What’s the Difference Between Accounts Payable Software and ERPs?

OneDataSource Blog Post Brand Mark

The onePAY Product Team

Do you know the difference between accounts payable software and general accounting systems?

They aren’t one and the same. When it comes to accounting software, there are a lot of options on the table nowadays. But it’s becoming harder to tell the difference between the various solutions on the market.

Too many options lead to more questions than answers. Which is frustrating, because you’re looking for the right answer for your business.

Every business is different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all software solution. So, it’s important to know the difference between accounts payable software and general accounting solutions. Once you do, you can make accurate comparisons and informed decisions.


Accounts Payable Software vs. ERPs

Intelligent accounts payable automation allows you to turn your AP function into a strategic and scalable resource.


What is accounts payable software?

If you want a concise definition, it’s a financial tool that limits invoicing costs and saves time.

But one sentence can’t paint the entire picture.

From procurement to payment, invoicing is an expensive, time-consuming burden. As a company grows, this burden grows with it, which can lead to trouble if a company isn’t prepared. Outgrown invoicing processes will drain valuable resources. Costs will continue to rise. Process inefficiencies will cause delays and lead to strained supplier relationships. It can get ugly.

Invoicing shouldn’t cause this many problems.

The solution is accounts payable software, which helps manage high volumes of invoices and financial transactions between companies and their suppliers. It’s a predictable solution to common accounts payable inefficiencies. No more racking up unnecessary costs and burning through critical resources.

Accounts payable software will vary from program to program, but it generally has the following features:

  • Customizable workflows
  • High-volume invoice processing
  • Document capture and imaging
  • Single data repository
  • Multi-level approval workflow
  • Reporting analysis

The end result is clean. It ensures a frictionless, transparent relationship with key vendors and suppliers. It eases the lives of the accounting team and enables companies to scale without risk of payable-related interruption. Plus, it frees up resources that can be allocated towards value-add objectives.

How is accounts payable software different from an accounting system?

If accounts payable software is a tool, accounting software is a tool belt.

Accounting software is a bundle of financial management programs with several functions. Although it depends on the platform, accounting software usually has the following features:

  • Core accounting
  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Payroll
  • Inventory management
  • Fixed asset

Accounting software, such as FreshBooks, consolidates these activities into one platform. For instance, the FreshBooks platform consists of invoicing, expense tracking, time tracking, and reporting. Electronic invoicing is only one piece, not the whole puzzle.

Yes, accounts payable is a component of most accounting system solutions. But most of them lack dynamic AP automation capabilities. Instead, accounting systems partner and integrate with accounts payable specific solutions (like OneDataSource).

How is accounts payable software related to ERPs?

But there’s another layer to consider – Enterprise Resource Plans (ERPs). ERPs offer broader business solutions, addressing pain points in multiple business segments. That can include human resources, supply chain management, procurement – and accounting.

If accounts payable software is a tool and accounting software is a tool belt, an ERP is a toolbox.

So, what’s the difference?

To summarize: accounts payable software concentrates on optimizing accounts payable alone, while accounting software is a general platform for financial needs (AR, AP, payroll, etc.).

ERP systems link a multitude of business processes, allowing data to flow across an entire organization. However, ERPs typically don’t assist with the implementation or provide ongoing support. They leave that to the end-user. As a result, companies turn to outside experts to install and/or maintain the system.

In most cases, accounting software solutions (including ERPs) don’t offer the same level of AP automation. That’s where accounts payable software comes into play. It integrates into an accounting software module to streamline invoicing needs. As a result, companies have lower costs and improved resource allocation.

Jim Bodenstedt, President and CEO of MUY! Companies, has been impressed by onePAY’s processing power and accuracy: “We used to hand key in tens of thousands of invoices and now they’re done electronically. So, our rate of accuracy is greater than 99%.”

Is an accounts payable solution right for me?

That depends, does your company use electronic invoicing or does it still rely on manual invoicing? If it’s still manual, then you need to consider automating your accounts payable operations.


This isn’t one of those “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” situations. Manual invoicing processes are tedious and time-consuming. It’s an outdated approach with too many steps that require unnecessary labor. In 100 hours, an accounting team can process roughly 1,000 invoices. Meanwhile, AP automation can process the same load of invoices in only 10 hours. That’s a fraction of the time for a fraction of the cost.

Time and labor are precious resources. Using these resources on manual data entry and process management is wasteful.

That’s why we created onePAY, our automated accounts payable software solution.

First, we configure onePAY to match your business’s needs. Then we layer in automation and machine learning to streamline your accounts payable process. From there, your tedious accounts payable tasks are no longer a problem.

No more time-demanding manual invoicing – onePAY can process thousands of invoices in minimal time. No more cumbersome processes – onePAY let’s you take command of your AP with customizable workflows.

In less than 60 days, onePAY can transform your accounts payable department, turning it into a strategic advantage.

Don’t just take it from us – our customers agree.

Jim Bodenstedt, President and CEO of MUY! Companies, has been impressed by onePAY’s processing power and accuracy: “We used to hand key in tens of thousands of invoices and now they’re done electronically. So, our rate of accuracy is greater than 99%.”

In addition, MUY! has been able to optimize its accounts payable department and allocate precious resources elsewhere. Jim concluded, “We’ve gone from needing around 15 accounts payable people to three. It’s three people that could potentially make mistakes, not 15. So, take the multiple of human error down. But now it’s all done electronically, so the mistakes are really non-existent.”

Companies of all shapes and sizes have some form of accounts payable. It may be a cost center, but it’s an integral cog in your business machine. If you want to scale your business, improve your bottom line, and maximize your valuable resources, accounts payable software can be the solution you’re looking for.

If you’d like to learn more about our QSR-specific technology solutions, visit the links below or drop us an email! We’d love to hear from you.



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