Accounts Payable Software Comparison for UK Businesses

Here we take a deeper dive into the best accounts payable software in the UK. Ready to get started with the top solution on the market?

Your accounts payable software is vital for paying your vendors and suppliers in a seamless way. With debts and invoices paid on time, your company can focus on getting the most value out of relationships with an array of business partners. 

But the market is flooded with all sorts of accounts payable systems, including supplier and vendor payment software. Which accounts payable solution to choose? How do different tools compare against each other? 

To help you answer this question and narrow down your options, we’ve put together a list of the thirteen best accounts payable software products. Selecting the right tool for your needs is critical for scaling your business, taking on your competitors, and improving cash flow.

Top 13 Accounts Payable Platforms

  1. Tipalti
  2. QuickBooks Online
  3. Sage Intacct
  4. NetSuite
  5. Microsoft Dynamics 365
  6. Spendesk
  7. Medius
  8. Yooz
  9. Quadient
  10. SAP
  11. Stampli
  12. Lightyear
  13. Xero

What is Accounts Payable Software?

Accounts payable (AP) software is designed to automate business payment processes from start to finish by leveraging sets of instructions that are customised to each business process. The software filters, categorises, matches, and validates critical accounting information that is then pushed through the accounting system to be recorded.

AP is also an umbrella term for niche software that serves specific functions under the AP category. For example, both enterprise resource management (ERP) systems like NetSuite and AP automation solutions like Tipalti are AP software solutions. AP teams implement accounts payable solutions to process, record, and pay discounted vendor invoices.

Accounts payable software may require manual tasks like data entry and matching paper invoices with purchase orders and receivers. But the best cloud-based accounts payable automation solutions are designed to reduce these manual tasks by up to 80% by using electronic documents data instead. 

Additional AP software functions include: 

  1. Processing and recording vendor invoices for purchases and services with trade credit terms
  2. Account coding of the short-term liability and the asset or expense
  3. Document matching
  4. Approvals
  5. Early payment discounts 
  6. Pay bills
  7. Accounts payable ageing and cash disbursement reports
  8. General ledger posting

AP automation software creates the ultimate automated accounts payable system by reducing accounts payable workload, and human error.

What is an Accounts Payable System?

An accounts payable system is an organised (and often automated) system that is responsible for paying vendors and suppliers for goods and services purchased by its company. The ultimate goal is to ensure a business pays its debts on time, to the correct vendors, for the correct amounts.

The right accounting solution can guarantee that the AP system runs as securely and efficiently as possible.

Top Features of Accounts Payable Automation Software

An AP automation solution eliminates manual processes by automating the accounts payable payment process to speed up day-to-day AP processes. 

Accounts payable automation software includes:

  • OCR invoice scanning for data capture
  • Accounts payable invoice processing software
  • Automated approvals
  • Global cross-border payments
  • Accounts payable document management software

Strong accounts payable automation software adds self-service supplier onboarding, tax compliance, fraud prevention, payment discounts optimisation, electronic document matching, online multi-currency global mass payments, secure payment methods, automatic payments reconciliation, and spend and cash management. 

AP automation software streamlines payable processes, reducing manual data entry and paper cheque payments.

The 13 Best Accounts Payable Software Platforms Today 

Finding the right AP automation software setup ensures that your AP system runs securely and efficiently. 

Here’s a breakdown of the 13 best accounts payable software platforms on the market and the specific functions and types of companies they serve:


Tipalti is a cloud-based accounts payable platform that specialises in UK and global payments. The AP automation system delivers functionality in 120 currencies across 196 countries. Money can be sent via PayPal, e-cheque, wire transfer, and several other methods. 

The Tipalti platform offers top accounts payable automation software features, including self-service supplier onboarding, invoice processing, PO matching, expense management, and automated approval workflows with process routing.

Sending cross-border payments is further simplified with tools that meet regulatory and tax features that help your company comply with HMRC tax regulations. UK companies can require all payees to fill out tax forms or provide their VAT/local tax ID as part of self-registration on the Tipalti portal.

Tipalti integrates with multiple ERPs and software programmes, including QuickBooks Online, Sage Intacct, and NetSuite. 

Best for: High-growth potential small businesses, midmarket companies, and large enterprise companies that want to ease their AP workload

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounts payable platform with over 6.5 million subscribers worldwide. The QB solution is also available as a legacy programme

QBO saves companies an average of 8 hours per week, with low cost options that include a contactless card reader, Direct Debit, and invoices that can be paid in just a few clicks.

Key features include payment tracking, invoice and expense management, and HMRC compliance. Mobile receipt capture tool also eliinates the need for manual data entry.

Best for: Small and mid-market companies (with up to 25 users) that accept a wide range of payment methods.

Price Range: £–££

Sage Intacct

The cloud-based accounts payable platform Sage Intacct offers a variety of AP features, including a general ledger, invoice automation, and time tracking. 

Sage Intacct is uniquely designed with a simple chart of accounts that lets you easily view multi-dimensional reports. Sage offers a variety of ways for people to pay you, including cheque, credit card, and bank transfer. A business can quickly automate high-volume, quote-to-cash cycles and improve profitability.

Bank reconciliation is another service available. You caan track multiple accounts and discrepancies among accounting records. The tool is user-friendly and provides stellar performance on a large number of transactions. 

Best for: Businesses interested in GAAP compliance and multi-dimensional report views

Price Range: ££–£££


NetSuite is a cloud-based ERP that offers a unified business management suite. Today, more than 37,000 businesses use the London-based SaaS platform for AP and business intelligence. The system allows for seamless integration with popular established AP automation platforms to increase the efficiency of its base product.

To make a payment, NetSuite offers credit card processing and other merchant services. The programme offers numerous financial management tools, like analytics, cash management, tax compliance, and more. Financial statements can be quickly generated with improved AP controls and a faster close. 

Best for: Small business, mid-sized, and some enterprise companies. Fast-growing companies use it to automate core processes and gain real-time insights.

Price Range: £££

Dynamics 365

Renamed Dynamics 365 (they dropped the “Microsoft”) the platform is an AI-driven programme that connects teams, processes, and data, offering features like cash flow management, billing, and predictive analytics.  

A recent survey found that 55% of finance teams see productivity improvements with Dynamics 365 and companies save over £275,000 in legacy costs.

The platform has intelligent budget proposal features allowing you to analyse historical data and build accurate budgets. Self-service analytics help a business expedite financial close and in-depth reporting. Optimise monetisation with AI-powered billing, accounts receivable (AR), collections, and more.

Best for: Microsoft-friendly companies from small businesses to large corporations

Price Range: £–£££

AP is consistently ranked as the single most time-consuming function in finance

Tools like Tipalti eliminate 80% of manual tasks. Discover more in our latest e-book…


Spendesk is an accounts payable and spend management tool that offers UK businesses everything from streamlined invoicing to approval workflows and total control over the entire invoicing lifecycle. 

Spendesk offers zero set-up fees with more than 95% of receipts captured on time, a 4x faster month-end close, and unlimited physical and virtual cards.

Spendesk also has a free app for management on-the-go. Rather than a spreadsheet, employees use the app to digitally submit receipts and expense reports, as well as making requests to charge a physical card.

Best for: Spendesk works best for SMBs with 30 to 1,000 employees.

Price Range: £–£££


Medius is a global provider of AP automation and spend management solutions. Medius replaces the work of manual invoice workflows, so you can focus on more value-added tasks.

The intelligent AP technology is designed to capture, process, and pay invoices using AI and machine learning (ML). Medius gets smarter with every document it reads. 

An organisation can automate the entire source-to-pay process and gain full visibility into cash flow, enabling you to close the books on time, every time. There’s no issue of lengthy implementation or ongoing maintenance that will add to your costs.

Best for: Provides value to a range of industries, like Retail and Manufacturing. Best for companies with large or complex annual invoice volumes and procurement programmes.

Price Range: ££–£££


Yooz is a cloud-based purchase-to-pay (P2P) solution that delivers unmatched speed, savings, and security. The system offers zero-risk subscriptions to 5,000+ customers and over 300,000 users worldwide. 

Yooz leverages AI and RPA (robotic process automation) to deliver extreme simplicity, traceability, and end-to-end customisable features. It integrates seamlessly with more than 250 financial systems and reduces your costs by up to 80%.

Best for: Ideal for mid-market companies who process a minimum of 100 invoices per month.

Price Range: ££–£££


Quadient is a cloud-based AP automation that is designed to deliver customer communications across all channels; simplifying collections and expediting invoice payments.

AP features include PO matching, invoice management, expense management, and global payments. Key integrations include NetSuite, SalesForce, Twilio, Daylight, Quickbooks, and more.

Quadient features document automation and multi-channel delivery for the UK’s SMBs. It empowers teams to eliminate manual tasks, speed cash cycles, and reduce IT dependence, creating a personalised experience across all programmes.

Best for: Small to medium-sized companies in the UK that seek a personalised experience.

Price Range: £–££ 


SAP has cloud-based functions for every UK business. The best-in-class software offers record-to-report optimisation that leads to fast and trusted financials. Revolutionise your brand and control all types of spend, with features like source-to-pay, external workforce management, and T&E solutions. 

Strengthen financial compliance while supporting multiple accounting standards. Guide your decision-making with full visibility and auditability that builds trust in your financial reporting. 

From close to consolidation, streamline your accounting processes and free-up time for more value-added activities. Intelligent automation and machine learning, paired with advanced analytics, enhances reporting and reduces spend.

Best for: Large enterprise companies with big budgets for top-level SAP ERP (other SAP software offerings for small businesses and midsize companies).

Price Range: £££


Stampli consolidates all AP-related data, documentation, communication, and workflows, into a single spot for complete visibility and control. It’s easy to learn and even simpler to operate, with AI tools like Billy the Bot, to guide you every step of the way. The system is for organisations that want the efficiency of automation, but don’t want to rework their existing ERP processes. 

The AP platform provides full support for a range of native functionality for more than 70 ERPs. Stampli’s AI solution, Billy the Bot, also learns as it goes to make coding and notification automations more efficient.

Stampli’s core features include effortless 2 and 3-way PO matching, invoice capture, coding, advanced vendor management and multi-subsidiary support.

Best for: All-sized companies (small-business, mid-market, enterprise) with complex communications that need fast results.

Price Range: £–££


Lightyear enables UK businesses to back up 80% of their time spent on manual tasks and cut monthly costs. Automate approval workflows, reconcile supplier statements, and match documents on a line item level (3 ways).

The system was designed to streamline purchasing and AP processes for UK businesses, reducing monthly costs and providing real-time data for reporting.

Lightyear offers simple, transparent pricing with unlimited users and sub entities. It features intelligent data extraction, automated bookkeeping capabilities, and reconciliation, with smart integrations for a variety of partners. 

Best for: Small and midsize businesses with teams.

Price Range: ££–£££


Small businesses on a budget might want to consider Xero. The New Zealand-based cloud accounting software includes accounts payable and vendor payments.

The low-cost platform offers the ability to send five invoices and enter up to five bills. Xero will also enable 20 bank transactions for reconciliation per month. 

Additionally, Xero offers multi-currency functionality, full-service payroll, time tracking, and unlimited invoices. The brand also offers a free 30-day trial. Xero is designed specifically for small business owners and accountants that want to access their accounting software from anywhere in the world.

Best for: Small businesses and mid-sized companies that already use BILL or a similar entry-level solution.

Price Range: £ 

Small Business Accounts Payable Software

Small business accounts payable software includes QuickBooks Online, Xero, FreshBooks, and Lightyear. You can start using mid-sized company software as a small business.

Midsize Business Accounts Payable Software

Accounts payable software for midsize businesses includes Tipalti, NetSuite, Sage Intacct, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Acumatica, Stampli, and Epicor. Lightyear also works with midsize company ERP systems.
For an in-depth breakdown of each solution, take a look at our Best Accounting Software for Midsize Businesses article.

Accounts Payable Software for Large Business

Large enterprise businesses with big budgets use top-tier Oracle EPM Cloud and SAP ERP systems. Several of the midsize accounts payable software products are used by larger companies as they grow. 

Accounts payable software solutions that also work for large companies include Tipalti AP automation and mass payments software.

How to Choose the Best Accounts Payable Automation Software

1. Define Your AP Landscape

It’s imperative to understand the intricacies involved in your invoice processing This will help define your AP landscape and know what features software must have to meet business needs. 

Important questions to help define your AP ecosystem include:

  • How does your company receive vendor invoices? 
  • Is vendor invoicing in a paper, XML, or PDF format?
  • Do you receive some invoices on paper or in PDF format via email?

An AP automation software worth investing in will allow you to receive supplier invoices in a variety of formats and will support turning them into digital copies through built-in optical character recognition (OCR) scanning. 

Defining an AP landscape also consists of outlining your invoice processing workflow. The goal is to speed up processing time by automating manual tasks, particularly the repetitive and tedious ones. Ask any AP department employee, and they will quickly attest to the importance of properly processing invoices. 

Expense invoices that aren’t coded and distributed correctly hinder the approval workflow and payment process. Additionally, when purchase order (PO) invoices aren’t matched according to their specific line levels, it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint deviations and mitigate errors. Finally, it makes it difficult to pay vendors and suppliers on time.

Accounts payable automation software worth purchasing will let you capture invoices by OCR, email, or supplier portal upload. It will automate coding and matching. AP automation software integrates with your existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) and finance systems to deliver automated invoice processing. 

To ensure that you choose the right software, consider how it will be configured to support your current workflows first.

2.  Map Your AP Invoice Process

Defining the AP landscape involves mapping the accounts payable invoice process. There’s a good chance the AP process consists of two separate workflows: processing expense invoices that aren’t related to purchase orders (POs) and processing ones that are. 

You’ll need to identify your pain points in both of these workflows to ensure that you find the most helpful AP automation software. You can deploy software with all of the bells and whistles, but if those features don’t address your unique needs, your investment is going to be ill-spent.

The first step in mapping the AP invoice workflow is identifying how you handle non-PO-related expense invoices and PO-related direct spend invoices. Which steps are repetitive? Which ones are manual? Do you already have some steps that are automated? Where do bottlenecks occur? What type of invoice archiving are you using?

Some common pain points include:

  • Invoices where pertinent line data isn’t synced between systems
  • Invoice data deviations
  • Lack of a central inbox for sending vendor invoices
  • Too many people involved in invoice processing
  • Human error due to manual invoice processing
  • Invoice processing delays due to clunky AP systems

Identifying your pain points and AP challenges allow you to intelligently move forward in choosing the best accounts payable automation software.

AP automation systems reduce your payables staff time required to answer supplier payment status enquiries by automating invoice receipt and payment status notifications through the portal and emails.

3. Look for Centralized Information Management

It becomes difficult to keep track of all of your invoices when they aren’t managed in a central location. AP automation management software can tackle this problem. It ensures that all invoice elements, including the receiving of invoice receipts, extraction of data, and validation of data, are stored and processed in a location your team can easily access. 

Software should make it possible for the entire accounts payable department to collaborate through an online, centralised platform, even if they are working from different offices. This is particularly helpful if you have multiple business locations.

4. Opt for Automated Tax Form Collection

Have you ever spent hours looking for a vendor’s specific tax ID number? Collecting and managing tax information becomes a major headache when AP processes are not automated, especially when working with global suppliers. 

Paying close attention to detail helps your finance team remain in compliance with any relevant industry rules or regulations. Tax and regulatory compliance become much simpler when you deploy AP software.

5. Define and Enforce Your Workflow Rules

You achieve the highest level of accounts payable efficiency by using AP software solutions that allow you to not just define workflow rules but enforce them. These rules and enforcement processes lessen the likelihood of employees completing the same task twice, like making a double payment on an invoice.

Defining workflow rules involves setting tolerance ranges, such as those directed toward purchase order matching. These ranges can be customised to align with your company’s precise needs. 

For example: if an invoice and PO can’t be matched using OCR scanning according to your set tolerance thresholds, the software can ping the appropriate entity for approval. This leads to a faster procure-to-pay cycle, which is vital to establishing positive long-term relationships with suppliers.

6. Embrace the Power of the Cloud

Installing an on-premises accounts payable automation software solution means you’ll need to deploy your own servers and perform your own system configurations. Stack these tasks on top of your existing AP landscape, and you’ll create a time-consuming and costly AP environment. 

Choosing AP automation software that operates via the cloud is a smart business decision and still allows you to create a strong internal AP framework.

Cloud accounts payable software can be configured to support your existing AP infrastructure and can scale on an as-needed basis. These software programmes typically come with advanced analytics and metrics, easily allowing you to determine which AP business processes are hindering efficiency and which ones are improving it.

Common key performance indicators (KPIs) include:

  • Percentage of invoices received versus the number of invoices being processed within a certain period of time, usually bi-weekly or monthly
  • Average cost of processing each regular invoice
  • Invoice cycle time
  • Percentage of incorrect payments versus the percentage of total payments
  • Percentage of early payment discounts versus the percentage of offered discounts

Tipalti: Your Ideal AP Software Solution

Each of the market’s top accounts payable software solutions offers specific strengths that can help you increase your productivity and ROI. Some are better at improving your B2B vendor payment efficiency, while others excel at helping companies manage their expenses. 

AP software also helps with reducing fraudulent activities and offering real-time business intelligence. 

Tipalti’s cloud-based SaaS solution helps you realise and utilise the full benefits of automated payable solutions by streamlining, simplifying, and scaling your current processes. 

Dubbed by Capterra as “The world’s most powerful payables automation solution,” Tipalti’s comprehensive approach to AP management provides end-to-end control and optimises your payables workflow to equip your business to scale quickly and efficiently. 

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