Accounts Payable Automation- The Final Frontier

October 17, 2017

By Mark Brousseau, Analyst and Researcher in Business Process Automation, Brousseau & Associates

Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) sound like the premise of a science fiction movie. But the reality is that they are the transformative technologies accounts payable needs.

Inadequate accounts payable processes and systems result in 27 percent of time spent on waste and activities that could be automated, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reports. Controllers say that accounts payable is the most paper-intensive and labor-intensive finance and administration function.

AI and RPA promise to change all that.

AI and RPA improve efficiency and effectiveness by analyzing unstructured data, such as that from invoices, and identifying patterns and trends from data sets to make faster and better decisions. AI technology also helps improve compliance and risk management by identifying patterns in large data sets that are indicative of fraud or other concerns. And when combined with RPA, AI helps accounts payable departments automate repetitive manual tasks such as capturing and validating data or determining the individual to which a purchase order requisition or invoice must be routed

No wonder that Bill Gates refers to AI as computer science’s “Holy Grail.” Accounts payable practitioners rank AI among the most important technologies to the future of their profession.

But be careful when purchasing an AI or RPA solutions or you may fall victim to repackaged technologies from also-ran vendors. Be on the lookout for AI and RPA solutions that are:

  • Marketed by vendors with limited financial backing or an unsteady technology base
  • Antiquated technologies that have been rebranded as an AI or RPA solution
  • Entirely dependent on reductions in headcount for cost justification
  • Not able to mine all the information they need from your systems to be effective

Don’t miss the opportunity to transform your organization’s accounts payable processes with AI and RPA technologies. Click here to download our complimentary paper on AI and RPA. The paper provides an overview of AI and RPA, and an action plan for selecting the right AI and RPA solution.