Accounts Payable Can Finally Be Paper-, Error-, and Touch-Free with AI-Powered Automation
Today’s accounts payable (AP) work continues to rely on manual processes and legacy software to manage a high volume of invoices. As a result, the back-office practice is rife with invoicing errors, compliance risks, increased processing costs and slow payments to suppliers.
The latest technological advances, especially in artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing, eliminate these shortcomings, with ease and speed. By introducing automation into the invoicing process, enterprises can realize true digital transformation within AP.
GEP’s new AP automation software is powered by these cutting-edge advances. It enables AP and finance teams to achieve more efficiency than before — by reducing invoicing costs and satisfying supplier needs, quickly and accurately.
In this interview, Dmitriy Lerman, Director of AP Product Management at GEP, explains how GEP SMARTTM AP Automation is a transformational software for accounts payable:
With so many products on the market, why GEP SMART AP Automation? Why now?
Up to 47% of AP organizations want to eliminate paper-based invoices and reduce manual tasks, according to a recent survey by Ardent Partners. It’s clear that AP teams do not want to be bogged down by increased invoice processing costs and operational risks, like duplication and fraud. Then there are organizations trying to leave behind their home-grown AP systems that have outlived their usefulness. Organizations are also on the lookout for latest AP solutions to acquire within their regular contract cycles. But they also face challenges when integrating their legacy ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems to new AP technology.
GEP SMART AP automation software solves these problems through a set of proprietary AI technologies, which make the invoicing process a hassle-free, touchless experience for finance and procurement teams. The software is also tightly and easily integrated with most ERP systems. GEP SMART AP Automation is native to the cloud, which means the software automatically receives new updates with the latest capabilities. This makes the software a cost-effective investment.
Also, in organizations that implement a fully automated solution to their AP process, clerical resources can be reassigned to more productive tasks instead of limiting their work to entering and validating invoices. It will free up AP resources for more strategic and value-adding work.
How does it provide a near touchless AP experience?
A touchless or minimal touch accounts payable environment is all about automated routing, reviews and approvals, without human intervention. It focuses on workflow automation to optimize invoice processing time and cost.
Invoices are created in our software by the supplier or by the buyer (on behalf of the supplier) through our AI-powered optical character recognition (OCR) engine or by direct integration into another ERP system, such as SAP and Oracle.
The software validates the invoices and compares them to relevant documents, including purchase orders and goods receipts. It then routes any discrepancy within the buyers’ organization for a fully automated invoice resolution.
When resolved, the system sends the invoice and all the documents back into the ERP. And all along, it keeps the supplier informed about the status of the invoice.
The software does all of this automatically, with minimal or no human intervention.
Can you tell us about the software’s AI capabilities?
GEP SMART AP Automation is powered by GEP MINERVA™ — our proprietary artificial intelligence and machine learning technology. This means the software does most of the work. The AI replaces manual data entry and rapidly scans and digitizes invoices sent in any format through the OCR module. It then does a multi-way invoice match and creates a verifiable audit trail. This improves accuracy by eliminating processing errors. The AI automates the rejection of bad invoices, detects duplicates and auto-routes invoice mismatches for resolution. It also increases visibility into analytics and helps in decision-making.
Most importantly, GEP MINERVA teaches the AP software to continuously learn and evolve. Through machine learning, the system gets better and better as it processes more and more invoices.
The AI also gives the software the capability to accommodate the many different ways in which AP teams operate in different organizations globally – whether calculating regional taxes or following compliance rules. It tackles all forms of variability.
What makes GEP SMART AP Automation future-proof – as an effective and long-term investment?
The AP automation system is built on the Microsoft Azure cloud. So, it scales with changing business needs. Being cloud-native also means new features become available automatically, so emerging technologies can be seamlessly integrated into it. This makes GEP SMART AP Automation as good today as it will be in the future to handle any complex AP task. The solution enables organizations to continue their long-term digital transformation journey, without continuous investment in upgrades.