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What Can AI do for AP?

Transforming your company’s Accounts Payable (AP) operations with modern digital platforms is easier now that the technologies have matured, and there are many benefits to reap from the process. Not only can predictive decision-making save your staff from repetitive work in this area of your operations, but the data analytics produced by a comprehensive management system can give you insights into your costs to help you grow and enhance your bottom line.

The legacy processes in AP include paper invoices coming in, being scanned by hand or computer, and then a human entering a general ledger code for each line item on the invoice. Workers need to have a “contextual understanding” of the reason the invoice was sent, what the product or service contributes to in the overall company, and use their judgement to code the invoice. These are very tedious processes which can benefit from AI solutions.

Other unnecessary costs in AP include fraudulent or duplicate invoices slipping through to payment. Humans have only so much memory capacity, and with a large AP department, multiple people are coding invoices, so duplicates may pass through undetected. AI can pick up on suspicious invoices that workers may miss, flagging possible fraudulent invoices. If the coders are all busily going through stacks of paper, they don’t have time to check more carefully on these “exceptions.” Once the money is paid out, whether double-paying an invoice or sending money to a fraudster, it is unlikely to be recovered.

This tedious process of inputting and coding invoices takes time, meaning that bills will often end up being paid late, incurring late fees. A faster process would avoid this. Plus, there are costs to print and send checks or to send wire payments. Paying the bills in a manual office can end up costing your company extra money.

AI can learn and remember the processes in your AP department, getting a firm grasp of the coding needed, and then applying this knowledge to future invoices. The process can be faster, eliminating late fees. Accurately calling out exceptions for further attention can prevent fraudulent invoices from being paid, resolve other invoice problems, and allow the human agents to deal only with the most unusual problems.

The remarkable thing about AI is that it is not just automating repetitive processes, but it is modeling human behavior to learn the contextual cues needed to create adaptive decision support systems. AI takes the memory of all the different invoice coders and puts it in one place for cross-checking and accuracy. Getting the bills paid faster with more efficient technology can eliminate late payment fees and take advantage of early payment discounts.

Beyond all of this, a smarter system that is running closer to real time can produce reporting that allows you to spot negative trends early so they can be corrected. Using data analytics — and simply having the time to think through current operations — can help to predict future needs, enhance company growth, and streamline costs. The tipping point is here: AI and machine learning platforms will take AP into the next phase of business development.

Scrypt AI has developed a unique end-to-end capability, leveraging Machine Learning, Cloud Analytics and Artificial Intelligence, to completely transform AP into a zero touch process. The Scrypt AI platform provides unprecedented scale and extensibility because there are no human teams behind the software. Furthermore, it is built on top of a modern big data integration system that allows for seamless integration with existing systems of records and eSign solutions, and supports custom business workflows. Welcome to the era of autonomous accounting.