Accounts Payable Automation
Move from manual to modern efficiency
Free up your team’s time and resources while strengthening controls and accelerating business visibility for scale.
Streamlined supplier management
Shift data entry to your suppliers
Reduce workload and eliminate inaccuracies with a multi-language supplier portal with supplier self-service. In addition, provide complete supplier visibility and reduce status inquiries.
Touchless invoicing process
Never key in another invoice with advanced Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
Let machine learning help scan, capture, match, and process invoice data at header and line level. Plus, built-in approvals and payment scheduling make the process touchless.
Simple global payments
Send payments in just a few clicks
Ensure fast, accurate mass payments across 196 countries in 120 currencies and 6 different payment methods with peace of mind that 26,000+ built-in rules proactively eliminate errors.
Take the work out of tax risk
Eliminate time and energy spent manually collecting tax information—ensure VAT tax compliance and reduce risk with the Tipalti tax engine.
2- & 3-way PO matching
Make overpayments a thing of the past
Automated 2- & 3-way PO matching means reducing waste, eliminating fraud, ensuring audit preparedness, and saving time.
Never stitch together statements and spreadsheets again
Seamlessly integrate detailed, accurate transaction and reconciliation reports with your ERP system ensuring faster financial close.
Kevin Crowley | Accounting Manager, Therabody
“I can’t imagine what our AP process would look like without Tipalti. We don’t want our team to enter data—we want them to analyze data.”Read transformation story
Top accounts payable automation resources
See how automation can transform your business with these industry-leading tools and resources.
Invoice process savings calculator
The IPS calculator helps you understand “cost per invoice” in terms of invoice processing and payment.
Payment error cost calculator
Understand the real costs behind resolving invoice errors.
Signs you are ready for AP transformation
Learn how demand, financial controls, and supplier management play into the need for AP automation.
Helping businesses grow at scale
See how payment automation is helping businesses scale their AP process.
Insights from our experts
Keep your payables knowledge sharp with frequently updated insights and strategies.
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What is AP automation?
Accounts payable automation (AP automation) is when you use software to automate common vendor invoice tasks, resulting in more secure, efficient, and budget-friendly AP processes. AP automation is most commonly used for paperless document management, invoice processing, PO matching, and payment reconciliation.
While traditional accounts payable teams are burdened by overhead, manual data entry, and inefficiencies, AP automation software streamlines the full cycle of accounts payable. This allows teams to scale without adding more staff, gain better visibility into their financial data, and achieve financial close up to 25% faster.
Accounts payable software is a more affordable, flexible, and easier solution than accounts payable outsourcing.
How does AP software work?
AP software works by optimizing the accounts payable process in key areas where manual labor is causing inefficiencies like invoice processing, mass payments, data entry, price matching, and more.
Upon receiving an invoice, the AP software platform extracts all invoice data. It automatically compares the line items with the purchase order information that is synced in your system. This is called PO matching.
It then routes the invoice to the correct approvers. Once approved, the software sends invoice data to an integrated ERP system, while archiving invoices and audit trails.
Advanced AP automation solutions are also capable of improving vendor management processes, managing tax forms, generating reports, and automating payments to suppliers around the globe.
There are many benefits of AP automation. When automation software is used, accounts payable teams are able to reduce costs, eliminate routine tasks, and provide better visibility and control over financial data. It also facilitates cash flow and leads to early payment discounts.
How does automation software help AP teams scale?
If you seek to scale your AP team, automation is the next step. AP software helps teams grow through touchless invoice processing, cost savings, stronger vendor relationships, reduced risk, and complete integration.
Automation means you are always paying on time, at the right time, every time. It solidifies supplier relationships and keeps partnerships intact. This type of system will also help avoid any fees incurred for late payment.
How much does AP software typically cost?
There are a lot of factors that go into pricing AP automation software. It simply depends on the tasks your business needs to perform. The best AP automation software will allow you to:
Scan and Archive
This is the most basic form of AP automation. If you are looking at integrating a document management system, it could cost anywhere from $10,000-$100,000 depending on how complex you need it. This also includes annual license fees and any technical support required.
Archival and Auto-Matching
This type of software includes internal controls for AP like front-end processing and approval workflows. This is a tried and true approach but in a deployed setting, costs can run high because of what is needed to power this approach. This includes features such as:
- Bi-directional integration
- Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
- Business intelligence
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
- Audit trail
- Document Storage
Deployments like this are typically taken on by a business running upwards of 10,000 invoice transactions a month. For this type of system, associated spend can easily range from $100,000-$500,000 plus the annual license fee and related support costs.
Cloud-based AP Automation
In cloud-based AP automation all infrastructure investments are in the cloud. This means services are generally deployed across multiple tenants and the cost is shared. Usually providers of this approach charge on a transactional basis instead of the license model. The fees for implementation are proportional to the number of invoices processed per month.
If you consider the scenario above, 10,000 invoice transactions per month can run your implementation fees anywhere from $20,000-$35,000. Transactional costs range from $.65-$.95 depending on the scope of services and/or automation performed.
AP Automation and Payments
The costs for these systems vary. However, through this one payment type alone, companies can generate a 1-1.5% tap on eligible spend.
How much can a business save with Accounts Payable automation?
Processing will save you an average of $14.93 per invoice over companies who manually process theirs. The more you move, the more you save.
To calculate your cost savings, Tipalti has created an Invoice Processing & Payment Cost Calculator.
Additionally, to help calculate costs due to errors, try our Payment Error Cost Calculator.
What is E-invoicing?
Electronic invoicing (e-Invoicing) is the exchange of an invoice between a supplier and a buyer in an integrated digital format. Many companies are unaware they are already sending/receiving EDI invoices.
The distinguishing factor of electronic invoices is strategic centrality. All the key information around invoicing and the supplier relations process is uploaded into a universally accessible cloud database.
Electronic invoices also typically rely on an electronic purchase order to process. A digital purchase order is the only means to substantiate ordering by an authorized company or employee in an automated system.
How does AP software handle tax compliance?
Tipalti’s tax solution helps your company comply with IRS tax provisions and simplifies the AP process. Our guided tax form wizard assists suppliers in choosing the correct form based on the country and business structure.
For non-US payers, local and VAT tax ID collection is available. If the foreign entity comes from a country with a U.S. tax treaty, they can fill out and submit a W-8BEN-E form. All data collection is done through digital capture during the onboarding flow, which ensures information is validated before payment is ever processed.
Tipalti facilitates IRS AP tax compliance with KPMG-approved tax form data validation and withholding calculations.
How does AP automation software integrate with ERP systems?
ERP system integrations are largely built around identifying back-end processes that can be streamlined with AP automation. Tipalti has integrations that are pre-built to connect to popular ERP and accounting systems, which include Sage Intacct, NetSuite, and QuickBooks Online.
We sync bill and payment data from the Tipalti platform to the accounting system in real time. Reconciliation is accelerated through the automatic sync of payment details. The level of integration is always dependent on your needs and workflow.
How does AP automation help the approval process?
Automation helps to reduce the AP portion of procure-to-pay cycle time. It’s one of the best practics for improving the AP workflow. It skips the endless approver follow-up that happens with manual invoice processing and eases the labor workload. This means you can close the books sooner.
The system automatically verifies vendors and validates invoices. It then forwards the approval request to the right person in the organization. In essence, it completely automates the AP invoice approval process.
In a two-way approval, the invoice is automatically matched to the electronic purchase order. Three-way approval requires those documents, plus a receiving report as the third item.
Does AP automation software improve supplier relationships?
AP automation improves global supplier management in a variety of ways.
This type of platform immediately alerts merchants when invoices have been paid. When something is not paid, real-time status updates can be sent via email to keep people in the loop.
These types of notifications can also be used for simple vendor management. It can alert vendors when they need to update payment information. This includes data like:
AP automation software forges better vendor partnerships. A strong supplier relationship means you have a competitive advantage. It should be based on transparency and respect. This means, that if a situation demands increased support or supply, vendors will be willing to go above and beyond to meet your needs.
How can an automation improve the structure of an AP department?
Accounts payable automation software improves the structure of an AP department by separating duties both inside and outside of the team.
Proper segregation of AP duties is a requirement for solid internal controls. Other objectives include preventing fraud, matching responsibilities, and redefining roles to accommodate automation. All of these will save a company time and money while improving the accounts payable process workflow.
How does automated payment reconciliation work?
Automatic payment reconciliation (also called bank reconciliation) enables a business to upload an electronic version of a bank statement and automatically reconcile it. The e-version is provided by the bank using “matching rules” that are designated in the system.
A business can easily speed up its financial close with features like:
- Drill down filters
- Transaction level details
- ERP synchronization
- Real-time integrated reports
Remittance results across all payment methods, entities, and geographies are instantly normalized and built into deep reporting. This leads to faster and more accurate reconciliation and general ledger reporting.
How does B2B payment processing work with AP automation software?
The accounts payable process serves as a guardian of the funds. Oversight is improved with a full view of B2B payment cycles and the analysis of accounts payable metrics. This is what makes AP software for a small business especially critical for operations.
When it comes to B2B payments, the trend points in the direction of ACH transfers as the leading form of payment. Every year, check remittances are steadily decreasing while wire transfers are on the rise. It’s evident that an increasing number of companies are realizing the benefits of AP automation software.
Can AP automation software find duplicate payments?
When selecting the best accounts payable software, look for a system that finds duplicate payments.
Tipalti has built-in financial controls and artificial intelligence to identify duplicate invoices in your accounts payable workflow. Our system checks from the time the invoice is uploaded, to when it’s approved, even communicating with integrated systems. When a potential duplicate has been found, the system will warn the user with an urgent notification.
Let’s get more productive
Book a demo today and learn how you can take control of your payables.