The duties of an accounts receivable (AR) accountant depend upon the size and structure of a company. Essentially, this position typically consists of processing all incoming payments. In a smaller company, the accounts receivable accountant may also need to make collections calls. Though the role is categorized as an accounting position, it has many administrative duties.
An accounts receivable accountant will usually perform essentially the same duties every day. This includes a high volume of data entry. As it is particularly important that these tasks be performed with a high level of accuracy, the AR accountant will often work at a brisk pace, but with careful attention to detail.
Some of the specific things processed by an accounts receivable accountant include cash receipts, customer account chargebacks, and discounts. These transactions are typically expected to post within one or two days. An AR accountant may also process credit card transactions.
In addition to processing incoming payments, an accounts receivable accountant will also usually manage other aspects of AR. This includes preparing information for customers, such as credit and debit memos. It may also involve assisting customers or coworkers with AR-related issues.
Most accounts receivable accountants are also required to maintain files of all AR activity. This includes both current activity and archival files. A typical company will have guidelines for how these kinds of files should be approached, which will consider both company regulations and legal requirements.
Volume of work can vary widely for an accounts receivable accountant. Smaller organizations will tend to have one AR accountant who manages several aspects of the AR process. In larger companies there can be so much work that two or even several AR accountants are necessary. The larger the company is, the more likely it will be that an AR accountant’s job will consist of primarily data entry.
Organizational structure can also have an effect on the job duties of an accounts receivable accountant. In smaller companies, the position may be overseen by an accounting manager. AR accountants in larger companies may have several positions above them, from AR supervisors, to accounting managers.
In most cases, an AR accountant is an entry-level job. It typically requires college education and often a business or accounting degree. In many cases, a candidate with diverse administrative experience, such as an office manager for a small company, can also step into this role. As a person in this role can expect to communicate with a wide array of internal and external customers, it is also important to be able to work well with others.