AP is a part of accounting, and AP professionals are often called AP Clerks or Specialists, not accountants. Yet, in larger organizations, accountants or accounting managers may oversee the accounts payable process as part of their broader responsibilities.
Accounts Payable involves managing the company’s outstanding invoices and payments to suppliers, vendors, and other creditors.
The primary responsibilities of Accounts Payable professionals include…
1. Receiving and processing vendor invoices and credit memos.
2. Verifying the accuracy of invoices, including matching them to purchase orders and receiving documents.
3. Coding invoices to the appropriate general ledger accounts and cost centers.
4. Obtaining approvals for payment from authorized personnel.
5. Initiating payments to vendors through various methods, such as checks, electronic funds transfers (EFT), or wire transfers.
6. Reconciling vendor statements and resolving discrepancies or disputes.
7. Maintaining accurate records of accounts payable transactions in the accounting system.
8. Generating accounts payable reports and assisting with month-end and year-end closing processes.
While Accounts Payable professionals handle the day-to-day processing of invoices and payments, accountants may be involved in reviewing accounts payable transactions, analyzing payment trends, reconciling accounts, and ensuring compliance with accounting standards and internal controls.
In summary, Accounts Payable is a specialized function within the broader field of accounting, and while Accounts Payable professionals play a crucial role in managing payables, accountants may also be involved in overseeing and analyzing accounts payable processes within organizations.