Artificial Intelligence in AP Automation

Computer on planning board

In the 20th century, mankind began its fascination with artificial intelligence. While originally applied to robots, the idea really took off in the early 2000s by not only creating something to mimic what people could do, but creating something that could do it on its own. Of course, we’re nowhere near close to the AI seen in science fiction and other movies and novels, but technology has been trying to utilize this powerful tool. More recently, many have been striving to adapt this technology into everything we do, including using artificial intelligence in AP automation.

While the idea has been around for a while, the technology and its application are still very new. This is especially true in accounts payable automation where much of its use comes in the form of machine learning and testing stages. Most commonly, accounts payable has seen the application of AI in automated workflows and matching that use software to determine how to route and match invoices based on data in the invoice. While this still requires coming up with a set of rules for the software to follow, machine learning has been successful in using historic data for scenarios of present transactions where it can recognize and mimic patterns. For example, if Wishy Washy Window Washing, Inc. always charges your company $120 for your monthly wash and payment is always sent to 123 Wishy Washy Lane, the next time you get an invoice from Wishy Washy Window Washing, Inc., the system will automatically know to process the invoice for $120 and input the payment address as 123 Wishy Washy Lane.

Despite the fact that our advancements in artificial intelligence in accounts payable invoice automation haven’t come far, it’s something many automation providers are working on utilizing more effectively. iPayables, for example, uses broad applications of artificial intelligence, including machine learning, to reach high levels of straight-through processing with minimal configuration effort. Still, it’s important to remember that it’s not perfected yet and that AP automation solution providers are learning as they go. This doesn’t mean that what’s currently out there doesn’t work, just that there’s still more to learn and more ways to continue improving the use of these new technologies.

So what are you looking for when you say you ask about artificial intelligence in an AP automation solution? Are you asking about it at all? Some companies may be at the forefront of working with automation providers to push the use of AI and machine learning to the next level in their own uses of automation. Other companies may inquire what AI or machine learning is already in place and how it affects the solution. Many companies don’t ask about it at all and may even be indifferent when it gets brought up. That’s where accounts payable is at with artificial intelligence. It’s a great tool that can lead to a large number of benefits, but we’re just scratching the surface. In other words, don’t be too upset if you can’t find an accounts payable automation solution that can predict what invoices you’ll receive next and process them with 100% accuracy.

We believe that we should be learning all the uses of artificial intelligence in AP automation. While not fully developed, it’s another tool that can help simplify the invoice process, while increasing efficiencies and productivity, and saving time and money. While no one has all the answers, if you want to know more about how we apply artificial intelligence and machine learning in our solution, we’re happy to talk about it.

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