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Career and Education Opportunities for Accounts Receivable Specialists in Portland, Maine

Accounts receivable specialists can find many career and educational opportunities in the Portland, Maine area. There are currently 1,600 jobs for accounts receivable specialists in Maine and this is projected to grow by 11% to about 1,770 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for accounts receivable specialists are expected to grow by about 19.3%. In general, accounts receivable specialists locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visit to solicit payment.

Accounts receivable specialists earn about $14 hourly or $31,020 annually on average in Maine and about $14 hourly or $30,630 per year on average nationally. Incomes for accounts receivable specialists are better than in the overall category of Billing and Bookkeeping in Maine, and better than the overall Billing and Bookkeeping category nationally.

The Portland area is home to twenty-three schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree as an accounts receivable specialist. Given that the most common education level for accounts receivable specialists is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be an accounts receivable specialist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Accounts Receivable Specialist

Accounts Receivable Specialist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, accounts receivable specialists locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visit to solicit payment. They also duties include receiving payment and posting amount to customer's account; preparing statements to credit department if customer fails to respond; initiating repossession proceedings or service disconnection; keeping records of collection and status of accounts.

Accounts receivable specialists answer customer questions regarding problems with their accounts. They also advise customers of needed actions and strategies for debt repayment. Equally important, accounts receivable specialists have to locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail or personal visits to solicit payment. They are often called upon to talk with customers by telephone or in person to establish reasons for overdue payments and to review the terms of sales or credit contracts. They are expected to manage debt repayment or establish repayment schedules, on the basis of customers' financial situations. Finally, accounts receivable specialists perform various administrative functions for assigned accounts.

Every day, accounts receivable specialists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for accounts receivable specialists to trace delinquent customers to new addresses by inquiring at post offices or through the questioning of neighbors. They are often called upon to sort and file correspondence, and perform miscellaneous clerical duties such as answering correspondence and writing reports. They also notify credit departments, order products repossession or service disconnection, and turn over account archives to attorneys when customers fail to respond to collection attempts. They are sometimes expected to receive payments and post amounts paid to customer accounts. Somewhat less frequently, accounts receivable specialists are also expected to persuade customers to pay amounts due on credit accounts or nonpayable checks, or to return products.

They also have to be able to contact insurance companies to check on status of claims payments and write appeal letters for denial on claims And finally, they sometimes have to locate and monitor overdue accounts, using computers and a variety of automated systems.

Like many other jobs, accounts receivable specialists must be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Portland include:

  • Bank Teller. Receive and pay out money. Keep records of money and negotiable instruments involved in a financial institution's various transactions.
  • Bookkeeper. Compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete. Perform any combination of routine calculating, posting, and verifying duties to obtain primary financial data for use in maintaining accounting records. May also check the accuracy of figures, calculations, and postings pertaining to business transactions recorded by other workers.
  • Clerk. Compile data, compute fees and charges, and prepare invoices for billing purposes. Duties include computing costs and calculating rates for goods, services, and shipment of goods; posting data; and keeping other relevant records. May involve use of computer or typewriter, calculator, and adding and bookkeeping machines.
  • Credit Investigator. Investigate history and credit standing of individuals or business establishments applying for credit. Telephone or write to credit departments of business and service establishments to obtain information about applicant's credit standing.
  • Gaming Cashier. Conduct financial transactions for patrons in gaming establishments. May reconcile daily summaries of transactions to balance books. Accept patron's credit application and verify credit references to provide check-cashing authorization or to establish house credit accounts. May sell gambling chips, tokens, or tickets to patrons, or to other workers for resale to patrons. May convert gaming chips, tokens, or tickets to currency upon patron's request. May use a cash register or computer to record transaction.
  • Payroll Machine Operator. Operate machines that automatically perform mathematical processes, such as addition, subtraction, and division, to calculate and record billing, accounting, and other numerical data. Duties include operating special billing machines to prepare statements, bills, and invoices, and operating bookkeeping machines to copy and post data, make computations, and compile records of transactions.
  • Statement Clerk. Prepare and distribute bank statements to customers, answer inquiries, and reconcile discrepancies in records and accounts.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Accounts Receivable Specialist Training

Saint Joseph's College of Maine - Standish, ME

Saint Joseph's College of Maine, 278 Whites Bridge Rd, Standish, ME 04084-5236. Saint Joseph's College of Maine is a small college located in Standish, Maine. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,771 students and an admission rate of 78%. Saint Joseph's College of Maine has a bachelor's degree program in Banking and Financial Support Services which graduated one student in 2008.


Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine photo by Pauk

Portland is situated in Cumberland County, Maine. It has a population of over 62,561, which has shrunk by 2.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $164,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were built in Portland, down from thirty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 36.4% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 6.3%, which is less than Maine's average of 7.6%. About 14.1% of Portland's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.4%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Mariners Church, Swedenborgian Church and Stroudwater Christian Church are among the churches located in Portland. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Portland is home to the Cumberland Wharf and the Browns Wharf as well as Longfellow Square and Hadlock Field. Shopping centers in the area include Mill Creek Shopping Center, Monument Square Shopping Center and Portland East Shopping Center. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Fairfield Inn Portland Airport and Ramada Limited Portland for temporary stays in the area.