Ramp and BILL (formerly bill.com) are both innovative payment platforms that offer unique features and strengths in streamlining invoice management and providing payment solutions for businesses. Although both offer similar AP functions, they have distinct approaches.
The primary focus of Ramp is to optimize corporate spend and provide efficient expense management solutions for SMBs. The platform offers corporate cards with robust expense tracking and real-time monitoring, aiming to better control and manage business expenses.
On the other hand, BILL specializes in automating end-to-end payables and is known for its comprehensive invoice processing features. The platform enables a business to automate data entry, approval workflows, and a variety of payment methods, streamlining the entire payment process.
Many users who compare Ramp and BILL will find that Tipalti’s automation software is a superior alternative to both.
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What is Ramp?
Founded in 2019, Ramp is a fintech company aimed at providing expense management functions and corporate cards. The ramp.com solution aims to simplify corporate spending, offering greater control over expenses and providing tools for more efficient financial management.
Key aspects of Ramp’s offering include:
- Corporate cards: Ramp issues corporate cards designed for B2B transactions. This allows companies to manage and control spend across their entire organization. These cards often come with customizable spending limits.
- Expense management: Ramp offers tools for tracking, categorizing, and managing business expenses. This includes receipt capture, categorization, and automated reporting, optimizing the entire expense process.
Ramp is designed to simplify corporate spend. The system offers tools to manage expenses efficiently, control spending, and gain greater insights into financial activities.
Ramp has several tiers of pricing depending on your business needs.
Ramp – $0/user/month
- Automated expense management
- Unlimited cards and smart controls
- Vendor management and accounts payable
- Accounting software sync
- Real-time insights
Ramp Plus – $15/user/month
- Advanced user roles and custom controls
- Unlimited customizable workflows
- PO management and procurement automation
- Advanced ERP integrations with multi-entity support
- Global support with multi-currency limits and spend programs
Ramp Enterprise – custom price
- Custom implementation
- Local card issuance
- Enterprise ERP integrations
- SOX compliance
- Premium support
Ramp’s main offering is corporate cards with spend control, allowing administrators to set card limits, create spending categories, and control expenses. Additional perks to look out for include:
- Automated expense management with receipt capture
- Real-time monitoring, reporting, and analytics
- Cashback and rewards on specific categories
- Security features with virtual cards and compliance control
- Vendor management and smart integrations
Pros of Ramp
Intuitive User Interface
The system is known for its intuitive, user-friendly interface that makes it easy for employees to understand, greatly reducing any learning curve or change management that might take place.
Ramp aims to reduce unnecessary spending and helps to identify cost-saving opportunities by providing insights into spend management. The system also offers cashback and reimbursements (think Amex) on certain spend categories, providing incentives for an organization to use the Ramp corporate cards.
The Ramp platform is designed to generate automated expense reports, reducing the time and effort finance teams exert on manual reporting and accounting tasks.
Expense Management Tools
Ramp offers corporate cards with customizable spending limits and controls. The system also has expense management tools that include receipt capturing, categorization, reporting, real-time monitoring, and more.
Security and Compliance
Ramp is designed with security in mind. The brand offers secure features like virtual cards, transaction monitoring, and compliance controls to help protect a business against fraud and card misuse.
Cons of Ramp
Reports online state that card authorizations (merchant holds) can take a little longer to drop off than the competition (vs. Airbase, Divvy, Expensify, etc.). The wait times for physical card deliveries have also been reported as longer than average.
Ramp primarily focuses on expense management and optimizing card spend. While the company is expanding into AP automation and procurement, these solutions are new and will take time to fully develop.
Ramp is a small business solution that may not be suitable for midmarket and enterprise-sized organizations. Larger companies may find that Ramp is lacking the necessary workflows and financial controls to meet their more sophisticated needs.
While Ramp integrates with many accounting systems, sometimes the process can be complicated. Some integrations may encounter compatibility issues or require additional effort.
Ramp’s effectiveness may depend on 3rd-party integrations for comprehensive financial management. This can potentially cause complications if integrations are not optimized or if there are compatibility issues.
Feature Set Limitations
Compared to a full-service payments platform, the Ramp feature set may feel limited. It does not offer extensive support for tax compliance, currency management, or dedicated supplier tools. Do not expect robust functionality for Ramp bill pay quite yet.
What is BILL?
BILL is a cloud-based SaaS for small to mid-sized businesses. The platform primarily focuses on accounts payable and accounts receivable tasks, facilitating the management of cash inflows and outflows. BILL is designed to save time while helping a business process payments, settle bills, and send invoices.
A company can use BILL to gain complete control over its AP processes and sync with other critical accounting programs. It’s designed to reduce manual labor, leverage bookkeeping tasks, enhance accuracy, and offer a user-friendly experience for financial operations within a business.
Using BILL, customers report saving 50% of their time on the AP process, 36 business days annually, and extensive time partnering with U.S. financial institutions. The system integrates with large brands like QuickBooks, Xero, and NetSuite to optimize financial workflows and speed up processes.
Just like Ramp, BILL offers a tiered pricing plan that has something for everyone.
Essential – $45/month/user
- Invoice data capture with unlimited document storage
- 360-degree vendor info
- ACH, check, credit card, and international wire transfer
- Standard user roles and approval policies
- Manually import and export CSV files into accounting software
Team – $55/month/user
- Everything in Essentials
- Custom user roles
- Sync with QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Premier, and Xero
BILL Key Features
BILL has efficient cash management, invoice processing, and approval workflows. Top features include:
- ACH payment processing
- Online payment processing
- Debit/credit card processing
- Mobile payments
- Recurring billing
Pros of BILL
Efficient Payment Processing
The BILL payments feature centralizes the payment process, enabling more efficient and organized cash flow management. It automates the busywork so a business can focus on growth and positive expansion. The system also provides ease of use for low-level clerks managing vendors and entering bills.
Make quick payments in hours or days—not weeks or months.
BILL supports a variety of payment methods like ACH, wire transfers, and checks, providing total flexibility in payment processing.
BILL helps a business better manage tax compliance by collecting and storing the essential tax forms from vendors, manually marking vendors as 1099 recipients, and then generating 1099 pre-reports to help with your year-end tax filing. However, there are no automatically calculated withholdings or W-8 compliance.
Data within the BILL system is encrypted using TLS (Transport Layer Security). The platform also syncs with top payment tools and accounting platforms, ensuring payment information is protected at all times.
Cons of BILL
The pricing for BILL has doubled over the years, and although that is understandable with a growing organization, this has priced out a lot of small business owners.
Some online customer reviews state that the learning curve for BILL can be sharp, and they wish the system was a tad more user-friendly. The console settings are complex, making it difficult to find what you are looking for.
While BILL does indeed integrate with a variety of accounting systems, sometimes the process can be clunky. Some integrations may require additional effort or encounter compatibility issues.
The responsiveness and quality of customer support might vary, impacting the user experience. This can be a problem if there are issues or questions that require immediate resolution.
BILL can only be used by companies based in the United States with a U.S. bank account. There are complexities and limitations related to cross-border payments.
Successful growth starts with the right financial tools
Ramp vs. BILL Features Comparison
|Free plan, RampPlus $15 per user/mo, Enterprise is quote-based. Plus transaction fees.
|$45 or $55 per user per month, plus transaction fees.
|Admin user fees only. Six global payment methods, with varying transaction fees.
|2-5 business days
|1-2 business days
|Pays to 195 countries, in 40 currencies.
|Pays to 137 countries, in 106 currencies.
|Pays to 196 countries, in +120 currencies.
|Limited supplier management features.
|A centralized place to manage and store supplier profiles.
|Self-service supplier portal with customization.
|No tax capabilities.
|Tax form management within the United States.
|Built-in tax and VAT compliance for international transactions.
|No mass payments.
|Initiate payments in bulk using multiple payment methods.
|Global mass payables automation solution.
|Recently introduced Bill Pay.
|Invoice capture, OCR, ML, approval workflows, payment scheduling, and reporting.
|OCR, ML, approval workflows, automated processing, reconciliation, and reporting.
Tipalti as a Smart Alternative
There is one key alternative to both Ramp and BILL, and that’s Tipalti. The Tipalti platform eliminates up to 80% of the accounts payable workload, automating everything from procurement to payment reconciliation. The system also offers corporate cards and expense management solutions. Tipalti has its money transmitter licenses (MTLs) in the US and is known for streamlining global payments.
Tipalti is also authorized by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) and more recently was granted an EMI license from De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) for the European market.
Customers gain significant benefits by using the global payments solution over other non-regulated providers. Tipalti also partners with blue-chip banks like Citi, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo.
When comparing all three systems, note some of these main differences:
Unlike Ramp and BILL, Tipalti offers built-in tax features, validation, and regulatory compliance controls, across the globe. Ramp and BILL collect tax forms but without any further validation, withholdings calculations, etc. In both cases, the payer must often rely on an outside tax professional.
In comparison, Tipalti offers tax features that meet IRS requirements (as prescribed by KPMG), plus OFAC and sanctions screening before any payment is processed.
The supplier onboarding workflow also includes W-9/W-8 tax form data collection and validation. The Tipalti platform generates 1099/1042-S tax prep files for EOY reporting and collects local/VAT tax IDs for non-US countries.
BILL and Ramp both have integrations, but nothing compares to the level and amount of Tipalti’s offering. The system has strong API integrations with top ERPs like QuickBooks Online, NetSuite, Xero, Sage Intacct, and Microsoft Dynamics.
In addition, Tipalti offers seamless integrations with a variety of ERPs via pre-built connectors, using a no-code, drag-and-drop interface.
Dedicated Supplier Management
Compared to BILL and Ramp, Tipalti empowers suppliers with a self-service, custom portal that keeps all parties updated in real time. The branded supplier portal is available 24/7, and suppliers can update their own contact and banking details instantly, in one spot.
Tipalti has 26,000+ global payment validation rules to automatically verify data, reduce payment errors, and ensure suppliers are always paid on time.
Although BILL also has a supplier portal, there are limited payment options compared to Tipalti. The white-labeled self-service Tipalti portal enables suppliers to perform tasks like:
- Choose currency and payment method
- Set custom thresholds
- Receive branded notifications
- View invoice and payment history
BILL and Ramp both have limited cross-border payment capabilities. BILL cannot handle high-volume, complex payment systems, and only offers wire transfers for global payments. This makes a business more susceptible to fraud. A company also needs to be based in the United States to make international payments.
When it comes to global payments, Tipalti streamlines the entire process. The system performs payouts to 196 countries in 120 currencies, using six different payment methods. Tipalti also gives a business advanced payment configuration options like setting thresholds and fee-splitting.
Scope and Focus
Tipalti takes the cake when it comes to scope and focus. A business can automate everything from purchasing to invoice capture, approvals, reconciliation, and reporting. Using BILL, a company can automate payables, but there are no features for procurement and limited ones for global payments. Ramp is primarily used to optimize spend management, with a narrow focus on corporate spend, and not much else.
Summing it Up
All three payment systems shine in a different light depending on what your business needs. BILL is better suited for smaller ventures that may need some invoice management, but are not necessarily dealing with global vendors. Ramp is primarily focused on providing spend management options, including corporate cards.
Tipalti has a more holistic approach than Ramp and BILL. It offers an end-to-end automation experience with unparalleled security and global reach. If you need a good place to begin your automation journey, get started with Tipalti today.