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How an Accounts Payable System with Self-learning Capability Transform Invoice Payment Processing Cycle?

Published on 18 February 2021
Accounts Payable Automation Systems
Chris Couch
Chris Couch
Vice President and General Manager

Chris Couch is Vice President and General Manager, Cloud Solutions at Applexus. He has over 25 years of experience in Strategic Consulting, Sales and Marketing, and Business Transformation Leadership working with and for leading Consumer Industry companies. A consummate business leader, Chris has an innate understanding of both business and technology, with the leverage of technology acting as catalyst to serve the needs of the business.

Chris focuses on building businesses and achieving sales goals by forging tightly aligned go-to-market strategies focused on delivering innovation and value to customers. He is skilled at leading teams to deliver business unit results through effective Talent Acquisition and Development, Product & Service Marketing, and Sales and Account Management.

Automation has already taken businesses' financial reconciliation processes by storm. Simplifying and streamlining the monotonous procedures across the accounts payable lifecycle, automation technology has changed the way businesses perform their cash flow. It has helped companies to get better visibility over financial processes, management, and resource utilization. Also, automation reduces costs, errors, and processing times; and enables the better use of staff time. But, automation usually can’t make use of the valuable data to improve the performance anyway.

However, when machine learning and artificial intelligence joins hands with automation technology, the whole system together turns out to be a gamechanger for all industries. It offers self-learning capability to enterprises' accounts payable systems and equips the business systems to streamline the process with almost zero human intervention.
There is more to learn about how accounts payable systems with self-learning capability transform the invoice payment processing cycle.

What are static automated accounts payable?

In the accounts payable cycle, automation means the transition from manual data entry to automated data entry, disoriented workflow to streamlined workflow, partial visibility to end-to-end visibility, stretched process time to faster process time. Moreover, automation has eliminated all the possible human intervention from the accounts payable process and improves the invoice payment process cycle efficiency.

However, as businesses scaled their landscapes and witnessed a noticeable surge in invoice volume, channels, and patterns, static automation solutions couldn't alone effectively handle the process. Enterprises with fluctuating and multi-pattern invoice inflow are bogging down their efficiency in precise invoice matching, exception handling, and multi-tier invoice approval turnaround time. Static accounts payable solutions are not at all advanced to scale up as per the business requirements. It fits only for enterprises with a steady workflow.

How automated accounts payable systems with self-learning capability are different?

The crux of an accounts payable solution with self-learning capability is its machine learning algorithms. This algorithm analyzes the data flowing in from the invoices and leverage it to make the process faster and accurate. This tech-driven automation process is also dubbed as hyper-automation where AI, ML, RPA, and Data combine to work together.
Extracting the structured and unstructured data intelligently from the invoices is the key differentiating factor of AI-powered automated accounts payable system with the static automated invoice processing system.

An example of how automation, data, and machine learning can work together in accounts payable automation lies is 3-way invoice matching. Given a set of rules in AI, the intelligent software system will successfully match invoices to receipts and purchase orders, freeing up plenty of AP team resources.

An intelligent accounts payable system use OCR technology to capture the text, but a static automation solution captures the key value-pairs and tables based on the templates. So, an AI-powered automation solution can quickly grasp how the business is processing invoices. Also, its self-learning capability identifies the patterns and auto-apply the rules for the future workflow.

Accounts payable automation systems

Besides, the system will identify the type of invoice with the vendor info, keywords, and historical patterns and remove the mundane process steps with AI. Then, the ability to automatically and accurately recognize duplicate invoices and detect any streaks of fraud stands this sort of system out in the market.

The advanced integration possibilities with enterprise ERP systems are an additional feature that could significantly improve the efficiency of the enterprise vendor invoice payment management process leveraging data. The system will validate the data by machine learning models to ensure compliance. Subsequently, intelligent accounts payable system can significantly enhance the invoice payment processing cycle's speed and continuously improve the process efficiency.

Applications of AI and ML in Accounts Payable Automation

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have a lot to do with automated invoice processing. Working together, these technologies can synergize the accounts payable process and quadruple the efficiency. Some of the remarkable applications are:

  • Automated identification and extraction of required documents from invoices: Invoices can be received along with contracts, credit notes, or reminders. With artificial intelligence and machine learning models, the systems can be trained to extract the most relevant data with the right context and classify them.
  • Intelligent forecasting of business expenses and revenue: AI-based accounts payable systems equip the business to forecast and plan finance cycles. Analyzing the balance sheet data and payment cycle, automated accounts payable system provides an accurate report of the process.
  • Intelligent Fraud Detection: Fraudulent invoices in the form of billing schemes, fraud invoices, check tampering, fraud reimbursements, double claims were a growing threat in the accounts payable process. However, AI-powered accounts payable solutions with self-learning capabilities could analyze invoices' non-standard behavior and identify fraud instantly and flag it.
  • Intelligent error detection: With the induced intelligence, intelligent invoice payment processing catch invoice error such as duplicate data, misplaced data, lost data fields, and much more.

How to choose your automated invoice processing solution?

All businesses are unique in their operation and mode of financial management. And each organization approach accounts payable differently. So it is essential to figure out your ideal automated accounts payable solution based on your business's needs.

Conjuring an outline is the primary step before implementing an intelligent automated accounts payable solution for your business. Plus, pay attention to how easy the team can handle the software and how well it integrates with your business ERP systems. Likewise, consider solutions that provide extended visibility across the process and support service with maintenance.

A fully integrated and automated invoice processing solution like Applexus InSITE can handle the full-cycle accounts payable process without any human support. Such solutions provide the provision to set up your kind of business rules, advanced security, guided configuration, and additional support as well. However, there are partially integrated, and automated solutions are also available. Based on the business proposition for the financial processes, companies can choose the most suitable solution.

However, automated invoice payment processing solutions that continually improve financial practices are the most preferred. That means accounts payable solutions with self-learning capability that can scale as the accounts payable cycles gets high workload and get trained to improve the process comprehensively are the ideal one for any business. Automated accounts payable solutions such as Applexus InSITE are similar software that continuously learns and helps companies upscale their invoice payment process cycle using AI and ML.

 

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