fbpx Skip to main content

Accounts Payable Specialist

Job Overview

The Accounts Payable Specialist ensures that incoming requests for payment are effectively processed and categorized. This includes accepting invoices and other requests, shepherding them through coding, approval, and other quality checks, through to funding and payment. This begins with profiling incoming invoices, ensuring that they are entered properly in company systems, and validating charges. Special attention is paid to authority limits, approvals, and other requirements prior to payment. Over time, the Accounts Payable Specialist may also perform regular and ad-hoc audits, and conduct compliance checks.

Organizational Impact

The Accounts Payable Specialist plays a key role in safeguarding company assets and maintaining positive relationships with partners and vendors. On one hand, this involves being vigilant to ensure that incoming payment requests are valid and compliant with regulatory and contractual requirements. This includes checking that invoices have not been paid, are from vendors in good standing, and are consistent with service agreements, among other things. At the same time, the Accounts Payable Specialist supports team members in operations by administering the profiling and approval process, allowing field- and customer-facing team members to focus on operations and projects, without fear of misallocation of funds or slow payments. An effective Accounts Payable Specialist helps keep projects and processes on track, trains vendors to submit correct invoices, and maintains good relationships with key providers by processing payments quickly and accurately.

Key Systems

The Accounts Payable Specialist works closely with the organization’s Document Management System, and typically has access to the Accounting System to profile and enter invoices. If the organization has a unified Task Management System or generic email inbox, the Contract Manager will access those systems to retrieve invoices and traffic them for approval. If the organization has a Purchase Order or Procurement system, the Accounts Payable Specialist will engage with that for the purpose of validating invoices. The Accounts Payable Specialist also works closely with the company’s Chart of Accounts and the accounting cost center structure.


Incoming invoices follow one of several paths. If they come first to the Accounts Payable Specialist, they are profiled into the company’s Document Management System and initially coded, then routed to appropriate operations or accounting staff for further coding, review, and approval, after which they are returned to the Accounts Payable Specialist. If they come first to operations staff, they are coded, reviewed, and approved, after which they are returned to the Accounts Payable Specialist. Upon receipt of properly coded and approved invoices, the Accounts Payable Specialist inputs them into the Accounting System. Incoming invoices can be directed to a shared information repository by various recipients in the organization, or (preferably) routed directly from Vendors to a common repository. Generic email addresses are preferable for direct submissions. Paper invoices received may be considered inputs, but should be turned into electronic records as quickly as feasible. Purchase Orders (if applicable), Service Contracts, the Approved Vendor List, and Authority Limits are also relevant inputs. Utility invoices are downloaded directly from the vendor’s website daily by the Accounts Payable Specialist then routed to operations team for audit before returning to the Accounts Payable Specialist for coding and entry into the Accounting System.


The Accounts Payable Specialist outputs approved and properly coded invoices directly into the Accounting System and assigns them to the Treasury team for payment. Invoices that are not yet coded, or have errors or other deficiencies, are sent back to the appropriate person or vendor for completion.


  • Initial Profile of New Invoice
  • Check for Duplicate Invoice
  • Compare Invoice to Contract
  • Compare Invoice to Purchase Order
  • Verify Vendor Information
  • Manage utility vendor on-line accounts
  • Manage vendor discount programs
  • Input Invoices into the Accounting System
  • Verify Invoice Coding
  • Verify Authority Limits of Approver
  • Resolve Deficiencies
  • Obtain Missing Invoices
  • Approved Invoice Audit
  • Vendor Audit
  • Payables Analysis & Forecast
  • Vendor Credit Management & Application
  • Discount Management & Application
  • Obtain and Manage W-9 Form
  • Tax Charge Validation
  • Late Fee Validation
  • Vendor Set-Up

Recommended Items

  • Accounts Payable Workflow (by Type)
  • Sample Invoices with Coding and Approval
  • Chart of Accounts
  • Authority Limits by Person
  • Definition of Payables by Type
  • Vendor Setup Checklist
  • Approved Vendor List
  • Contracts and Service Agreements (with Payment Terms)

Content Examples

  • Vendor Invoices
  • Capital Project Invoices
  • Expense Reports
  • Utilities Invoices
  • Check Requests
  • Commission / Bonus Requests
  • Credit Card Statements

Sample Event-Driven Tasks

  • On-Board New Invoice
  • On-Board New Vendor
  • Code Invoice
  • Circulate for Correction
  • Enter for Payment
  • Request W-9

Sample Scheduled Tasks

  • Review Vendor Credits & Discounts
  • Spot-Check / Audit Payments
  • Perform Scheduled File Audit
  • Compliance Check per Schedule

Sample Infill Tasks

  • Review Authority Limits for Accuracy
  • Vendor Data Governance
  • Review Late Payments
  • Spot-Check Prices for Similar Items
  • Oldest Invoices Review
  • Request Vendor Discounts
Skip to content