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Accounts Receivable Specialist – 5 Easy Steps

accounts receivable specialist is entering money into the spreadsheet happy that she found her job via millennium search, which tool 1 month not 8 months like an average job hunt would take.

Are you considering a career as an Accounts Receivable Specialist? Here is what you need to know. 

Name Variations:

Quick pause to say that you may find this title under a different name such as:

  • Accounts Receivable Clerk
  • Billing Coordinator
  • Collections Analyst
  • Credit and Collections Specialist
  • Invoice Specialist
  • Accounts Receivable Administrator
  • Revenue Specialist
  • Payment Coordinator
  • Customer Accounts Representative
  • Accounts Receivable Coordinator
  • Credit Control Analyst
  • Cash Applications Specialist
  • Accounts Receivable Analyst
  • Billing and Collections Associate
  • Debt Recovery Specialist
  • Credit Management Officer

Responsibilities & Requirements


As an account receivable specialist, you keep track of the funds paid to the company you work for. You would ensure that the company receives timely payments for rendered goods and services. 

Your specific responsibilities would include: 

  • Processing and recording all receipts for services and products sold. 
  • Preparing accurate invoices and sending billing notices and payment reminders to clients and customers as needed.  
  • Creating accurate financial reports and statements. 
  • Comparing GL reports with bank statements and resolving any discrepancies as they arise. 
  • Aiding collections department in reviewing client’s accounts and payment history 
  • Keeping all financial records and ledgers up to date. 


  • Education – This position requires at least a high school diploma or GED certification. Although further education may not be required for some companies, a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or related field would be preferred for some employers. Furthering your education could also increase your pay or chances of being hired. 
  • Experience – Most positions strongly prefer prior experience in a similar role, but it is not necessarily required. This is also a resume builder that increases your chance of being hired.  
  • Detail Oriented – Accounts Receivable Specialists must pay close attention to detail ensuring that all clients are billed the correctly and all invoices are accurate.  
  • Honest – They are tasked with handling sensitive information, so they must handle it with caution while remaining honest. 
  • Organization – They must be organized in order to manage and process receipts, invoices, and other financial documents. 
  • Communication – Accountants need effective communication skills to relay information to their team and address clients on a daily basis. They may experience minor confrontations with clients or individuals who have to failed to make a payment. 
  • Initiative – This work takes place in a fast-paced environment, so they must take the initiative and avoid procrastination in order to accomplish their tasks and address challenges. 
  • Strong Technical Skills – This career is very numbers and data driven. Therefore, it is crucial for accounts receivable specialists to possess mathematical and data entry skills. 
  • Research Driven – Discrepancies and/or problems with ledgers and other financial reports may arise, so they must possess the researching skills needed to clarify information and resolve issues. 
  • Software Knowledge – It is important to be familiar with the common accounting systems that are used by AR specialists to assist their tasks. Since technology is constantly evolving and new developments are being introduced, they must also be willing to learn new programs. 


The national average salary of an AR specialist is $43,126 or $21/hr. A high percentage of make between $37,061 and $48,737. The salary will depend on factors, such as years of experience, level of education, and location. 


A work week for accounts receivable specialists will look like 8-hour shifts Monday through Friday. This totals at 40 hours a week, but they are likely to work overtime during audit periods and the end of a tax season. 

Work Environment 

Accounts receivable specialists spend most of their time in an office setting. They are likely to sit at their desk for long periods of time, except when traveling to meet with clients. This position is a facet of the accounting department and will interact with department heads and/or executives on a regular basis. 

Steps to becoming an Accounts Receivable Specialist:  

hiring & career information accounts receivable specialist

These guidelines will prepare anyone just starting out on a career path in Accounts Receivable Specialist. It assumes you have at least a GED.

1 Month to Earn the Role 30 days

Obtain Education Credentials
hiring & career information accounts receivable specialist

A high school diploma or GED certification is required. Most organizations will also require a degree in accounting, finance, or related field. 

Gain Work Experience
hiring & career information accounts receivable specialist

Although experience may not be required for all accounts receivable positions, starting out in an entry-level position will help you gain a competitive edge and advance your career. 

Consider Certification
hiring & career information accounts receivable specialist

Once you have gained experience consider certification programs such as Account Receivable (AR) Certification and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Certification. Certifications such as these will also help differentiate you from other potential employees. 

Apply at Agencies
hiring & career information accounts receivable specialist

Find staffing agencies who are seeking an accounts receivable specialist. Be sure to read the job description carefully to see if you are interested and meet the requirements. Then, apply and prepare for interviews.

Interview Well
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Once you have applied and earned an interview, spend some time preparing. Most interviewers will ask questions related to accounts receivable, prior experience (if applicable), how to resolve discrepancies, and overall personality. 


  • Need to have held a job or performed office-type duties that are transferable.
  • Example: Worked at a bake sale, Sold hot dogs with community group, or Retail Work


  • Internet (Self education) – Optional

Materials: Accounting Reference Books Are Helpful to Prepare for tests, certifications, and interviews.

Frequently Asked Questions – Accounts Receivable Specialist

Is accounts receivable specialist a good job?

Yes, accounts receivable specialist can be a good job for people who enjoy working with numbers and data, and have strong attention to detail. This job also provides opportunities for career advancement in finance and accounting.

Is accounts receivable a hard job?

Accounts receivable can be challenging at times because it requires a great deal of accuracy, organization, and attention to detail. However, with proper training and experience, it can become easier over time.

What is the role of accounts receivable?

The role of accounts receivable is to manage the process of receiving and tracking payments from customers. This includes creating and sending invoices, recording payments, reconciling accounts, and following up with customers who are overdue on their payments.

What does an accounts payable receivable specialist do?

An accounts payable/receivable specialist manages both the accounts payable and accounts receivable functions within an organization. This includes processing invoices, managing vendor relationships, recording payments, and managing customer accounts.

What skills are needed for accounts receivable?

Skills needed for accounts receivable include strong attention to detail, excellent organization and time management, proficiency with accounting software and systems, effective communication and interpersonal skills, and the ability to analyze data and solve problems.

How much does an AR specialist make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for accounts receivable specialists was $41,230 as of May 2020.

What Does an Accounts Receivable Specialist Do?

An accounts receivable specialist manages the process of receiving and tracking payments from customers. This includes creating and sending invoices, recording payments, reconciling accounts, and following up with customers who are overdue on their payments.

How to Become an Accounts Receivable Specialist

To become an accounts receivable specialist, you typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may require an associate or bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. On-the-job training and experience are also important for building the necessary skills and knowledge.

What makes a good Accounts Receivable Clerk?

A good accounts receivable clerk has strong attention to detail, is organized and efficient, communicates effectively with customers and colleagues, and has a thorough understanding of accounting principles and software.

What does an Accounts Receivable Clerk do?

An accounts receivable clerk is responsible for managing the process of receiving and tracking payments from customers. This includes creating and sending invoices, recording payments, reconciling accounts, and following up with customers who are overdue on their payments. They may also assist with other accounting tasks as needed.

What is a challenge that accounts receivable specialists are likely to face? 

You are likely to encounter minor confrontations with clients who have failed to submit their payments in time. It is important to handle this situation with discretion and honestly inform the client of your company’s policies and protocols.  

What qualities are needed for an accounts receivable specialist to be successful?

A successful accounts receivable specialist has an eye for detail, enjoys a structured workday, and possesses effective problem-solving skills. They take the initiative and stay organized to ensure that all tasks are completed according to their set schedule. 

Other Career Information

Sources: BLS.gov | careeronestop.org | Millennium Search LLC’s Job Market Research Department

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

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