Accounts Payable processes are widely known to be tedious, manual, and time-consuming. AP teams are also interested in minimizing errors and fraudulent activities. These processes given their manual nature also require significant amounts of collaboration. However, these processes don’t get the appropriate amount of attention that is needed despite being one of the important activities in the enterprise.
Taking an example, once the invoice arrives, it is transferred from person-to-person, system to system, with a lot of manual activities in between that involve reconciliation, validation, collaboration, and manual entry. This makes the company prone to the risk of making payouts on such orders if there is no proper verification on the said invoice. However big the enterprise is, a manual-driven AP process would always run on a higher probability of risk.
Accounts Payable Invoice Automation eliminates such bottlenecks and challenges. AP Automation enables the function with a single point of ingestion for all the invoices. It enables seamless collaboration between the AP teams and departments with a unified automated system in place. Each AP team member can examine, verify, and comment on the details of the invoices. The approvals process gets automated as well. Automated AP Systems can identify fraudulent invoices before payouts and flag them before approvals. Thus, the payouts happen only on those invoices that received approvals post necessary verification and validation. The introduction of Artificial Intelligence into the system empowers the AP function and eliminates manual-driven and time-consuming processes.
What is AI and how does it fit into Accounts Payable?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is known as the technology that almost enacts and performs as humans do in the same environment. AI enables software to learn and adapt in the same way as humans. Software driven by AI can process huge amounts of information, make accurate decisions based on analyzed data and be dynamic under any given scenario.
AI-powered AP Automation software uses the power of AI to minimize manual processing errors and streamlines the invoice processing workflow. An AI-powered AP Invoice automation software extracts the data from documents with highest accuracy thus eliminating the need for humans to touch the documents. Traditional OCR-based offerings only get you 60-70% extraction accuracy while an AI-powered software should give you an accuracy of up to 99.5% accuracy. Such software helps in creating an error-free review and validation setup which saves a lot of time for the function compared to the manual-driven AP processes. Ingestion to the system can happen from a variety of sources. AI technology can help in extracting the correct data and populating the fields into the ERP system. The AI technology classifies and extracts the invoices, passes through supporting (non-invoice) documents into the ERP system, validates the extracted data from invoices against business rules, flags fraudulent invoices, reconciles the data with data extracted from ERP and once the validation is done it creates a record in the ERP system. All this helps boost productivity tremendously.
Does AI-enabled Accounts Payable Software eliminate Humans?
The goal of AP Automation is not to replace the employees but to eliminate labor-intensive, time-consuming processes involved in accounts payable functions. By eliminating such manual and tedious laborious tasks, the AP Automation software helps the employees to be more efficient in their work and turbocharges productivity. They can be at last freed from repetitive, manual tasks and focus on strategic initiatives.
On a given day, AI-powered AP Automation technology does wonders for the AP functions and helps simplify their tasks. The intelligent automation platform performs with very high accuracy and captures real-time invoice data and auto-populates the needed fields in the ERP system. It eliminates manual intervention of employees for the same process and allows the AP teams to directly review the invoices filed into the systems automatically.
Invoice Processing Automation with AI can help in processing large quantities of invoices in a very short time which enables the process to be completed within seconds. Thus, enterprises can now make timely payments and avail of early payment discounts. All of this adds up to saving more on the operational cost of the company. To compare this with manual processes, the AI enables an automated system to eradicate manual data entry errors and safeguards bill processing.
AI in Accounts Payable fosters collaboration
An AI-enabled automation platform for AP Invoice processing provides a transparent form of channel for communication amongst the responsible authorities and stakeholders. It eliminates the need for making phone calls or long email threads that takes up lot of time involved in the process usually. With this technology, the AP function can push themselves into the system if they have any comments or feedback against invoices and other related documents. They can raise queries related to the invoices for an audit trail as well. All of this makes a strong and reliable accountability system for the department.
Two-way and Three-way matching gets simplified with the AI-enabled AP Automation platform as well. The platform can help you request approval from the respective stakeholder that created the PO to ensure smooth payment on the delivered item.
AI-driven AP Automation software can seamlessly integrate with ERP systems such as Oracle NetSuite, Oracle EBS, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, and others to carry out the smooth filling of the documents. This enables the department to include other stakeholders in the process even if they use different tools channeling a single source of data for reference.
AI in Accounts Payable helps detect and prevent AP Fraud
To be honest, companies are at a higher risk of AP fraud or fraudulent transactions currently that are not utilizing the power of AI-driven Intelligent Accounts Payable Automation Software. Companies specifically larger enterprises do not have the time and resources to validate and conduct error-free processes physically. Whereas AI-driven software takes the front seat and helps in detecting and preventing fraud.
To talk a bit about the setup, each invoice is analyzed by the intelligent system against the verified data on the form. The system raises an alarm or spots a red flag as soon as there is an error detected. For example, the intelligent system can check whether this is a new vendor or an existing vendor in the RP system. Another example could be that of the system raising a red flag in case of a duplicate invoice that has already been processed earlier. Whether a case of multiple invoices by the same vendor or inflated invoices, the system can notify the appropriate stakeholder for further review.
Artificial Intelligence makes the complete Accounts Payable highly value-added because of the speed and accuracy it enables in the AP Invoice automation offering.
Kanverse AI-powered Accounts Payable Invoice Automation digitizes document processing for enterprises from ingestion, classification, extraction, and validation to filing. Extract data from a wide gamut of documents with up to 99.5% accuracy using its multi-stage AI engine. Say goodbye to manual entry, reduce cycle time to seconds, optimize cost by up to 80%, minimize human error, and turbocharge the productivity of your team.
Schedule a demo with us today to find out more.
About the Author
Himanshu Naidu, Product Marketing, Kanverse.ai