It’s no surprise that COVID-19 and growing digitization trends are quickly making manual finance workflows a thing of the past. This is where AP automation comes in. Managing accounts payable can be a daunting task, especially for fast-growing businesses or teams dealing with a high volume of vendor transactions and invoices. Thankfully, automation software can streamline tedious paper-based AP tasks.
If you’re currently exploring options for an AP automation solution, look no further. This article compares the 8 best AP automation solutions, and outlines the pros and cons for each, to help you decide which is the best fit for your team. Let’s get started.
Centime's AP automation solution simplifies and enhances the entire accounts payable process, from invoice receipt to payment. By leveraging advanced OCR (optical character recognition) technology, Centime pulls key information from invoices, reducing manual data entry errors and increasing efficiency for AP teams.
Unlike other solutions, Centime AP is the only solution that actually helps you control your cash flow. Traditional AP automation platforms focus solely on invoice and payment processing. This approach fails to address the bigger picture, which is to help better manage your cash outflows by optimizing the AP process (like helping inform which payments you should make, when you make them, how much you pay and which payment method you use). Centime is the only AP automation solution that enables teams to plan payments during the AP process, extend Days Payables Outstanding, and proactively manage cash flows.
Centime offers flexible pricing plans tailored to all business sizes and requirements. Clients can mix and match products from their platform suite based on their unique needs, making it easy for customers to choose the best package.
Centime's AP solution is designed for growing small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) looking to get control of their cash and optimize their working capital. These businesses know that they need to manage their cash position with high precision, and don't want to waste resources trying to manually manage these processes.
Centime is an ideal solution for businesses that need a high level of control over their cash flow while also automating their accounts payable process. The platform streamlines the entire invoice-to-payment process, helping teams save time, optimize efficiency and reduce costs. Even if you’re just looking for AP automation today, it may be worth considering a solution like Centime that can extend to AR and cash flow as your needs change in the future.
Centime is also noteworthy for its dedicated customer service team and best-in-class ERP integrations. However, Centime is slightly limited in terms of the number of ERP systems it can integrate with – currently just QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online, and Oracle NetSuite. Nevertheless, Centime is the best pick on the market today for businesses seeking a comprehensive AP automation solution that offers end-to-end cash flow management.
BILL, formerly known as Bill.com, is a cloud-based financial management platform that enables small businesses to streamline their financial workflows. The platform was designed to simplify and automate complex accounting tasks, including sending and receiving payments, invoicing, and organizing documents and approvals. BILL provides a central dashboard where businesses can manage their accounts payable and accounts receivable, offering greater visibility and control over their financial management processes.
BILL primarily targets small businesses of all industries, including accounting, finance, and bookkeeping firms. Their clients usually have very straightforward, simple AP workflows and needs.
BILL offers pricing packages starting at $45 per month and ranges all the way up to $79 per month for their corporate package.
BILL is well-suited for smaller businesses seeking a cost-effective solution to manage their finances. Its price point, robust international payment capabilities and direct bank integration make it a solid choice. However, businesses should be aware of the 2-4 day payment delays, plus its lack of white-glove customer service options and true cash management capabilities. If your business's accounting needs are simple, then BILL is an excellent choice. However, consider evaluating alternatives if you’re seeking a more tailored customer support experience or if you have more complex workflows.
Airbase is an all-in-one AP automation platform that started as an expense management tool back in 2017. The platform evolved with time to encompass broader AP functions such as invoice automation, bill payment, purchase order management and corporate card issuance.
Much like others on this list, Airbase does not publicly state its pricing model. But it does promise flexible pricing plans based on business requirements.
Airbase is primarily designed for fast growing small to medium-sized startup and technology-based businesses. These businesses require financial tools that can keep up with their dynamic and sometimes chaotic settings. Airbase has garnered mixed reviews from users on the review site, G2
Airbase is a solid AP automation platform designed with small and medium-sized businesses in mind. Its expense management tool is one of the strongest in the market, and its corporate card offering is convenient and easy to use. However, the lack of true cash management functionality and credit lines for borrowing funds may be a deal-breaker for some businesses.
Stampli is one of the leading AP automation solutions providers offering innovative and intuitive invoice and payment processing.
Stampli's AP automation solution is designed for businesses of all sizes, including small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and enterprise-level organizations. Their cloud-based platform is easy to use and highly customizable, making it an excellent option for companies looking to streamline their AP processes.
Just like many others on our list, Stampli does not offer public insight into its pricing. In order to get an accurate estimate, you will need to get in touch with their sales team for a quote that’s specific to your company.
Stampli offers a comprehensive and customizable solution to streamline AP processes, including excellent invoice processing, customizable workflows, and a wide variety of ERP integrations.
While their payment processing may be limited, Stampli's overall platform can help businesses by saving them money, increasing efficiency and minimizing human errors. However, before committing to Stampli, businesses should thoroughly vet their ERP integrations and reporting capabilities to ensure they can offer seamless integration with your specific accounting system.
Teams should also keep in mind that Stampli doesn’t offer true cash management capabilities, which is often a key priority for finance departments.
Tipalti is a well-known name in the world of mass payments. However, the company has diversified its offerings and expanded into AP automation solutions. Tipalti offers a host of features to support AP automation, including invoice management tools, payment processing, global payment capabilities, flexible payment methods, enhanced fraud protection and tax compliance. These features make Tipalti's solution a great asset for businesses seeking an AP automation platform with international payment capabilities.
Tipalti Express starts at $149 per month, and goes up from there. To learn more about Tipalti’s specific pricing breakdown, visit their pricing webpage.
Tipalti is best suited for mid-sized and larger businesses with a global presence that manage high volumes of monthly invoices and have complex AP needs.
With features such as invoice management, payment processing, fraud protection, and tax compliance, Tipalti provides an all-in-one solution for businesses to manage their AP processes more efficiently and effectively. Their experience in international payments makes them an ideal choice for companies with a global presence, but their lack of cash management functionality will hinder AP teams that want to better strategize their working capital.
In the world of AP automation solutions, MineralTree is a popular choice for small to medium-sized businesses. It offers a variety of features, such as invoice approval workflows and vendor management, that help automate and streamline the AP process. However, while MineralTree has numerous strengths, such as a high invoice capture accuracy rate and strong customer service support, some platform drawbacks may affect user experience.
MineralTree often targets small-to-medium organizations. They boast ample experience with clients in the healthcare, retail, and non-profit verticals.
MineralTreee does not publicly disclose its pricing model. However, TrustRadius offers some insights into its pricing models.
Overall, MineralTree is a reliable AP automation tool that offers numerous benefits, such as high invoice capture accuracy and great customer support. However, potential users should also be aware of MineralTree's limitations, including those surrounding its international payment capabilities and older user interface.
AvidXchange is an upper mid-market AP automation solution that simplifies the accounts payable process. It provides features such as invoice capture, payment approval workflows, and payment processing. Since acquiring BankTel nearly five years ago, AvidXchange has become a go-to AP automation solution for banks. The platform also offers seamless integration with ERPs like Yardi and Sage300CRE, making it ideal for property management and construction verticals.
AvidXchange purchased BankTel back in 2019 to better support AP and payment automation for financial institutions. Since then, AvidXchange has specifically targeted banks. These businesses typically have a large number of vendors and invoices, making the AP automation process more complicated.
AvidXchange is a great option for banks seeking an AP automation platform. Its seamless integration with popular ERPs and great pricing on invoice capture make it a compelling choice. However, its credit card's limited float, lack of cash management capabilities, and overreaching control on vendor relationships is not suitable for all businesses.
Quadient AP, formerly known as BeanWorks is an AP automation platform that works great for Sage users. It simplifies the accounts payable process and streamlines workflows with features such as invoice capture, payment approval workflows and payment processing.
BeanWorks is ideal for businesses using Sage ERPs and looking for an all-in-one solution for AP automation. It can help these businesses save time and reduce errors in their AP process.
BeanWorks is an excellent solution for businesses using Sage ERPs and looking for an all-in-one solution for AP automation. Its dynamic workflows and payment processing make it easy to manage AP tasks efficiently. However, its limited integrations with other ERPs and lack of cash management functionality may not be ideal for businesses using other systems.
In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, an accounts payable automation software will empower your team to optimize its financial processes, drive efficiency and gain a competitive edge. Embracing this technology will undoubtedly pave the way for a more streamlined and agile future in financial management, but selecting the right accounts payable software isn’t always a straightforward decision.
In reality, the answer varies depending on your team’s unique needs, budget and accounting system. Make sure to consider the specific needs of your business, including software integrations, payment processing and workflows, before finalizing your decision.