Accounts payable automation: five of the best tools in 2021

Last updated on 
May 10, 2021

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From paying staff and suppliers to managing purchase orders and tracking expenses, there are lots of vital tasks that fall into the accounts payable bucket – but there’s no denying that many of them are also fiddly, frustrating and unnecessarily arduous. This is where automation comes in.

The highly-manual, repetitive tasks that eat into your day are ideal candidates for automation; freeing up your time to focus on the work that really matters and making your work experience infinitely more enjoyable. Here are just five accounts payable automation tools worth checking out to streamline routine accounting and billing.

1. Stampli

When it comes to processing and paying invoices, Stampli is up there as one of the best automated accounts payable tools. If you’re wondering what’s special or unique about Stampli, that would be “Billy” –a bot who reads and analyzes your invoices and pulls out key information. The more you use Billy, the more “he” learns, which makes coding invoices quicker and easier as you go on. There’s also a supplier portal, so that contractors and suppliers – with your permission – can submit their own invoices directly into the system. This means invoices are digitized from the get-go, and all accounts payable staff have to do is deliver the invoices into the system for approval and processing. Another perk of Stampli is that it integrates well with other financial software – and because communications are centralized on top of invoices, any questions or problems are quickly resolved and approvals happen faster.

2. Timely’s Quickbooks integration

Turning timesheets into invoices can be tedious and time-consuming, but what if you could create flawless, professional invoices in just a few clicks? Timely’s Quickbooks integration lets you harnessing the power of automatic time tracking to generate accurate invoices with minimal effort. There’s no manual data export necessary – Timely can create invoices in bulk for all unbilled hours across your client base and push them directly to QuickBooks Online in a click. This is welcome relief for teams using QuickBooks who are less than satisfied with the friction and inaccuracy of QuickBook’s manual time tracker add-on. Timely’s QuickBooks integration helps you streamline invoicing and ensure you actually get paid for all your work. By providing a real-time status of sent invoices in QuickBooks, it helps to keep vital billing information visible too.

3. Beanworks

Beanworks is an accounts payable automation tool that’s specifically designed for accountants, and allows AP teams to easily collaborate from anywhere – meaning it’s ideal for remote companies. Beanworks imports and scans invoices, matches invoices to purchase orders, and includes workflows to require and track approvals from management – all automatically. Using this tool can reduce invoice processing costs by a whopping 86%, plus, because it provides you with better control and visibility across all accounts payable processes, it also means you can reduce risk and hold teams accountable for following the correct financial processes. For these reasons, Beanworks is very popular with businesses that are preparing for audits. It’s worth noting that because Beanworks is aimed at accountants, it works best for teams who have plenty of financial and technical knowledge.

4. Gatekeeper

Billed as “the AI driven all-in-one contract management platform”, Gatekeeper is used by more than 250 companies in 23 countries, and it’s ideal for businesses who need to deal with lots of contracts, especially with regular vendors. The Vendor Portal gives trusted vendors access to their own version of the tool, where they can upload and update invoices themselves, saving the AP team serious amounts of time. Plus, the insight that Gatekeeper provides is excellent: it allows you to leverage your AP data to compare predictions to actual spend against supplier and contract records; the Spend Dashboard allows you to visualize all Spend data; and the Kanban Workflow Engine gives each employee insight into who’s responsible for each stage of the AP process.

5. Sage Intacct

Sage Intacct is another popular accounts payable tool that automates many of the “worst” AP tasks. As companies scale, they need to automate certain processes while still adding robust controls that ensure compliance, and this is where Sage Intacct is especially useful. It offers streamlined accounts payable automation that cuts down on wasted time (according to Sage Intacct, it cuts your close time up to 79%) and eliminates inefficient work processes, freeing up your finance team for more high-value tasks. Plus, it provides you with real-time financial and operational visibility, allowing you to take advantage of financial controls to ensure full security and compliance, and manage the entire accounts payable process – from cash management to purchasing – with speed, accuracy and confidence.

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Keep your team ticking

Timely automatically tracks team hours, activity
and capacity to keep everyone connected.
Lead happier, healthier teams.

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