It’s no understatement to say that automation has revolutionized virtually every industry in one way or another. Some more drastically than others, and a few sectors have admittedly been slow to board the digital train. Regardless of where a particular business falls along the automation track, there’s opportunity for its finance operations to experience radical transformation from adopting new, disruptive technologies.
To better understand how finance functions have already evolved through automation, specifically accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP), it’s helpful to compare their metamorphosis to an everyday activity that digital technology has completely changed: driving. Think about how drivers used to navigate to unknown destinations before the advent of GPS.
It wasn’t too long ago that taking a road trip involved unfolding a huge paper map, deciding the best route to take from Point A to Point B and scribbling the directions down. Technology improved things when along came websites where people could pick a route, but the decision was still based on static information. Today, drivers enter a destination into a device and an app identifies the best route based on real-time traffic data and crowdsourced information. As the data changes, the route is adjusted. Rather than being static, it’s dynamic.
The parallels in AR and AP processes are many. Before automation, a human being had to look at each invoice, verify that it was accurate, manually check to see if it had been paid, make the appropriate entries in a ledger and finally write out a check, stuff it in an envelope and mail it. Then came robotic process automation (RPA) which meant some of these manual steps, such as reading numbers off an invoice and entering them into an ERP, were replaced but the process still relied upon information that was static. Although AR and AP teams benefitted from such streamlining, the true value and potential of automation was still to be realized.
Ted Tekippe leads payment strategy and operations for Scrypt, a payables automation platform that has significantly advanced AR and AP automated processes. According to him, “Scrypt is now using dynamic, broader data sets to dramatically improve the effectiveness and extend the usefulness of automation. It pulls in data from related sources and underlying algorithms are adaptive and learn from experience to continually improve process efficiency and reduce the need for human intervention.”
So what are we talking about--in plain English? What makes Scrypt so different from other fintech technologies available today? It comes down to the solution’s ability to act a little more like a human being. Built on years of technology development at MIT exploring solutions for the U.S. Department of Defense, Scrypt developers created solutions that use cognitive automation which is a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Cognitive automation surpasses traditional automation and performs judgment-based decision-making. It tries to figure out what to do by mimicking human thought processes.
Many data processing platforms--even ones that claim to use AI and machine learning--still require human intervention. There’s coding, data entry, templating, writing rules and approvals to be done. And all these tasks need a human to view, interpret and push them through the workflow.
With Scrypt, those tasks are completed within the solution. For example, Scrypt can look at an invoice (with an ability to read both sides of a two-sided document) and determine which one of a client’s general ledger accounts, subsidiaries, or project codes to associate it with. Cognitive automation is remarkably reliable as it learns over time from a number of sources: previous invoices, payment history, and specific contextual information from the invoice itself like reference numbers or client IDs. Most importantly, it actually learns from the outcome resulting in more efficiency and fewer errors in the future.
For some, the leap to using cognitive automation can feel risky. But the real risk is in letting a solution with true practical use and demonstrated value go untapped. Treasury management teams who’ve made the move to leverage this “truly touchless” end-to-end solution experience the following benefits :
All with reduced errors, check templates or upfront annotations.
All without the need for coding, invoice templates or upfront annotations.
Optimize cash flow with electronic payments.
In addition to the above benefits, Scrypt customers find the platform helps strengthen relationships with both their vendors and customers.
Scrypt: Intelligent Automation for Your AR and AP Teams
It’s easy to picture a future where all businesses use intelligent automation for managing their B2B payments. In this scenario, early payment discounts from vendors would be automatically maximized; credit terms, discounts or late payment terms from customers would be automatically adjusted; and the resources saved from removing human interventions would be put to good use somewhere else.
The best way to learn more about how Scrypt can transform your AR and AP functions is to set up a demo. It’s a no pressure time to see Scrypt in action and talk to one of our team members. Schedule yours today.