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Purchase Ledger Clerk

What is the role of a Purchase Ledger Clerk?

Purchase Ledger Clerks are responsible for managing the spending of a business. They will keep track of the purchases made by a business recording how much money has been spent and monitoring the money the business owes to third parties.

Some documents you may come across in the role of a Purchase Ledger Clerk include: Invoices, Purchase Orders and Delivery Notes etc. Once the business has made a purchase, Purchase Ledger clerks will raise a purchase order. When the business receive the goods that were purchased a delivery note will be issued, and the relevant person will goods receipt to say that the items have been received. Purchase Ledger Clerks will receive an invoice for the goods received, the purchase order will be matched against the invoice and the payment will be generated and released.

Within finance, Purchase Ledger Clerks sit within the transactional finance department, in the accounts payable team. Purchase Ledger Clerks may report into a Purchase Ledger Supervisor/Manager in larger finance functions or a financial controller or finance director in smaller finance functions.

How do I become a Purchase Ledger Clerk?

Within a Purchase Ledger role, you will be required to work with a high volume of invoices therefore having a good attention to detail is highly sought after. There are variety of different paths you can take to becoming a Purchase Ledger Clerk. You can get into this role through:

  • University - studying an accountancy or finance-related degree;

  • College - studying AAT/T-Level in finance;

  • Apprenticeship - pursuing an apprenticeship as a Purchase Ledger Clerk/Accounts Assistant/Finance Assistant; or

  • Applying directly - applying for a Purchase Ledger Clerk vacancy and receiving training on the job.

There are several opportunities for progression for Purchase Ledger Clerks. Some Purchase Ledger Clerks choose to progress within the Accounts Payable team and progress through Senior Purchase Ledger Clerk, Purchase Ledger Supervisor / Team Leader, Accounts Payable Manager to Head of Accounts Payable.

Other Purchase Ledger Clerks may use this opportunity to develop their transactional knowledge in order to pursue a career in accountancy. Alongside their role they may pursue studies in AAT, ACCA or CIMA in order to progress into becoming Accounts Assistants / Assistant Accountants, Assistant Management Accountants or Assistant Financial Accountants.


Typical Job Specification for a Purchase Ledger Clerk:

  • Posting of a high volume of invoices and matching them to PO number;

  • Checking for and investigating discrepancies;

  • Managing all intercompany balances within the Purchase Ledger;

  • Secure copies of all direct debit invoices;

  • Query management to be completed via phone email or face to face;

  • Creating company reports;

  • Allocating Payments;

  • Preparing for payment runs;

  • Liaise with other departments to resolve any queries that may arise; and

  • Process staff expenses.