Do You Need an Accounts Payable Software for Your Online Business?

Michael Pignatelli
Aug 08, 2022

Have you been keeping track of your invoices in a spreadsheet? Is it starting to get too difficult to manage? 

You're thinking about implementing some new accounting system, but you're not sure where to start. Accounts payable software can be a great solution for small businesses, and it doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. 

In this article, we'll give you an overview of what accounts payable software is and how it can benefit your business. We've also picked the five best accounts payable software for 2022. Keep reading to learn more about each platform and find the perfect one for your online business.

An Overview of Accounts Payable Automation

Accounts payable (AP) automation is a godsend for businesses that deal with a large volume of invoices and financial transactions regularly—in short, online businesses. With AP automation, all your invoices and transactions are stored in one central location, making it easy to keep track of everything. 

Accounts payable automation also allows you to track payments, set up recurring payments, and see all your financial activity in one place. As a result, it's easier to monitor your payments, ensuring you have good cash flow. Plus, accounts payable automation can save you a lot of money by eliminating late fees and interest charges. 

Reasons for Jumping Into AP Software

Aside from being the owner, you are also a finance executive of your online business. This means that you are responsible for the approval workflow of several invoice payments every month. With so much to juggle and manage, it's hard to quantify how many cheques you've already signed. In fact, your supplier may not even receive your cheque payment.

This cheque fraud case is just one of many problems you might encounter when you do the AP manually. Here are the other headaches you might encounter when you are not managing your accounts payable properly:

  • Missing invoices or documents
  • Late bill payments
  • Bottlenecked payment approvals
  • Duplicate transactions 
  • Questionable purchase orders
  • Cash flow problems
  • Accounting errors

Even if there's no difficulty, you're wasting a huge amount of your time inputting your invoices manually, which could result in human error. If you're not using accounts payable automation, you're missing out on a major opportunity to streamline your financial operations. 

People Who Need AP Automation Solution

Accounts Payable software isn't limited to big business owners or finance officers. It can also work for small business owners or account managers looking to improve their accounts payable process

This solution is if:

  • You're tired of the manual accounts payable process. Streamlining the invoice processing cycle can help you save time and money. 
  • You want to improve your vendor relationships. It can help you manage vendors more effectively and get better prices due to early payment discounts.
  • You love to splurge for your business and need to control your business expenses. It can help you track expenses and stay within budget, thus improving the asset-liability ratio of your online business.

The Workflow of AP Automation 

Accounts payable automation has come a long way in recent years. No longer are businesses limited to using paper-based invoices and manually inputting data into their accounting software

Today, AP software can automate the entire accounts payable process, from invoice processing to payment and reconciliation. This saves a lot of manpower and time for your online business. Plus, it also reduces errors and improves visibility within cash flow. 

Here's the AP automation process you can find in comprehensive accounts payable software:

  • Whether it is an electronic or paper bill, it digitizes your incoming invoices.
  • It scans each invoice and automatically enters it.
  • The invoice then goes to the right approval process based on your entered workflow preferences. 
  • If you have inquiries or concerns about the invoice, you can send messages, storing that conversation thread within the invoice.
  • Once you approve the invoice, you can choose what payment you wish to use— ACH, bank transfer, etc. Rest assured, your banking account info will be secure from your vendors or prying hackers.
  • AP automation tools can sync with your accounting software, saving the time and trouble of entering transactions twice.
  • Preparing financial statements is far easier with AP software since it keeps an audit trail for every step of your invoice processing.

Best Accounts Payable Automation Software

Are you convinced that having AP software can benefit your online business not just for a short period but probably for many years to come? If so, let us introduce you to some of the best software for AP automation. 

#1. Best for Low-Cost: Bill.com

Bill.com is one of the well-established players in the AP software industry. It helps small to large businesses automate their accounts payable and accounts receivable. It enables businesses to manage their finances more efficiently by streamlining how they send and receive payments. 

Bill.com also offers a suite of features your online business can use to manage accounting, expenses, and invoicing. By using Bill.com, you can be at peace knowing payments are secured. 

Price

$39 to $69+/month 

Highlights 

  • Unlimited access to scanned bills, emails, vendor contracts, etc. 
  • Automatic approval of bill payments
  • One-click payments
  • Automatic sync with your accounting software
  • Inbox virtual assistant 
  • Online or mobile viewing of the bill status
  • Risk-free trial period

Lowlights 

  • Needs an upgrade for syncing your accounting tools

#2. Best for Multi-Currencies: Tipalti

Tipalti is a global AP automation platform that helps businesses streamline their entire accounts payable process in over 190 countries. From start to finish, Tipalti helps businesses save time and money while ensuring compliance with tax regulations. 

With this awarding-winning AP automation software, businesses can easily manage multiple payment methods, vendors, and currencies all in one place. Because Tipalti integrates with leading accounting software platforms, businesses can avoid the hassle of manual data entry. Simply put, Tipalti makes global payments easy, efficient, and compliant. 

Price

Starts at $149/month

Highlights 

Lowlights 

  • No live support
  • No real-time cheque images

#3. Best AI: Stampli

When choosing the best AI accounts payable solution software, Stampli is the clear leader. With its industry-leading accuracy and advanced features, Stampli uses Billy the Bot to manage your accounts payable for coding your AP and notifying you of duplicated invoices. Its intuitive interface makes it easy to use, and its robust tools make it the most powerful and flexible solution on the market. 

Price

Request for a quotation

Highlights 

  • Fast approval tracking
  • Real-time captured data
  • Accounting system integration
  • Full 365 visibility with searches and reports 
  • Live 24/7 support

Lowlights 

  • No exact price 
  • No mobile app

#4. Best for App Integration: Avidxchange

If you're a small business owner, you know that QuickBooks isn't the only accounting software out there. In fact, there are over 220 different accounting programs on the market. That's where AvidXchange comes in. 

AvidXchange has invoice automation, purchase order, and bill payment software that integrates with these accounting systems. That means you can use the software you're already comfortable with without sacrificing any of the features or functionality you need. Just like most of our top picks, you can view your account anywhere, anytime. 

Price

Request for a quotation

Highlights 

  • Extensive app integration
  • Utility bill management
  • Live support
  • Invoice storage for seven years 

Lowlights 

  • No mobile app
  • No exact price

#5. Best Free AP Software: Airbase 

Are you an online business owner on a very tight budget? Consider this free accounts payable automation solution—Airbase. It offers all the essential features to manage your payments, expense reimbursements, and business cards. Airbase is also highly customizable, so you can tailor it to fit the specific needs of your business. Best of all, it's free! 

Overall, Airbase is excellent value and a great choice for businesses looking for free AP software.

Price

Free; upgrades need to request a quote

Highlights 

  • Purchase order process
  • Mobile app
  • Various app integrations 
  • Full audit trail
  • 1099 vendor reporting
  • Free

Lowlights 

  • Lack of international payment methods
  • Limited accounting software integration

Pay Your Bills With Unloop

Paper free desk thanks to accounts payable software - a laptop on a clear desk

As your business grows, accounts payable software can be an invaluable tool. 

With accounts payable software, you can automate many of the tasks associated with invoicing and payments, such as issuing, tracking, and following up on payments. In addition, accounts payable software can help you keep track of spending, so you can make sure that you're not overpaying for goods and services.

So, do you need AP software for your online business? The answer is probably yes. Using an AP automation solution can save you from paper invoices and the hassle of vendor follow-ups. Not to mention, it will help keep your office desk free of paper and help your business avoid human errors on payments. 

If you're ready to take the plunge, we would be more than happy to work with you and get your invoice process up and running in no time. Say goodbye to paper invoices. Book a call with Unloop today!

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About unloop
Unloop is the first and only accounting firm exclusively servicing ecommerce and inventory businesses in the US and Canada. With the power of people and technology, our team dives deep into COGS and inventory accounting.. You are paired with a dedicated bookkeeping team that prepares accurate financial statements, financial forecasts, and can also pay bills or run payroll for you. Come tax time, everything is organized and ready to go, so you don't need to worry. Book a call with an ecommerce accountant today to learn more.
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