For an entrepreneur looking to streamline their company’s operations while also reducing the margin of error in routine business activities, investing in accounts payable software for small businesses is a fantastic step. While managing your accounts manually may seem sustainable initially, as your operation grows, you will inevitably encounter issues—like incorrectly entered information that throws a monkey wrench into your finances, missed bills or payments, or lost invoices.
These may not seem like too great a threat initially, but as you grow, even a small mistake has the potential to set you back in a serious way. Thankfully, we’re confident that investing in the right accounts payable software before you encounter a hurdle will save you headaches and hassle down the road. But if you need some convincing, we’ll explain exactly why you need it as a small business owner, as well as how to decide which software is right for you.
Why you need small business accounts payable software
While a group of small business owners will each inevitably have a number of reasons why they feel their business is better off thanks to their accounts payable software, the most basic reason we can provide is this: it will liberate your mind from having to keep track of lots of high-stakes numbers. Between invoices and bills, due dates, tax calculations, and financial data you need to track your business’s success, there’s a lot to manage.
With the right small business accounts payable software, you’ll be able to easily and quickly perform a number of tedious but essential tasks with a greatly reduced margin of error and time commitment. Who doesn’t want that?
What to look for in accounts payable software for your small business
While the specific accounts payable features you’ll need for your small business may vary from the needs of another business owner, there are some key features you’re likely to find beneficial no matter what industry you work in or what kind of operation you’re running. Here are some things to look for:
- Invoice management: An essential feature is robust invoice management capability. Monitor upcoming payment due dates, automate recurring payments, email invoices, and receive reminders when important dates are approaching.
- Automated approval workflow: Streamline approval structures by establishing automatic workflows. This gives your team freedom to make buying decisions, while also promoting accountability and transparency.
- Real-time expense reporting: Track your expenses in real time by choosing a software program that shows money coming in and going out automatically. This saves you the time and effort of manually entering payments and reimbursements and waiting for the balance to reconcile.
- Account integration: Choosing a software program that integrates with your other business-related accounts allows you to easily see all the information you need to in one place without entering it manually.
Best accounts payable software options for small businesses
In order to determine which software is best for you, let’s take a closer look at a couple of different options available on the market.
Price: Packages start at $39 per month.
- Reasonable pricing options for small business owners, allowing you to choose which functionality you need and opt-out of those you don’t.
- Free trials are available to give users a sense of the program before paying for it.
- A mobile app is also available for those needing access while on the go.
- Identifies and flags duplicated invoices.
- Doesn’t integrate with as many programs as other comparable accounts payable software, and integrating with some popular accounting programs (like QuickBooks, for example) requires you to upgrade to a higher-priced plan.
- You must submit a ticket for support, making it less accessible than some other software.
- Plug-ins are needed for some tasks, like generating 1099s.
- Extra cost for ACH processing, credit or debit card processing, mailing checks and other commonplace business occurrences.
Price: Plans are available in three tiers starting at $55 per month, and can be used by up to three users.
- This accounts payable product syncs seamlessly with the QuickBooks accounting functionality.
- Pay all your bills easily with a credit card—even if credit cards aren’t accepted by a vendor.
- Web and mobile versions are available, giving you options on how and where you monitor your accounts.
- Integrates with over 650 different software programs.
- Since they limit the number of users you can have on a plan, this is not ideal for businesses with a larger staff.
- It falls behind competitor software by not providing users with accounts payable automation features that allow things like auto-capture of vendor invoices.
- Some features come with steep additional fees, like when using bill pay within their platform.
Price: Unlike many other accounts payable software options, Sage Intacct is a quote-based platform, meaning your cost is determined by where your small business falls in relation to a number of factors, and which features your specific industry requires. Prices start at $47 per month, and a free trial is available to introduce you to the product.
- Unlimited number of users—a great option for businesses with a large number of staff members who need to access accounts payable.
- Connect with your accountant through the cloud to easily share financial information and message each other any questions that come up directly through the software.
- Very scalable, meaning that as your business grows, Sage will continue to accommodate your changing needs.
- Strong automation functionality, including invoice automation, bank reconciliation and time tracking services.
- Low-transparency pricing means getting a quote from Sage is somewhat tedious and comparatively time-consuming.
- While Sage is great for rapidly growing businesses due to its scalability, it may not be a great fit for small business owners who are working to find their footing in business, since robust customization options may be more cumbersome than helpful.
Price: A variety of subscription tiers are available to meet your specific business needs, ranging from $99 per month to $1,199+ per month. A free trial is available so you can try it before you buy it.
- No matter the size of your staff, this platform is suitable to support your needs—there’s no limit on how many users you can elect.
- This software also comes with a mobile app for entrepreneurs who need access from anywhere.
- Live support options are available to help resolve any issues that come up as you use the product
- Because of the range in costs, some of the higher-priced tiers are outside the scope for small business owners.
- Some functionalities require you to purchase an upgrade, including some commonly desired ones like handling purchase orders.
- At the lowest subscription tier, you can only process 100 invoices or statements each month—too small a number to be useful for some small business owners.
Price: The exact price depends on your specific subscription, but falls somewhere around $150 per month.
- Live support is available to help users navigate questions and issues in real time.
- Tipalti’s accounts payable software for small businesses allows users to process purchase orders effortlessly.
- Has a machine learning tech feature that allows the software to learn to assign accounting codes and approvals on your behalf.
- Does not include a mobile app.
- Because the price is higher than other options, not all small businesses can afford this program.
- No free trial period is available.
Make your banking easier
No matter which software you choose, it’s essential that you find one that integrates with your bank account—and that you’re banking with someone who can support you in all the unique challenges of entrepreneurship. NorthOne was built for small business owners, so you know you’re in good hands. Open a small business banking account today, and work with our team to help find an accounts payable software that truly works for your small business.Apply for an Account