How Much Does an A/P Specialist Make?

Though there never seems to be a shortage of highly qualified accountants, the good news is that there also never tends to be a shortage of positions that these individuals can fill. One such position is accounts payable, which focuses almost exclusively on paying a company’s vendors in a timely, accurate manner. Accounts payable professionals may also be responsible for properly calculating an employee’s pay based on either their salaried earnings or their hourly rate. They’ll also be charged with deducting the proper amount of taxes, preparing year-end W-2 forms for tax purposes, and reporting the company’s earnings and tax information to managers and other financial workers within the organization.

The responsibility given to accounts payable professionals is certainly not a light one. After all, no vendor or employee wants to be paid less than they’re due, and no one wants to find an unpleasant surprise waiting for them when they file their Form 1040 with the IRS each January. With that in mind, here’s a general look at what new accounts payable workers can expect to earn as they pursue this important career.

Wages Depend Largely on the Professional’s Level of Experience

Accounts payable positions are generally divided into three key areas. The first of these is the entry-level offering, typically styled as either “Accounts Payable I” or “Junior-Level Accounts Payable.” These professionals earn the lowest overall salary, but they’re prime candidates for regular promotion within any organization. The lowest 10 percent of all earners in this field, according to Salary.com, take home $27,391 each year. The average for all entry-level accounts payable positions in the United States is $34,690 annually, while those in the top 10 percent of all earners take home an annual wage of $42,614.

After a promotion to either “Accounts Payable II” or “Senior-Level Accounts Payable,” a pay bump will almost certainly be in order. Starting wages for this position, for those in the lowest 10 percent of all earners, is about $32,000 per year. The average salary for all earners in this field is $39,930. The top 10 percent of all earners in a senior-level position can expect to take home annual gross pay of around $48,100. That’s a respectable raise and a great yearly wage, but it’s not the ceiling for those who seek even more responsibility.

The highest annual salaries are reserved for accounts payable managers, who take home about $74,800 on average. The lowest 10 percent of all accounts payable managers earn about $55,200 per year while those with the highest salaries earn a nearly six-figure salary at $97,900 yearly. Given the increased amount of responsibility associated with this position, and its tendency to be offered only at larger corporations where management of a two-tiered A/P department is required, pay is actually pretty generous.

A Stable Field for Both Entry-Level and Seasoned Accountants

The great thing about the accounting industry, whether it’s accounts payable or yearly tax work, is that it’s remarkably stable. Even during times of relative economic struggle, the industry keeps things on an even keel. That means anyone looking for an accounts payable position will find plenty of opportunities available, with typically generous salaries at all three levels. Better yet, the stable nature and strong demand within this field means that promotions and pay bumps are a near-certainty over time.

Related Resource: Top 10 Online Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting Programs

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