4 Best Accounts Payable Software
Most businesses have accounts payable processes, whether they realize it or not. All businesses have payables, and having the right software can help streamline things. As such, we’ve taken a look at the 4 best accounts payable software options on the market. If you’re looking for a way to streamline your accounts payable workflows, look no further. Check out all of the best options below!
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
What Is Accounts Payable?
New business owners may not know what accounts payable is. As such, we’re going to explain it, and how it’s used day-to-day, before we get started.
The accounts payable process consists of making payments that your business owes. This is part of the accrual accounting method. Most accounting software options provide accounting solutions for accounts payable. However, you might not know what these components are. Accounts payable consists of:
- Receiving invoices
- Digital transformation of invoices and documentation
- Invoice processing
- Making vendor payments
These are some of the main components of accounts payable. However, the term covers a wide range of different tasks and functions, depending on your business’s needs.
What is Accounts Payable Software?
Accounts payable software can also be referred to as an accounts payable solution. These programs are designed to make the accounts payable process easier. They can provide real-time tracking for bills and payments that are coming up. In some cases, they can help eliminate slow, manual processes through the use of artificial intelligence.
When you’re looking at accounts payable software, you want to look for the following things:
- Cash management (or expense management)
- Invoice management
- Integration with accounting systems
- Accounts payable automation software (or AP automation)
- A centralized platform with cloud-based accounts
- Price transparency
When you add all of these key features to your accounts payable process, you can be as efficient as possible. Through the use of automation, many manual tasks can be eliminated. Sometimes, this figure can be up to 80%. This is impressive to say the least. The processing costs you can save on labour alone may be worth the software’s expense.
How to Choose a Software That Fits Your Needs
Choosing software can make or break your business’s processes. If you end up with the wrong program, the accounts payable workflows for your business may become even slower. No business owner wants that. As such, you can learn how to pick the best software solution for your business below.
Understand Your Needs
Knowing your accounts payable needs is crucial. It’s likely that you already have specified document formats, as well as methods of receiving invoices. If your invoices come in varied formats, then you may need more sophisticated software. Some options come with ways to read all scanned documents.
Another large part of your payable needs consists of knowing your key processes. In general, there are the following processes in any accounts payable workflow:
- Processing invoices
- Comparing invoices and inventory
- Making vendor payments
- Invoice approval processes
If any of these aren’t understood fully before selecting a software, then processing time could suffer. When processing time slows, vendor relationships can become strained.
Map Your Processes
If you haven’t mapped every part of your accounts payable processes, then you may miss key points. The entire point of using software is to make things faster. If key steps are being missed, then the entire process can stall, or fall apart. This would be less than ideal for any business. Many business owners forget to map the following parts of their processes:
- Data syncing between systems
- A lack of a central area for invoices
- Too many employees processing invoices
- Errors from manual entry
Knowing where your processes may encounter issues is key in choosing the right software solution.
Design Your Workflow Rules
There are a countless number of different workflows that fall under the accounts payable umbrella. Choosing a software that allows you to define workflows creates efficiency. Look for options in defining electronic workflows, as well as all workflow approvals. The trickiest part about accounts payable is getting the right information to the right people. A software that lets you define that information yourself is a strong option for any business.
Decide on Traditional Software or AP Automation
With these software options, one of the largest trends is accounts payable automation solutions. An accounts payable automation solution is also referred to as AP automation. These are some of the most advanced software options available. They allow you to rid yourself of manual tasks that are time consuming. There are plenty of automation options that allow for the following:
- Invoice automation done without human intervention
- Workflow automation that automatically routes documents and approvals
- Auto matching invoices to purchase orders
This may not seem like a lot, but all of these processes are repetitive. They’re also considered boring by most of the people who do them. AP automation can free up employees to do other tasks that are needed, as well.
The 4 Best Accounts Payable Software Options
Now that we’ve covered all of the bases, let’s talk about the 4 best software options available! All of these programs can help take your business to the next level. If you’re looking for a way to get more done, consider any one of these accounts payable software solutions.
1. NetSuite by Oracle
NetSuite is a software produced by the company Oracle. Oracle is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) company, so it makes sense that they’d offer an AP software. Oracle offers a number of different suites (tools) for different business applications. Anything offered by Oracle can integrate with NetSuite, making it a great option for a scaling business.
In addition to its base functionality, NetSuite can integrate with automation software. This makes it more efficient over time. It also adds in new features that will allow you to take your business to the next level. It’s best used for midsize businesses, but can be scaled up for larger enterprises. In terms of pricing, it’s in the middle of the road, making it accessible to more people than some other options.
FreshBooks offers a double-entry accounting software that provides all of the tools you’ll need. Their software includes automated functionality. This means that invoices are imported and reconciled for you. This eliminates the need for manual processes, which saves you time and money. With FreshBooks, you get the following automation features:
- Financial transactions are imported and categorised automatically
- Matching suggestions are automated
- Equity, transfers, and refunds are marked and categorised
- Data management is easy with Excel export features
FreshBooks makes accounts payable easy. They’re fairly priced, meaning that you’ll never pay too much. However, if you want to get a taste of what FreshBooks is capable of, you can do it for free. They offer a free trial. If you need accounts payable software, check out FreshBooks.
Tipalti is a cloud-base software option that makes automation easy. Using their add-on, you can make all of your accounts payable processes automatic. This includes all of the following features and processes:
- Self-service supplier onboarding, meaning your suppliers can use the system, too
- Invoice automation at all levels
- Automated invoice approval workflows
- Multiple payment methods in many international currencies
- Tax compliance options
- Fraud detection
Tipalti is able to be used by just about everyone. However, if you’re running a small business, you may want to wait until you’ve reached a certain size. Tipalti recommends small businesses with a high rate of growth adopt the software at about 20 employees. This allows the business to use all of the functions effectively.
Bill.com may be one of the most well-known options available. The software is highly regarded by all that use it, since it’s easy to use and intuitive. They have some of the most competitive pricing on the market, as well. This means that you can find a price level that fits your business, no matter what your needs are. They also give you a free trial, meaning you can try before you buy. A mobile app comes with the software, so you can use it on the go.
However, Bill.com is not without its issues. The software is limited in range, and doesn’t integrate with many accounting systems. Support is only done on a request basis. That could mean that you’re left high and dry when an issue occurs. Even so, the software is designed for small businesses that are scaling. For what they charge you get a lot, like automatic invoice reading. If something looks off, it’ll flag it, too. Bill.com is great for small businesses.
Accounts payable software comes in a number of different options. You can get basic solutions, or you can go all out and use automated software. No matter what you decide to choose, you need to have a great handle on your AP processes. If you don’t know your needs, then you can’t choose the software that’s right for you. All businesses should consider some level of automation, as well. It eliminates manual tasks, and cuts labour costs.
If you’re looking for more information like this, be sure to visit our resource hub! We have plenty of articles about small business and finance. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll be sure to find it there. Look through it today!