What Does a Deduction Specialist Do?

Marlene Garcia

A deduction specialist typically researches and reconciles accounts receivable, making necessary adjustments to settle customer disputes. He or she works with clients to resolve discrepancies in payments for delivered goods. Sometimes called chargebacks, deductions in customer payments might stem from damaged merchandise, errors in quantity, or billing mistakes. A deduction specialist might also handle retirement accounts to ensure accurate recording of contributions.

Deduction specialists are tasked with collecting past due accounts.
Deduction specialists are tasked with collecting past due accounts.

Duties handled by a specialist working for a private firm generally involve using specific accounting codes to track disputes in customer payments. The specialist works to settle payment variances and investigates the source. He or she commonly interacts with the sales department and shipping department to reduce the number of deductions in customer payments and collects any past-due accounts.

Customers may talk to a deduction specialist to resolve discrepancies in payments for delivered goods.
Customers may talk to a deduction specialist to resolve discrepancies in payments for delivered goods.

Some large companies ship products to an international customer base, and they may manufacture a wide range of products. These companies typically employ a deduction specialist or several specialists to keep track of these global accounts. Goals include improving delivery service, reducing the number of chargebacks, and improving profits.

A deduction specialist employed in government commonly tracks employee and employer retirement contributions deducted from payroll checks. These deductions typically go into a public retirement system until the employee reaches retirement age. The specialist keeps accurate records of payroll deductions and handles any errors or questions from employees.

He or she might conduct annual audits to catch any mistakes in calculations. In some regions, year-end reports on payroll deductions are required by law. In some public agencies, the specialist also oversees deductions for governmental taxes, disability insurance, and wage garnishments.

Part of the job might also entail explaining the retirement program to employees. The deduction specialist might make sure employees properly designate beneficiaries and understand how retirement funds are invested. He or she might handle the paperwork and processing when employees retire or file claims for disability.

Qualifications to become a deduction specialist vary by company and region. In some cases, completion of secondary school and college courses in accounting or business practices might be acceptable. Other firms want a college degree in business and experience in account receivables. Computer experience and knowledge of computer programs used in accounting departments typically represent minimum requirements for a deduction specialist job.

These employees commonly possess good problem-solving skills. Good oral and written communication skills are also highly desired. They also must be organized to keep accurate records of discrepancies and adjustments to financial accounts. Consumer relations experience might also help someone land a job in this sector.

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