Artificial Intelligence in Accounts Payable: How AI improves AP processing

Larry Robinett
Aug 20, 2019 11:20:00 AM

From Alexa and Siri to text messaging suggestions and bots, artificial intelligence is making its presence known in business and day-to-day lives -- making everything smarter, better, and quicker.

At Ascend, we’re focused on accounting and offering you solutions for your AP processes. Lucky for you, artificial intelligence is also used in accounting and can help you automate and improve your AP processes.

Let’s learn more about what artificial intelligence is and how you can use it to improve your AP processes.

 

What is artificial intelligence?

At its most basic, artificial intelligence is the ability for machines to intelligently perform tasks. Think of smartphones that suggest spelling or text phrasing, or cars that stop, park, and drive themselves.

One aspect of AI is machine learning, where the more a machine performs a particular task, the smarter, better, and quicker it can to perform that task in the future. When it comes to accounting, it’s important to be able to perform tasks smarter, better, and quicker, and that’s one way artificial intelligence helps improve the world of AP processing.

 

How can you use AI to improve AP processing?

Artificial intelligence and machine learning can be used to improve your AP processing. Through special algorithms and optical character recognition (OCR) software, information from companies purchase orders, invoices, and more can be detected and processed much faster than by AP staff.

AI improves AP processing because it automatically sets spending levels, notifies approvers, grants authorizations, and even matches POs. Artificial intelligence also allows invoice to be processed faster with fewer touches, fewer errors, and more early payment discounts, thus improving AP processing.

 

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Acquisition

Classification

Extraction

Validation

Delivery/Archive

Invoices, credit memos, statements, etc.

Documents are classified.

Information is extracted. 

Information is verified through line pairing; learning gained for non-PO invoice validations.

Checks are cut and data archived.

Appropriate documents are entered into the system.

A document-reading engine analyzes content patterns. And determines whether the document is a PO, invoice, remittance, etc.   

PO numbers, vendor names/IDs, invoice totals, etc. are identified from headings, labels or other context. Emails/notifications can be sent to staff when attention is needed for a particular document.

Invoice, PO lines, and receipts are matched via price, quantity, PO number, vendor name, etc. Non-PO invoices are pre-coded using learning methods and other pre-determined settings

Approved invoices are posted for payment/settlement. 

 

 

The benefits of using AI to improve your AP processes

There are a few major benefits of bringing in AI to improve your AP processes. According to the Accounts Payable Procure-to-Pay (APP2P) Network,1 using AI to automate AP processing reduces invoice cycle times, increases early payment discounts, and saves in processing costs.

  • Best-in-class performs process a single invoice within 3.6 days, while most companies take 16.6 days to do so.
  • Nearly 75 percent of early payment discounts are captured.
  • Compared to manual AP operations, highly automated AP operations save more than 85 percent in the average monthly cost to process 5,000 invoices.

These are just a few of the benefits of bringing in AI to improve your AP processes.

 

Consider Ascend Software for your automated AP processing solution

If you’re interested in automating your AP processes with AI, consider a solution from Ascend Software. Established in 1997, Ascend provides business process automation solutions known for their performance and functionality.

A Workday Select Partner, Ascend is distributed worldwide and is prominently used in the areas of healthcare, finance, hospitality, retail, and more. Our SmartTouch Solutions are designed to help you do more with fewer steps and “smarter touches”. They are quick to implement, easy to use and yield a quick ROI, which is why, on average, companies using Ascend decrease invoice processing time by 40 percent.


  1. APP2P Network: 5 Ways Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Accounts Payable

 

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