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What does an Accounts Payable Supervisor do?

Tess C. Taylor
Tess C. Taylor

In the field of business, there are many challenging roles that require skilled professionals to handle complex financial responsibilities. One of those roles is that of the accounts payable supervisor, the primary person who oversees the accounts payable, or bill paying, functions of the company. This professional makes sure that all invoices, taxes, tariffs, expenses and fees are paid for in a timely manner in order to keep a business in good standing.

An accounts payable supervisor oversees the accounts payable record-keeping of an organization. This can include recording invoices and other amounts due to outside parties throughout the month. He or she also schedules payments in accordance with payment terms as set forth by agreements with the outside parties to avoid late fees or credit problems.

An accounts payable supervisor ensures all taxes, invoices, and fees are paid.
An accounts payable supervisor ensures all taxes, invoices, and fees are paid.

In addition to keying in invoices for payment, this person works closely with vendors to ensure that invoice amounts are correct before payment is processed. This can involve reviewing contracts, negotiating with outside parties and managing any special requirements with vendors so that payment can be allocated efficiently. The supervisor may also be in charge of calculating discounts to save the company money.

The accounts payable supervisor ensures that expense reports are coded properly, prepares and approves vouchers for payment, and checks that payment issuance is accomplished accurately and in a timely basis. Once invoices and other payment vouchers are reviewed, then it is normally up to the person to arrange for executive management approval and signatures on checks and other forms of payment.

Depending on the policies of an organization, an accounts payable supervisor will generally be in charge of running periodic financial reports. Reports can indicate if the profitability of a company is falling behind expenses. The supervisor will have the knowledge and experience to determine this from examining each section of the financial reports and then make adjustments in payment terms or processing methods in order to balance the company portfolio.

In general, the position will require a minimum of a four-year college or university degree. In addition, the supervisor may have between five to ten years of on-the-job experience in business finance and accounting, as well as an overall knowledge of government regulations and taxation laws. Salary ranges for the job are in the mid-range for earnings depending on the size of the company and the scope of job responsibility.

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Discussion Comments


@Testy - I had a similar situation happen in my company too. One of our executives was in cahoots with his brother at another company. The brother would send our company fraudulent invoices for phony services. We would then send checks to his brother's company, and the two of them would split the earnings.

It took about a year for us in the accounts receivable department to realize what was going on. There were about four of us working in the department, so the brother would sporadically send each of us invoices at different times throughout the year. We finally realized what was happening when we discovered that our purchase order amounts were drastically different than our invoice amounts.

We now have a new policy in place that requires two executives to sign off on all checks made out to outside companies and individuals. So far, this checks and balances system has worked out good.


This is a very good overview of the accounts payable supervisor position. Thank you for writing it.

I have been working in accounts payable for about 5 years now. I graduated with a degree in sociology, but I have experience working in my grandfather's distribution company.

I must say, I really like my job. I am a very organized person, and I love keeping things in order. Working in accounts payable allows me to use my organizational skills to help my company function smoothly.

In addition to the requirements listed in the article, the accounts receivable supervisor keeps record to make sure that embezzlement is not occurring within the company. When an executive writes a check, I have to make sure that the person or company who receives it is a legitimate one.

One time, a financial officer was sending the company fake invoices through a fraudulent company name. He would then write checks for the invoices and collect all the money from the check. I noticed that something did not seem right, so I alerted the company president.

It is a tough and tedious job, but somebody has got to do it!

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    • An accounts payable supervisor ensures all taxes, invoices, and fees are paid.
      By: Robert Kneschke
      An accounts payable supervisor ensures all taxes, invoices, and fees are paid.