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What does an Accounts Receivable Supervisor do?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2016
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An accounts receivable supervisor is a finance professional who supervises an accounts receivable department, where funds due to a company, organization, or person are collected from payees. In some companies, accounts receivable is bundled in with accounts payable, the department which handles outgoing expenses, in which case the supervisor of the combined department may be known as an accounts receivable/payable supervisor. Job openings for accounts receivable supervisors tend to open up on a relatively regular basis, especially in urban areas.

The job responsibilities of an accounts receivable supervisor vary, depending on the size of the company. The supervisor may handle several employees, or run the department independently. Examples of types of tasks which fall under accounts receivable include: issuing invoices; processing payments; working out payment plans; issuing reminder calls or invoices; revoking lines of credit to customers who have fallen into arrears; engaging in collections activity; and referring radically overdue accounts to collections.

This type of work requires flexibility and adaptability. The accounts receivable supervisor may need to be able to handle input from several people at once, and to be able to process a lot of paperwork in any given day. A good eye for organization is also important, to track accounts, identify when an account is falling behind, and so forth. If supervising a staff, the accounts receivable supervisor must also be good with people, and able to work with people from varying backgrounds.

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Different companies have different expectations from an accounts receivable supervisor in terms of training and work experience. Some expect people to have five years or more of experience in accounts receivable. Others may expect accounting degrees or accounting training, while some may accept people with basic office experience, experience in other areas of accounting, and so forth. It can sometimes be helpful to be bilingual, in areas where a company might work with people who speak different languages.

There are several ways to become an accounts receivable supervisor. One way is to work one's way up through the company ranks, starting in accounts receivable or another accounting department to get experience, skills, and training relevant to the company. Over time, someone can apply for higher ranking positions and eventually become a supervisor. Another option is to get training in school and apply to start out as a supervisor, or to get varied work experience as a mid-level employee in a large department, and apply to a different company as a supervisor.

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john1478
Post 4

Reading this article raises a certain question to my attention.

Why is it that the author states that accounts receivable positions are readily available on a regular basis? What is it about the position that makes it so lucrative?

sehiggins
Post 3

The company I work for is extremely small. We just started our business about three years ago, and we only have seven employees. I am the only one who works with accounts receivables. So, I guess that makes me the accounts receivable supervisor!

Business is growing, and it is getting harder for me to manage all our accounts on my own. I anticipate that soon, it will be impossible for me to handle everything by myself. As soon as I can convince our company president to hire another person to work with me, then I will be a legitimate accounts receivable supervisor!

Thanks for writing this article. You do a good job of explaining the job duties.

Farah1
Post 2

@drhs07 - I totally agree with you! I used to work in accounts receivable, and I have to make calls to collect our due payments as well. It is the thing I hated about my jobs the most.

The company I work for does a lot of business with other small business owners. It seems like our customers were greatly affected by the recession. I absolutely dreaded making phone calls to these companies and asking them when we would receive their payment and trying to set up a repayment schedule.

Deep in my heart, I knew that they could not afford to pay all their bills. When somebody actually cried over the phone because their small business was facing bankruptcy and they could not pay any of their bills, I knew I could not work in accounts receivable any longer.

I decided to move over to the accounts payable department. I must say, it is a lot less stressful!

drhs07
Post 1

This article is pretty accurate when in comes to describing the accounts receivable supervisor position. Thanks for writing it.

I have been working in accounts receivable for about seven years now. My company owns distribution centers across the state of Kentucky.

By far, the worst aspect of the job is having to call people and companies in order to collect payments from them. In these tough economic times, a lot of companies were unable to pay their bills. I had to make calls to the accounts payable departments of these companies, and I felt like a bill collector. Our company, too, was facing a decrease in business, so I sympathized with their situations.

Other than that, I enjoy my job and the people I work with. The salary is decent, and I am able to support my family.

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