Best Accounts Payable Software for 2021

Accounts payable software can streamline a very manual process. Integration with your accounting software is key.
Tina OremAug 5, 2021

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Best for low-cost, high-value:

Best for live support:  and

Best for businesses with a lot of users:

Best for free version:

Best for AI:

Best for integration with other accounting software:

Accounts payable software can help you keep track of what bills are due and when, which is a key component of successfully managing accounts payable and your business in general. The best options go a step further and automate the often manual accounts payable process. To find the right fit for your business, look for timesaving features like invoice scanning and integration with your existing .

Here are NerdWallet’s picks for accounts payable software for small businesses.

Price: $79-$1,099+ per month

Why we like it: Lightyear offers multiple pricing options, including plans starting at $79 a month. The software can read invoices, extract line-item data from them, send invoices off for approval from the appropriate people and automatically assign accounting codes to the data. The product integrates with QuickBooks, Xero Sage, Oracle NetSuite and more.

Price: $39-$69+ per month

Why we like it: offers multiple pricing options, including plans starting at $39 a month, which may make it more accessible for many small-business owners. You’ll get a centralized inbox for receiving invoices. The software can read invoices, capture the data on them and even flag if something looks off. However, you’ll need to upgrade from the lowest-priced plan to integrate with QuickBooks, Xero or other accounting software.

Price: Quote only

Why we like it: AvidXchange has invoice automation software, purchase order software and bill payment software that integrates with over 180 different accounting programs, making it more useful for small businesses that use something other than . There’s also a customer service phone number for live support. A quote-based pricing system and no free trial may make some business owners wary, though.

Price: $149+ per month

Why we like it: Tipalti’s OCR technology can alleviate some of the mind-numbing data entry work around manually keying in invoice data. The program can also match purchase orders with invoices. Live support is a valuable feature. The expense — especially since there’s no free trial — may put it out of range for some small businesses, though.

Price: Quote only

Why we like it: DocuWare can capture and store invoices from any device or from scanned paper, email and mobile captures in a searchable file structure. You can get a non-cloud version if you prefer. The software integrates with 500 different applications, including QuickBooks, , SAP, Oracle, Outlook and more. Support includes a knowledge base, community forums and a tech support ticketing system.

Price: Free version; upgrades are quote only

Why we like it: Like most of its competitors, Airbase uses OCR technology to scan invoices and extract the data you need to move the process along. The mobile app makes it easier for busy business owners to get things done on the go. If you use a lot of purchase orders or make a lot of payments to overseas vendors, Airbase’s features and foreign currency support might be especially attractive, though it integrates only with QuickBooks, , Oracle Netsuite and Sage Intacct.

Price: Quote only

Why we like it: Stampli uses a bot to do various things, such as manage approval identifications, alert you to duplicate invoices and even autopopulate fields with certain accounting codes. It integrates with around 40 different accounting packages, including QuickBooks.

To understand where accounts payable software might fit in your company, it’s important to understand the accounts payable process. It generally goes like this:

Accounts payable software can streamline that process, which is often very manual and time-consuming. It can integrate with the rest of your accounting system and help you manage your cash better by streamlining or automating the work.

Using accounts payable software also has some other big advantages:

Ask yourself these questions to help determine what accounts payable software is right for you.

Is it scalable? 

Make sure to think about the future, not just the present. Many accounts payable packages set prices based on how many users or bills you have; business growth could mean rising costs. Look for software that supports the business you plan to run in a year without requiring you to leap up to a much higher pricing tier.

Is it easy to use for you and your clients? 

Most software makers offer free trials to potential customers. Take advantage of these to make sure you understand how to use the features you need. Choose software that accommodates your vendors, especially if you have vendors overseas and need to support multiple currencies. If the vendors will interact with your accounts payable software (perhaps when they remit invoices, for example), take time to test the software from the vendor’s end, too.

Does it integrate with the software you already use? 

Your existing accounting software may have all the accounts payable firepower you want. But if it doesn’t, look for an option that integrates with your existing accounting software. Make sure to test those integrations before you commit to one program. The right software might allow you to consolidate some tasks. If you use a payments app, for instance, consider switching to software with native, or built-in, integrations that can meet those needs too.

How much does it cost? 

It can be hard to project costs. Growth in your purchasing base or changes to your staffing levels might bounce you into a different price tier. Plus, some important features might actually be add-ons with additional fees.


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