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In any business, keeping track of invoices that need to be paid or sent out to customers is an important task. Although small business owners might take care of invoices themselves, most midsize and large companies hire invoice clerks to manage both receivable and payable invoices.
Depending on the company, an invoice clerk might work in either accounts payable or accounts receivable; in some cases, the same person might have responsibilities in both areas. The primary duty of an invoice clerk is to make sure invoices are accurate and that bills are paid on time. In the case of accounts payable, the invoice clerk is charged with making sure the company does not overpay invoices. In accounts receivable, this typically entails entering information about customer purchases into the company database, ensuring that the prices and amount due are correct and sending the invoice to the customer. Invoice clerks working in accounts payable review the bills received, ensuring they are accurate and then routing them to the accounting department to be paid. If there are any errors or discrepancies in the invoices, the clerk is responsible for resolving those problems.
In most cases, the invoice clerk is the first point of contact when customers or employees have questions about invoices. You may also be responsible for entering and updating billing information, flagging payment issues and verifying customer orders. This usually means having good relationships with other departments in the company, including accounting, sales and promotions, as well as with customers and vendors.
Some companies assign additional tasks to invoice clerks. For example, a clerk may be responsible for posting and recording payments, identifying accounts that need to go to collections and preparing reports for management. In smaller companies, invoice clerks may also be responsible for collection efforts, initiating contact with customers to secure payment on outstanding invoices.
The role of invoice clerk is often an entry-level position, but does generally require some education and experience in general accounting. Excellent organizational and computer skills, attention to detail, customer service and analytical skills are also important to most employers. Typically, employers look for clerks who have at least an associate’s degree, but some will consider hiring individuals with a high school diploma or GED, with 1 to 3 years of experience in a similar role. The average entry-level salary for an invoice clerk is about $28,000 a year, with annual salaries for experienced clerks topping out at about $45,000.
An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer and editor, specializing in careers, business, education, and lifestyle topics. The author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), which covers everything from career and financial advice to furnishing your first apartment, her work has also appeared in Young Money, Lewiston Auburn Magazine, USA Today, and a variety of online outlets. She's also been quoted as a career expert in many newspapers and magazines, including Cosmopolitan and Parade. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.