In today’s financial climate, procurement automation is essential for a myriad of reasons. Automation streamlines tasks, reducing time and effort, while improving efficiency. The technology enhances visibility, allowing stakeholders to track orders, monitor performance, and identify bottlenecks.
Procurement solutions help a business better manage compliance and risk. It minimizes errors by enforcing validation rules, automating data, and reducing manual intervention. Procurement software typically integrates seamlessly with enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other finance systems, enabling end-to-end automation of the procure-to-pay process, and creating a unified ecosystem.
In this article, we look at two of the top procurement solutions on the market: Tipalti and ZipHQ, including pricing, capabilities, and scenarios comparing which solution will work best for your business.
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What Does Tipalti Do?
Tipalti is a global payables and procurement solution that helps businesses gain greater visibility over spend and financial controls, reduce manual work, and enhance compliance. The user-friendly solution eliminates maverick spend and helps your team capture, approve, and track expenses.
Tipalti’s cloud-based procurement management software allows employees to move away from ad-hoc emails, ignored tickets, and monotonous spreadsheets. Customers see results with increased cash flow visibility, and benefit from:
- 90% of spend under compliance
- 3x faster approval cycles
- Fast time to value – <1 month to deploy
Tipalti also provides award-winning accounts payable automation and a corporate card solution for a fully comprehensive solution. This includes features for tax compliance, a self-service supplier management portal, automated payable processes, and fraud detection.
Tipalti Product Capabilities Overview
Tipalti procurement tools save your business time and money, processing transactions with six different payment methods, across 196 countries, in 120 currencies. Whether you’re a small business or an enterprise, the platform offers scalability and efficiency, while inhibiting the need for extra headcount.
The Tipalti platform has earned various accolades over the years, and you can expect some of these robust capabilities:
Enhanced Supplier Management
Streamline vendor management with custom registration forms that make onboarding a quick and frictionless process. This includes the collection of financial, contact, and contractual data.
Tipalti enables an organization to capture spend from the very beginning. Employees can easily submit purchase requests with a centralized form of control. This ensures you collect all critical information, like vendor data, amount, and employee needs.
Instant PO Creation
The Tipalti platform will automatically generate purchase orders once a purchase request is approved. This eliminates the need for manual data entry and reduces human error.
Advanced Approval Workflows
Move the approval process out of tickets, emails, and spreadsheets. Automate with rule-based approvals routing that helps to eliminate bottlenecks and inaccuracies.
The Tipalti solution will integrate with your existing tech stack. The system offers pre-built integrations with leading ERPs like NetSuite, QuickBooks, Xero, Oracle, Sage Intacct, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, and many more.
Tipalti also offers Slack and email integrations plus the ability to automatically trigger approval flow changes via HR & SSO system connections. Tipalti workflow integrations are being rolled out & include connections to ticketing systems like Jira, Zendesk, Asana and contract lifecycle management systems like Ironclad and Docusign.
The software also offers a built-in Amazon Punchout integration, allowing a business to save money with Amazon’s business-only pricing. With Tipalti, you can expect a simple setup, and implementation completed in as little as a few weeks.
Tipalti procurement plans depend on the number of requesters and approvers using the solution. Discounts apply when procurement is bundled together with Tipalti’s AP Automation solution.
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What Does Zip Do?
ZipHQ is a solid procurement solution with a strong focus on the source-to-pay process and a leading intake-to-procure solution. The system provides one place for an employee to initiate a vendor or purchase request, which is then routed for approval across multiple departments like IT, finance, and legal.
The ZipHQ platform integrates into P2P and ERP solutions to create purchase requests and purchase orders, in a single workflow with requester visibility. A business can scale procurement operations and reduce administrative burden by 40%. It enables you to get involved in spend early on, reducing compliance leakage and mitigating risk, while improving the employee experience.
Zip Product Capabilities Overview
ZipHQ helps businesses scale procurement operations and eliminate manual tasks. Some of their top product capabilities include:
Forms prompt and guide the requester and loop in the proper parties and stakeholders, with no training required. After approval, the purchase requester has total visibility into the open PO amount and number. The system will ingest and categorize vendors, and flag any overlaps or duplicates.
Generate approval chains based on request details. ZipHQ will automatically loop in the right approvers, giving requesters full visibility of the entire process. This leads to faster approvals and lower coordination costs.
Zip helps a business streamline vendor relationships with an all-in-one solution designed to nurture collaboration. The system allows you to create a single source of truth for all vendor data. This facilitates communication between cross-functional teams on contracts and risk reviews.
Companies use Zip to automate renewal planning. The system will automatically kick off renewal workflows well ahead of the deadline, allowing all stakeholders ample time to make the right decision.
Zip’s intake-to-procure solution allows you to connect intake with your existing tech stack. The platform easily integrates with SAP Ariba and Coupa’s procure-to-pay solutions. This gives joint customers an end-to-end intake-to-pay workflow with a consumer-style user experience.
Spend Insights and Analytics
Zip enables businesses to gain early visibility into spend through intake. By fully understanding the complete lifecycle of requests, finance teams can better diagnose and identify opportunities for savings.
The ZipHQ platform does not offer pricing on its website. You need to connect with customer support for a custom quote.
Features of Tipalti vs. Zip
Integrated procurement and payables solution. Streamline purchases with user-friendly requisitions, improve spend controls & compliance, and reduce payables processing time
Comparable capabilities – focus on intake-to-procure, downstream procure-to-pay capabilities are new.
Easy to build and manage approval workflows that match company policies. Accelerate with advanced approval actions like ability to consult outside approval chain.
Loop in stakeholders upon request, sequenced and parallel-tracked approvals, visibility to track purchase and vendor approval pipeline, easily adjustable approval workflows.
Contract interface to add and search contracts, and set automated notifications for renewals and renegotiations.
Centralized communication and collaboration on contract approvals through a single source.
Amazon Punchouts, Slack, Jira, ServiceNow, Asana, Zendesk, NetSuite, Sage Intacct, QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics, Xero, Oracle ERP, SAP ERP, and Workday.
Oracle, NetSuite, Workday, Venminder, ProcessUnity, OneTrust, Ironclad, DocuSign, HelloSign, Jira, Asana, ServiceNow, Freshservice, Zendesk, Airtable, Slack, Teams.
Onboard suppliers with self-service portal and choice of payment method, currency, etc., with 26K+ rules, validate payments, and reduce errors by 66%.
White-label self-service registration for supplier intake and approval. No contingent workforce capabilities (contractors, freelancers) or fee splitting.
Tax and Compliance
KPMG approved tax engine to collect & validate IRS, VAT tax IDs, W-9, W-8BEN, etc. against +3,000 rules. 1099 and 1042-S prep reports, auto-calculated withholdings,
Tax form collection part of vendor intake but no KPMG-approved digital tax form capture and validation or global tax.
OCR with header and line level data capture, change logic applied to future invoices, custom fields, expense accounts auto-filled based on predictive smart logic, 2 and 3-way PO matching, Pre-defined approval rules, and more.
Invoice inbox and email sync, vendor portal invoice uploads, OCR data capture, two-way PO matching, dynamic approval routing.
Regulated MSB with MTLs across US. E-Money license in UK with FCA. Blue-chip
Partnered with Airwallex for payments. Pay vendors in 140+ countries and 40+ currencies. ACH, international ACH, wire, and check payment methods.
Physical and virtual cards; manage and reconcile card spend, receive cash-back, integrate with global payables automation platform bringing financial controls into card spend with automatic reconciliation.
Virtual cards as vendor payment method.
Automated expense policies, Mobile and web app, global reimbursements, reconciliation of expense transactions, reimbursements captured, categorized, and processed. Integrates with Tipalti card.
Which Solution Works Best for Your Business (and Why)
As the need for automation continues to rise, growing companies are looking for the best procurement solution on the market. Consider these common scenarios when choosing between Tipalti and ZipHQ:
When to Choose Tipalti
Your business requires a mature, proven end-to-end solution
Tipalti offers a single unified solution for everything from purchase requisition to payment reconciliation, enhancing their depth and breadth since 2010. The platform has a 99% customer retention rate, a 98% customer support satisfaction rate, and a customer roster that includes world-renowned brands like Twitter and Roblox.
Solution capabilities include procurement, AP automation, corporate cards, global payments, and expense management. Deep features like supplier management, tax compliance, advanced FX, fraud prevent, multi-entity, and more ensure Tipalti’s solutions will scale with you as you grow.
In contrast, Zip launched in 2020 as an “intake-to-procure” solution. In May 2023, they added “procure-to-pay” (P2P) functionality which will take time to mature. In many cases, Zip still hands over P2P responsibility to platforms like Coupa & SAP Ariba. Tipalti has more robust capabilities downstream as compared to ZIP’s new “procure-to-pay” solution.
Your organization needs adjacent solutions to procurement
The type of solution you choose will depend on your business needs. If you need anything more than procurement automation, you may want to consider Tipalti. Although Zip has some new AP automation features launched in May 2023, Tipalti has offered advanced accounts payable automation for years.
There is more maturity and depth to Tipalti’s solution, with features like optical character recognition (OCR) with header and line-level data capture, and other functionalities such as:
- Managed services to augment and improve invoice data capture accuracy
- Change logic applies to future invoices using machine learning
- Custom fields and expense accounts auto-filled based using artificial intelligence
- 2- and 3-way PO matching with tolerance thresholds and prepayments
- Pre-defined approval rules or approval flows based on predictive smart logic
In contrast, Zip makes no mention of ML-based OCR or managed services. There is no auto-GL coding, 3-way matching, or predictive approval routing, and much of its downstream “procure-to-pay” capabilities have dependencies on upstream “intake-to-procure” workflows.
Some of the additional features outside of procurement that Tipalti offers (which Zip does not) include:
- Mass Payments workflows
- Payment validation, screening (including OFAC/SDN lists) & fraud detection
- International tax compliance
- Expense management
- Real-time API integrations to several ERPs
Tipalti’s solutions are unmatched, as the company continues to execute on its finance automation vision.
Your business has growing global needs
As your business is scaling domestically or expanding internationally, Tipalti meets spend management needs with built-in scalability and future-proof functionality. It assists with workflow complexities, paying global suppliers, higher transaction volumes, and handling multi-subsidiary workflows.
You may also need to offer a wide range of localized payment methods and currencies to ensure everyone gets paid, whether in the same country or across borders.
Tipalti can execute quick, international payments to 196 countries, in 120 currencies, with built-in fraud prevention capabilities. Tipalti supports multiple payment methods, like:
- Wire transfer
- Global ACH (eCheck)
- US ACH
- Prepaid debit card
Tipalti is a regulated money services business with licenses across the US, UK, and EU, and has blue-chip bank partners, including Citi, JP Morgan, Chase, Wells Fargo, Visa and PayPal.
Zip has partnered with Airwallex for its payment capabilities and has less control over its payment processes and capabilities. Zip can pay vendors in 140+ countries and 40+ currencies via its Airwallex partnership.
Tipalti’s Multi-Entity architecture allows payers to manage a large number of entities within the same instance of Tipalti, enabling further centralized controls and in-depth financial reporting.
A business can also streamline FX conversion workflows with advanced FX features like intercompany bank transfers, FX hedging, and Payee FX optimization. Zip does not offer comparable advanced FX solutions.
When to Choose Zip
Your primary focus is managing corporate card spend
Zip is hyper-focused on “intake-to-procure”. Thus, if your business is just looking for a solution to address that need, Zip may be a solid option. Zip has integrations with enterprise-level “procure-to-pay” (P2P) solutions like SAP Ariba and Coupa and still hands off P2P responsibility to other solutions in many cases.
Tipalti procurement can be purchased on its own as well. Tipalti enables you to modernize your procurement operations with a powerful, easy-to-use solution that provides greater control over spending, reducing maverick purchases while mitigating financial and compliance risk. You can always expand downstream into AP automation, global payments, cards, and expense management later for more complete spend control.
While Zip and Tipalti offer similar procurement functionality, Zip has some limitations in its “intake-to-procure” workflow, including:
- Zip does not offer a receiving module (e.g. for 3-way PO matching). All companies want 3-way matching sooner or later. Without a receiving module leveraged by the employees leading purchases, this cannot be achieved
- Zip does not mention any ability to integrate with catalogs (i.e. Amazon punchout).
Your company has a larger budget
Zip charges SaaS fees based on tranches of FTEs in order to grant access to all employees in an organization. ZIP knows a customer’s FTE count based on HRIS connections, and the pricing scales as your business grows.
Tipalti pricing is based on number of user licenses and allows for organizations to conduct partial procurement process roll outs; for example, in one geography, one department, etc. Some upper-mid-market organizations do not want a fully decentralized procurement process.
Zip’s pricing may result in waste post launch. Based on Tipalti data, even in the most decentralized companies, it is rare to see more than 20-30% of the FTEs involved in the procurement process. This means that Zip’s unlimited user pricing is actually overcharging the customer as they don’t need everyone to access it.
You need detailed purchase requisition forms for employees
Zip prides itself on having intuitive purchase intake forms that will increase adoption, but not training for employees. Similarly, Tipalti offers simple requisitions that increase uptake and spend under compliance.
However, ZIP asks requesters to fill out a variety of detailed questions, as the purchase request flows downstream, for parallel approvals by stakeholders, including legal, IT, and security.
Tipalti separates the purchase request from the vendor and contract requests. Typically, employees request the purchase, and procurement will open the vendor or contract requests, and they know how to answer the harder questions.
Tipalti allows you to submit a PR associated with an unregistered supplier, and then run interconnected parallel PR approval and supplier approval processes. The consult feature also allows approvers to involve legal, finance, IT, etc. when needed as a sidebar to the purchase flow.
Tipalti plans to release parallel approvals for the same record (e.g. Security and Legal reviewing a vendor simultaneously) in 2023.
What Our Customers Say
“We needed to improve controls and efficiency, allowing the team to move away from manual work and email communication, and to focus on reviewing and approving spending. For us, we needed something easy to use, and Tipalti has delivered.”
Charlotte Harris, Systems Manager, Cazoo
“With [Tipalti], we successfully optimized the way we were handling procurement.”
Yehuda Metzger, Procurement at Taboola
Summing It Up
Tipalti and ZipHQ are both platforms that aim to streamline financial workflows and enhance procurement efficiency. However, they cater to different aspects of financial management.
Tipalti offers a comprehensive suite of tools that simplify procurement, accounts payable, global payment, and expense management processes with features including supplier management, tax compliance, advanced FX, fraud detection, corporate cards, and more. Zip, on the other hand, is a relatively new player in the market that offers its own unique set of features and functionalities that focus more specifically on the intake-to-procure process.
Tipalti, a well-established finance automation platform, aims to eliminate manual tasks, reduce errors, and increase the efficiency of workflows for finance teams.
By highlighting both the differences and similarities between these two popular procurement systems, the reader should take home valuable insights that will aid in the decision-making process. If you’re ready to explore all options for automating your procure-to-pay cycle, get started here.