Last Updated on August 15, 2021

Accounts payable software is necessary if you want to effectively manage your company’s invoices.

In the United States, clients tend to pay invoices seven days past their due dates. This can lead to increased expenses from late fees and interest charges. The reputation of your business might take a hit and you could jeopardize your ability to secure services from vendors.

Cash flow problems and overspending are common causes of late payments. But so is a lack of organization and insufficient workflows.

Accounts payable software for small business keeps track of new and outstanding invoices. It can also automate payments and send notifications about which invoices are approaching their due dates.

By prioritizing payments and aging invoices, you can maintain better relationships and trust with suppliers and contractors. 

What Are the Best Accounts Payable Software?

Melio and Freshbooks are two of the best accounts payable scanning software available to small businesses.

1. Melio – our top choice for accounts payable solutions

Melio Accounts Payable Software 

As a free service and app for small businesses and accountants, Melio provides unparalleled value.

The software simplifies the payment process and does not cost anything to create or maintain an account.

You can send checks to your vendors and contract workers, complete bank transfers and send electronic deposits, receive credit card payments, and manage your accounts payable process without incurring any charges. The only fees you’ll pay are when you send credit card payments. In these instances, there is a 2.9% fee per transaction. 

The primary features of Melio’s accounts payable software are:

  • Paying all your bills via bank transfer or credit card (No more writing checks!)
  • It’s free to use!
  • syncing with Quickbooks Online
  • scheduled payments
  • payment tracking
  • preferred payment method updates

Tracking invoices and sending payments is a simple process. You can submit a photo of your invoice, upload a PDF or Word document, manually enter the details, or connect with your Quickbooks Online account. 

Melio’s Payment Features:

Once you’ve got your invoices in the system, you can pay them via bank transfer or credit card. Your vendors and contractors don’t need to have a Melio account to receive payments. The software sends them a paper check or an electronic bank deposit, according to your instructions. 

You can use your credit card to make payments via Melio even if your vendor or contractor does not accept credit cards. This is an added convenience that lets you submit payments quicker and eliminates the need to have cash on hand. You can pay on time and wait until you receive the bill from your credit card company and when you have enough cash flow. 

The payment approval feature lets you set up workflow processes. Create different roles and permissions for users, whether they’re internal to your organization or work for an external accounting firm. You can allow these users to approve payments for invoices or restrict them to viewing permissions only. Or you can require users to clear final approval through you or a co-owner. 

With the payment features of Melio, you can also schedule several payments to go out at once. Or automate invoices on individuals’ schedules according to cash flows and due dates. Batch payments make it easier to meet several due dates that are close or overlapping. 

If you have a Quickbooks Online or Intuit account, you can sync Melio with the software in seconds. Your bill pay and accounting functions can become streamlined with this feature. Plus, you’ll save time. And you won’t face the limitations of each platform. 

Melio Reviews:

Out of 329 reviews on Trustpilot, Melio has an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5. Some of the things users say about the software include:

  • Melio streamlines paying bills and helps getting rid of checks.
  • It speeds up the whole process of payment delivery
  • Using Melio, they can easily extend their ‘days payable’ by using credit cards.

Melio is featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and Business Insider. Your account also comes with live customer support in case you have questions or run into challenges with the software. 

2. Freshbooks

Freshbooks is another accounts payable (AP) software solution for small businesses and sole proprietors. The platform does offer a free trial with different pricing tiers depending on your needs. One of the most popular plans starts at $10 a month and allows you to maintain up to 50 billable clients. You can also automate some features, such as tracking expenses and accounting reports. 

The features you’ll have access to within Freshbooks will depend on the plan you choose. However, some of the more common ones are sending invoices, automating recurring payments, sending estimates and proposals, and accessing the platform through mobile apps. The top-tier plans let you manage an unlimited number of clients and receive credit card and bank transfer payments.

How Do You Automate AP? 

You can automate your accounts payable process via Melio.

To add payees or bills, you can enter the vendor or person’s details. This includes things like name, address, contact information, and bank information for electronic deposits. The software has pre-populated information for common vendors and existing businesses, similar to what you see in your bank’s bill pay features.

Once you’ve put in the payee’s information or scanned in an invoice, you can schedule payments. You can set up one-time or recurring payments. You’ll need to specify how you’re going to pay – either from your bank account, a debit card, or a credit card. You can also choose whether the vendor or person will receive payments with a paper check or electronic bank deposit.