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Automation of Accounts Payable has been our rallying cry at Outsourced Bookkeeping due to its tangible benefits and guess what? These benefits get better and better every day with the arrival of new technologies which increases the pace and productivity of an accounting process. Take artificial intelligence for example. While automation is the first step, Artificial Intelligence is a giant leap that can completely transform your Accounts Payable process in the coming years.

Having worked as a back-office accounting firm for many small and medium businesses our Accounts Payable experts at Outsourced Bookkeeping we have experienced it first-hand and have reaped significant benefits of AI-powered Accounts Payable process. If you are small and medium business looking for more information on AI-powered Accounts Payable Services then this blog is for you.

Here, we help you understand make you aware of the role Artificial Intelligence can play in improving Accounts Payable and then give you 4 applications of AI that can help you smarten-up and transform your Accounts Payable process. Read on:

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence is a branch of computer science which deals with the building of smart machines that can mimic human intelligence and decision-making to automate the tasks performed by humans.

Machine learning is a subset of AI which helps the machines learn from data i.e. Machine learning is what makes machines learn and take decisions and the total effect demonstrated by the machines is termed AI. In essences, AI makes it possible to blend the efficiency of the machines with human intelligence which can help automate menial and error-prone tasks which finance and accounting are rife with.

Artificial Intelligence in Accounting:

Artificial Intelligence is already well versed in automating repetitive tasks which increases accuracy and efficiency. AI tools and software can automatically upload documents, classify the entries, discover hidden insights, analyses & interprets the data and finds the most optimal path to get the task done. AI doesn’t commit a mistake, never gets and it can be scaled and customized as per your requirements. AI along with Machine Learning can transform your accounting process by helping your accounting resources take better decisions, reduces errors, costs, processing times.

In short, AI and Machine Learning help your accounting department get done more in less time more accurately and efficiently.

How does Artificial intelligence help Accounts Payable Services?

Accounts Payable which is rife with manual data entry, invoice processing and follow-ups is the fertile ground where AI and Machine learning can work their magic. While simple automation of Accounts Payable has already been helping businesses improve the workflow by improving accuracy and processing time, AI and machine learning can further improve these benefits by using machine learning for analysis and cognitive automation. The improved data insights and analysis powered AI can find different ways to save money and reduce costs by accessing early payment discounts and finding optimal ways to improve the accuracy and overall performance of the AP process.

Here are 4 applications of AI that can transform your Accounts Payable process: 

Intelligent OCR with ML – OCR has been the conventional procedure to capture the data from manual invoices, e-mails and PDFs into electronic format. But they are often language or format-dependent, are bugged with errors and require manual intervention to verify and avoid errors, and even to classify the data.

AI with machine learning smartens up this OCR by helping it extract the invoice data from different types of document in whatever language or format they are presented. AI identifies the format and vendors’ profile automatically and removes all the shortcomings of regular ICR by seamlessly integrating them into the automated workflow for better performance.

AI for Repetitive tasks for AP: While OCR does help automate the manual data entry to reduce errors and manual intervention, there are other repetitive tasks in AP that can use the might of AI. AI-powered tools and software can plug these gaps by identifying & extracting data from documents, inputting them into other documents and routing them for further approvals, categorization of documents, linking data for resolution of exceptions and more.

Intelligent Data Validation: Exceptions among invoices, GRNs and Purchase Orders that had to be manually identified by the AP teams can now be easily performed by intelligent data validation using Artificial Intelligence. Advanced Machine learning engines can swiftly perform 3-way, 2-way matching of the data in the invoices to discover new insights from information extracted. AI can be used to resolve exceptions to enable informed and intelligent decision making for data validation, manual intervention is triggered in case of exceptions if needed.

AI in Fraud Detection: Invoice fraud, billing scheme, check tampering, expense reimbursements, kickback schemes and more, Accounts Payable is a fertile ground for financial fraud where AI can be used to eliminate the incidence with good accuracy. AI can identify and analyse the invoice data to discover abnormal behaviour which may be a sign of financial fraud, flags the transaction and informs the concerned authorities. AP specialists can also customize their AP solution to prevent fraudulent transactions based on their specific workflow.

The above 4 applications of AI are most common and are widely reported among a long list of applications, according to our Accounts Payable specialists at Outsourced Bookkeeping. Having provided Outsourced Accounts Payable Services for many small and medium businesses we have leveraged Artificial Intelligence to provide high-performance Accounts Payable Services.

Based on our experience we can attest to the fact that AI-powered Accounts Payable can result in faster resolution cycles, reduce errors and costs, improves financial planning and compliance if you have access to experienced Accounts Payable Services at your service. If you are a small and medium business looking to leverage AI for better AP performances, our Accounts Payable experts at Outsourced Bookkeeping can help you. You can contact us here: https://outsourcedbookeeping.com/