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9 Best Accounts Payable Software Tools of 2024

Accounts payable software can streamline a very manual process, especially if it uses automation technology. Integration with your accounting software is key.
By Tina Orem, Karrin Sehmbi
Last updated on October 16, 2023
Edited bySally Lauckner
Fact checked and reviewed

⏰ Estimated read time: 4 minutes

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Accounts payable software helps you keep track of what bills are due and when — a key component of successfully managing accounts payable and your business in general. The best options automate the often manual accounts payable process and include timesaving features, like invoice scanning and accounting software integration.
Here are NerdWallet’s picks for accounts payable software for small businesses.

Best Accounts Payable Software Tools

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QuickBooks Online

Learn more

on QuickBooks Online's secure website

5.0/5

Best for All-in-one solution

$30/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $60, $90, $200.

50% off

for first three months or free 30-day trial.

Learn more

on QuickBooks Online's secure website

Xero

Learn more

on Xero's secure website

5.0/5

Best for All-in-one solution

$15/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $42, $78.

30-day free trial

or monthly discount (terms vary).

Learn more

on Xero's secure website

FreshBooks

Learn more

on FreshBooks' secure website

4.5/5

Best for All-in-one solution

$19/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $33, $60, custom.

30-day free trial

or monthly discount (terms vary).

Learn more

on FreshBooks' secure website

Stampli

Best for Accounts payable automation software

N/A

Quote-based.

N/A

Lightyear

Best for Businesses with high bill and purchase order volume

$125/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $199, $1,199.

30-day free trial

Bill.com

Best for Low-cost, high-value accounts payable software

$45/month

Per user. Additional pricing tiers (per user, per month): $55, $79.

N/A

AvidXchange

Best for Industry-specific accounts payable software features

N/A

Quote-based.

N/A

Tipalti

Best for Customer support

N/A

Quote-based.

N/A

Airbase

Best for Multicurrency bill pay

N/A

Quote-based.

N/A

Our picks for

All-in-one solution

If you prefer an all-in-one software solution that can handle your accounting needs along with your accounts payable, or bill paying, requirements — without needing to consider which software integrates well — then one of these accounting mainstays may do the job for you. QuickBooks Online and FreshBooks require you to purchase one of the higher-tier plans to access the accounts payable features, while Xero’s cheapest plan limits you to only five bills per month.

QuickBooks Online

Learn more

on QuickBooks Online's secure website

Learn more

on Xero's secure website

FreshBooks

Learn more

on FreshBooks' secure website

Our pick for

Accounts payable automation software

Take advantage of the benefits that accounts payable automation software can offer your business by replacing time-consuming, manual processes with paperless, automated workflows. Stampli’s automation software for bill payment enables you and your team to focus on more business-critical tasks and ensures your bills get paid quickly and accurately.

Stampli

Our pick for

Businesses with high bill and purchase order volume

Due to Lightyear’s unique pricing structure — pay a monthly fee to purchase credits, which are then exchanged on a 1:1 basis for each bill, statement or purchase order — which rewards higher-volumes of purchasing and bill paying with discounted credits, this software is a better fit for businesses that process a large number of purchase orders and bills each month.

Lightyear

Our pick for

Low-cost, high-value accounts payable software

Bill.com’s pricing tiers come in on the lower end, compared with others on this list. Even bundling its accounts payable and accounts receivable software comes in at a reasonable price point and will fetch you tools for bill and invoice management along with automated syncs with your accounting software.

Bill.com

Our pick for

Industry-specific accounts payable software features

AvidXchange is one among many on the market offering accounts payable automation software. It stands out, however, for its features tailored to a variety of industries, including real estate, healthcare, technology, financial services and construction.

AvidXchange

Our pick for

Customer support

Although several providers on this list offer live customer support, Tipalti stands out for its multichannel customer support. You can reach the team seven days a week by phone and email and on weekdays by chat. The company advertises its fast response time and high satisfaction rating for the support team.

Tipalti

Our pick for

Multicurrency bill pay

With the ability to pay bills in more than 145 currencies across more than 200 countries, Airbase is a strong accounts payable software solution for businesses with international vendors.

Airbase

What are accounts payable?

Accounts payable are the debts your company owes and will pay at a later date. Accounts payable, which include unpaid invoices and bills your company receives, show up as liabilities on your balance sheet, a document that conveys your business’s financial health at a particular point in time. When the accounts payable account gets credited upon receiving a bill or invoice, the expenses account is usually debited for the same amount.

How does accounts payable software work?

To understand where accounts payable software might fit in your company, it’s important to understand the accounts payable process:
  • Receive invoices (typically many).
  • Manually transfer important data from each invoice to your accounting system.
  • Figure out if each invoice is correct and whether anyone in particular should look at it or approve it before you pay it.
  • Generate and send a payment for each invoice.
  • Record that each invoice is paid, and then file the invoice.
Accounts payable software can streamline that process by integrating with your accounting system and helping you better manage cash flow. Here are some of the advantages of using it:
  • Avoid unexpectedly running out of cash. Keeping track of what invoices are outstanding helps you understand how much cash you’re going to need and when, so you can keep your business running smoothly.
  • Get discounts. Many vendors offer discounts for paying early or charge fees for paying late. Good AP software will help you make the most of those deadlines so you don’t throw money away.
  • Avoid having to hire extra people. It can take a lot of time to manually key in data from invoices, generate payments and make journal entries, which can mean hiring more people if there’s no technology or systems to speed up the work.
  • Prevent errors. Accounts payable software can help detect whether you’ve already paid an invoice and confirm whether the invoice amount is correct.

How to choose accounts payable software

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?

Some software providers 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.
Last updated on October 16, 2023
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