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There are seemingly countless AP software solutions available, so figuring out which one is best for you is tough. You want to reduce manual intervention and enhance accuracy in handling vendor invoices and payments but you need to figure out which tool is the best fit. I've got you! In this post I make things simple, leveraging my consulting experience for large companies and my exposure to dozens of different tools to bring you this shortlist of the best accounts payable automation software.

What is accounts payable automation software?

Accounts payable (AP) automation software is a tool used to automate the handling of vendor invoices, streamline approval processes, and facilitate efficient payment management, contributing to improved workflow efficiency. Features that make this possible include invoice capture, automated data extraction, approval workflows, and electronic invoice routing.

Overall, AP automation software increases efficiency in invoice processing, reduces manual errors, generates faster approval cycles, and enhances visibility into accounts payable workflows.

Overview Of The 10 Best Accounts Payable Automation Software

Here’s a brief description of each AP automation tool that showcases each one’s best use case, its noteworthy features, and some pros & cons. I’ve also added screenshots to give you a glimpse of each tool’s user interface.

If you’re looking for general accounts payable software with automation built in, this list will work; however, I’ve also created a round-up of the best accounts payable software, in general.

Best for all-in-one cash management

  • Free demo available
  • From $149/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.5/5

Centime is a comprehensive cash management and business banking software that provides automation for accounts receivable and accounts payable processes, along with cash flow forecasting and KPI tracking. It helps improve collections effectiveness, reduce past-due payments, and enhance working capital for businesses of all sizes.

Why I picked Centime: Centime is a unique accounts payable automation software because it integrates cash management into a single platform. This integration allows you to automate invoice processing, route approvals, make payments, track performance, and more. The software also allows for instant capture of invoice data using AI, streamlines invoice coding and routing, and integrates with accounting systems, which is crucial for maintaining financial accuracy and compliance with accounting standards.

Features include accounts payable automation, which streamlines invoice processing and payment planning. The cash flow forecasting tool provides businesses with a 13-week rolling forecast to aid in liquidity planning. Additionally, Centime's working capital credit feature allows companies to access short-term credit lines from leading banks.

Integrations include NetSuite, QuickBooks, and Sage Intacct.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Monitors key performance indicators, days sales outstanding, and days payables outstanding
  • Tracks bills and bill payments in one window
  • Combines accounts payable and accounts receivable management with cash flow tracking

Cons:

  • Lacks a free trial with actual company data
  • May be costly for smaller businesses

Best for AI-driven invoice automation

  • Product demo available
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.8/5

DOKKA is a digital tool designed to automate accounting processes, specifically focusing on the management and processing of invoices through artificial intelligence (AI). With a user-friendly approach, DOKKA aims to enhance productivity and reduce manual efforts, making it a helpful ally for finance teams.

Why I picked DOKKA: DOKKA excels in AI-driven invoice automation, a key component of its accounts payable automation software. It adeptly processes and categorizes invoices, extracting relevant data with high accuracy. This capability significantly reduces the time and errors associated with manual data entry, ensuring a smooth, automated workflow.

Standout features include the tool's intelligent document management system, which uses AI to categorize and file documents automatically, making retrieval quick and easy. DOKKA also features customizable workflows, which enable businesses to tailor the software to their specific needs, and real-time collaboration features, which allow teams to communicate and make decisions without leaving the platform.

Integrations include QuickBooks, Xero, Sage, FreshBooks, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, Oracle NetSuite, Zoho Books, MYOB, and Wave. 

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Offers enhanced collaboration features
  • Provides customizable workflows
  • Highly accurate data extraction

Cons:

  • Price may be too high for small businesses
  • Steep initial learning curve

Best for streamlining invoice data capture

  • Free trial for 500 pages.
  • From $499/month for up to 5,000 pages (or invoices)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.9/5

Nanonets is an AI-powered document processing and management platform. With AI and ML, it helps users transfer invoice data to their systems in order to cut down on manual data entry. It’s less of a full AP automation system, instead connecting with other systems to streamline invoice processing.

Why I picked Nanonets: Nanonet's OCR technology can capture unstructured data from more than just invoices. IDs, bank statements, and other important documents are viable, and it can do so from multiple channels.

Features that make Nanonets a top AP automation solution include advanced OCR for extracting unstructured data from an array of documents, expense category automation, customizable workflows, and automated exception handling. Nanonets let you either train an AI model from scratch or choose one of their prebuilt models depending on what kind of data you need to pull from documents.

Integrations include Dropbox, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Sheets, Quickbooks, Sage, SharePoint, Xero, and Yardi. It can integrate with many other ERPs and accounting solutions, and you can connect Zapier for even more integrations.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Organized and navigable UI.
  • Several prebuilt AI models available for data capture.
  • Can capture data from almost any business document.

Cons:

  • Process to set up invoice mapping and tagging can be tedious.
  • Can be expensive for companies with lower AP volume.

Best for collaboration

  • Product demo available
  • Pricing Upon Request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.8/5

Stampli is an AP automation solution that helps teams communicate with each other and work together on AP matters. Aside from the usual AP automation capabilities, Stampli has several features designed specifically to help streamline collaboration with other team members and even suppliers and vendors.

Why I picked Stampli: Experiencing some organizational siloing? Stampli’s communications hub is a neat way to knock those walls down. Anyone with Stampli access, including suppliers, can comment on invoices and respond to those comments.

Stampli’s also quite upfront about its ERP integrations. This software’s theme is about connecting teams and stakeholders within your organization.

Features that set Stampli apart include a central communications hub where all stakeholders in the system can comment on invoices and respond to comments like a social media post. The main advantage is offering transparency to vendors and suppliers and strengthening relationships through open communication. Stampli also lets you customize roles, permissions, and vendor onboarding.

Integrations include Abila MIP, Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT, Dealertrack DMS, Epicor, FinancialForce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Oracle, Quickbooks, Sage, and SAP, plus integrations with tons of other ERP systems.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Flexible reporting features.
  • Integrates with numerous popular ERP systems, and integrations are customizable.
  • Streamlined and centralized vendor and invoice communications.

Cons:

  • No free trial and a lack of pricing transparency.
  • Little to no built-in PO functionality.

Best for startups

  • Free plan available
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.8/5

Airbase is a cloud-based spend management platform that helps businesses control employee spend and management payments. The platform supports customized spend management policies and corporate card use and monitoring.

Why I picked Airbase: Airbase is a spend management platform, which means AP automation—but it leans more toward expense management.

If you have employees with corporate cards, this software has features that help you manage their spending and make sure they aren’t running up unnecessary expenses on the company’s dime.

Features that suit Airbase to startups include mainly its corporate card management. You can create virtual cards for employees, integrate with Amex cards, monitor spend, and sync card transactions to your accounting software with detailed rule-setting. Airbase pays cashback on card use, too. Other features include contract amortization, customizable expense approval rules for different departments, spend and invoice communications, and reporting and analytics.

Integrations include several accounting systems, like Oracle NetSuite, Quickbooks, Sage Intacct, and Xero. Airbase can also integrate with HR systems, like BambooHR, HR Partner, Namely, OneLogin, PayChex, and Zenefits. It also integrates with Amex and Silicon Valley Bank credit cards.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Maintains all invoice information and communications in an inbox for each invoice.
  • Real-time reporting for all non-payroll spend.
  • Helps manage company spend and corporate credit cards alongside AP.

Cons:

  • Visit WebsiteOpens new window
  • Mobile app functionality is limited.
  • Less AP functionality than dedicated AP automation solutions.

Best for small budgets

  • Product demo available
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.6/5

Melio is a free cloud-based payment management solution that aims to streamline payments and invoices. It only charges for processing various transactions and integrates with common small business accounting software, making it a good option for businesses on a budget.

Why I picked Melio: Melio is the most basic option on this list. There isn’t a lot of automation beyond OCR, basic approval workflows, and recurring payments.

However, there is no monthly fee, and it's pretty lightweight. You only pay for certain payment methods. If you only ever pay with bank transfers and checks, you might never pay at all.

In my opinion, it’s a good option for small businesses or even sole proprietorships that need to keep their costs low and don’t need much more than the basics.

Features that make Melio a great free program include 1099 report generation, the ability to create approval workflows in a few clicks, and OCR for invoice data capture. It notably lets businesses pay vendors with credit cards, even if the vendors don’t accept cards. Plus, Melio can grab relevant data from synced accounting software if needed.

Integrations include a few small-business accounting programs like Freshbooks, Quickbooks, and Xero. It also integrates with Microsoft Dynamics Business Central.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Simple and intuitive interface.
  • Can pay vendors with credit cards even if they don’t accept them.
  • No monthly fees, only fees for certain payment methods.

Cons:

  • No vendor portal.
  • No automation features beyond the basics.

Best for marketing agencies

  • 30-day free trial.
  • From $45/month for AP.
Visit Website
Rating: 4.4/5

BILL is a cloud-based business financial management tool. The platform supports accounts payable and receivable automation and helps businesses analyze their cash flows and other financial metrics.

Why I picked BILL: BILL’s biggest selling point to me was how easy it is to find most things. If you need AP and AR, BILL lets you switch between both using the main menu on the left, assuming you get the plan that offers both.

Features BILL offers include user roles, vendor and supplier management, and custom approval policies. It also has a mobile app where you can do most of the AP and AR things the online portal lets you do, such as reviewing and approving bills, creating and sending invoices, and getting payment notifications.

Integrations include Earth Class Mail, Hubdoc, Microsoft Office, Oracle NetSuite, Quickbooks, Safe, Tallie, Tax1099.com, and Xero. Furthermore, BILL lets you import and export data between it and any accounting system or ERP platform that can import these files.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Long free trial for AP.
  • Easy navigation between receivables and payables.
  • Fast setup process.

Cons:

  • No phone number to reach customer service; must request a phone call on the website.
  • Cannot assign approvers in bulk.

Best for small businesses

  • 14-day free trial
  • From $21/user/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.5/5

Bonsai is a small-business accounting platform designed mainly for freelancers and service businesses that need help with accounting, financial management, and taxes. It also helps these types of businesses manage clients, projects, and their own billable time.

Why I picked Bonsai: Bonsai looks like it was designed with freelancers and other small service businesses in mind. It has a lot of features that these firms care about, from freelance-friendly quarterly tax tracking to CRM features to templates for various documents that service businesses rely on. That’s in addition to basic AP features, of course.

Features that make Bonsai great for small businesses include a template library for documents like proposals and contracts and a bank account connection for easy income and expense tracking. Bonsai also has client and project management functions built in. It can even help with some tax basics, like quarterly due dates and Schedule C creation, and offers some tax templates.

Integrations include Calendly, Clickup, Gmail, Hubspot CRM, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Sheets, Quickbooks, Trello, and Xero. Bonsai also offers a Zapier integration to connect with up to 1,500 other web services.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Clear and affordable pricing.
  • Automatic income and expense tracking through bank transactions.
  • Lots of document templates service businesses need.

Cons:

  • Tax tracking features cost extra.
  • AP features are there, but sparse.

Best for global accounts payable automation

  • Free demo available.
  • From $447/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.3/5

Tipalti is a cloud-based global accounts payable, payments, and procurement automation solution. It helps businesses with several functions, including invoice processing, payment reconciliation, international tax compliance, and more.

Why I picked Tipalti: Tipalti supports cross-border payments to 196 countries in 120 currencies and offers payees a lot of help in filling out the right tax forms through its self-service portal.

Tipalti, therefore, could work pretty well if you’re expanding into other countries or operating in other countries already.

Tipalti Standout Features and Integrations

Features that make Tipalti stand out, in particular, are its global payments. Tipalti built 26,000 global banking rules into its software, helping it validate payment and banking data instantly in almost 200 countries and 120 currencies. It also helps handle local tax and VAT information. Other features include self-service vendor onboarding, the Tipalti Detect AP fraud monitoring tool, extensive PO matching features, payment tracking, and payment dispute resolution.

Integrations include Acumatica, Affise, Cake, Everflow, HasOffers, HitPath, LinkTrust, Oracle NetSuite, Paladin, Quickbooks, Xero, Sage, and Intacct.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Extensive PO process management features.
  • Clean and navigable interface.
  • Easy to juggle procure-to-pay and compliance across multiple currencies and countries.

Cons:

  • Extensive functionality can take a while to learn, despite good UI.
  • No mobile app.

Best for multi-entity financial management

  • Free demo
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.5/5

Xledger is a cloud-based financial management tool that specializes in multi-entity financial management, offering features such as project accounting, intercompany transactions, core accounting, reporting & analytics, asset management, and budgeting & forecasting. Its unique selling point lies in its market-leading automation, real-time insight, and scalability, making it the best choice for businesses looking to increase control and efficiency in their financial management.

Why I Picked Xledger: Xledger excels as accounts payable automation software by providing efficient, error-reducing solutions that streamline the entire payables process. The software automates routine tasks such as invoice data capture, matching purchase orders to invoices, and executing payments, which not only speeds up workflows but also minimizes the chances of human error. Xledger enhances financial control by offering robust approval workflows and real-time visibility into financial commitments and cash flow status. This enables businesses to manage their cash outflows more effectively, take advantage of early payment discounts, and maintain good supplier relationships.

Features include real-time reporting, automation of core financial processes, scalable cloud architecture, integrated project management, advanced budgeting and forecasting, multi-currency and multi-entity support, robust security protocols, comprehensive audit trails, and intuitive dashboards for financial analytics.

Xledger natively integrates with several other tools and platforms to provide a seamless workflow experience. These integrations include Microsoft Excel, Salesforce, Power BI, Bank APIs for automated banking transactions, HR systems, procurement software, project management tools, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, electronic payment processing platforms, and tax compliance software.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • High degree of automation for financial processes
  • Comprehensive multi-entity and multi-currency support
  • Real-time financial reporting and analytics

Cons:

  • Potentially high cost for smaller businesses
  • Slight learning curve for new users
Tools Price
Centime From $149/month
DOKKA Pricing upon request
Nanonets From $499/month for up to 5,000 pages (or invoices)
Stampli Pricing Upon Request
Airbase Pricing upon request
Melio Pricing upon request
BILL From $45/month for AP.
Bonsai From $21/user/month
Tipalti From $447/month
Xledger Pricing upon request
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

Compare Software Specs Side by Side

Use our comparison chart to review and evaluate software specs side-by-side.

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Other AP Automation Software Options

Here are a few more worthwhile options that didn’t make the best AP automation software list:

How I Selected the Best Accounts Payable Automation Software

I evaluated and compared a wide range of AP automation tools by looking for critical AP automation features, looking at screenshots of their interfaces, and going through some product demos.

After gathering a long list of top choices, I trimmed it down to only the very best by evaluating each choice against the selection criteria below. I also drew on years of experience in finance and accounting to pinpoint features that add the most value.

Selection criteria

Here’s a short summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best accounts payable automation software for this article:

Core Functionality

The core function of accounts payable automation software is obviously automation of common AP tasks. I made sure the software I selected could automate invoice data extraction, data entry, recurring invoices, and approval workflows.

Some tools go above and beyond here, either with more advanced automations or AI. I’ve noted where that’s true.

Key Features

  • Automation: These tools must be able to automate as many AP tasks as possible. Some automate the entire procurement process.
  • Communication and collaboration: Teams can discuss and leave comments on invoices so everyone’s up to date on the who, what, and when for each invoice.
  • OCR: OCR pulls data from paper and PDF invoices scanned in or sent via email to do the data entry for you.
  • Reporting: Most of the solutions have tools to analyze payment-related analytics, such as invoice aging. The ones that don’t tend to be tailored to smaller businesses or can integrate with common tools that do have analytics.

Usability

I looked for tools that made it easy to set up and build the automations you need to make the most out of your platform.

Similarly, I made sure the OCR that these platforms have actually works most of the time. If the OCR isn’t good, it can actually slow you down.

Oh, and I made sure they have good customer service in case you run into issues.

Pricing

Some companies that automate more than just AP seem to hide their pricing. They instead ask that you request a quote since they have to customize their offer to your business.

Most software providers offer several plans or service tiers. Some charge per user or per invoice, and others charge a monthly fee. In general, based on the few tools that do publish prices, a small business can expect to spend anywhere from $25 to $150 a month for a basic starter plan. While enterprise packages for larger organizations can cost $500 a month, or more.

Plenty of these accounts payable automation software options offer at least a demo, if not a free trial.

Integrations

AP automation software works best if it integrates with your tech stack—especially your bookkeeping platform and email software.

Charts and graphs in a data analytics interface

I looked for AP solutions that can connect with common accounting solutions like Quickbooks, Xero, and Sage. Some of the companies represented make their own accounting software as well.

People Also Ask

Got more questions about AP automation or what to keep in mind when looking for a solution? Here are a few FAQs and answers:

What are the main benefits of automating AP?

Here’s what AP software can do for your finance department:

  • Save time: Your team does far less manual data entry, vendor communications, and so on.
  • Cut labor costs: You don’t need to bring on more AP team members as your business grows—the software helps handle increasing payment volume.
  • Reduce errors: Automation reduces the chance of errors that manual entry could lead to.
  • Data visibility: Financial reports update in real time. You get current data to make decisions, not past data.

What tasks can AP automation solutions handle?

Here’s what AP automation can handle for you:

  • Approval and routing of purchase requisitions, POs, and invoices.
  • Invoice data capture through OCR and AI.
  • Communications with vendors and suppliers.
  • Payments, especially recurring payments.

Picking the Best Accounts Payable Automation Software

None of the options I discussed in this list are intrinsically better than the others; the best for you will depend on your industry, business size, vendor and supplier relationships, and the features you prefer.

Whatever your preference, the list above surely has one that’s a great fit for your business. Many offer free trials and demos, so don’t be afraid to try a few of them before you buy.

Also, sign up for our newsletter for more tips and insights on managing your company’s accounting and finance. You’ll get excellent advice and updates sent straight to your inbox.

Simon Litt
By Simon Litt

Simon Litt is the editor of The CFO Club, specializing in covering a range of financial topics. His career has seen him focus on both personal and corporate finance for digital publications, public companies, and digital media brands across the globe.