Accounts receivable (AR) involves the recording and processing of financial transactions relating to sales and customers. There are a number of analyst roles which can be found within this function:
The AR Billing analyst is responsible for performing billing / invoicing activities in line with corporate revenue recognition policy, effectively liaising with sales departments and ensuring the prompt issuance of accurate invoices to the customer.
The AR Cash Applications analyst performs cash application activities, effectively liaising with customers and sales departments to ensure the prompt and accurate allocation of payments received to invoices.
The AR Collections and Disputes analyst is involved with day to day collection of overdue items, identification of issues, and effective resolution of disputes. The analyst and the supervisor work across the organisation and with customers to ensure that any issues are resolved promptly to prevent delayed payments.
The AR Credit Control analyst is involved in performing day to day credit management service activities and working across the organisation and with customers to ensure that credit information and analysis is up to date and correctly applied in line with corporate policy.
The AR manager is responsible for coordinating and motivating all AR functions and supervises credit control and the invoicing of and collections from customers and any exceptions and disputes, ensuring effective liaison with sales departments. The AR manager ensures close working relationships with all AR departments to support all round service quality and effective working across the organization, and with customers to re-engineer processes and improve efficiency and service quality in order to deliver best-in-class centralised services.
Entry and progression
AR is a key SSO function and the entry point is usually at the analyst level, leading to a supervisory level for those with adequate experience and showing team management capability. At entry level the work will focus on the specific AR function itself, but job development and enlargement may include working in the other related functions. Progression and advancement in the AR function is usually achieved by gaining experience and competence of the role, progressing to AR supervisor or even to the more senior position of AR manager. Ultimately an SSO manager can reach the position of SSC service manager who has overall responsibility for managing the centre and all functions within it.
As far as suitable learning and qualifications for these roles are concerned, the competencies covered by the analyst and supervisor roles relate most closely to the Foundations level suite of qualifications. These include the Introductory and Intermediate Certificate of Financial and Management Accounting. As employees in the AR function progress from supervisor to SSO manager level, and possibly higher, the competences they need will relate more closely to the Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Accounting and Business offered within the main ACCA Qualification.
Career progression in this function can be supported by learning and demonstrating professional behaviours associated with competence and such behaviours can be demonstrated at different levels of competence as you progress further within your career.