Accounts payable is a powerful leverage. Accounts payable helps businesses purchase goods and sell them for profit without upfront cash outlay, and finding the right accounts payable software for small businesses helps track these transactions.
Using accounts payable helps small businesses grow fast. It allows companies to cover demand surges and boost production using suppliers' resources. These credit purchases free up liquid assets, letting firms allot more to other business activities such as investing or financing.
But purchasing on credit tests your money management skills. With every accounts payable transaction comes a promise to pay vendors on time. So, to maintain goodwill and grow your business, you must know the challenges that come with it.
Unloop knows those challenges. Let us break it down and give you tips on how to set up an efficient accounts payable system that can run on autopilot. Together with that, let us also give you the software that can assist you.
Managing accounts payable is one of the pain points of many businesses. Whatever the size and type of industry you're in, you'll face these issues as long as you purchase raw materials or merchandise on credit.
Whenever businesses send bills using the paper method, they face numerous challenges. Invoices can stack up on file cabinets and get lost in the mix. When this happens, your staff will need to request another one from the supplier, which may result in duplicates that lead to issues in the accounts payable process down the road.
Solution: A good accounts payable software with an excellent invoice processing system will make invoice data entry and tracking easier.
Duplicate invoice processing can lead to duplicate payments. If several people manage accounts payable bills, tracking payments becomes challenging, leading to unnecessary cash outlay.
Aside from duplicate payments, incorrect and missing payments happen, too. These vendor payment discrepancies may seem insignificant in small amounts, but they pile up over time and cause huge losses.
Solution: Improved accounts payable processes help reduce payment issues. A system you or an appointed staff manages normalizes accurate payments from the business.
In some cases, your staff have to pay impromptu bills. So, they skip a few steps in the process, especially if it's time-sensitive. This action can fly under the radar and cause issues in your business’s accounting and finance department.
Unapproved payments can extend beyond fulfilling credit obligations to vendors. If left unchecked, it can lead to other unauthorized expenses that can cost the business significantly in the long run.
Solution: You or your management staff can curb this from happening if you automate accounts payable and set up a centralized approval system.
Both traditional and ecommerce businesses need to be efficient. Fast processing is vital for timely supplier payments when managing accounts payable.
A slow accounts payable process results in a cash flow bottleneck. Your suppliers may postpone important transactions because of delays in expected cash inflow. This hold-up is detrimental to your supplier's business and yours. They can impose a penalty when you're overdue, or you can lose your supplier completely.
Solution: Getting accounts payable automation software brings efficiency to the processing of your bill. It removes the manual paperwork process and connects accounts in a single place, allowing instant cash transfers.
Investing in accounting software makes the account payable woes mentioned above easy to manage. However, some businesses still prefer the old-fashioned way. Although it’s time-consuming, traditional methods are practically free. But before you decide to stay old school, here are some downsides to it to give you a little push on finally going for accounting automation.
Human errors are one of the dangers of manually doing accounts payables. From simple arithmetic mistakes to more complex errors and miscommunication on transactions, a number of things can go wrong in doing things manually. Even a small mistake can cause large consequences, especially for small businesses.
Reports are essential to assess the status of your business. When you rely on manual reports, you are limited to generating them in a short timeframe. If you want an annual expense report, you'll have to review tons of records and assemble them—you'll spend more than a week just doing that.
It will be harder for your business to spot patterns and pain points because you can't see the bigger picture. If problems need addressing, you won't know until they become significant.
When your business grows, you need more data to track and record. When you expand your business, you'll probably deal with more vendors, and to pay them when it’s due using memory is impossible. Your transactions will increase, and keeping up with them will be more challenging.
The bottom line is, a manual accounts payable system is not scalable. In the long run, it will only cause your business more complications.
You are now aware of what a software automation solution can do to assist you efficiently. Remembering these characteristics will help you choose among the sea of tools available today. To slim down your selection, here are the five best accounts payable software you can invest in.
Bill accounting software is considered one of the best for accounts payable due to its user-friendly interface, advanced security features, and robust automation capabilities.
With Bill, organizations can easily track invoices, automate payment processes, and eliminate manual data entry errors. Let's dive into the software's features that make it an indispensable tool for modern finance teams.
Invoice processing is easier with Bill. You can make invoice exchanges by sending emails to your colleagues and suppliers. You can also store invoices in the software using your email.
Bill makes it easy whether you have a physical or an electronic invoice. For a physical document, you can use your smartphone to take a picture of and convert it electronically. If you have an electronic one, you can upload it online.
What's excellent about Bill is the invoice automation feature. It uses AI assist that scans your document and inputs all the comprehensible details of your invoice.
Bill allows multiple users to access the account. The software can handle various collaborations between owners, bookkeepers, and business staff. This makes it convenient for everyone to work on accounts payable discrepancies and payments.
To avoid unauthorized payments, approved administrators can choose the access level of Bill account users. You and your managers can restrict or allow vital functions from certain users, thereby preventing fraud or mismanagement.
Upon setting up your bank account, Bill uses ACH payment methods for faster transactions. The software syncs to your bank and updates the accounts payable balance whenever there is debit and credit.
The software also lets your vendors sync their bank accounts to Bill. This helps make payment processing more efficient because the business and your vendor's bank account are connected to the platform.
The accounts payable software allows you to track and manage payments in real-time. You'll know the payment status and whether it's delayed, received, or cashed. This feature is handy if you're used to using ACH or electronic fund transfers as modes of payment. You can estimate when the payment will clear and credit your supplier's bank account, letting you pay on time.
If you're using Bill as your AP automation software, we recommend combining it with Quickbooks Online. It's an excellent accounting platform for accounts payable. The two make a powerful combination of robust accounts payable and accounting systems. The data entry of complex AP transactions syncs to your accounting books as it should, which makes for accurate financial reporting.
Having Bill and QuickBooks Online for your small business is having the right tools for the best accounts payable process. They both have features that partially automate invoice processing such as info entry and transaction sync.
But running Bill and QuickBooks Online will take effort. Why not fully automate your accounts payable and accounting system with the help of experts? They can do most of the work to give you the following benefits.
Timely Payments: Bookkeepers will determine how much you owe and when it is due so they can set it up for you.
One-Click Approval: Every due payment will be shown to you or your manager, ready for approval. Once approved, they start the payment process.
Best Exchange Rates: Professionals can use the most cost-efficient forex rates to the business's advantage when making overseas payments.
NetSuite is a cloud accounting solution that automates small business payment processes such as processing supplier invoices, transaction matching, journal entries, and reconciliations. NetSuite automates the majority of accounting processes, so it eliminates manual tasks and significantly reduces human error.
Below are some of Netsuite’s best features.
You can make, track, and manage your orders more efficiently by using NetSuite’s purchase orders management feature. It offers real-time visibility into order status, vendor performance, and inventory levels.
Vendor management allows businesses to effectively manage vendor relationships. It centralizes vendor information, tracks performance, and streamlines communication. With real-time data, it enhances collaboration, negotiates better terms, and ensures compliance.
Data entry and extraction leverages advanced technology to automate mundane data entry tasks and extract relevant information from documents. This feature particularly focuses on accounts payable, reducing user manual efforts that minimizes human error. Through this feature, data processing becomes faster.
TeamPay is an automated invoice processing software that handles routing for approval and payments. It provides complete visibility into POs. Create, pay, and manage bills via virtual cards, checks, wire, or ACH.
Here are some of the highlights of TeamPay.
If you want to automate regular payments, such as subscriptions and bills, TeamPay can help. The software has a feature that simplifies financial operations by scheduling and executing payments on predefined dates.
The requisition Management feature streamlines the procurement process by enabling employees to request purchases online. It enforces spending policies, automates approvals, and centralizes requisition data.
TeamPay's workflow management feature allows businesses to design, customize, and automate their spend approval processes. Your business approval chains and routes will stay organized while ensuring alignment with your company policies.
Airbase is an all-in-one spend management platform that gives small businesses control over every dollar they spend. Processing bills and invoices in one automated platform, scheduling and sending payments, and syncing with your accounting system are made easier with Airbase.
Here are more of its outstanding software accounts payable features.
Send checks digitally, streamlining payment processes, through the help of AirBase. Detail checking is done automatically, allowing you to save time. Because everything’s automated, checks are also easier to track.
Airbase's Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) functionality facilitates secure and efficient financial transactions. It enables businesses to electronically transfer funds for various purposes, such as payroll, vendor payments, and expense reimbursements.
Through Airbase’s expense tracking, reporting, reimbursements, and approval workflows are made easier. It centralizes expense data, provides real-time visibility, and enforces spending policies.
Managing accounts payable is crucial to a business's success. However, there are challenges to purchasing on credit that small businesses need to overcome, such as invoicing challenges, payment discrepancies, unapproved vendor payments, and slow processing of bills.
Turning to accounts payable software can help small businesses manage these challenges more efficiently. Just take note of the features we enumerated here to pick the right tool. To determine the best one, always consider the needs of your small business.
Regarding accounts payable management, you can use some help from Unloop. We are a team of bookkeepers with skills and experience in accounts payable management. We specialize in ecommerce small businesses and have been using Bill and QBO to run ecommerce accounting systems efficiently.
If you decide to get Bill and QBO or already have specific software in mind, you can trust that we'll maximize these tools to your business's advantage. Book a call with us now, so we can discuss our offers with you.
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.