Accounts payable software can efficiently manage large volumes of financial transactions between a company and its suppliers, while also automating ancillary activities such as approvals and reconciliations.
Most accounts payable solutions available today are either standalone products or part of a full stack accounting ERP. There are a variety of such tools available today, with varying levels of functionalities and features. In this article, we dive deep into the top 10 accounts payable software, their core offering, top features, ideal user/customer profiles, and their pricing.
Accounts payable software helps keep track of and streamline payables owed to external parties. Finance teams manage accounts payable end to end using AP software – from receiving/capturing and entering invoice data, categorizing and coding invoices, 3 way matching, approvals and final payment.
The best accounts payable solutions automate the most manually intensive and time-consuming tasks in the AP process workflow such as entering invoices, GL coding or posting to ERPs.
Accounts payable software (without AP automation) works as follows:
Manually completing these accounts payable processes in a traditional accounts payable software takes more time and AP staff than using AP automation software that’s integrated with your ERP system or accounting software.
When you integrate AP automation software with your accounts payable software, you’ll experience these advantages:
Let’s look at some of the best accounts payable software available in the market. We cover each software's core offering, its top features, prominent user/customer profiles, and a guesstimate of its pricing.
At its core, Nanonets is an intelligent automation AI for business processes and AP automation is one of its most popular use cases.
With Nanonets, companies get two distinct AP automation solutions - one for automating/streamlining existing accounts payable workflows and another that serves as a complete end-to-end AP automation solution. The key offerings are:
It is a platform ideally suited for small-to-medium businesses that want to automate their AP process in a fully customizable yet scalable way.
Small to medium businesses, large enterprises with legacy ERPs, accounting firms, multi-national businesses, and growing companies looking to formalise or automate their finance function
Bill.com offers a range of financial automation tools particularly suited to freelancers, sole proprietors, and small businesses. In addition to AP automation, Bill.com offers flexible lines of credit to let owners smooth out cyclical business periods and facilitates a range of accounts receivable options that are ideal for smaller, nimbler firms that need cash quickly.
Bill.com syncs with software used by a range of clientele, including Oracle, Microsoft products, Slack, Quickbooks, and more. For individuals or small companies starting to expand beyond what they can reasonably manage manually, Bill.com is a simple, intuitive, no-frills option. Bill.com is one of the most popular accounts payable software for small business.
Are you an existing Bill.com user looking for an alternative? Check out our detailed post on the best Bill.com alternatives. Also check out this detailed comparison of Bill.com vs Tipalti to see how these popular AP software fare head to head.
Create and pay bills, send invoices, and get paid.
Freelancers, self-employed professionals, small businesses, independent accountants
Airbase combines a simplified user interface with advanced workflow customization and optimization. These traits create an enterprise-level AP automation solution that’s easily deployed company-wide with a quick learning curve.
Airbase’s approval flows are its highlight, as users can automate the entire stream to notify approval authorities as procurement proceeds, and those authorities can easily validate the request digitally. The approval flows are highly customizable, too, and clients can adapt the platform to suit their individual needs and address a variety of use cases - though full customization does take more work upon adoption, it pays dividends down the road.
Bill payments, corporate cards, expense reimbursements
Small businesses, independent accountants, mid-sized to enterprise-level businesses
Airbase offers 3 quote-based plans that each require custom pricing:
Ramp offers a range of financial products and automation solutions to businesses (mostly) concentrated within the tech sphere. Ramp is unique in that it offers a spectrum of services, including vendor management, corporate credit cards, and billing to smaller companies and startups that ultimately let leaders focus on growing the business.
The initial learning curve startups navigate when expanding their financial footprint is steep and costly from a time perspective. Entries, approvals, syncs, and more all take precious time that could be better spent managing the company. Ramp also offers payment management systems, including virtual cards and recurring billing, that let clients automate both payables and receivables.
All-in-one spend management, price intelligence, and automation
Large Enterprises, Mid Size Business, Non Profit, Public Administrations, Small Business
Ramp offers 3 pricing plans:
Stampli is tailor-made for companies with efficient and useful systems in place that want to bring AP automation into the fold. Stampli integrates with more than 70 existing ERPs, meaning you can fold AP automation and improved management into your existing ecosystem with minimal hassle or adoption difficulty.
Stampli’s plug-and-play, modular nature also makes it a top pick for companies actively seeking M&A, as integrating an acquisition’s workflows and books into your own is simplified via Stampli compared to manual methods or trying to migrate the processes and systems via brute force.
Check out this detailed comparison Stampli vs Tipalti to see how these popular AP software fare head to head.
AP communication, document workflows, and payments
Small and midsized businesses
Stampli only offers quote-based plans/pricing
Tipalti targets the “next-gen” eCommerce market by letting businesses automate their payables to affiliate marketers, freelancers, and similar unique contractor positions that primarily operate digitally. True to form, Tipalti’s vision extends beyond national borders as the platform lets clients pay vendors in more than 200 local currencies.
Tipalti syncs with more obscure affiliate and influencer platforms that other AP automation tools don’t even consider, so it’s a digital marketing team’s best friend. At the same time, by automating those payments, Tipalti helps companies keep their affiliate or influencer campaigns going without operational disruption and keeping their brand top-of-mind.
Accounts payable and global payables management
Small to medium-sized businesses
Tipalti offers two scaled pricing plans:
AvidXchange focuses on B2B middle-market clients - too big for basic startup financial automation tools but not yet needing cumbersome enterprise-level solutions. AvidXchange streamlines vendor payments by nesting itself within your existing accounting software or ERP, meaning you don’t need to rewrite standard operating procedures in order to automate accounts payable.
AvidXchange’s middle-market focus means it also has a host of account managers standing by ready to help deploy AP automation, rather than leaving financial teams on their own to figure out AP best practices leveraging the software.
AP automation and bill payment software
Medium to large middle-market companies
AvidXchange only offers quote-based plans
Melio helps small businesses, including local operations, streamline accounts payable by letting clients automate bank transfers and card payments - including payments to vendors who only accept checks. At the same time, Melio doesn’t demand the supplier create an account; this is crucial for smaller operations that may not have the time or expertise to onboard local suppliers.
Melio also syncs with common platforms smaller companies prefer, like Quickbooks, which reduces deployment and integration friction and kickstarts the AP automation process faster than larger, enterprise-focused solutions.
Transfer and receive payments faster
Small businesses in the US looking to pay their bills in more efficient ways.
Melio doesn't offer multiple pricing plans, instead it charges a fee for specific features:
As the name implies, DocuWare’s shining strength is in its digital document management systems in addition to workflow automation. DocuWare is a truly global operation, servicing users in more than 100 countries, and stands as a premier choice for international businesses who are consolidating their document management procedures into a centralized, secure cloud-based solution.
DocuWare helps companies operating across geographic boundaries or remotely flatten their hierarchy by creating greater document access and transparency which, in turn, makes employees more well-informed and effective at delivering superior service to customers.
Document management and workflow automation
Large Enterprises, Mid Size Business, Non Profit, Small Business
DocuWare only offers quote-based plans.
QuickBooks is one of the most popular “one-stop shop” digital accounting software options available to small and medium-sized businesses. The software helps owners manage a range of financial and accounting services, including income and expense tracking, inventory management, payroll, and similar basic accounting functions.
Since Quickbooks is one of the most commonly-used platforms, there’s a host of existing documentation, user guides and a host of QuickBooks add-ons to help even the most inexperienced founders and owner/operators integrate advanced financial services into their daily business operations. And, since Quickbooks Online is a browser-based platform, it’s ideal for digital nomads and remote workers used to doing business in a variety of locales that may not have the digital infrastructure to support more demanding software.
Accounting software that also handles expenses, payroll, stock tracking, bank reconciliation, automating workflows, and more
Smal and mid sized businesses
QuickBooks Online offers 4 pricing plans:
Here’s a short list of some excellent accounts payable software solutions for small businesses to consider: Nanonets, Bill.com, QuickBooks, Sage Intacct, Stampli, Airbase and Tipalti. Check out our detailed guide on accounts payable software for small businesses for in-depth reviews and comparisons.
Nanonets, Airbase, Ramp, Stampli, Netsuite, Tipalti, Lightyear, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Sage Intacct and Epicor are some of the top accounts payable software for midmarket or midsized businesses.
Airbase, Ramp, Nanonets, Docuware, Netsuite, MineralTree and Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP are some of the popular accounts payable software for large businesses and enterprises.
Apart from all the accounts payable software covered in the sections above here are a few notable mentions that offer accounts payable or AP automation features and cater to companies of all sizes:
Find out how to choose the right accounts payable software for your business that seamlessly integrates and adds automation to your current ERP or accounting system. Consider the following key factors when picking an AP automation solution.
The aspects to consider in your software evaluation process include:
AP automation software integrated with your ERP system or accounting software produces workflow efficiencies that save substantial time compared to manual data entry and paper-based invoice processing. AP automation reduces hiring needs.
When your company completes timely invoice processing, it has the option to pay lower invoice amounts by taking early payment discounts offered by vendors. Taking early payment discounts results in higher gross margin (for inventory-related purchases) and increased profitability. Cash requirements and financing needs to fill cash flow gaps are lower when your business achieves cost savings and needs to hire fewer new staff members.
For added efficiency, your selected accounts payable automation software should include accurate digital invoice data capture using OCR (optical character recognition) technology with machine learning improvement.
The best accounts payable automation software uses AI technologies and supplier self-service portals to onboard suppliers, collect their W-9 or W-8 IRS tax forms, indicate automated payment status, and let suppliers choose their favorite payment method, and provide their payment information. Collecting supplier tax forms before making the first payment simplifies annual 1099 information return reporting and eliminates the need for supplier followup later in the year.
Making global payments can be quick and easy or time-consuming, difficult, and costly. Your accounts payable automation system needs to let you make and reconcile domestic and international payments quickly and easily with a choice of several electronic payment methods. With these payment method choices, your business can limit its use of costly international wire transfers to those high dollar situations or unique events that require the use of a more expensive wire transfer.
When your company captures its supplier invoices as soon as they’re available and syncs recorded invoices with your accounting system, accounts payable balances are more up-to-date than they would be with time-consuming, traditional, manual data entry accounting systems that require out-of-system invoice stacks to be accrued. Automated reconciliations also improve accounting accuracy.
Employees and suppliers have visibility into invoices and spend category totals and trends. Real-time dashboards with KPI metrics and AI-powered analytics give more clarity into business intelligence. With additional clarity, your business can control its spending and profitability better.
Businesses in growth mode need to select AP automation software that will:
The use of Accounts Payable software or advanced invoice processing software comes with compelling benefits such as time and cost savings, streamlined accounts payable process, and ultimately better bottom lines.
Automated accounts payable solutions will enable human employees to concentrate on higher-value tasks such as business development that contribute to enterprise value.
The choice of an invoice to payment automation tool depends on the level of automation that the business requires, and the ability of the software to blend with the company’s practices and policies.