We’ve ranked the best accounts payable automation software based on integration options, ease of use, and key features like electronic invoice processing and reporting capabilities.
1 Tradogram - Best Overall
Why we chose it Tradogram is our top overall pick for its comprehensive AP automation features. From automated invoice processing to advanced approval workflows, it reduces manual efforts and increases efficiency. This is especially valuable for businesses looking to minimize human error and speed up their payment cycles.
Another standout feature is Tradogram’s real-time budget tracking. This allows businesses to monitor their spending closely and stay within budget, a key concern for many organizations. Tradogram helps companies make more informed financial decisions by providing insights into spending patterns.
2 Fraxion - Strong Budget Control
Why we chose it: We went with Fraxion for its real-time budget visibility. Its dashboard offers detailed insights into expenditures, ensuring that all spending aligns with budget constraints. The software automatically tracks budget usage as expenditures are made. This includes the tracking of committed, actual, and remaining budget amounts. This is crucial for businesses prioritizing financial discipline and accuracy in their operations.
The software’s customizable approval workflows make it an ideal choice for organizations seeking a tailored accounts payable process. These workflows ensure that each expense is properly authorized, adding an extra layer of financial control and compliance.
3 Bellwether - Best Customization Options
Why we chose it: We found Bellwether highly customizable; it can adapt to diverse business needs through extensive customization options. Users can customize approval workflows to match their organizational hierarchy and policies. They can also customize purchase order formats, requisition forms, reports, email notifications, and product catalogs. This flexibility ensures that companies can mold the software to fit their specific accounts payable workflows, enhancing efficiency and user satisfaction.
Bellwether’s integration capabilities are a significant asset for businesses seeking a seamless accounts payable process. It integrates with QuickBooks, Sage Intacct, NetSuite, and more for a unified approach to financial management.
4 Tipalti Approve - International Payments Support
Why we chose it: We chose Tipalti Approve with global suppliers in mind. Its international payments management feature simplifies complex cross-border transactions, supporting multiple currencies and adhering to regional compliance requirements.
Tipalti’s regulatory compliance capabilities further enhance its appeal for global operations. The platform covers compliance with regulations across over 190 countries. In the U.S., Tipalti automates preparing and submitting 1099 and 1042-S forms. Keeping up with changing international financial laws reduces the risk of legal issues, ensuring smooth and compliant accounts payable processes worldwide.
5 Precoro - Top Integration Options
Why we chose it: We chose Precoro for its ability to integrate with popular accounting software like QuickBooks Online, NetSuite, and Xero. These integrations enable the automatic transfer of financial data between systems, reducing manual data entry and the likelihood of errors. This ensures a smooth, cohesive workflow for businesses using these accounting platforms.
The integration with Power BI and the availability of an API further enhance Precoro’s appeal. Power BI integration means businesses can leverage advanced analytics and data visualization tools for deeper insights into their spending and financial processes. The API allows custom integrations, providing flexibility and scalability to meet specific business requirements.
6 Coupa Procurement - Best for Spend Management
Why we chose it: Coupa’s analytics-driven spend management tools provide businesses with deep insights into their spending patterns. For example, the spend analysis dashboard includes various metrics and visualizations like spending by category, department, or supplier. These insights help companies identify cost-saving opportunities and make strategic financial decisions.
The supplier management functionality of Coupa Procurement is another key feature, ensuring effective collaboration with suppliers. This is crucial for businesses optimizing their procurement processes and maintaining strong supplier relationships, leading to better pricing and improved terms in accounts payable.
What is Accounts Payable Automation Software?
Accounts payable (AP) automation is a specialized system of accounts payable software designed to help businesses reduce the time spent on invoicing tasks. By automating your payment processes, you can cut down on costly accounting errors and common invoicing delays.
Additionally, AP automation software streamlines the payment process on both ends. Your vendors and suppliers can receive your payments faster when you submit digital invoices. And it’s easier to confirm payment was sent when you have an electronic trail.
Features of AP Automation Software
- AP purchase order and invoice records: Generate and organize records for all your business transactions, starting with the original purchase order
- Optical character recognition (OCR): Scan physical invoice documents into a digital system to maintain a standardized digital formatting
- Electronic payments: Streamline the payment process by using ACH or EFT formats; coordinate your online accounting capabilities
- Check-writing: Create and print individual or batch check runs for your business payments
- Recurring payments: Avoid late payments by sending out automated reminder notification when payment is due to vendors, suppliers, and distribution partners
- Contact database management: Organize all your contact information for vendors, suppliers, distributors, customers, and employees
- Account lookup: Keep digitized records of all transactions; easily search record which accounts are on-time and which are outstanding by date, vendor, or other factors
- Tax form documenting: Process W-2s, 1099 and other tax forms electronically
- General accounting: Balance your AP against your accounts receivable (AR) in a general ledger to ensure your company finances stay in order
AP Automation Benefits
There are many incredible benefits to automating your payable processes:
Reduce Payment Errors
Traditional accounts payable processes increase the chances of human error. Even the most skilled accountant on your AP team can accidentally move a decimal place when calculating invoices. It’s simply a matter of statistics, as the more manual tasks there are the more chances there are for small mistakes to add up. Automated AP processes cut down on the potential for mistakes.
By reducing invoice processing mistakes, AP automation helps drive down cost from potential errors. Since the software records the original purchase order, the applications always check the payment price against the agreed upon costs.
Avoid Late Payments (and Penalties)
Payments always have due dates. Missing a payment or being a few days late can lead to fees. Worse, it can damage your relationship with your suppliers. To protect your vendor relationships you need to make timely payments. But even if you mail out a physical check on-time, there’s always the chance the mail could delay the delivery.
Electronic payments don’t take days to deliver - they’re virtually instantaneous. Automated reminders can notify your billing department whenever a payment is due. You can even set a timeline for how far in advance you get these reminders based on your accounts receivable schedule.
Standardized Payment Forms
Financial data is tricky enough to manage when presented in a standardized format. Yet every business partner you have has their own preferred invoicing method. You can’t modify your payment processes to accommodate every single one. Instead, electronic data interchange (EDI) and optical character recognition (OCR) applications let you scan invoices from all your vendors and suppliers into one digital format.
By standardizing invoices as they arrive, you can cut down on data entry. An accounting system with EDI and OCR tools will automatically import the invoice data you need to streamline the payment process. Then, your AP team can focus on making payments instead of manual data entry.
Mobile Access Anywhere
AP automation solutions generally include mobile apps for extra accessibility during the approval process. If you are in charge of payment authorizations, you need to be accessible even when on the go. With mobile apps, you can provide approval to your AP team at your convenience. And this can lower your processing costs as you don’t have to waste time going into the office to give invoice approval.
Keep Accurate Payment Records
Whenever you pay a vendor or supplier, you update your records to show your account was paid off. Once the vendor receives your payment they will update their accounts receivable balance. Unfortunately, your payment is vulnerable once it leaves your hands until it arrives in theirs. Unless you want to pay more for delivery confirmation, there’s no way to track your payments through traditional shipping methods. If the payment never arrives, it’s your word against theirs.
Paying electronically adds a layer of protection to your vendor interactions: Automated AP software tracks your electronic invoice payments so you always have a record of when invoices were paid. If there are ever any discrepancies with a vendor, you’re covered by your digital records.
Additionally, these AP reports provide valuable bargaining information when it’s time to negotiate with vendors. Looking at your past payments can help you set up better terms. And in the long run, you can use your AP records to see which vendors have historically offered you the best purchase prices. An integrated ERP system will allow you to track your AP payments and locate potential invoicing bottlenecks.
Finally, automated AP helps protect your company from fraud. Since all payments are automatically recorded, it’s easy to generate an audit trail to find any discrepancies from potentially fraudulent actions.
AP Automation Software Pricing
AP automation is designed to help you save money by reducing late fees and accounting errors. The cost savings from better invoice management systems are immeasurable. SaaS subscription rates begin at $20 per month on a per user basis for single-application solutions. More expensive plans with ERP-suite integration or AR applications may reach $100 per month per user.
Perpetual license fees begin at $1,000 for a one-time implementation and deployment and increase up to $16,695. Setup fees, training, and custom configurations will add to the initial costs. All the time you once wasted manually going over invoices, estimates, and payroll forms can now be spent working.