialist (AR specialist) is a finance professional responsible for overseeing the process of receiving and managing payments from customers or clients. 

AR specialists ensure the company receives payments for goods or services rendered. They track customer invoices, reconcile accounts, and follow up on outstanding payments.

The primary goal of an accounts receivable specialist is to maintain a healthy cash flow by minimizing overdue payments.

Duties of an accounts receivable specialist

The duties of an accounts receivable specialist may vary depending on the size and complexity of the organization. However, common responsibilities include:

Invoice generation

  • Prepare and issue invoices to clients or customers for goods or services rendered
  • Ensure accuracy in invoice details, including pricing, quantities, and terms

Payment tracking

  • Monitor and record incoming payments, whether by check, credit card, or electronic transfer
  • Keep a detailed record of payments received and reconcile them with invoices

Collections

  • Follow up on overdue payments and outstanding invoices
  • Contact clients or customers to request payment and resolve payment discrepancies

Accounts reconciliation

  • Reconcile discrepancies between invoiced amounts and received payments
  • Investigate and resolve any payment discrepancies or disputes

Financial reporting

  • Prepare and maintain accounts receivable reports and aging schedules
  • Generate regular financial reports for management, showcasing outstanding balances and collection efforts

Credit evaluation

  • Assess the creditworthiness of new customers or clients by reviewing their credit history and financial information
  • Make recommendations on credit limits and payment terms

Payment posting

  • Accurately post and allocate payments to customer accounts
  • Ensure that payments are applied to the correct invoices

Customer communication

  • Maintain open and effective communication with customers regarding their accounts
  • Provide payment options and solutions to customers facing financial difficulties

Account maintenance

  • Update and maintain customer account information, including contact details and credit terms
  • Ensure that account records are accurate and up to date

Reporting and analysis

  • Analyze accounts receivable data to identify trends, patterns, and opportunities for process improvement
  • Assist in developing strategies to reduce outstanding receivables and improve cash flow

Compliance

  • Ensure compliance with company policies, as well as local and national financial regulations
  • Maintain records and documentation for audits and internal reviews

Skills and requirements needed in an accounts receivable specialist

Certain skills and qualifications are essential in an exceptional accounts receivable specialist:

  • Strong analytical skills. This refers to analyzing data, identifying trends, and making informed decisions based on financial information.
  • Attention to Detail. A keen eye for detail is crucial in accurately managing invoices, payments, and reconciling accounts.
  • Organizational skills. Excellent organizational skills is needed to efficiently handle multiple tasks, meet deadlines, and prioritize work effectively.
  • Communication skills. Effective communication skills help build relationships with customers and colleagues and resolve conflicts.
  • Knowledge of accounting software. Proficiency in using accounting software and tools for processing invoices, tracking payments, and generating reports is necessary.
  • Problem-solving abilities. A reliable AR specialist can identify and resolve issues related to payments, discrepancies, and customer inquiries.

Where to hire an accounts receivable specialist?

To find qualified accounts receivable specialists, companies can explore various options:

1. Job boards

Post job openings on popular online job boards like LinkedIn or Glassdoor. These platforms draw in a diverse pool of individuals actively searching for job opportunities.

2. Recruitment agencies

Engage with recruitment agencies or outsourcing providers specializing in finance and accounting roles to find suitable candidates who match the required skills and experience.

3. Internal referrals

Encourage current employees to refer potential candidates from their network who may fit the requirements of an accounts receivable specialist.

Salary comparison for an accounts receivable specialist

The salary for accounts receivable specialists varies depending on factors like location, experience, and the size of the employing organization.

Here’s a general annual salary comparison in the USA and the Philippines according to ZipRecruiter and Talent.com:

JuniorMidSenior
USA$29,000$47,176$64,500
Philippines$5,278$6,334$10,556

On-site vs. Remote setup for an accounts receivable specialist

Accounts receivable specialists can work in both on-site and remote settings.

While traditional on-site roles offer a structured work environment and easier collaboration with colleagues, remote positions provide flexibility and the ability to work from anywhere.

The decision between setups depends on the company’s policies, the nature of the role, and the individual’s personal preferences.

Accounts receivable specialist job description template

This pre-made job description template is for recruiters seeking to hire an accounts receivable specialist.

It provides an overview of the role’s responsibilities, qualifications, and skills required. You may customize it to fit specific your company’s needs.

Furthermore, you can access our comprehensive guide of necessary interview questions when assessing someone for the role of accounts receivable specialist.

Do not hesitate to use those questions as a reference when you finally reach the interview stage with potential candidates.

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