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By | February 1, 2023

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What is an accounts payable team leader?

Vendor team leaders are internal service providers and can work in almost any company. Together with their team, they make a contribution to the qualitative handling of business processes. You are responsible for the correct bookkeeping of your team: an important task in the company, because other positions and departments rely on the correctness of this work.

Companies usually introduce this management level when the accounts payable department consists of more than five people. A vendor turnover of more than 100 million euros can be considered an approximate target here – depending on the individual case of the industry and the exact volume of documents.

The role of the accounts payable team leader is not only to lead and motivate his team; Above all, he is responsible for structuring and organization. He defines who has what rights, how the tasks are distributed in the team and how the processes should run. For example, he deals with the following questions:

  • Where does the bill come in? Who checks them? How is the editing process structured and organized?
  • How do we deal with the individual suppliers?
  • How digitized are we? How can we possibly improve our processes?
  • How efficiently are we organized?
  • What are the effects of certain changes? (e.g. new customers, new suppliers or new business areas)

The job profile and digitization

The effects of digitization on accounting as a whole cannot be explained away. This area is one of the areas most affected by the changes, because: From a company’s point of view, accounting is a cost factor. If you want to position yourself competitively here, you have to use the technical possibilities. Automation and standardization accelerate processes and reduce the number of personnel required.

However, these developments primarily affect the position of the classic accountant. Anyone with specialist knowledge is comparatively less affected. And employees who — like the Accounts Payable team leader in this example — assume managerial responsibility combined with strategic and organizational tasks are less affected by the effects of digitization. Because aspects such as responsibility, quality control, leadership of people as well as strategic thinking and acting remain unaffected by digital developments.

At the same time, digitization also brings with it many requirements. Because system-based processes are becoming more and more important and therefore require a certain basic understanding of IT from the Accounts Payable team leader.

From the point of view of experts, the degree of implementation of digitization in accounting is currently around 40 percent. That means: there will still be a lot to do and job descriptions will continue to change step by step. In the future, accounting – and thus also the creditors team leader – will only deal with qualitative questions: borderline cases, gray areas, changes in laws, etc. This means that the jobs will develop away from routine and mass towards quality, assessment and evaluation.

The most important things in 5 seconds

  • Education: Completed commercial training, completed training as a tax clerk and/or completed business studies
  • Starting salary: €45,000
  • Top salary: €100,000
  • Opportunities for advancement: Senior Controller, Corporate Controller, Head of Controlling, CFO


What does an accounts payable team leader do?

  • Technical guidance of a team of accounts payable clerks and their disciplinary leadership
  • Coordination and optimization of work processes
  • strategic development of the department
  • Contact person for the departments and suppliers
  • Responsibility for OP administration, the payment run and document archiving
  • Carrying out preparatory closing activities
  • Participation in special tasks / projects


How do you become an Accounts Payable team leader?

A creditors team leader is responsible for leading a small team both professionally and disciplinary and ensuring quality postings. He should have the following competencies:

  • Completed commercial training, completed training as a tax clerkand/or completed business studies
  • Several years of experience in accounting, ideally in accounts payable
  • First professional management experience or experience as a deputy
  • possibly accountant as an additional qualification
  • Possibly experience in financial statements (HGB, IFRS, US GAAP, possibly UK GAAP)
  • Good user knowledge of SMS Office and accounting systems (possibly SAP, DATEV, etc.)
  • good English knowledge


What does an Accounts Payable team leader earn?

from 50.000€

up to €100,000

Accounts payable team leaders earn a gross annual salary of between € 50,000 and €100,000. The exact salary level depends not only on the size of the company, but also on the industry. Because while some sectors (e.g. chemicals) pay above average, the salary level in other sectors (e.g. consumer goods) is somewhat lower. In addition, of course, age — and corresponding professional experience — also have a positive effect on salary. A creditors team leader can increase his salary, for example, if he has more detailed knowledge in the areas of payment transactions, consolidated financial statements or digital systems.


What do you expect from the accounts payable team leader?

Team leaders Accounts Payable are not only numbers people, but also process-oriented personalities. You are IT-savvy, familiar with the relevant systems and have a basic understanding of processes.

Team leaders creditors are very conscientious and structured and have a strong sense of responsibility. They are also regularly in contact with (managers from) other departments and thus network step by step in the company. Team Leads Vendors enjoy leading and organizing a team and are able to think outside the box.


Opportunities for advancement as Accounts Payable team leader

There is almost always room for advancement in finance. The decisive factor here is how open the respective employee is to change. Accounts payable team leaders can realistically become heads of financial accounting or controlling. The position of Head of Finance or a similar side step is also conceivable.

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