An accounts receivable supervisor is a finance professional who supervises an accounts receivable department, where funds due to a company, organization, or person are collected from payees. In some companies, accounts receivable is bundled in with accounts payable, the department which handles outgoing expenses, in which case the supervisor of the combined department may be known as an accounts receivable/payable supervisor. Job openings for accounts receivable supervisors tend to open up on a relatively regular basis, especially in urban areas.
The job responsibilities of an accounts receivable supervisor vary, depending on the size of the company. The supervisor may handle several employees, or run the department independently. Examples of types of tasks which fall under accounts receivable include: issuing invoices; processing payments; working out payment plans; issuing reminder calls or invoices; revoking lines of credit to customers who have fallen into arrears; engaging in collections activity; and referring radically overdue accounts to collections.
This type of work requires flexibility and adaptability. The accounts receivable supervisor may need to be able to handle input from several people at once, and to be able to process a lot of paperwork in any given day. A good eye for organization is also important, to track accounts, identify when an account is falling behind, and so forth. If supervising a staff, the accounts receivable supervisor must also be good with people, and able to work with people from varying backgrounds.
Different companies have different expectations from an accounts receivable supervisor in terms of training and work experience. Some expect people to have five years or more of experience in accounts receivable. Others may expect accounting degrees or accounting training, while some may accept people with basic office experience, experience in other areas of accounting, and so forth. It can sometimes be helpful to be bilingual, in areas where a company might work with people who speak different languages.
There are several ways to become an accounts receivable supervisor. One way is to work one's way up through the company ranks, starting in accounts receivable or another accounting department to get experience, skills, and training relevant to the company. Over time, someone can apply for higher ranking positions and eventually become a supervisor. Another option is to get training in school and apply to start out as a supervisor, or to get varied work experience as a mid-level employee in a large department, and apply to a different company as a supervisor.