July 2, 2021

How To Automate Vendor Bill Payments

by Maddy Osman

Many restaurant owners spend excessive amounts of time managing their accounts payable. Using a manual system to track and pay vendor bills takes up precious time and eats into your profits.

Not to mention, when you pay your bills manually, you’re more likely to make errors or miss payment due dates.

Here’s the good news:

You can automate accounts payable tasks by using an online bill pay service for restaurants.

In this blog post, you’ll learn:

Restaurant accounting challenges: Vendor bills

Benefits of online bill pay service for restaurants

Using Plate IQ’s VendorPay service for vendor bills

Final thoughts: Restaurant bill pay service — Pay vendor bills with Plate IQ

Restaurant accounting challenges: Vendor bills

Bill pay work is a necessary part of keeping your business going, and it can be difficult.

Managing accounts payable comes with several particular challenges. First, in all likelihood, you don’t just have one vendor — you have several. That means managing multiple bills and outgoing payments.

With each vendor, you have a different contract that includes payment terms and whether or not you have a line of vendor credit. On top of that, you need to know which vendors accept credit card payments and which require a bank transfer or a paper check.

Unfortunately, human error is bound to occur with manual accounting. In your vendor bills, small mistakes can result in late fees and hurt your vendor relationships.

Benefits of online bill pay services for restaurants

Using a manual system to pay bills can turn into a huge mess when you have to sift through paper copies of your original vendor bills to find the information you need.

With a bill paying service for restaurants like Plate IQ, you can manage your vendor bills faster and with fewer errors.

Online bill pay service software helps you keep your accounts payables organized. You can find an original vendor bill, purchase order, or invoice number without rifling through a stack of papers.

Keeping all of your documents in one organized place helps you save time on bill payment, so you can focus on tasks that matter more — such as training staff and interacting with customers.

Furthermore, bill payment service software like Plate IQ reduces human error and makes your life easier when tax time comes around. With automated payments, you don’t have to worry about missing another due date or a late payment penalty.

A bill pay service can also help you automate tax reports, making year-end financials a breeze.

Finally, using software to manage your expense account lets you view all outgoing payments and payment history so you can track how much you’re spending.

Using Plate IQ VendorPay to pay vendor bills

Screenshot of Plate IQ VendorPay on mobile and desktop screens

Plate IQ makes online bill payment easy for restaurant operators. You can pay your vendors and schedule payments from anywhere, including your mobile device.

With Plate IQ, you can take full advantage of electronic payments and eliminate the need to track every paper bill.

Keep reading to learn how to do the following with Plate IQ:

  • Make payments
  • View your spending
  • Customize your payment options

Paying vendor bills with Plate IQ

With Plate IQ, you can pay your vendor bills one by one or schedule recurring payments.

When you pay an invoice with Plate IQ, you’ll submit it for approval, and you can check the run history before submitting payments. Plate IQ’s intuitive invoice management system keeps accurate, searchable records of all your invoices, down to each line item.

While most online bill pay service companies let you upload all of your invoices, only Plate IQ offers vendor connections, letting you receive electronic invoices and bills — even from vendors that don’t provide them.

You can choose from several payment options on Plate IQ, including:

If you pay with a paper check, Plate IQ sends the check from your bank account, so you’re able to check your bank statement and see when your vendor cashes it. Checks will be sent to vendors within five to seven business days.

Otherwise, if you want to automate payments to go through a bank transfer, you can use Plate IQ to invite vendors to accept ACH transfers. Plate IQ’s dedicated team of vendor enrollment specialists will notify your vendor and let them upload the vendor bank info and account number required for a transfer.

To do that, fill out the information for your checking account or online banking provider so Plate IQ can make recurring or one-time payments for you.

Mastering spend management with Plate IQ

Another benefit of using an online service to pay your bills is the ability to track your expenses over time. Online records give you a big-picture summary of your spending.

Plate IQ Insights’ spend analysis dashboard

Plate IQ offers several reports to help you manage your cash flow better and optimize your spend.

  • Accounts Payable Aging by Invoice: Track unpaid invoices and categorize them by aging bucket. 
  • Accounts Payable Aging by Vendor: View a summary of amounts due and liabilities for each vendor.
  • Spend Analysis: See where your money is going by viewing your total cost of goods sold (COGS) report broken down into categories such as food, grocery, beverage, and supplies.
  • Item Price History: Monitor the price of a single item by comparing past purchase prices over a custom timeframe.

Accounts payable reports can help you identify areas to save money or improve your payment processes. For example, instead of reacting to late payment notices from vendors, you can proactively schedule payments and monitor your spending activity.

With actionable insights from Plate IQ, you can make smarter spending decisions for your restaurant and keep your cash flow under control.

Customizing Plate IQ to fit your workflow

The menu isn’t the only thing that’s unique about your restaurant. Each restaurant operator has different processes, accounting tools, and levels of approval to manage.

You can customize Plate IQ to integrate with the tools you already use and work with your existing workflow.

Plate IQ integrates with accounting and business software providers such as QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics, and Oracle. You can also connect Plate IQ to restaurant management software.

In addition to integrating with the software you already use, Plate IQ can be customized to reflect your existing accounts payable process.

You can split line items on an invoice and assign them to the correct departments. Once your invoices are all set, you can send them to the manager or owner for approval before payments go out.

Restaurant operators with more complex workflows can use Plate IQ’s Advanced Approval Routing. The advanced options let you customize factors such as vendor, department, invoice amount, and time received.

Pay your vendor bills with Plate IQ

Managing accounts payable for a restaurant can be a headache if you do it manually. However, with an online bill pay service, you can eliminate the paperwork, pay your vendor bills on time, and manage your spending better with high-level insights.

Plate IQ simplifies bill paying by keeping your invoices organized, enabling automatic payments, and adjusting to fit your existing workflow. Explore Plate IQ for restaurants today and discover how you can skip the paperwork and automate bill payment.

Maddy Osman is a writer and entrepreneur who writes about B2B technology at The Blogsmith, a research and content agency. To learn more, visit

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