Order.co vs. Airbase: Features and Differentiators

When considering Airbase alternatives, mid-market companies should look beyond standard spend controls for more advanced features. See how Order.co compares.
Written by:  Bridey Joyce
Published:  December 14, 2023
reviewing software solutions

Spend management software helps businesses track and manage spending, budgeting, and procurement activities. It enables organizations to monitor and control spending, identify potential savings, and improve cost efficiency. It can also help businesses keep tabs on spending transactions, detect and prevent fraud, and comply with regulatory requirements.

Choosing the right spend management platform greatly improves the outcomes of your accounting and finance functions, and many options are available. Airbase is one such tool for the mid-market. It offers many advanced features, but how does it stack up in an apples-to-apples comparison against Order.co? 

This article provides a balanced overview of the similarities and differences between Airbase and Order.co. Read on to learn more about these spend management tools.

Download the free ebook: The Procurement Strategy Playbook

An Overview of Airbase

Airbase is a spend management and accounts payable automation platform that creates centralized tools for budgeting, tracking expenses, optimizing spend, and improving financial visibility. It provides real-time insights into financial data and enables users to make more informed spending decisions. Airbase includes automated workflows to streamline processes and increase efficiency.

Who is Airbase for?

Like Order.co, Airbase was designed for the mid-market, with scalable features tailored to companies of 200 to 5000 employees. For small businesses with under 200 team members that are just getting into accounts payable process automation, it may offer too many advanced features. Airbase was built to provide a comprehensive view of all spending across organizations. It allows companies to take control of their costs and identify new opportunities for savings. 

Order.co: The top Airbase alternative as rated by Capterra

Airbase and Order.co offer a valuable range of features for mid-market companies, with room to scale as companies grow and evolve. To answer some of the most important questions buyers face when evaluating these two spend management options, we’ve compared their respective features and functionality across several key categories.

Onboarding and implementation

Airbase implementation and onboarding times depend on the complexity of business needs and integrations. Airbase reports that implementation takes about 1 to 2 months for most mid-market customers. This process can take 2 to 3 months for enterprise customers, depending on the internal resources available for implementation. 

Information from Airbase’s blog breaks down their implementation process into five steps: 

  1. Outline goals: Based on business goals (for instance, bill pay, guided procurement, etc.), the Airbase team creates a custom onboarding plan that integrates relevant teams. 
  2. Identify controls: If the business doesn’t already have a spend approval plan, the implementation team will have it draft a plan for custom workflows. 
  3. Onboard vendors: New customers must collate data from all current corporate credit cards and other vendor payment forms. This work must be done in advance of implementation. The company also recommends making a list of vendors that accept card payments.
  4. Set up Airbase: The company calls this a “KYC” or “Know Your Customer” process. It identifies the client’s identity when opening accounts. During this process, the Airbase team also sets up banking connections for money funded through Airbase and performs general ledger (GL) integration. For QuickBooks accounting software customers, Airbase offers direct integration to fetch charts of accounts. Airbase provides detailed instructions to sync GL data if the business isn’t on QB. On-call guidance is available, but the customer drives the GL sync process.
  5. Customize: With data in place and GL migration completed, users can customize and configure their Airbase and begin to learn the system. More information on Airbase’s training materials is available below.

Order.co offers a significantly more streamlined and intuitive setup process courtesy of the implementation team. 

In general, onboarding and implementation take approximately 2 weeks to 2 months, depending on the number of vendors in the organization’s catalog, fulfillment preferences for those vendors, payment processing needs, and integrations. The fastest implementation projects enable customers to begin placing orders in as little as 10 days.

Every Order.co customer has access to a dedicated implementation consultant, account manager, and catalog specialist who guides new clients through onboarding and implements catalog curation. Order.co uses a project management system and weekly check-ins to maintain momentum through the onboarding process. Implementation consultants are available whenever needed. To learn about Order.co implementation with a real-world example, check out this case study on Lucy Therapeutics.

Training

Once the system is up and running, users must learn the ropes to use the platform. The right training materials make this process much easier for everyone. 

Airbase offers users a help center for self-serve training on various platform facets. Users can find “Get Started Guides” in the website's resources section for admin functions, team managers, billing and business owners, etc. Users can also access a prerecorded webinar that instructs on Airbase's major functions and features. The company offers customer service and support through email and chat.

Order.co offers many training resources through its implementation consultant team. Order.co also features monthly product trainings, offers clients an in-depth help center, and provides a dedicated product training manager. Order.co’s help center contains broad and deep informational resources that guide users through procurement and payment workflows. For customers with large user bases, Order.co also offers personalized group training. 

Procurement

Both Airbase and Order.co offer guided procurement features to help stakeholders request and purchase goods. 

Airbase allows users to create a guided procurement experience with compliance enforcement and vendor management workflows. It accomplishes this through a vendor questionnaire that gives relevant approvers the information needed to greenlight the purchase request for approval. This functionality is available through the desktop and mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices.

Order.co also creates guided procurement with dynamic spend controls, approval workflows, and more. The platform offers customers one of the only vendor-agnostic procurement solutions on the market. With Order.co, buyers make self-service purchases through a curated catalog of products from vendors they already know and love. Order.co connects to all current vendors to scrap purchasing data of up to 6 months of spending history. This data assists the team in creating a streamlined buying experience with full budgetary controls. 

One of the defining features of Order.co and the vendor-agnostic approach is that the platform can capture spend data from any vendor, even those with manual order processing methods. To accomplish this, Order.co connects to your online ordering systems through direct integrations, APIs, or online order platforms. The platform can also generate and transmit the PO to the vendor if needed. Order.co can automate PO transmission and capture spend regardless of how that vendor receives purchase orders (online, on the phone, or by email). Order.co facilitates order placement rather than merely capturing spend data.

Tracking orders across many vendors is easy with Order.co. The platform centralizes every purchase, allowing managers to view real-time tracking information from one screen. Order.co also facilitates procurement activities post-sale. The team handles returns, secures credit for missing items, initiates exchanges, and more. Order.co manages these tasks so internal stakeholders are free from making time-consuming calls or working on issue resolution. Order.co’s manual order fulfillment and financial management process is unique in the industry. 

leader happy about strategy
Ebook

The Procurement Strategy Playbook for Modern Businesses

Download the ebook to learn how to modernize your procurement strategy and realize the benefits of tech-enabled procurement.

Download the free ebook

AI enhancements

Most top-tier finance and cloud-based software solutions are integrating artificial intelligence (AI) features into their platforms and services. These enhancements make the accounts payable process easier. Airbase and Order.co are no exception. 

Airbase uses AI technology in its optical character recognition (OCR) data transformation and error checking. The AI features of Airbase create “touchless” expense reporting with sophisticated document scanning, reconciliation, and audit trail checking. Accuracy in these functions improves month-end close activities and reporting. It’s worth noting that Order.co eliminates the need for OCR because PO, invoice, and receipt data are automatically stored in the platform throughout the P2P process.

Order.co’s AI algorithm performs many of the same error reduction checks while improving on these services by helping companies spot savings opportunities. To fortify the supply chain against disruptions and out-of-stock items, Order.co’s AI-enabled procurement functions automatically locate either the exact SKU from another vendor or a similar product from a high-quality vendor and give the user the option to order from these sources automatically. This automated approach to strategic spend ensures competitive pricing and eliminates the cash leaks that sap companies of their growth potential. 

Financing and payment

Order.co and Airbase each offer ways to directly integrate payment sources into their platforms for AP automation and automate invoice processing within the accounting system. Only Order.co goes beyond facilitating settlement to providing financing solutions. 

Order.co provides clients with innovative funding options that increase flexibility and maximize optionality for managing cash flow. Order.co’s Financial Offerings preferred advance offers buyers up to $500,000 in direct buying power for organizations — without expensive fees, interest payments, or delayed credit approval processes. With this unique financing feature, growing businesses access the capital they need to thrive without sacrificing equity or incurring excess expenses. 

Procurement cards

Procurement cards (P-cards) are virtual or physical corporate cards assigned to individual users for making company purchases. They streamline the procurement process by letting users self-serve their purchases without sacrificing data capture, budget compliance, or approval processes. 

Airbase offers physical and virtual purchasing cards as part of its platform services. The company also supports American Express and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) corporate card integration for transaction capture. Both options make it easier for finance to capture spend data and track category and departmental spending against budgets. Traditional procurement cards work similarly to corporate credit cards, with the company paying for transactions at the end of the current billing cycle. 

Order.co improves upon procurement card functionality with universal net terms and consolidation through its virtual card program. Using a virtual card, buyers purchase the items and services they need. Corresponding transaction and spend data get captured like any transaction, and these purchases are eligible for extended net terms like all purchases on the Order.co platform. These purchases can also be processed through consolidated billing, so managing payment is fast and easy no matter the source of spend. Purchases are coded at the time of the transaction, minimizing the lift for AP and bookkeeping teams. 

Virtual card purchasing is a great way to maintain vendor relationships without sacrificing terms or spend visibility. It allows the buyer to handle the transaction in the way that works best, especially for vendors that choose to work through purchase orders or phone-based ordering. 

Pricing

Airbase does not publish its pricing for any of its platform offerings. The company offers three tiers of service structured around headcount.

  • The standard plan is a scalable package for up to 200 employees. There is some flexibility in selecting modules and some special features (although these are not outlined in Airbase’s sales materials). 
  • The premium plan is for companies of 200 to 500 employees. It customarily includes all modules of the Airbase system without forcing mid-tier users into enterprise-tier pricing that may be more than needed.
  • The enterprise tier serves organizations of up to 5,000 employees, encompassing all modules and advanced features within the system. 

Order.co structures its platform and services with a flat monthly fee regardless of seats, business locations, integrations, or order volumes. The only additional costs are fees paid on financial products like extended net terms and capital advances.

Order.co offers a comprehensive platform with advanced sourcing, fulfillment, tracking, support, and manual order handling with competitive, fair pricing for businesses of all sizes.

leader happy about strategy
Ebook

The Procurement Strategy Playbook for Modern Businesses

Download the ebook to learn how to modernize your procurement strategy and realize the benefits of tech-enabled procurement.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Integrations

Airbase is designed to operate well within mid-market and enterprise clients' existing tech stacks. The platform integrates with Sage Intacct, Quickbooks online, Xero, Netsuite, and others. Its card integrations with American Express and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) allow administrators to set non-payroll card spend and approvals through these two banks. In addition to its finance-specific integrations, the platform also integrates with other systems such as most Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) systems, ERP systems, bill payment and processing tools, Slack, Okta, Google, Microsoft, and onelogin. 

Order.co offers native integration with Workday Procurement for customizable procurement spend management and workflows, automating common tasks such as:

  • Vendor onboarding 
  • Catalog curation
  • Order fulfillment
  • Payment

The integration capabilities of Order.co allow every department within an organization to share and verify data without manual work, duplication, errors, or frustration. These integrations also enable them to enhance the user experience of self-serve procurement while creating line-level visibility and automated general ledger (GL) coding for every transaction.

Order.co: Everything you need in spend management software

Order.co is the best all-in-one automation solution, offering AP process automation, AI insights, cash flow management, invoice approval, and innovative financing vehicles to create a spend management system surpassing simple transaction recording and spend reporting. Using the platform, clients empower compliant procurement, save money, streamline processes, fund growth, and capture every transaction for full visibility and better spend decisions.

If you’re ready to see the best spend management and AP automation software in action, schedule a demo of Order.co.

Get started

Schedule a demo to see how Order.co can simplify buying for your business.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.