What holds back 
AI adoption in Accounts Payable?

89% of senior financial leaders want to adopt AI. This new study by Stampli and Probolsky Research identifies the concerns that hold them back — and the path to a win/win for the business and AP employees alike.

AI for CFOs Research Report


Stampli and Probolsky Research surveyed senior-level finance managers and Accounts Payable employees in organizations ranging in size from 25-15,000 employees. These findings create a roadmap for CFOs to successfully implement AI in their finance organizations.

There is widespread interest in AI within accounts payable.


Senior financial leaders

Taken together, 89% of CFOs, VPs, directors, and managers of finance indicate that they are very or somewhat interested in AI for AP.

AP team members

68% of AP team members responded that they are very or somewhat interested in AI for AP, which is also high but less pronounced than leadership.

However, there is also concern about a lack of human oversight. Perhaps unsurprisingly, AP team members feel the strongest.


Senior financial leaders




AP team members

CFOs and VPs of Finance are most concerned with privacy and security of data (44%). Their concern over lack of human oversight is secondary (32%).

Directors and finance managers also prioritize privacy and security of data (48%) above a lack of human oversight or decision-making (41%).

A lack of human oversight is the most prominent concern for AP team members (64%), with privacy and security of data coming second (48%).

Top overall concerns of all respondents:


Privacy and security of data


Lack of human oversight or decision-making


False or inaccurate information invented by the AI (aka "hallucination")


Replacing the jobs of employees


Technical learning curve for employees


Dependence on vendors

☝️ This is the key insight for CFOs considering AI in finance. 

One of the most significant fears surrounding AI is the loss of human control. When you’re rolling out AI solutions, success will rely on ensuring that humans remain in charge — and that the entire team knows it.



Overall, 63% would be less hesitant to deploy AI if decisions made by AI had to be approved by a human. Broken down by title:


CFOs & VPs




AP team members

70% of CFOs and VPs of Finance are less hesitant to deploy AI in accounts payable if humans remain in the loop.

Similarly, but slightly less overwhelmingly, 56% of finance directors and managers are more comfortable with AI when humans are in control.

A large portion of the concern AP team members have over AI dissipates when they remain in control. 59% of AP team members agree.

Respondents see a huge range of benefits from AI in AP:


Improving accuracy


Improving processing speeds


Improved fraud detection


Cutting costs


Improving financial system efficiency


Refocusing humans on more valuable tasks

For deeper insights into the promises and roadblocks surrounding AI in Finance

Download the full research memo ↓ 

"We see Billy the Bot as part
of the team."

Two aspects of Stampli's approach to AI have led to widespread
acceptance among AP team members. CFOs should take note.

One example of an AI that has been successfully embraced in finance organizations is Stampli’s Billy the Bot™. Billy performs formerly manual tasks such as capturing information on invoices, allocating costs to the correct cost centers, identifying approval workflows, detecting fraud, and more. 

Our customers see Billy as a team member and embrace it instead of fearing it. This is not an accident: We designed our AI around the two key principles for user acceptance and mutual success.

Principle #1: Keep humans in control

Crucially, Billy the Bot does not  automate human judgment. AP team members validate the AI’s decisions. A little Billy icon is placed next to each field the team member needs to review, reinforcing the fact that humans are always in control.

Principle #2: Make the AI relatable

Our AI has a name and a face. Users see AI as a “who” as opposed to a “what.” This turns AI from something faceless and threatening into a colleague that can be trusted to automate the manual work and free people up for more valuable activity.


See the value of AI in AP Automation

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