An accounts receivable executive is someone who manages the incoming cash flow for a company. Accounts receivable executives work in a variety of industries and handle a number of financial duties, from maintaining a budget to recording deposits to making sure payments from companies and clients are made on time and accurate. They also handle collections when necessary.
Accounts receivable executives work for companies ranging from government agencies to public banks and from restaurant chains to accounting firms. Nearly every company that bills clients employs an accounts receivable department or official. Accounts receivable executives track invoices, file financial statements and use computer software to quickly update transactions and balance books. They also create form letters used to remind clients of upcoming or past due payments. Occasionally, accounts receivable executives manage a team of collection agents.
An accounts receivable executive must be highly organized and analytical. She should possess excellent math and communication skills, along with the knowledge required to operate most finance-related computer programs. She needs to be professional, confident, motivated and--because she is handling a client’s or company’s money--dependable. Accounts receivable executives should be able to work well while alone as well as with their peers.
Most companies prefer candidates who possess a bachelor’s or master’s degree when hiring an accounts receivable executive. Areas of study typically include mathematics, finance, business, administration, communications, economics and, of course, accounting. Many accounts receivable executive also receive a certificate, either while on the job or just after college graduation. Certification varies by state but always involves more class work and testing. Some executives gain experience in other departments, such as auditing or accounts payable, before moving into a position in accounts receivable.
Jobs for accountants are expected to increase by 22 percent during the 2008-18 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That is twice the growth rate of all occupations. Nearly 1.3 million workers were employed as accountants in May 2008, the BLS reported. While no data was given specific to receivable executives, their prospects are likely to grow along with the rest of accounting industry.
Accounts receivable executives earned anywhere from $39,000 to more than $72,000 per year in March 2010, reported PayScale.com. Much of those earnings were based on the accountant’s responsibilities, experience, education and industry. Also, the BLS estimated that accountants earned a median salary of $59,430 in May 2008.