Accounts Receivable Analyst Job Description
Debt is a part of life for companies of all sizes, but accounts receivable analysts are there to collect outstanding debts and improve company cash flow. Tasked with handling all aspects of billing, credit, and collections, individuals in this entry-level position are key to the financial well-being of any business or organization. Remaining calm and professional while navigating difficult conversations and interactions about money is necessary for anyone who wishes to work as an accounts receivable analyst. Individuals in this role are usually employed fulltime and most report to a department manager or supervisor.
Accounts Receivable Analyst Duties and Responsibilities
Accounts receivable analysts are employed in a wide variety of organizations and industries. The specific responsibilities and tasks associated with the job may vary, but there are a few essential duties all workers in this role are expected to perform, including:
Collect Outstanding Debts
Accounts receivable analysts keep track of debts owed to an organization or company. This may involve reaching out to companies and individuals to resolve overdue payments or outstanding balances via phone, mail, or the internet.
Resolve Billing Issues
Although most companies use electronic systems to bill their customers, these systems can make mistakes. Accounts receivable analysts strive to catch and resolve these errors when they occur. They review accounting and financial records to provide clients, customers, and patients with accurate billing information.
Manage Incoming Cash Flow
Accounts receivable analysts, especially those employed by small- to mid-sized companies, are often in charge of money management. These individuals keep track of all payments made to the company and notify managers and supervisors if payments are missed or an error occurs.
Process Financial Documents
Companies often handle large numbers of credit applications, invoices, receipts, and other financial statements. Accounts receivable analysts are often charged with collecting, organizing, and processing these documents.
Enter Customer Data
Since accounts receivable analysts frequently handle numerous customer accounts, they’re usually expected to update and maintain these accounts. When a customer needs to change their address, billing details, or any other relevant information, the accounts receivable analyst enters this data into the system.
Accounts Receivable Skills and Qualifications
Accounts receivable analysts should have a keen interest in finance and accounting, as well as strong communication and organization skills. The educational requirements for this role vary by company, but most organizations require at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or economics. Most successful job candidates also possess the following skills and abilities:
- Data entry – accounts receivable analysts should feel comfortable using accounting software to input important customer and financial data. They should also be proficient with spreadsheet and bookkeeping software
- Customer service – individuals in this role regularly reach out to customers and clients in an attempt to resolve debts. This requires strong customer service skills, such as conflict de-escalation and phone etiquette
- Accounting – candidates will need a strong understanding of basic accounting and finance procedures and concepts. Since the role primarily revolves around customer accounts and billing, these concepts are utilized on a regular basis
- Interpersonal skills – accounts receivable analysts interact with a wide array of supervisors, customers, and vendors. Successful analysts will know how to communicate their ideas and feelings in a polite and professional manner, even when others do not behave in the same way. They should also feel comfortable listening to others for extended periods of time
- Attention to detail – keeping up with multiple customer accounts and inputting large amounts of data requires an eye for detail. Accounts receivable analysts should be capable of handling and storing customer and financial information using a variety of tools
- Multitasking – professionals employed as accounts receivable analysts should be comfortable handling multiple tasks at once
Tools of the Trade
Most accounts receivable analysts use the following software on a regular basis:
- Invoice creation, correspondence, and organization software (BQE Core, FreshBooks, ZOHO)
- Business accounting software (Quickbooks, AccountEdge, Xero)
Accounts Receivable Analyst Education and Training
Accounts receivable analysts usually possess a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, economics, or business management. On average, it takes four years to earn one of these degrees from a college or university.These degree programs usually require students to successfully complete courses in business analytics, financial accounting, economics, statistics, and auditing. Individuals do not need a certified public accountant (CPA)license or graduate degree to work in this field.
Accounts Receivable Analyst Salary and Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for an accounts receivable analyst is $39,240, or $18.87 per hour. Accounts receivable analysts in the top 10th percentile earn more than $60,670 annually, while those in the lowest 10th percentile earn $24,600 annually.According to the BLS,employment in the sector is expected to show little to no growth through 2026.
The majority of accounts receivable analysts have access to job benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, and paid vacation and sick days. Some may have access to additional benefits such as stock options and performance-based bonuses.
Are you interested in becoming an accounts receivable analyst? Here are some great resources to help you learn more about the field:
Credit and Collections Kit for Dummies – the product of a partnership between a lead partner at a premier collection agency (Steven A. Harms) and an attorney (Aaron Lawson), this book shows readers how to simplify the debt collection process. Tips to build a more positive rapport with customers and collect from even the most delinquent customers are provided in a simple, easy-to-understand format
Essentials of Credit, Collections, and Accounts Receivable – written by Mary S. Schaffer, this book provides readers with an overview of the most effective debt collection and accounts receivable practices. Geared toward higher-level account managers, the book offers a variety of case studies and tips for creating a more streamlined credit process
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