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Blackbaud AP Automation '24: 5 Software & 500+ Reviews

Written by
Burak Ceylan
Burak Ceylan
Burak Ceylan
Burak is an Industry Analyst in AIMultiple focused on cloud AI and accounts payable.

He received his Masters' degree in Political Science from Middle East Technical University and currently a phD student at the same university. He has background in researching location-based platforms.
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Blackbaud AP Automation '24: 5 Software  & 500+ ReviewsBlackbaud AP Automation '24: 5 Software  & 500+ Reviews

Blackbaud offers accounting software, namely Financial Edge NXT. The product offers services in accounting such as:

  • Automated bank and credit card reconciliation 
  • Automated budget and report creation
  • Patented expense submission

Although Financial Edge offers a wide range of solutions in the field of accounting, it needs native software add-ons like Pairsoft for AP automation.

In this article, we will explore these native ERP integrations along with key features offered by Blackbaud and take a glance into case studies and reviews.

5 Software for AP automation with Blackbaud

VendorKey FeaturesIntegrationRegions*
PaperSave by PairSoft
-Document management in cloud
-Native integration
-Mobile app
-Blackbaud CRM
-Financial Edge NXT
-Raiser’s Edge NXT
United Kingdom
United States
North America
Avidxchange-Bill payment automation
-PO management
-API integration
Financial Edge NXT
United States
Paymerang Invoice Automation-Automated G/L Posting
-Audit trail
-Invoice automation
Financial Edge NXTUnited States
EzeScan’s Automated Invoice Processing-Check scanning automation
-Automated processing
-Payment Gateway
Financial Edge NXT
SmartPO-Requisition distributions
-Purchase order creation
Financial Edge NXT
United States

*The region and vendor information are extracted from Blackbaud marketplace.1

Blackbaud AP automation overview & features

Automating the accounts payable process is essential for sustaining ongoing finance automation. The 2023 Ardent Partners report indicates that 41% of businesses have prioritized AP automation in their upcoming plans. The report also emphasizes that 71% of AP leaders believe intelligent systems play a pivotal role in enhancing AP efficiency.

Blackbaud, founded in 2000, steps out as one of the well-known solutions in this demanding market. The revenue of the company is currently ~900$ million.2 Blackbaud offers Financial Edge NXT for overall accounting solutions such as:

  • Bank and credit card reconciliation
  • Automated budget and report creation
  • Financial activity and position monitoring
  • Compliance & audit tracking and more.

Financial Edge NXT is a cloud-based financial management software designed for:

  • nonprofit organizations
  • educational institutions
  • and other mission-driven entities. 

It offers features in accounting, reporting, and compliance needs of these organizations. Key functionalities include:

  • fund accounting
  • grant management
  • and financial reporting

Financial Edge NXT offers integration with other software, such as Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge NXT for fundraising. This allows automated data flow between fundraising and financial systems. Another worth-mentioning offerings are: customizable dashboards, and reporting tools.

Native integration add-ons

Sponsored: Native integration add-ons that is built specifically to work within the existing ERP system can enhance the functions of AP automation process. For instance, with Pairsoft, one of the examples of software that offers this integration, you can:

  • establish connection through APIs that will allow you to build a workflow between different SaaS applications
  • track changes on documents
  • export query specific document data to excel
  • scan invoices through your mobile phone with OCR
  • make structured & unstructured searches

A Sample Case: 

The Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, which comprises various Jewish and social service organizations, faced significant challenges in managing paperwork for fundraisers and donations for over 12,000 constituents. To improve efficiency, the organization utilizes another product of Blackbaud: The Financial Edge™ for accounting and The Raiser’s Edge for pledge management, alongside PairSoft for scanning, storage, and archiving. This integration, particularly the adoption of PairSoft two years ago, transformed their office into a nearly paperless environment, significantly saving time and enhancing document accessibility. The implementation of PairSoft has resulted in a 5-hour weekly time saving for employees, additional time savings during audits, reduced need for physical document storage, and overall improved workflow efficiency.3

Financial Edge NXT pricing

For the Financial Edge Nxt, Blackbaud only offers custom pricing.4 Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT offers a demo, but the product does not offer a free trial. According to secondary sources such as Capterra, the pricing of Financial Edge NXT is USD $0.01 per year.5

Financial Edge NXT Pros

Integration: 10+ users praised the integration features of Financial Edge NXT.6

Designed for non-profit: 5+ users praised its design for non-profit organizations. (Figure 1)

Figure 1: Financial Edge NXT review. Source: G2

Financial Edge NXT Cons

Pricey: Few users criticized the product because of high pricing. 7 

Slow: 5+ users pointed out that the customer support can be slow, and the product itself can be buggy in use.8 

Analysis of 5 software

1- PaperSave by PairSoft

PaperSave offers native integration with Blackbaud’s CRM, Financial Edge NXT and Raiser’s Edge NXT.

PaperSave can extend Blackbaud’s AP automation with the following features: 

  • PaperSave as a document management solution allows you to store your documents in a cloud-based environment. The documents stored are automatically compliant; aligned with PCI and HIPPA regulations.
  • PaperSave offers a mobile-app. You can use OCR technology to capture documents through your mobile device.9  
  • Along with Blackbaud’s products, PaperSave offers integration Microsoft solutions such as Outlook and Office. This integration permits direct interaction with documents from your gift records, as well as through PaperSave’s mobile app and web application.
  • PaperSave offers unstructured & structured search. You can search through record values and document contents similar to how you would use a search engine like Google. You can also formulate queries for record information and refine these search results. 

Figure 2. PaperSave User Review. Source: G210  

2-  Avidxchange

The following features offered by Avidxchange can enhance Blackbaud’s AP automation:

  • With Avidxchange, you can use a variety of supplier payments options, including Mastercard. 
  • Avidxchange offers security by generating Positive Pay files for all check payments. You can process payment controls through electronic payment approvals.11  
  • Avidxchange’s AvidSuite has API integrations with Blackbaud. This means that the product can automatically sync the data between Financial Edge NXT and AvidSuite, including GL codes, suppliers, invoices.

Figure 3. A Blackbaud User’s Review on Avidxchange. Source: G212 

3- Paymerang Invoice Automation 

The integration capabilities of Paymerang are as follows:

  • The product offers electronic audit trail
  • Reconciliation is done automatically
  • Automated G/L posting
  • Self-service reporting13 

Figure 4. User Review on Paymerang Blackbaud Integration. Source: 14 

4-EzeScan’s Automated Invoice Processing

EzeScan offers native integration with Blackbaud in AP automation. The following features can enhance AP automation in this integration:

  • EzeScan supports a wide variety of output image formats, such as TIF, text-searchable PDF, and PDF/A. Users can scan and process an unlimited number of invoices.
  • EzeScan’s File Approval Assistant offers a web-based interface for approving and processing documents.. It supports features such as multi-level approval/rejection comments and the addition of GL/Cost Centre coding and other metadata.
  • EzeScan’S servers detect new files and send automated email notifications to workflow users. Users can click the URL in the email, view documents in their web browser and modify them. 15

5- SmartPO

SmartPO’s integration with Blackbaud’s in developing AP focused on PO creation & approval. The features offered are as follows: 

  • You can select Projects, GL Codes, T-Codes, and distribute each requisition line across multiple projects. Additionally, implement custom routing approvals for multi-level decision-making.
  • SmartPO can facilitate the PO creation process in Blackbaud. You can create PO’s from requisitions in a single step. You can also control purchases. Users can optionally access vendor catalogs.16
  • SmartPO detects the mismatches between orders and receipts automatically. The product offers line matching and checks each line for correct pricing and compliance with contracts. Invoices with discrepancies are sent back to suppliers for corrections or adjustments. 

5 things to consider when choosing solutions for Blackbaud AP automation

  • Integration: Check how well the solution integrates with Blackbaud systems. Make sure that it can connect smoothly with existing tools and features used by Blackbaud users.
  • Compliance with business rules: The solution should support the processes already in place for handling purchase orders and other financial documents.
  • Security: Evaluate the security measures of the solution. It should guarantee that data transfers, storage, and access are secure.
  • Functionality: Assess how the solution manages documents, including the creation, storage, and retrieval of purchase orders.
  • User experience: Consider the user interface and usability of the solution.
  • Support: Determine the level of support offered, including training for users and ongoing maintenance and updates.

Financial Edge NXT Case Studies

Community Health Center of Lubbock

Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT is highlighted as a cloud-based financial management tool for the Community Health Center of Lubbock (CHCL), providing significant improvements in financial operations and reporting. The software enabled the CHCL to manage its finances efficiently in securing and managing grants, which constitute over 60% of its operational funding. With dashboards for quick data analysis and the Visual Chart Organizer for accurate grant coding, the software saves time and improves data utilization. The adoption of Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT allowed the finance team to access data remotely, an essential feature during the COVID-19 pandemic, and contributed to a 25% increase in grant funding.17  

Hunter Street Baptist Church

Hunter Street Baptist Church adopted Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT as a nonprofit accounting solution. The software facilitated the streamlining of the church’s procurement processes. Despite a tight deadline caused by their previous vendor’s threat to discontinue service ahead of an impending audit, the church, in collaboration with Blackbaud and third-party partners, successfully transitioned to Financial Edge NXT in just three weeks. The introduction of Expense Management and view-only reporting features within Financial Edge NXT has notably saved time for the church staff, allowing for easier expense submissions by 40 to 50 individuals and enabling non-financial personnel to access reports independently, further demonstrating the software’s impact on improving accountability and efficiency within the church’s operations.18   

Morehead State University Foundation

The Morehead State University Foundation chose Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT for its fund accounting needs due to its ability to integrate seamlessly with their existing systems. This integration has eliminated repetitive data entry and automated manual tasks. The reporting feature of Financial Edge NXT stands out for its ease of use and speed, allowing the creation of comprehensive reports in seconds, a significant improvement from the time-consuming manual processes previously employed. The integration of Financial Edge NXT with Raiser’s Edge NXT also improves donor stewardship by providing transparent and accurate fund information.19   

Further reading

Access Cem's 2 decades of B2B tech experience as a tech consultant, enterprise leader, startup entrepreneur & industry analyst. Leverage insights informing top Fortune 500 every month.
Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Burak Ceylan
Burak is an Industry Analyst in AIMultiple focused on cloud AI and accounts payable. He received his Masters' degree in Political Science from Middle East Technical University and currently a phD student at the same university. He has background in researching location-based platforms.

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