The 15 best AP automation software tools for busy controllers in 2024

Making sense of AP automation software market.
Author
Ken Boyd
Updated:
February 28, 2024
Writer
Reviewed by
Updated:
February 28, 2024

Seeking efficiency gains and cost reduction, more businesses are turning to accounts payable (AP) automation to reduce their processing expenses.

This practical guide helps businesses compare and understand the leading AP automation solutions available today. Keep reading.

Let's dive in.

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What Is accounts payable (AP)?

Accounts payable is the total dollar amount a business owes to vendors and suppliers at a given time.

On a balance sheet, accounts payable balances are categorized as short-term liabilities, and each invoice has a specific payment due date that a company must abide by.

When a business is first starting, it likely won’t have a significant number of invoices to manage. However, as they scale, the size and complexity of their accounts payable operation will as well.

Why is managing the accounts payable so time-consuming?

What makes accounts payable especially time-consuming is that every vendor is unique; some may have payment deadlines and requirements that differ from other vendors you work with.

The same can be said about payment methods. For example, some vendors may not allow card-based payments while others do.

Your AP department must manage two, at times, competing factors: cash flow optimization and positive vendor relationships.

For example, in the event that a vendor has a 60-day payment deadline, you may find that waiting 60 days to process payment optimizes your cash flow. While this is a positive outcome for your business, it may damage the vendor relationship.

AP is vital but adds complexity to your financial processes

Adding to the complexity of the process is that your AP department must post AP and expense transactions to the correct general ledger accounts, in order to generate accurate financial statements. This is a vital step to ensuring an efficient month-end close.

Owing to the complexities of this process, those tasked with managing payables - be it a fully-fledged AP department or other employees in smaller firms where a dedicated AP department might not exist - end up spending around 30% of their time on manual tasks.

These tasks often include data entry, invoice processing, expense policy compliance management, and chasing stakeholder approvals.

What are the benefits of AP automation?

In short, accounts payable is time-consuming. Every step, from receiving and coding invoices to navigating approval bottlenecks and processing payments translates to minutes that your finance staff is not dedicating to higher-value work.  

This is a major reason why more businesses are automating the AP process: AP automation software equips the business to process invoices at scale and transactions in less time and with more accuracy.

With automation, you can manage complex AP processes, including multiple locations and general ledger accounts. AP automation can also flag unusual transactions and sharply reduce the risk of fraud and theft.

As a result, businesses can close the books faster and free up the AP staff’s time to work on more valuable tasks, such as cash flow management. Managers get timely and accurate information to make informed decisions.

What is AP automation software?

AP automation software digitizes and automates the end-to-end accounts payable process, allowing businesses to capture, code, match, and approve accounts payable data using fewer manual tasks.

The AP software platforms and solutions available today vary by feature set, capability scope, costs, and integrations.

Tip: Generally, the best AP automation solution is one that will help you eliminate nearly all manual tasks and streamline the end-to-end process with the least financial investment, minimal implementation complexity, and a short learning curve for users.

How do you automate an AP process?

The first step is to audit your existing payables processes. As Rho controller Bryce Armbruster highlighted in a recent CFO.com article:

“Segment automation-driven efficiency opportunities by impact level, the effort required, and relative priority. Once you have a clear view of your low-hanging fruit, this is usually the best place to start to build momentum for larger initiatives.
A typical example is utilizing an automation tool for your expenses or AP, especially if these are paper-based or multi-step processes. In such scenarios, you can test and iterate before fully committing to a complete implementation.”

What Does The Best Accounts Payable Automation Software Include?

Here are key payables processes you should evaluate as you map out your current processes:

Invoice capture and coding

Once vendor invoices are received – either physically or digitally – data must be processed and synced to your accounting software or ERP system with the corresponding general ledger account assigned.

Invoice matching

Invoice data is then matched with a purchase order (PO) to verify that the invoice matches the customer’s instructions on the PO. This process is commonly referred to as two-way matching and helps ensure that data is consistent to mitigate the risks of costly errors.

Some businesses elect to add an additional step to the verification process, matching invoice and purchase order data to shipping receipts (or sales receipts), which is known as three-way matching. There are benefits and trade-offs to adding this additional step.

Adding this additional step provides supplementary oversight that further enhances error spotting. However, it can add time to the entire process and, in certain cases where companies work with the same vendors and have recurring purchases, this trade-off isn’t worth the additional time lost.

Approvals

The AP department then sends the invoice, PO (if applicable), and shipping receipt to the appropriate approvers who are authorized to review and approve the payment. This is typically a CFO, business owner, or head of finance depending on the size of the organization.

Many businesses require multiple approvers for large dollar purchases.

Payment scheduling

All of the documentation and proof of approval is given to a manager, possibly the CFO, who approves payment by check, wire, ACH, credit card, or other methods.

Dedicated AP staff or a process lead then processes each payment, and the vendor then receives a copy of the invoice paid.

General ledger activity

When a payment is processed, the accounts payable account and the cash account in your general ledger are then both reduced by the payment amount(s).

The general ledger entries for credit card payments are slightly different. When a business pays by credit card, the company increases an expense account and increases a credit card payable account.

When the credit card balance is paid, the credit card payable account is reduced, along with the cash account.

Accounting reconciliations

At the end of each month, all general ledger accounts are reconciled, in order to generate the financial statements. Credit card activity and other payments must be reconciled with the bank account.

Recordkeeping

Companies must file all general ledger activity and the AP supporting documentation to establish an audit trail. The records may be reviewed during a financial statement audit, or by various regulatory agencies.

To get the most out of accounts payable automation solutions, the platform needs these features and tools:

  • Customized AP workflows: Users must be able to set up workflows based on their current AP processes so that work can be processed without changes to operations.
  • Invoice automation: The solution should automatically capture invoices, enable invoice data extraction, and store the data for processing.
  • Matching: Invoices, POs, and shipping receipts should be matched automatically, and the AP team must be alerted if there are exceptions.
  • Posting to general ledger: Many firms have a chart of accounts that includes subcategories for divisions, departments, or subsidiaries. AP automation must be able to post transactions using a complex account list.
  • Centralized communications: The AP platform needs a single site where users can access documents and communicate regarding each invoice approval status.
  • Approval workflows: The system must alert approvers that an invoice must be reviewed, and provide a link to review the supporting documentation. The AP team should be alerted when an invoice is approved.
  • Additional data: AP automation should provide other useful data, including vendor credit memo information, and potential invoice discounts for timely payment processing.
  • Reconciliations: The best AP software platforms offer automated bank reconciliations, and integrate credit card activity and other transactions with the bank account.
  • ERP integrations: Your automation solution should provide a sync with your ERP system, so that the ERP remains the source of truth for accounting system data.
  • Data visibility and reporting: Managers need access to useful reports, including AP aging schedules, and reports that list invoices by dollar amount or due date. These reports help with cash management.

These features and tools make life easier for the team that processes AP, and for the manager who must monitor transactions. Automation also helps the business to pay invoices on time, and to maintain strong vendor relationships.

Three AP Automation Provider Categories

To help you evaluate the right AP automation solution for your business, we have compiled a few of the most popular choices available today.

Suggestion: As you evaluate, we find it helpful to first identify your needs and consider the offerings from the perspective of three categories.

Category 1: End-to-end finance platforms with AP automation capabilities

Examples include Rho, Brex, Ramp, and Airbase, where unified finance platforms offer AP automation integrated with other key finance functions, including corporate cards, expense management, banking, and treasury.

Pros: Offer integration as a key value proposition, unlocking greater spend visibility and control compared to AP point solutions.

Cons: Some businesses may want a single point solution to handle AP automation.

Category 2: AP automation point solutions

Examples include Tipalti, Bill, and AvidXchange.

Pros: Tend to offer more in-depth AP feature sets that may be beneficial to companies with very sophisticated payment workflows.

Cons: Potential for higher costs (e.g. Bill and Tipalti charging per seat), time-intensive implementations, and lack of integration with banking and other processes that could cause payment delays and lack of visibility of overall spend.

Category 3: Accounting or ERP systems with built-in AP capabilities

Examples include NetSuite, Intuit QuickBooks, and Sage Intacct, which have invested in building out payment capabilities in recent years.

Pros: Companies who are NetSuite or Sage Intacct power users may enjoy the benefit of processing payments in the same system in which they log them.

Cons: These providers may lack robust payment features or seamless UX that makes processing payments at scale difficult.

Category 1: End-To-End Finance Platforms With AP Automation Capabilities

These providers are all-in-one finance platforms that help you accomplish several processes, including expenses, AP, and banking, in one place.

1. Rho

Rho recently released AP automation built into Rho’s all-in-one finance platform.

In seconds, the Rho platform executes the entire payable lifecycle, processing thousands of supplier invoices at scale – all in the same fee-free platform where you can manage your expenses, banking, and treasury.

As Runway’s Head of Finance recently said, "Rho’s new AP capabilities are a game-changer for finance pros who want to spend less time on a traditionally manual process."

Features

Rho AP starts by capturing bill data sourced from invoices or your ERP, then schedules thousands of corresponding payments using supported payment methods (ACH, card, checks, and wires) in seconds.

Throughout the process, Rho’s multi-level approval process controls to enforce compliance with your spending policy.

Pros

- End-to-end finance – Streamlined, unified payments, banking, and expenses in one platform

- Free – The Rho platform, including AP, is free to use

- Banking-powered AP – Bank integration enables faster payment settlement times and accurate payment status reporting

- Scalable – Designed to support 10-person growth-stage startups and 200-plus employee, multi-entity businesses

- Live customer support – Available 24H Mon-Fri, 10-7pm ET on weekends to assist with implementation and questions

Cons

- 3-way match – Not yet available. Scheduled for release later this year

Integrations

Rho integrates with QuickBooks Online, NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, and Sage Intacct. Rho also supports flat-file CSV exporting, so you can automatically tailor transaction categorization to your business needs.

Pricing

The Rho platform is free, with no fees for users, domestic payments, accounts, or the overall platform. The only fee Rho charges is a 1% fee on FX payments.

2. Brex

Brex is a finance solution that offers global corporate cards, expense management, reimbursements, travel, and bill pay in one platform.

Features

Brex services include corporate cars, expense management, Brex Cash (banking), and accounting automation. AP processing is offered for customers using Brex Cash.

Pros

- UX – The platform is user-friendly and offers an easy tool for receipt capture

- Startup focus – Tailored to startups needs

Cons

- Customer Support – Poor customer service, based on client reviews

- Pricing – Pricing strategy has shifted from SaaS fees for expense management features to now charging for ERP integrations, which confuses users

- Opaque Rewards – Reward points have been devalued without notice to users

Integrations

Brex directly integrates with NetSuite, Xero, QBO, and Sage Intacct.

Pricing

We were unable to find transparent Brex pricing on their website, but some fees we have discovered include:

- 3% FX fee

- Per-seat fees for integrations to NetSuite

Brex vs. Rho

While Brex primarily targets VC-backed startups, Rho’s platform and AP solution are purpose-built to scale with both growth-stage and middle-market companies.

While the Rho platform is free, Brex charges fees for Brex Plus, which includes accounting integrations that power their AP service.

3. Ramp

Ramp is an expense management platform offering corporate credit cards, invoice processing, and vendor payments. Ramp’s services are designed to control spend and optimize finance operations, all on a single platform.

Features

Ramp provides corporate cards, expense management, bill payments, accounting automation, and data to analyze spending. The company focuses on startups and the VC-backed community.

Pros

- Cashback on card use – Ramp offers 1.5% cash back on purchases

- ERP integrations – QuickBooks, Netsuite, Xero, and Sage Intacct, among others

- Invoice approvals – Multi-level approvals and vendor-specific approvals

Cons

- AP automation issues – Some users believe that the AP automation is slow and difficult to navigate, according to review comments

- Customer support – Ramp does not provide live phone support

- Commercial banking and treasury management – Ramp does not offer these services to customers

Integrations

QuickBooks, Netsuite, Xero, Sage, and other ERP platforms

Pricing

Some of Ramp’s basic features, like corporate cards and expense management, are free to use. However, Ramp Enterprise offers paid features that are available for a cost. These include a dedicated account manager, ERP integrations, and customer permissions.

Ramp vs. Rho

Vs Ramp, Rho fully integrates AP and banking, eliminating late payments, optimizing cash management, and improving visibility over all payment statuses – for free.

In addition, Ramp has rolled some advanced features like ERP integrations and AP automation into paid Ramp Plus and Ramp Enterprise plans. Meanwhile, Rho offers live customer support 24H Mon-Fri, 10-7pm ET on weekends at no additional cost.

4. Airbase

Airbase is a spend management platform for small and midsize companies. It combines comprehensive accounts payable, a  corporate card program, and employee expense reimbursements into one system.

Features

Airbase automates accounting and operational workflows for faster close, real-time reporting, and a consistent platform experience for all non-payroll spend. The company provides corporate cards, expense management, AP automation, & B2B payments.

Pros

- Robust AP automation – OCR scanning, automated approvals, vendor portal

- ERP integrations – Effective integrations with NetSuite, Sage Intacct, and other software providers

- Ease of use – From a user perspective and administrator perspective

Cons

- Expensive fees – Fees charged for reimbursements, bill payments, and custom NetSuite fields

- No banking services – Airbase is an expense management platform but does not offer any banking solutions

- Time lag before payments – According to some customer reviews, there is too much time between debiting the user’s bank account and paying funds to the vendor

Integrations

NetSuite, Sage Intacct, and Xero. Additional integrations for bank and credit card platforms.

Pricing

Airbase offers Standard, Premium, and Enterprise pricing levels with unclear pricing. You have to reach out to Airbase to request a specific quote.  

Airbase vs. Rho

Airbase is an effective expense management and procurement system but lacks the robust banking and treasury features built into the Rho platform.

Airbase follows a subscription-based software fee model; costs can add up, whereas the Rho platform is free.

5. Corpay

Corpay offers digital AP automation, cross–border payments, and corporate credit cards to manage spend. The company helps businesses eliminate manual processes, control spend, and reduce fraud.

Features

Corpay’s spend management solution allows businesses to customize accounting and approval workflows and streamline vendor payments. Managers can monitor spending effectively using custom controls and timely reporting.

Pros

- Paperless – Corpay’s automation sharply reduces hardcopy documents and manual processing

- Intuitive – The platform is intuitive, and users can easily navigate the system

- QuickBooks Online integration – The integration syncs seamlessly with QuickBooks Online

Cons

- Importing – Some customers report problems with importing documents, due to formatting issues

- Pricing – According to some users, the pricing structure is expensive, given the amount of transactions allowed by each pricing tier

- Payments – A number of reviewers believe that payments are not sent to vendors in a timely manner

Integrations

Corpay has over 100 existing integrations to streamline processes, including NetSuite, Sage, QuickBooks, and Microsoft.

Pricing

Corpay offers Plus ($69/month), Pro ($129/mo), and Premium ($209/ mo) pricing, along with Custom pricing for larger businesses.

Pricing is based on the number of transactions processed per month. Businesses with complex spend management needs are required to reach out to their sales team to get a custom quote.  

Corpay vs. Rho

Rho helps lean finance teams gain greater control and visibility over their cash and boost their operational efficiency.  Customers are assigned a Dedicated Rho Specialist, and the company provides round-the-clock support so that users maintain productivity.

Corpay’s implementation process could take longer than many competitors. Customer service responses are not always timely, and users often have to wait for follow-up. Some users feel that vendor payments are not processed fast enough.

Category 2: AP Automation Point Solutions

Tools designed solely to automate accounts payable.

6. BILL (formerly Bill.com)

Bill.com is a popular AP automation solution used by SMBs and middle-market companies to automate the AP and AR functions.

Features

The company offers AP automation, vendor management software, and AR automation. BILL provides check, ACH, and other payment options, including international payments.

Pros

- Invoice processing – The solution generates invoices using email attachments from vendors

- Approval workflows – BILL can manage multiple invoice approvers

- AR support – BILL offers both AP and AR support

Cons

- UX – AP process and workflows are more complex than other AP automation providers

- Expensive – Solution can get expensive depending on your organization size and payments volume

- Extensive workflows – Paying vendors requires more steps than other AP automation solutions

- Errors – G2 reviews indicate issues with payment times and responsive customer support

Integrations

BILL's corporate pricing level provides integrations QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Pro/Premier, and Xero. The Enterprise pricing level integrates with QuickBooks Enterprise, Oracle NetSuite, Sage Intacct, Microsoft Dynamics, and other ERPs.

Pricing

BILL’s corporate pricing level is $79 per user per month, and BILL offers Enterprise (custom pricing) for more complex organizations. There are additional fees for some ACH, check, and wire payments, which can quickly add up depending on your payment volume.

BILL vs. Rho

Thanks to integrated banking, Rho gives users more control over payment timing and better transparency over payments. BILL debits your third-party bank account, waits until the payment clears, then pays your vendor.

Rho also offers corporate cards so you can consolidate all you spend – vendor and expenses – in one place for cleaner records and fewer manual processes at month end.

Lastly, BILL can be expensive for organizations with significant payments volume, whereas Rho is free to use.

7. Tipalti

Tipalti is a payment automation and accounts payable software built for managing global payments workflows.

Features

Tipalti’s software streamlines purchase requests, approval, vendor selection with real-time visibility. The platform executes payments using a variety of methods and currencies with automated payment approvals and fraud detection.

Pros

- Strong global payment support – Customers can make global payments to 196 countries in each country’s global currency, and Tipalti provides global tax compliance

- Invoice management automation – The company offers automated PO matching and invoice scanning

- Integration support – Includes NetSuite, Quickbooks, and Sage Intacct

- Tax compliance – Tipalti offers advanced global tax compliance features including W-9s, 1099s, and eFiling integrations

Cons

- Expensive – Tipalti’s fee for the core platform is relatively expensive, and customers must pay higher fees to upgrade to other features and tools

- Extensive implementation – G2 customer reviews suggest that an implementation can take months

- Point solution limitations – AP point solutions make it difficult to establish full control and visibility over spending compared to integrated finance solutions with AP capabilities

Integrations

Tipalti integrates with NetSuite, Intacct, Quickbooks, Sage, Microsoft Solutions, Xero, and many other ERPs.

Pricing

Pricing starts at $149 for the platform fee, which allows customers to use Tipali’s core product offering. To access advanced capabilities, including W-8 tax forms, international tax IDs, and multi-entity support, you must upgrade your Tipalti account.

You also have to reach out to Tipalti’s sales team to receive a specific quote.

Tipalti vs. Rho

For US-based businesses looking to automate their accounts payable process, Rho’s AP solution is a great, free-to-use solution that helps unify and scale your finance stack.

For businesses with complex global payment networks looking for a point-solution, Tipalti can support your AP automation needs, assuming the high costs and implementation time are acceptable.

8. AvidXchange

AvidXchange provides end-to-end automation solutions to move your purchase-to-pay functionality online. The platform automates with your current accounting system or ERP,  and is connected to one of the largest supplier networks to facilitate payments.

Features

Users can process invoices and make payments without touching any paper. AvidXchange offers 3-way PO matching, automated AP, and paperless payments. Data is automatically captured and available for review and analysis.

Pros

- Invoice automation – Invoice processing automation is effective and saves time

- Intuitive user interface – The AvidXchange portal is easy to navigate

- Robust ERP integrations – Ensure data remains synced between platform and ERP

Cons

- Opaque pricing – AvidXchange doesn’t publish pricing on their site, but some customer reviews suggest the annual subscription prices can run  up to $5,000

- Slow implementation – The company states that it will build an AP portal and fully implement the solution in 45 days or less, which is not as fast as many competitors

- Point solution limitations – AP point-solutions make it difficult to establish full control and visibility over spending compared to integrated finance solutions with AP capabilities

Integrations

AvidXchange provides more than 225 accounting system integration systems.

Pricing

Establishing exact pricing requires a call with the AvidXchange sales team, but some reviews report costs reaching as high as $5,000 annually, depending on the features and tools purchased.

AvidExchange vs. Rho

Some users comment that AvidXchange’s customer support is sometimes slow to respond, which can hurt business productivity. Rho provides live, expert support via chat or phone 7 days a week, between the hours of 8 AM and 9 PM EST.

AvidXchange remittance details are only available for domestic transactions, while Rho supports international payments and provides supporting documentation. Finally, Rho provides commercial banking and treasury management services.

9. Stampli

Stampli provides AP automation for companies that want to improve efficiency without the need to rework their ERP or change existing AP processes.

Features

Stampli’s platform is easy to navigate and provides integrations with dozens of ERPs. The Stampli solution can be deployed in a matter of days, with no disruption to your business.

Pros

- Visibility – Invoice tracking at every stage of the approval process

- Invoice management – Centralized communication hub that includes all invoice documentation

- Customer support – Experienced and responsive customer support team

Cons

- International payments – New functionality that is unproven for customers

- UX – Credit memo processing can be confusing, and some ERP interfaces do not smoothly sync all invoice data

- Point solution limitations – AP point-solutions make it difficult to establish full control and visibility over spending compared to integrated finance solutions with AP capabilities

Integrations

Stampli offers more than 70 ERP integrations.

Pricing

Stampli uses month-to-month pricing that varies based on the needed services. You have to reach out to Stampli’s sales team to get a specific quote.  

Stampli vs. Rho

Rho provides an all-in-one platform for spend and cash management. Stampli provides AP automation but does not offer cash or treasury management functionality. Stampli users must rely on other solutions for cash and treasury management.

10. SAP Concur

SAP Concur is primarily an expense management platform most notably used by companies to manage travel booking and employee expenses. However, SAP Concur also offers AP invoice processing support.

Features

SAP Concur includes integrations with banks and credit card companies. Users can upload and manage receipts for automated processing, and the platform can process currency conversions.

The travel management tool can manage itineraries and book travel, along with expense management.

Pros

- Travel integration – Travel expense management and mileage reimbursement tracking controls built into the same workflow

- Brand recognition – SAP has been around for several decades as a brand that many Fortune 500 companies trust

- Automated invoice approval process – Incorporates a level of automation to the invoice management process

Cons

- UX – SAP Concur has a reputation for having a clunky user interface

- Expensive – SAP Concur is enterprise-grade software that typically has expensive contract fees

- Expenses first – SAP Concur is primarily an expense platform, so its AP functionality is not as robust as other offerings.

Integrations

SAP Concur has integrations with NetSuite, QuickBooks, Xero, and a number of other ERPs.

Pricing

You have to reach out to SAP Concur for specific pricing, but it can cost companies upwards of $10,000+ for annual usage.

SAP Concur vs. Rho

Rho is the only finance automation platform that enables organizations to manage all spend and cash from a single system.

Rho helps lean finance teams gain greater control and visibility over their cash and boost their operational efficiency. SAP Concur has a large focus on expense management, but does not offer cash management or treasury management tools.

11. Quadient Beanworks

Quadient Beanworks AP automation provides automated workflows for POs, invoices, approvals, and payments. Users have more control and better visibility over all AP transactions, and managers can effectively monitor AP processing.

Features

The platform allows users to automate matching invoices with POs, invoice approvals, and to approve and release payments. Users can centralize AP for multiple locations or legal entities.

Pros

- Managing approvals – The platform ensures that each invoices is directed to the correct approver, which speeds up the approval process

- ERP integrations – Quadient Beanworks has a number of ERP integrations that work effectively

- Limiting user access – Managers can set access permissions so that employees only see the specific data they need

Cons

- Invoice data coding – The platform keys in invoice data manually, and does not use OCR to post invoice details, increasing the risk of errors

- Reporting/ analysis tools – Some user reviews indicate that these tools could be improved to provide better insights

- Uploading data – In some reviews, customers point out that data is slow to upload, and delays impact productivity

Integrations

The company has integrations with Acumatica, NetSuite, Sage, QuickBooks and other software solutions.

Pricing

You have to contact Quadient’s sales team for a specific quote.

Beanworks vs. Rho

Quadient Beanworks gives users an effective AP automation solution, but does not provide an all-in-one platform for spend and cash management.

Rho provides an AP automation platform with multi-level approval support, robust payment options, corporate cards, banking, and treasury. Quadient Beanworks must use other vendors for commercial banking and treasury management.

Category 3: Accounting Or ERP Systems With Built-In AP Capabilities

Common ERPs that have released some AP functionality to varying degrees.

12. QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online (QBO) provides accounting software that helps users track income, and expenses, and prepare for tax filings.

QBO is a cloud-based accounting system that also offers a mobile app. QuickBooks owner Intuit recently released a new bill payment solution called QuickBooks Money that offers small businesses basic payment capabilities.

Features

In addition to posting journal entries for basic accounting transactions, QBO offers payroll, inventory, job costing, and tax filing capabilities. Users can also retain a virtual bookkeeper through QuickBooks.

Pros

- Sharing and securing data – The cloud makes it easier for users to share data and information is backed up on the cloud

- Bookkeepers and accountants know the system – Many customers have used the solution for years (including the QuickBooks Desktop product), and understand how to navigate the software

- Ability to add features and tools – Users can add functionality (inventory tracking, payroll, job costing) as needed

Cons

- Weak customer service – Review rankings are below the average for industry competitors. Users are frustrated by slow response times and confusion in the support chat

- Slow processing speed – The software often lags and requires more time to post activity, which creates confusion for users

- May not support complex accounting needs – While QBO offers advanced capabilities, a growing business with multiple locations and subsidiaries may need a different solution

Integrations

QuickBooks integrates with some e-commerce platforms, but not with ERPs.

The company’s Enterprise solution includes accounting and other functions, including sales, marketing, and planning. QuickBooks markets the Enterprise platform as an alternative to traditional ERPs.

Pricing

Prices for QuickBooks Online start at $25 per month and increase to $125 monthly for advanced functionality and up to 25 users. QuickBooks Money, Intuit’s bill pay solution for small businesses, offers payment capabilities but for a fee (e.g. card is 2.9%, ACH is 1%).

Did you know? QuickBooks integrates with Rho

QuickBooks customers can fully automate accounting with Rho’s direct QuickBooks integration. Users can sync all transactions — from cash spend to banking to bill pay — directly to your QuickBooks GL.

Using Rho AP, finance teams can automate invoice processing through the AP Inbox.

Rho seamlessly processes bills and schedules thousands of corresponding payments using supported payment methods (ACH, card, checks, and wires) in seconds – all while enforcing spend compliance using custom multi-level approval process controls.

13. NetSuite

NetSuite’s ERP is an integrated system that automates accounting, inventory management, human resources, and other business processes. NetSuite software is used by more than 36,000 customers.

Features

NetSuite provides a unified business management suite, and its software includes ERPs, financial analysis tools, CRMs, and e-commerce capabilities. NetSuite can also build integrations for third-party software platforms.

At Suiteworld 2023, Netsuite announced that they have started to embedded generative AI to help users across the organization leverage company-specific, relevant data to produce content that is contextual and personalized. For example, "NetSuite Text Enhance" using AI to help all teams with their copy and "NetSuite Planning and Budgeting" using AI automate data analysis to improve and accelerate decision making.

Pros

- Adaptability – NetSuite provides automation for companies in nearly every industry

- Customization – Users can easily customize dashboards and reports

- Real-time analytics – Managers can make timely decisions using data that is always current

Cons

- Admin setup – Can be difficult because the platform offers so many options for users

- Loading times – Are sometimes slow, which delays AP processing

- Training – The complexity of the platform requires more training than other solutions and users need more time to learn the system

Integrations

NetSuite provides the SuiteCloud Platform Integration solution to build integrations for NetSuite products. Users can securely exchange data with both on-premise applications and cloud-native environments.

Pricing

NetSuite offers modular pricing that varies based on your unique business needs. You must purchase a base package, user licenses, add-on modules, and service tier upgrades depending on your needs that can quickly add up.

Did you know? NetSuite integrates with Rho

You can automate accounting with Rho’s NetSuite integration. Use Rho’s integration to automate manual data entry, save time, and avoid human error. All data is accurately entered and mapped to the right NetSuite accounts every time.

Using Rho AP, finance teams can capture bill data fed from invoices into Rho and schedule thousands of corresponding payments using supported payment methods (ACH, card, checks, and wires) in seconds.

Use a wide range of Rho attributes to define custom mapping rules that meet your needs.

14. Sage Intacct

Sage Intacct is a cloud financial management platform that is used by thousands of businesses worldwide. The company offers industry-specific software for a number of industries, including nonprofits, professional services, and healthcare.

Features

Sage Intacct’s AP software automates invoice collection and coding, general ledger posting, approvals, and payments.

The platform supports functionality for built-in dashboards, reporting in real-time, project accounting, and consolidations for customers with multiple entities.

Pros

- Integrations – The platform provides integrations with dozens of other software applications

- Reporting capabilities – Users can generate real-time reports to make informed decisions

- Customized fields – Customers can add fields for customers, classes, and departments to generate more detailed reports

Cons

- User training – Sage Intacct provides so many options that the platform may create a big learning curve for new users

- Bank reconciliations – Some user reviews report that reconciliations require too many manual clicks and that the full description of entries is not displayed on the screen

- Mobile app capabilities – Several user reviews report that the mobile app needs to be enhanced to be fully functional

Integrations

Sage Intacct integrates with dozens of accounting software platforms and e-commerce solutions

Pricing

Sage Intacct doesn’t provide pricing on its website, but costs can run into the thousands.

Did you know? Sage Intacct integrates with Rho

You can automate accounting with Rho’s Sage Intacct integration. Use Rho’s integration to automate manual data entry, save time, and avoid human error. All data is accurately entered and mapped to the right Sage Intacct accounts every time.

It’s worth noting that Sage Intacct also offers a powerful AP automation platform, but users must add integrations to handle banking and treasury management.

15. Acumatica

Acumatica serves mid-market companies and provides AP automation that integrates with other software tools. You can access the system from any device, and scale users up or down as needed.

Features

This platform offers a full suite of applications for business management, and Acumatica is built with open APIs for rapid integrations with other solutions. Customers can adapt the solution to fit their workflows and AP processes.

Pros

- Integration – Provides an integrated experience to manage finances and operations

- Cloud-based solution – Easy to implement

- Advanced security measures Help keep data safe

Cons

- Training – Adding features and tools can be expensive and requires time for additional training

- POs – Making changes to purchase orders is difficult

- Reporting – Generating customized financial reports is challenging

Integrations

Acumatica does not have integrations to connect with third-party software platforms. The open APIs provide rapid integrations for other Acumatica software solutions.

Pricing

Acumatica uses consumption-based pricing for the platform, not a fee per user. You have to reach out to the sales team for a specific quote.

Did you know? Rho CSV exports support Acumatica ERP

In a few easy steps, you can download your Rho transaction data and easily upload it to your Acumatica instance, supporting a seamless month-end close.

How to choose the best AP automation solution for you

Your AP staff will spend the most time using AP software, and you need a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate.

As mentioned before, the best AP automation solution is one that will help you eliminate nearly all manual tasks and streamline the end-to-end process with the least financial investment, minimal implementation complexity, and a short learning curve for users.

An intelligent AP platform should automate data entry using OCR (optical character recognition)  scanning, eliminate the need for paper invoices, and provide an ERP integration.

Approval routing must be automated, and the system must allow you to use a variety of payment methods, including cross-border payments.

Find an intuitive system that provides reliable, real-time processing and timely reporting. The platform must provide automated reconciliations to speed up the month-end close. Onboarding, tax compliance and fraud detection is much easier using a fully automated system.

Wrap-up: Choose the best AP automation software

Now you know all about the different AP automation software solutions on the market.

And if you're still having trouble making a decision, let's make this easy.

If:

  • End-to-end finance capabilities
  • Bank-powered AP with faster, more trackable payments
  • A scalable platform that grows as you grow

All wrapped up in unbeatable pricing (free) and live customer support available 24H Mon-Fri, 10-7pm ET on weekends sound nice to you, then you should consider Rho.

Schedule time with a Rho payments expert today!

Competitive data was collected as of September 27, 2023 and is subject to change or update.

Banking services provided and cards issued by Webster Bank, N.A., Member FDIC. All Rights reserved. © 2019-2023 Under Technologies, Inc. DBA Rho Technologies. Rho is a trademark of Under Technologies, Inc. Rho is not a bank. Rho partners with FDIC-insured banks to offer banking products and services.

FAQ: AP automation

There are dozens of AP automation platforms available. To evaluate vendors, consider what tools you need to process AP, the platform’s cost, and the software company’s ability to implement the solution in a timely manner.

What's the best AP automation software for small businesses?

AP automation software manages invoices, general ledger entries, approvals, and vendor payments in a single platform. Small businesses use AP automation to reduce manual work, avoid human errors, and speed up the month-end closing process.

Small business owners must consider software pricing, unique industry requirements for AP, and whether the AP platform can grow and adapt as the company scales. The best AP solutions allow the business to manage spend and cash in a single platform.

How much does AP automation software cost?

Software can be priced based on the number of invoices processed, the number of users, or a combination of the two. Users may also pay fees for checks, ACH, wire transfers, and other services, and many companies pay more as their needs increase.  

Most AP platforms do not publish their pricing and ask businesses to contact them for a quote. To evaluate the price, consider your current cost to process each month’s invoices (AP staff’s labor cost, paper files, etc.) and compare that to the cost of automation.

If the cost savings are greater than your current processing costs, automation makes financial sense.

What's the standard implementation timeline for AP automation software?

Implementing an AP automation solution can take a few days to as long as several months. The factors that determine the implementation timeline include:

  • Complexity: A business with multiple locations, more general ledger accounts, and complex financial reporting will require more time.
  • Customization required: A company with complex workflows or a large number of custom fields will require more time to implement AP.
  • Experience level of customer support: Experienced support teams who know your ERP and your industry can anticipate problems and speed up the implementation.

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