Top 8 AP Automation Software Solutions in 2024

Everything you need to know about the best accounts payable automation solutions, including the pros, cons, pricing, and target audience for each platform.

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.

What is Accounts Payable Automation?

Accounts payable (AP) automation is a type of technology that streamlines and enhances traditional AP operations. The software automates several key functions such as capturing invoice data quickly, matching invoices accurately to purchase orders, and routing invoices for prompt approval. 

This proactive approach reduces human error and increases the overall efficiency of the AP workflow, enabling smoother and faster financial management.

What are the Benefits of Accounts Payable Automation?

By digitizing tasks like invoice processing and data entry, AP automation helps businesses to: 

  • Increase efficiency 
  • Reduce labor costs
  • Minimize errors
  • Capitalize on early payment discounts
  • Avoid late fees

This automation also improves cash flow by giving AP teams clear visibility to strategically manage payments and seize cash discounts effectively. 

Additionally, AP automation boosts cash flow forecasting accuracy and strengthens fraud prevention by providing detailed transaction audit trails and enforcing strict approval workflows. 

How Can I Choose the Best AP Automation Solution? 

Choosing the right technology from the start is crucial, but many factors will influence which AP automation software best suits your team. Here's a handy checklist to help you evaluate and compare different AP automation solutions effectively:

  1. Pricing: Evaluate all of the costs involved, including any setup fees, and ongoing subscription charges. Ensure it fits your budget and offers good value for the features provided.
  2. Integration Type: Look for a solution that easily integrates with your current financial systems and software.
  3. Security Measures: Ensure the solution has strong security features and complies with industry regulations.
  4. Net Promoter Score (NPS): Review the vendor’s Net Promoter Score to gauge how satisfied and loyal users are to the software. A high score indicates a trustworthy and effective tool.
  5. Customer Service Quality: Choose a provider with excellent customer support. Good service means quick help whenever you need it.

Top 8 Accounts Payable Automation Software

What is the best AP automation software for 2024?

  1. Centime: Best solution to scale with growth
  2. Bill: Best solution for small teams with basic needs
  3. Airbase: Best solution for expense management 
  4. Stampli: Best solution for advanced invoice processing
  5. Tipalti: Best solution for high volume international payments
  6. MineralTree: Best solution for invoice capture accuracy
  7. AvidXchange: Best solution for banks
  8. Beanworks: Best solution for Sage users

Centime: The Best Solution to Scale with Growth

Ideal for growing businesses that want to take total control of their cash

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’s Pricing

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.

Main Target Users for Centime

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.

Pros of Centime

  • The only all-inclusive cash management platform. Centime's AP automation platform is the only comprehensive cash management solution for SMBs. Unlike other AP automation software on this list, Centime includes cash planning as part of the AP process to help you optimize cash outflows to preserve and extend working capital. 
  • Best-in-class ERP integrations. Centime integrates seamlessly with world-class ERP systems like QuickBooks and NetSuite. Their two-way sync ensures that data flows continuously between your accounting system and their AP automation tool, so you never miss a beat.
  • Top-rated customer support. Centime offers unparalleled customer service with its dedicated concierge-level support team. They also assign a dedicated Centime Success Manager to each customer to ensure a top-tier implementation and onboarding experience.
  • True working capital from credit cards. While many AP automation providers support supplier payments with “virtual” credit cards, these credit cards provide no working capital benefit – supplier payments are immediately debited from customers’ bank accounts. Comparatively, Centime’s credit card provides true working capital by allowing customers to stretch their payables by 20-50 days at no cost while also providing competitive rebates. This extra working capital further bolsters teams’ cash management, adding another reason why Centime offers the best cash management in the AP automation marketplace.

Cons of Centime

  • Built for QuickBooks, Sage Intacct, and NetSuite Users only. Centime currently only integrates with three ERP systems: QuickBooks Online, Sage Intacct, and Oracle NetSuite. Unfortunately, teams that use other ERP systems won’t be able to take full advantage of the platform and its offerings. That said, by limiting their number of ERP integrations, Centime has established some of the best ERP integrations available today. This is a big win for the teams who can use their platform. 
  • No cross border payments. Centime does not support international payment today. If your team processes large volumes of cross border payments, then we recommend exploring alternative AP automation solutions. 

Centime Summary

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 Online, Sage Intacct, 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: Best Solution for Small Teams with Basic Needs

If budget is your biggest concern and you have very simple AP needs, BILL is a top contender

BILL, formerly known as, 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's Main Target Users

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’s Pricing

BILL offers pricing packages starting at $45 per month and ranges all the way up to $79 per month for their corporate package. 

Pros of BILL

  • Cost-effective AP solution for small businesses. BILL is designed for small businesses processing and paying 25-50 invoices per month. BILL provides businesses with cost-effective pricing structures that significantly reduce the costs associated with traditional AP workflows. Moreover, businesses can save money by minimizing the need to add personnel to manage manual AP tasks. 
  • Managing supplier relationships. BILL provides a robust way to manage supplier payment preferences, especially for non-check ACH payments. Suppliers can easily register their payment method (e.g., bank information), which is then securely stored and used for future payments.
  • Works well with outsourced accounting. BILL is the platform used by most CPA firms in the United States when delivering outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services. That means your CPA firm is most likely well-versed with their solution already, minimizing the need for time-consuming and tedious onboarding training. 

Cons of BILL

  • Loss of float, 2-4 day payment hold. One considerable downside of BILL is that it places a hold on payments for up to four days. This delays payments to suppliers and reduces working capital. Ironically clients’ loss is BILL’s gain: their financial reporting shows that they make over $100 million annually by reinvesting these “held” funds in high yield accounts. These delays needlessly hinder businesses ability to manage cash, reduce customer DPO by five days, and diminish customers’ valuable working capital. 
  • Incompatible with complex invoice and payment workflows. Although BILL is an excellent choice for small businesses, the platform is seen as deficient in supporting the more complex needs of middle market businesses.
  • Not suitable for mid-sized businesses. Middle market businesses often have larger teams with more specialized responsibilities and therefore need stronger, more detailed entitlements and controls. BILL simply lacks the ability to set up these fine grained entitlements. It also lacks true cash management capabilities for teams that want to optimize their working capital. 
  • No specialized customer care. BILL is a big company with a large roster of small businesses (over 160,000). This success comes at a cost: their inability to provide the kind of “white glove” support that their middle market clients need and demand. Instead, BILL emphasizes resources such as an online support center, frequently asked questions and video tutorials to service clients needs.

Summary of BILL

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: Best Solution for Expense Management

A strong solution for businesses that need robust expense management  

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. 

Airbase’s Pricing

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's Main Target Users

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

Pros of Airbase

  • Robust expense management platform. Airbase's expense management tool is one of the most impressive ones on the market. Its features help companies better manage their expenses by eliminating fraud, reducing manual work and ensuring compliance with company policy.
  • Convenient and easy-to-use corporate cards. Airbase allows companies to issue virtual and physical corporate cards to their employees, enabling them to make purchases and track expenses more efficiently. 
  • Real-time visibility and insights on company spending. Airbase provides real-time visibility into company spending so teams can identify trends and take corrective action in real time. The platform’s dashboards and reports deliver insights into spend by department, vendor, and category.

Cons of Airbase

  • Lacks cash management functions. Airbase is primarily designed for spend management, but true cash management is more than just spend management. Airbase lacks several functions typical of true cash management tools, including cash reporting and cash forecasting, the ability to plan AP payments, and more. 
  • Spread thin across functions. By combining AP and spend management into a single solution, Airbase ultimately sacrifices the desired product depth for both areas. The platform lacks AR automation capabilities and any forecasting functionality, which is crucial for true cash management tools. While Airbase is a best-in-class expense management solution, teams looking for both an AP automation solution and spend management platform are better off opting for two individual platforms rather than trying to kill two birds with one stone. 

Summary of Airbase

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: Best Solution for Invoice Processing

An option to consider for companies with complex invoice processing needs 

Stampli is one of the leading AP automation solutions providers offering innovative and intuitive invoice and payment processing. 

Stampli's Main Target Users

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.

Stampli’s Pricing

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. 

Pros of Stampli

  • Intuitive invoice processing. Stampli's AI-powered invoice processing system makes it easy to detect any inconsistencies, duplicate invoices or fraud attempts in seconds.
  • Easy-to-use UI. The platform has a user-friendly yet sophisticated interface that makes it easy for users to navigate and process invoices.
  • 70+ ERP Integrations. Stampli offers a wide range of ERP integrations, making it an ideal choice for businesses with various accounting systems.

Cons of Stampli

  • Limited payment processing functionality. While Stampli is excellent for invoice processing, their payment processing functionality appears to be more limited than other AP automation providers.
  • Poor synchronization with ERP systems. Compared to other AP automation software on this list, Stampli’s sync with accounting systems leaves much to be desired. For example, Stampli only offers a one-way sync between its platform and QuickBooks. This one-way sync not only causes major headaches for your accounting team, it also often creates data discrepancies between Stampli and your accounting system. 
  • Variable ERP Integrations. Although Stampli offers 70+ ERP integrations, not all their integrations are created equal. It is essential to vet the quality and depth of these integrations before committing to the service.
  • No cash management functionality. If your team is looking to better plan your payments to extend working capital, we recommend you look elsewhere. Unfortunately, Stampli doesn’t yet include cash planning as part of the AP process.

Summary of Stampli

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: Best Solution for International Payments

Ideal for businesses with mass international needs 

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’s Pricing

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's Main Target Users

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. 

Pros of Tipalti

  • Great international payment offerings. Tipalti is the champion of international payments in the AP automation space. Similar to BILL, Tipalti provides various international payment options, including ACH transfers, wire transfers, and foreign currency checks.
  • Ability to handle complex workflows. Tipalti is built for the upper mid-market range and makes it easy for AP teams to establish a clear workflow even if they have complex rules and needs.

Cons of Tipalti

  • Varying quality and compatibility with different ERP systems. With over 70+ integrations, Tipalti can't offer the same detail and depth in every integration. As such, make sure to carefully evaluate the platform's ability to integrate with your accounting system and any other relevant tools.
  • No cash management functionality. Similar to many other AP automation solutions on this list, Tipalti doesn’t include cash planning as part of the AP process. This is an important gap for teams that want to use their AP automation tool to help optimize cash outflows to preserve and extend working capital. 

Summary of Tipalti

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.

MineralTree: Best Solution for Invoice Capture Accuracy

A viable option for users concerned about OCR accuracy rates

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's Main Target Users

MineralTree often targets small-to-medium organizations. They boast ample experience with clients in the healthcare, retail, and non-profit verticals. 

MineralTree’s Pricing

MineralTreee does not publicly disclose its pricing model. However, TrustRadius offers some insights into its pricing models. 

Pros of MineralTree

  • Impressive invoice capture accuracy rate. MineralTree’s OCR and human review processes deliver a 99.8% accuracy rate for invoice capture, reducing the risk of errors and improving overall efficiency.
  • Strong customer support options. Customers highly rate MineralTree's customer service support, with users often reporting speedy and helpful responses to inquiries.
  • Quality onboarding. MineralTree's onboarding process is user-friendly and straightforward, making it easy for new users to get started.

Cons of MineralTree

  • No cash planning within AP. While MineralTree can streamline invoice approvals and payment authorizations, it fails to help teams plan their payables in a way that extends their DPO and optimizes cash flow. This missing cash planning functionality is crucial for teams that want to preserve their working capital.
  • Older UI. While MineralTree boasts impressive functionality and capabilities, its UI may feel less modern than other AP automation competitors and make the platform less appealing to use. 
  • Broad Range of Integrations. MineralTree is one of many AP automation solutions on this list that boasts an ability to integrate with many ERPs. That said, it’s important to know that keeping an ERP and AP in sync across a broad range of integrations can be very challenging. Therefore, we recommend thoroughly vetting MineralTree’s integration with your specific accounting system in order to ensure they can provide the same detail and depth to your integration that they promise on their website.

Summary of MineralTree

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: Best Solution for Banks

A reliable choice for financial institutions 

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's Main Target Users

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. 

Pros of AvidXchange

  • Competitive pricing on invoice capture. AvidXchange is known for offering some of the best prices on the market for its invoice capture, making it easier for businesses to automate their AP tasks without breaking the bank. 
  • Solid cash rebates for customers. AvidXchange has a dedicated team that will reach out to vendors directly and ask them to switch their payments to card. In return, customers wrack up valuable cash rebates, helping them save even more money. 
  • Detailed solution for banks. AvidXchange offers strong technology and relevant capabilities for banks looking to automate their AP tasks. This is one of AvidXchange's primary customer industries. 

Cons of AvidXchange

  • Limited credit functionality. AvidXchange's credit card is more of a debit or prepaid card, with only 1-2 days of floats. This may not be ideal for businesses that need more flexible payment options. 
  • Less control over vendor relationships. Because AvidXchange manages vendor communications, some customers may find that it creates silos or tensions within their strategic supplier relationships. 
  • Lacks true cash management functionality. Many finance teams today are looking for an AP automation tool that will help them extend their DPO so they can do more with their cash. As of today, AvidXchange doesn’t include these cash planning features within their AP solution. This gap prevents teams from fully optimizing their cash outflows. 

Summary of AvidXchange

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.

BeanWorks: Best Solution for Sage Users

A tried-and-true platform for companies using a Sage accounting system 

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.

Main Target Users for BeanWorks:

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.

Pros of BeanWorks

  • Great functionality for Sage users. BeanWorks offers one of the best AP automation tools on the market for companies with a Sage accounting system. 
  • Solid approval workflows. Beanwork’s dynamic approval workflows help reduce errors and increase efficiency, while its payment processing enables businesses to pay their vendors quickly and easily. 

Cons of BeanWorks

  • Specialized ERP focus. BeanWorks may not be the best option for businesses using ERPs other than Sage, as its remaining integrations aren’t as deep. Its limited integration with other ERPs could make it difficult for businesses to automate their AP tasks across all their systems.
  • Missing key cash management capabilities. BeanWorks offers a solid AP automation tool for Sage users, but it drops the ball when it comes to strategizing payables to optimize cash. If your team is looking to extend your DPO and preserve working capital, we recommend evaluating other AP automation tools on the market that specifically offer cash planning functionality.

Summary of BeanWorks

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.

What’s the Best Accounts Payable Software?

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.


AP Automation FAQs

How do the listed AP solutions ensure data security and comply with financial regulations?

The top AP solutions ensure data security by adhering to industry-standard encryption, conducting regular security audits, and complying with financial regulations such as GDPR and SOC 2. They offer features like role-based access controls and real-time monitoring to safeguard sensitive financial information.

Can these AP solutions be customized to fit unique business processes and requirements?

Many AP solutions, like Centime, offer customization options to fit different business needs, including customizable workflows, user permissions, and integration capabilities with other financial systems.

What are the specific steps for migrating from a manual AP process to one of these automated solutions?

Migrating from a manual to an automated AP process usually involves data transfer, system integration, configuring workflows, and training users, but the specific steps can vary by provider and business requirements.