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Our AR Automation Software picks for 2023

By: DAN KENITZ | Fact Checked By: JAMIE OSTROE | Updated: March 16, 2023

AR automation software has one goal: turn the headache-inducing work of handling client payments and accounts receivable into a smooth experience. We compared the best AR automation software in the industry across variables like pricing, brand reputation, and features. Our top picks below help with issues like handling multiple currencies, setting up recurring payments with clients, and accessing dashboards that let you see everything in a single view. Read on to see which vendors made our list.

Our Top Picks

  1. Billtrust – Best for Large Companies
  2. Eleven – Best for Smaller Companies & Teams
  3. Bill.com – Best for Mid-sized Businesses
  4. Gaviti – Best for B2B Companies
  5. Lockstep – Best for Customer Self-Service

AR Automation Software Reviews

AR automation software can be a bit complex, but we whittled it down to a short list of the best options in today’s market. We started with a list of 80+ AR automation software companies, did a deep dive on 15 of the most popular ones, and reviewed our top five favorites below. Our methodology considered features offered by each vendor, platform pricing and transaction fees, brand reputation, and customer support options to create the following recommendations.

billtrust logo

Billtrust – Best AR Automation Software for Large Companies

Billtrust helps large companies figure out their accounts receivable issues and automate them into a streamlined accounting system. Handling online payments for large orders with ease, Billtrust includes features like cash applications for large orders, which is especially important for working at an industrial scale.

Given Billtrust’s focus on manufacturing and distribution AR automation, it’s best suited for medium and large industrial companies and less suited for small companies and solopreneurs. Here’s why.

  • Automatic invoicing available globally
  • Standardized e-invoicing for international invoicing concerns
  • AP, email, fax, and other invoice deliveries available
  • Manually onboarding clients with Billtrust (instead of automatic)
  • Limited options for setting hourly billing rates

Billtrust features:

  • Hourly billing: Although hourly billing is less a concern for large, industrial companies, we found that this was available. However, some users reported that there weren’t as many options for setting hourly billing rates as they would have preferred.
  • Online payments: One of the great features of Billtrust is the variety of payment methods, both digital and analog, including faxing, emailing, and automated processes for sending invoices and accepting payments online.
  • Multi-currency: If you run a global company, one of the chief concerns is standardizing your payments via multiple currencies. Billtrust’s automated and standardized invoices help take the guesswork out of that for a simple, smoother experience.

What markets does Billtrust serve?

Billtrusts’ features and offerings are built for large companies with big-time accounts receivable problems in mind. If that’s what you’re struggling with, it’s the right software for you.

eleven logo

Eleven – Best for Smaller Companies and Teams

Your company doesn’t have to be large to struggle with accounts receivable. Enter Eleven, an AR automation service that lets you pay based on how many accountants at your company use the system. This sets up a flatter pricing system so you can have more access to features like accepting online payments, setting up recurring payments, and allowing partial payments.

If you are a solopreneur, it can sometimes feel like you’re improvising as you go. Eleven is probably the best solution on our list for anyone tackling payments that way.

  • Built-in expense tracking
  • Substantial automation for tax management
  • Common-sense dashboards are easy to use
  • Some users prefer a more modern UI
  • Less-frequent software updates

Eleven features:

  • Online payments: Many users report they were able to reduce or completely eliminate their need to use Excel and other accounting software thanks to the robust online payments capabilities of Eleven.
  • Recurring/subscription billing: Eleven’s automation features, including setting recurring monthly bills, had a big impact on users. It’s especially useful for smaller companies with fewer resources to manage those time-consuming, manual tasks each month.
  • Partial payments: Accepting partial payments is important for solopreneurs and small businesses that need to negotiate smaller payments to keep cash moving in. Eleven’s flat, per-accountant pricing also fits neatly into this arrangement because it provides easily-forecasted AR automation costs against up-and-down invoice flows every month.
  • Multi-currency: With both multi-entity and multi-currency support, Eleven can do a good job at keeping your smaller operation feeling like a big business.

What markets does Eleven serve?

Although we named Eleven best for smaller companies and solopreneurs who need regular AR automation and invoicing to streamline their accounting, there’s no reason that mid-sized and large companies couldn’t use it. Take special note of the per-accountant pricing system, which keeps the software affordable for growing companies of a wide range of sizes and customer counts.

bill.com logo

Bill.com – Best AR Automation Software for Mid-sized Businesses

Offering online bill payment support and AR automation, Bill.com is our choice for mid-sized businesses. We like its corporate-friendly pricing at $79/user/month and its integrations with popular tools like QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Pro/Premier, and Xero.

Bill.com is also great for accepting a wide range of payment types, from credit cards to ACH, which helps eliminate friction when collecting payments from customers.

  • Easy-view dashboard
  • Fast payment approval for managers
  • Integration with top bookkeeping software
  • Centralized inbox great for large teams
  • Updating client-entered info can be difficult
  • Netsuite integration is challenging for some

Bill.com features:

  • Online payments: Bill.com accepts ACH, credit cards, checks, and even international wire transfers, making accepting online payments from a range of potential clients a breeze.
  • Recurring/subscription billing: Although some users reported issues with getting clients onboarded with Bill.com, once those clients are onboarded, you’ll have no problem setting recurring payments to ensure you’re automatically paid on a subscription basis.
  • Partial payments: With customized invoice templates, you can set specific variables like partial payments for your customers or clients whenever you want.
  • Multi-currency: Bill.com may be a good bet for smaller and mid-sized companies, but that doesn’t mean you can’t accept invoices in multiple currencies. The easy integrations with software like QuickBooks also mean you’ll keep tabs on everything that’s going on.

What markets does Bill.com serve?

Bill.com advertises that it’s best for small to mid-sized businesses—typically measured as up to 1,000 employees. It’s not a hard and fast rule. Still, you’ll find that the pricing structure and the features offered here, including easily integrating with the accounting software your team uses, will make it an easy choice for automating various aspects of your accounts receivable.

gaviti logo

Gaviti – Best for B2B Companies

Gaviti works for companies across a range of industries, but one area it excels in is handling accounts receivable for business services. This makes it a natural fit for B2B companies that almost exclusively focus on taking accounts receivable from other businesses. It aims features at shortening the sales-to-payment cycle, which enhances your ability to keep tabs on your cash flow.

  • User-friendly dashboard is easy to navigate
  • Users report onboarding to Gaviti is a breeze
  • Simplifies multi-entity payments with easy invoicing systems
  • Automated workflow setup can be tricky
  • Customer activity feed is a bit static, with minimal automation

Gaviti features:

  • Online payments: Set up an online dashboard with Gaviti and you’ll be able to implement all sorts of automation features, including accepting online payments that fit neatly into your dashboard’s calendar. This will keep you on top of all the payments you’ve collected online.
  • Recurring/subscription billing: With a Google Calendar-like experience, Gaviti’s recurring billing is easy to schedule through the aforementioned dashboard. This makes it simple to schedule (and remind yourself of) invoices that need to repeat.
  • Partial payments: Use partial payments with Gaviti by setting up custom invoices. This makes it easier to work with a business that may only be capable of handling one payment one month, often due to cyclical invoicing practices, such as Net 30 terms.

What markets does Gaviti serve?

Gaviti’s features are appropriate for firms both large and small, which means that you don’t have to feel limited by its appeal to B2B services. However, if you work in a business where your primary clients are other businesses, we think its features and offerings will match your needs precisely.

lockstep logo

Lockstep – Best for Customer Self-Service

Ideally, good AR automation software means your invoicing system will be in lockstep with your customers. Hence the name Lockstep, one of the best solutions we found for an often-overlooked but always-important aspect of AR automation. You need to remember the customer-facing side of things. Lockstep’s accounting reports and easy-to-pay invoices help make it one of the most accessible for new customers.

  • Flexible with various tech stacks
  • Easily integrates with email
  • Automatic sync with accounting software
  • Automated emails to past due accounts
  • Users report some slow browser times
  • Lack of documentation can make some processes difficult

Lockstep features:

  • Online payments: Send emails with automated reminders for your customers with Lockstep. That’s a nice feature for anyone who’s sick of constantly hunting down invoices and manually following up with customers.
  • Partial payments: Accepting partial payments as an option is a customer-friendly way to ensure that you still get paid. You can also work out payment plans using Lockstep so that customers have multiple ways to pay for your business’s services.
  • Multi-currency: Standardized invoices you send out via email must be responsive to multiple currencies if they’re really going to help you deal with your customers. Lockstep allows customers to pay a number of ways via its invoices, which makes it more likely you’ll get paid.

What markets does Lockstep serve?

Medium-sized businesses probably get the most out of Lockstep AR automation software. It’s a great option if you have a lot of customers to invoice but not a lot of time or a large enough team to ensure that everyone is paying you on time. However, it’s versatile enough to be used with smaller or larger businesses that want to build a more favorable customer-facing side to their invoicing system.

Compare the best AR Automation Software side-by-side

Software Name Why we picked It Starting price for cheapest plan Highlights
Billtrust Best for Large Companies Custom Pricing Handle global payments across multiple borders
Eleven Best for Smaller Companies & Teams $18 / accountant Automate accounting and tax reporting
Bill.com Best for Mid-sized Businesses $79 / user / month Accept a variety of payment methods for simpler AR
Gaviti Best for B2B Companies Custom Pricing Great for service-based businesses
Lockstep Best for Customer Self-Service Custom Pricing Give more options to customers’ side of the invoice

What is accounts receivable automation software?

Accounts receivable automation software, also known as AR automation software, is the suite of services you use to ensure you get paid. Accounts receivable automation can be as varied as setting email reminders automatically for your customers, which helps increase your chances of getting paid on time. AR automation software can also sync with expense and tax reporting software to simplify your bookkeeping.

How to automate accounts receivable in your business

AR can be a touchy department to make changes to. It’s very important to work with a full-service vendor with its own implementation and customer service teams to ease the change in the process. To begin automating these processes, you’ll need to:

  • Choose the best AR automation software for your business (use its synchronization capabilities as your guide)
  • Upload your client email addresses and start sending out automated invoices
  • Use the dashboard to confirm your automation is working correctly
  • Set weekly reminders to check that your bookkeeping is accurate and that your accounts receivable is fully updated

Keeping everything in one platform helps avoid creating disparate systems that complicate things even more for your accountants and customers. Companies with modular-based offerings, like Billtrust, allow you to choose which services you need now and grow into the others when you have the need or budget.

Benefits of using AR Automation Software

Automation software takes some of the busywork out of your hands and puts it into the software. Benefits of working with an AR automation vendor include:

  • Assistance with electronic pay adoption. Many companies are still sending paper checks and paying invoices over the phone. Many AR automation companies offer electronic payment adoption services that will call and email clients of their customers to walk them through how to pay their invoices online to increase adaptability.
  • Customized payment portals. Choosing AR automation software that can be branded with your company’s logo and company language eliminates confusion for customers when they are paying invoices.
  • Automatically sending reminders to clients. This will mean an end to those awkward “just-checking-in” emails that come when you have accounts receivable but no payments yet.
  • Handle invoice reporting automatically. AR automation software will sync with your bookkeeping software, assuming you’ve chosen a platform that does so. This will keep your invoices updated in accordance with the bookkeeping you’re keeping up-to-date on your end.
  • Accepting more payments. Good AR automation software can also expand your ability to handle payments. Some options on our list, like Billtrust or Bill.com, make it easy to accept payments from multiple currencies, for example.

AR automation frees up time for your accounting department so they can focus on doing good, accurate work that keeps your books in line. It also provides leadership with effective AR dashboards, so you have an accurate estimate of your cash flow.

How much does AR Automation Software cost?

AR automation software costs vary widely. In our reviews, we saw lots of low transparency on pricing—no free trials and “request a demo” rather than being upfront about what companies could expect to pay. However, some companies like Eleven ($18/accountant) used more static, predictable fees, as did Bill.com ($79/user/month).

In addition to these fees, expect some transaction fees for accepting payments online. For example, BlueSnap Account Receivable Automation charged 2.9% + $0.30 per successful card transaction for its fees.

Our point? AR automation software varies wildly in price, so make sure that you review these pricing terms before you make a selection. After all, AR automation can make it easier to handle accounts receivable rather than hiring another bookkeeper at an average of $45,000 per year.

AR Automation Software FAQ

What is AR automation software?
AR automation is short for accounts receivable automation software. It automates the processes of invoicing, billing, and accepting payments from clients and customers—and then logging that information with the appropriate accounting software. Think of AR automation software as automating the key tasks in the customer-facing aspects of billing.

How do you automate accounts receivable?
You can automate accounts receivable by first incorporating accounting software into your bookkeeping. Then select AR automation software which syncs with that software. Using your AR automation, you can now populate dashboards with information that automatically updates—you can also use AR automation to remind customers when an invoice needs paying.

Which software is used for accounts receivable?
Software used for automating various aspects of the accounts receivable process goes by the name of AR automation software. Some of our top picks in this category include Billtrust, Bill.com, Eleven, Tesorio, Upflow, Gaviti, and Lockstep.

How we chose the best AR Automation Software

Our methodology is simple: we weigh vendors based on which markets they serve, pricing, brand reputation, breadth of features, and more. We then whittle down a long list of potential AR automation software, conduct more in-depth research via customer videos, reviews, online reviews, and vendor websites, and compile it into a list.

We then score companies on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent) across the following criteria, each of which represented a total of one-quarter of the score:

  • Variety of features: AR automation needs to be capable of handling a wide range of payments as well as synchronization. We tended to reward those companies, like Bill.com, which offered plenty of breadth with these features.
  • Pricing: Not only is having competitive pricing important, pricing transparency is also considered in our ratings. We think it’s important that you can get an idea of what you’ll pay before ever requesting a demo. Companies that make this information easily available score higher in this area.
  • Support: Onboarding can be an issue in customer support, especially with AR automation software–which is why we included it as one of the key factors when rating customer support for each vendor. We also looked at what types of customer support are offered by each vendor and awarded higher scores to vendors with the most comprehensive coverage.
  • Brand reputation: How does the market receive the software? We looked at how well-rated each software offering is and what customers had to say in their reviews—as well as the sample size of customers that justified its reputation.