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What is Stampli?
Stampli is an accounts payable (AP) point solution for teams that want automation efficiency but don’t want to rework their ERP, change their existing AP processes, or invest heavily in additional AP team headcount. The company was founded in 2014 and is based in Mountain View, California.
Stampli use cases and offerings
Stampli is most known for its cloud-based AP automation capability powered by AI.
However, Stampli also offers additional capabilities including Stampli Direct Pay, Stampli Cards (corporate charge cards), and advanced vendor management software capabilities.
Stampli’s primary value proposition is that it helps reduce the risk of errors, fraud, and compliance issues while improving vendor relationships and making your AP processes much more efficient.
1. AI-powered AP automation
Stampli’s core product is its AI-powered AP automation service that offers the following capabilities: invoice processing, collaboration tools, PO matching, audit trail, and approvals.
Stampli’s AI-powered AP automation allows users to access communications, documentation, and workflows on a single platform. The solution provides one-click access to all conversations and activities related to each invoice. Here are some key features:
Manage multi-entity businesses: Process and pay invoices across multiple departments, locations, or companies in a single AP solution.
Invoice processing: Automated invoice capture using OCR technology, coding, and approval processes.
Purchase order matching: Stampli provides 2-way and 3-way PO matching, which is helpful with procurement.
Workflows: Fully configurable and auditable workflows, notifications, and permissions.
Reporting: Visibility into invoices, employee productivity, and AP processes.
FX transactions: Automate payment execution when your target FX rate is met.
Note that Stampli’s FX automation is a recent addition to the platform and that some functionality may not be fully implemented.
Lastly, Stampli has also rolled out an artificial intelligence tool, Billy the Bot, into its core product to help with invoice processing, approvals, and payments.
Stampli’s initially released its core AP solution with the ability to make payments outside of Stampli.
Stampli Direct Pay was introduced to address the existing market gap wherein businesses could process ACH and wire payments but couldn't execute them within their AP automation platform.
3. Stampli Card
Stampli Cards are corporate credit cards (charge cards) that can be issued with pre-coded spending limits and other controls. Transactions sync to the ERP as they occur.
Employees can request cards and submit expenses with minimal training required. Earn unlimited cashback on eligible Stampli Card purchases.
4. Advanced Vendor Management
Stampli Advanced Vendor Management software allows users to manage vendor onboarding and documentation to maintain compliance and strengthen vendor relationships.
Users can store vendor documents and request updated data. Collect information such as a vendor’s address, payment methods, and bank account details. Before paying a vendor, critical documents are required, including W9s, licenses, and insurance.
Stampli supports the full range of native functionality for more than 70 ERPs.
Confirm if Stampli has an ERP integration for your specific needs to determine the time and effort required to implement Stampli’s platform. Some ERP integrations may require more ongoing work to sync data.
Who is Stampli for?
Stampli’s customers are primarily small-to-midsize businesses in high-payment-volume industries like healthcare, hospitality, professional services, construction, retail, and manufacturing.
Stampli is attempting to move from the SMB market into the Enterprise market by adding more features that benefit larger businesses.
Stampli offers ERP integrations with Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite, QuickBooks, Sage, and SAP to adapt to its industry diversity.
Stampli does offer multiple modes of reaching their customer support team, and G2 reviews suggest that email and chat functions are sufficient. However, several reports indicate excessive hold times when attempting to contact Stampli by phone.
Stampli has positive reviews for having a user-friendly interface, making it easy to navigate. Compared to many competitors, Stampli has a relatively smooth process to capture and code invoice data, and to get invoices approved quickly.
ERP integration syncs
Stampli's ERP integrations offer an automated continuous synchronization, making data access swift. However, this is only the case for some integrations, as some report experiencing sync issues and disruptions with accounting software like QuickBooks Online.
Areas for improvement
Users have raised the issue of being unable to modify an incorrect invoice after it's dispatched to an approver. This makes it harder for everyone involved in paying vendors, contractors, and suppliers on time, and it makes it harder for the accounting team by creating extra noise in their system.
Setting up vendor recurring payments in Stampli is clunky for some, with the inability to update specific details. This impairs the overall user experience and adds to a longer setup time.
We were unable to find up-to-date information about Stampli's pricing on their website.
However, we were able to learn that Stampli charges a monthly fee for their core AP solution and might include extra fees for other features. Some users report Stampli charges being on the expensive side.
Stampli pros and cons
Here are the pros and cons of using Stampli’s AP automation solution:
Stampli is an effective point solution for AP automation. The platform provides many ERP integrations that allow users to sync AP transactions. However, some integrations work better than others, according to G2 user reviews.
Pre-built API integrations can be implemented quickly without IT support. File integrations require Stampli to create a customized file template to import and export files. Stampli also provides process integrations that require the most work to implement.
Stampli has reporting and performance issues that make managing AP processing more challenging.
Recurring vendor payments, credits
Some reviewers point out that recurring vendor payment data cannot be updated and must be removed and entered again. Also, users mentioned that vendor credits cannot be combined and applied to a specific invoice.
Correcting invoice errors
An invoice must be coded correctly and sent to an approver to be edited. Instead, the approver must reject the incorrect invoice, and the AP team deletes the invoice and creates a new version.
Several reviewers explain that payment export errors may be difficult to identify and that payments may take too long to be processed.
Stampli’s biggest drawback is that users must add other software to manage business banking, treasury, and finance capabilities, contributing to a bloated tech stack.
On the other hand, Rho offers business banking, payments, expense management, and corporate cards in a single platform.
What should you look for when picking AP automation and invoice management software?
The best AP automation software digitizes and processes thousands of supplier invoices at scale – all in the same fee-free platform where you can manage your expenses, banking, and treasury.
Doing so eliminates the need to cobble together an extensive tech stack to perform financial operations. Your AP automation solution should be able 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 will help you eliminate nearly all manual tasks and streamline the process with the most minor financial investment, minimal implementation complexity, and a short learning curve for users.
Here are the critical steps required to process AP. Consider how you currently perform these steps and how automation could save time and reduce errors:
Invoice capture and coding: Once vendor invoices are received – physically or digitally – data must be processed and synced to your accounting software or ERP system with the corresponding assigned general ledger account.
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.
Invoice approvals: The AP department then sends the invoice, PO (if applicable), and shipping receipt to the approvers authorized to review and approve the payment. Many businesses require multiple approvers for large dollar purchases.
Scheduling payment: All 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.
Processing payment: The AP staff processes each payment, and the vendor receives a copy of the paid invoice.
Posting to general ledger: GL coding reduces the accounts payable and cash accounts when a payment is processed. When a business pays by credit card, the company increases an expense account and a credit card payable account.
Accounting reconciliations: At the end of each month, all general ledger accounts are reconciled 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.
Key AP automation features
The platform needs these features and tools to get the most out of accounts payable automation solutions.
PSA: Rho offers AP Automation to streamline AP and unify your finance stack.
Customized AP workflows: Users must be able to set up workflows based on their current AP processes to process work 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 the approval status of each invoice.
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 valuable 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 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 valuable 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 the manager who must monitor transactions. Automation also helps the business to pay invoices on time and to maintain strong vendor relationships.
Stampli competitors and alternatives
Several competitors offer AP automation, and some provide other financial services on the same platform. Here are three competitors in the AP automation market.
Based in New York, Rho is a comprehensive finance automation platform that helps businesses boost their bottom line and operate leaner.
Rho offers corporate cards, expense management, AP automation, business banking, accounting automation, and treasury management.
Rho’s single platform is designed to help businesses and finance teams operate more profitably and save operational hours every month.
Rho AP automates the end-to-end accounts payable process in just a few clicks and without payment delays that some experience with point solutions like Stampli thanks to Rho’s integrated business banking.
Dedicated customer support available 24H Mon-Fri, 10-7pm ET on weekends to assist with implementation and expense policy set-up to AP automation configuration and troubleshooting.
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
Customer Support: Live support is available 24 hours Monday through Friday, and 10-7pm ET on weekends.
3-way match: Not yet available. Scheduled for release later this year
Rho does not charge subscription or platform fees, and Rho offers business banking and treasury management services built-in as your business needs them.
Whether you are a sophisticated middle market business with multiple entities or a 2-person startup, you can derive significant value running your finance operations on Rho.
Rho vs. Stampli
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.
2. BILL (formerly Bill.com)
BILL is a popular AP automation solution that small and middle-market companies use to automate the AP and AR functions.
The company offers AP automation, vendor management, and AR automation. BILL provides checks, ACH payments, and other payment options, including international payments.
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
UX: AP process and workflows are more complex than other AP automation providers
Expensive: The solution can get costly depending on your organization's size and payment 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
BILL’s Corporate pricing level is $79 per user per month, and BILL offers Enterprise (custom pricing) for more complex organizations. Additional fees for some ACH, check, and wire payments can quickly add up depending on your payment volume.
SMBs and middle-market companies need both AP and AR automation. However, UX and processing errors make it difficult to scale efficiently using BILL.
BILL vs. Stampli
Stampli provides a smoother and more reliable AP automation platform when compared to BILL. Both vendors charge fees, and both platforms can become expensive as businesses process more transactions and use more functionality.
Tipalti is a payment automation and accounts payable software built for managing global payment workflows.
Tipalti’s software streamlines purchase requests, approval, and vendor selection with real-time visibility. The platform executes payments using various methods and currencies with automated payment approvals and fraud detection. Tipalti Card, a virtual card solution, was launched in 2022.
Strong global payment support: Customers can make international payments to 196 countries in each country’s international 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
Expensive: Tipalti’s fee for the core platform is relatively costly, and customers must pay higher fees to upgrade to other features and tools
Extensive implementation: G2 customer reviews suggest that an implementationcan take months
Point-solution limitations: AP point-solutions make it challenging to establish complete control and visibility over spending compared to integrated finance solutions with AP capabilities
The Starter plan is priced at $129 for the platform fee, allowing 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.
We were unable to find more robust pricing details on Tipalti's website as they have a price quote system.
Tipalti may be a fit for businesses that operate in multiple countries and are willing to use an AP point solution. Customers can make global payments to 196 countries in each country’s international currency, and Tipalti provides services to help facilitate global tax compliance.
Tipalti vs. Stampli
For businesses with complex global payment networks looking for an AP point solution, Tipalti can support your AP automation needs, assuming the high costs and implementation time are acceptable.
Stampli offers a better AP automation user experience, but the firm’s international functionality is new and may not fit the needs of a business operating in multiple countries.
Wrap-up: What is Stampli, and how does it compare to others?
Stampli is an AP automation solution businesses use to streamline the AP process. Recently, Stampli has added some other capabilities, including Stampli Direct Pay.
Stampli serves as a dedicated AP automation solution, providing value without necessitating any alterations to your existing ERP or AP workflows.
Despite streamlining the AP workflow, some users have reported factors such as delayed payments, difficulties in modifying invoices once they've entered the approval stage, synchronization errors with accounting, and apprehensions related to the costs of the platform.
Comprehensive solutions like Rho delivers AP automation services without the platform fees Stampli levies on its users.