The Complete Guide to Accounts Payable Software for Small Business
Accounts payable software isn’t just for enterprise corporations. Today, organizations of every size are running smart accounting programs at reasonable prices.
Accounts payable automation tools can help streamline operations and make invoice processing more efficient. Here are a few things a small business needs to know about the software and how it can elevate your workflow:
Benefits of AP Software
When a small business adds accounts payable software to the back office, it gains the ability to automate legacy accounting systems. In addition to robust payable solutions, small businesses can also improve cash flow and tighten up accounts receivable.
Other benefits include:
- Reduction in late fees. Digital payable solutions help small businesses pay bills promptly, it’s easier to avoid late fees.
- Real-time views. View real-time data that leads to more intelligent decision making.
- Cloud storage. Bills are stored on remote servers, which means it’s possible to access documents from anywhere at any time. This is a huge advantage over traditional hard-copy AP management, which is not compatible with today’s gig culture. Some software services also offer mobile apps, adding another layer of convenience.
- Fewer errors in data entry. Automation software is more accurate than human labor. Digital accounting solutions provide a level of attention that isn’t possible with traditional payment processing.
The Most Popular Accounts Payable Software for Small Business
The following accounts payable solutions are some of the more popular digital tools available to AP offices today:
Delivered by Intuit, QuickBooks is a popular choice among small businesses and freelancers. It’s available in both web-based and mobile versions and can be used in either a cloud-based version or as a legacy program.
Key features of the software include payment tracking, invoice management, and exporting data to Excel. Thanks to a mobile receipt capture tool, manual data entry isn’t necessary.
Offering SaaS applications in a cloud-based environment, Sage Intacct is an automation solution that businesses find appealing. The company offers a variety of digital resources, including a general ledger, invoice automation, and time tracking.
The AP process can be simplified with many of Sage Intacct’s tools. There are options to make payments by check, credit card, and bank transfer.
Bank reconciliation is another service available on the platform. Discrepancies can easily be detected among accounting records. The tool is user-friendly and provides stellar performance on a large number of transactions.
Small businesses that need a cloud ERP software solution should take a look at Oracle’s NetSuite. Today, more than 40,000 businesses use the SaaS platform for cloud accounting and business intelligence.
On the NetSuite platform, it’s possible to search purchase orders by vendor, item, and date. To make a payment, the software offers credit card processing and other merchant services.
The program boasts numerous financial management tools. Financial statements can be quickly generated and bank accounts can easily be managed. Furthermore, it’s simple to monitor cash flow with multiple tools.
Available in both mobile and desktop versions, Tipalti specializes in U.S. and global payments. The brand delivers functionality in 120 currencies across 190 countries. Money can be sent via ACH, PayPal, global ACH, e-check, wire transfer, and several other methods.
Sending cross-border payments is further simplified with tools that meet regulatory and tax compliance. The company’s software always obtains tax data from payees during the onboarding process.
Features for AP automation include instant reconciliation and electronic document capture. The software can quickly identify payment conflicts and obtain missing information from a payee.
Tipalti’s platform integrates with multiple ERPs and software programs, including QuickBooks Online, NetSuite, and Sage Intacct.
AvidXchange provides tools that scan invoices and route them according to a company’s rules and processes. It facilitates payments and offers another level of convenience. AvidXchange also enables the use of digitized signatures for increased security.
With AvidXchange, a business can print MICR checks onto blank check stock. This is a unique service that could save a business. Especially if they are currently buying checks from a printing company.
For small businesses on a budget, AvidXchange has a monthly plan for just $20. On the downside, the company does not offer any mobile platforms or responsive design.
Small businesses on a budget might want to check out Xero. Starting at just $9 per month, the low-cost plan offers the ability to send five invoices and enter up to five bills. The system will allow for 20 bank transactions for reconciliation per month.
For a higher fee, Xero offers multi-currency functionality, full-service payroll, time tracking, and unlimited invoices.
Xero’s software might be worth a test drive as the company has a free 30-day trial.
MineralTree has a user-friendly dashboard where invoices, payments, and reports can quickly be tracked. A robust search feature makes scanning through digital files fast and easy.
The software platform automatically calculates how many invoices are current or past due. A color-coded scheme is used to show the amount of days a group of invoices is past due. Invoices that are in process are displayed by amount and vendor along with a green approve button.
Pricing for MineralTree is SaaS-based and there is no free trial.
If your business needs to automate both accounts payable and accounts receivable, Bill.com is able to accomplish the task. The software functions as a mobile app (Android or Apple) and on a browser-based system.
Using either platform, it’s possible to capture invoices electronically. This makes data more searchable and facilitates administrative tasks. Approvals are made from either platform, which means employees can always work remotely.
For payments, Bill.com is compatible with domestic and foreign systems, including virtual cards, ACH, and wire transfers.
Bill.com offers several pricing schedules starting at $39 per month. It’s also possible to set up a custom plan, which is great for businesses with special needs.
With a computer platform and mobile app, Beanworks helps AP offices quickly route purchase orders, payment approvals, and invoices. Documents can always be searched on the platform in real-time.
Beanworks’ payments can be approved and released effortlessly. The company claims the software reduces more than 80% of traditional data entry tasks.
Choosing the Right Software
To find the right software, a small business should start by looking at their budget and needs. Then a little research is in order. Consider features of AP automation software that would be a priority for your organization, from document management to scanning and PO-matching.
With so many options today, the most difficult part will be sorting through all the choices and finding the perfect fit!