Highlights from our CEO’s interview with Accounting Today

Stampli CEO Eyal Feldman recently sat down for an interview with the folks at Accounting Today. The whole interview is interesting, and we encourage you to register and read the whole thing. However, there are a few tidbits that explain what Stampli is all about.

The three principles that underlie Stampli. We love this clear, crisp explanation of the ideas that carry through the whole Stampli experience.

We always tell people that there are three basic principles underlying Stampli. First, all of the workflows orient around the invoice, so that the invoice acts as a communications hub, even for conversations with vendors. Second, AI takes care of the manual AP tasks like coding and routing, but every decision the AI makes is validated by a human. And third, the system is easy for approvers and AP team members alike.

How we deploy without disrupting your ERP. New Stampli team members learn early on this phrase: “Not all APIs are created equal.” We talk about this in reference to our approach to ERP integration. We know that one of the biggest obstacles to deploying accounts payable automation is the perception that you have to rework your ERP, and frankly, most of the other companies in the category do the whole industry no favors with their complex, time-consuming implementations. So it was great to hear how Eyal articulated our approach to ERP integration. 

We aren’t aware of any other AP automation software with a philosophy to build its own ERP integrations from scratch. They hire third-party integrators. As a result, their integrations rarely encompass the full native functionality of the ERPs, and they are beholden to the schedules of their integrators to address customer requests or bug fixes.

We do it all in-house. Our process includes learning how businesses use the ERP both deep and wide — deep, meaning that we understand all the functionality; and wide, meaning we don’t just focus on one type of configuration, but rather we learn to support all possible configurations from the start. Then we dive into the inner workings to ensure the API we’re building supports the ERP’s full functionality, even when there’s no clear and simple solution. And we’re extremely responsive to customer requests.

The difference our hiring strategy makes. We have an internal Slack channel where we share all of the great things customers say about us. It’s great for morale in general to see a constant stream of praise, but one facet of this that stands out in particular is how much our customers call out specific Stampli employees by name. You can understand what was behind this when you read this passage in Eyal’s interview.

What are the biggest challenges for accountants or AP teams that are buying software? 

In our personal experiences, it’s technical support — specifically, when the person on the other end of the conversation has no experience in accounting and doesn’t know your ERP. There’s nothing more frustrating than when you know the software better than your support person does. How are they supposed to help you?

That’s why we carefully choose to hire people specifically with backgrounds in finance and accounts payable. When our customers contact us, they know that they’re speaking to someone who understands their business, their function and especially their ERP.

AP in the age of AI. AI is the topic on everyone’s minds, and Accounting Today is no exception. They asked Eyal if Stampli was experimenting with generative AI, and Eyal pointed out that we’ve been using AI since long before the generative AI craze started. 

Generative AI is kind of a terrifying idea to most CFOs and CPAs for a simple reason: they can’t risk AI hallucinating even a single incorrect decimal point. 

Stampli has incorporated AI in our framework since our early days. But we’ve adhered to a human-in-the-loop model, which ensures every decision made by Billy the Bot, our AI, is validated by a human operator.

Billy’s advanced machine learning algorithms quickly learn your specific coding and routing systems by identifying patterns based on complex data analysis and pattern recognition. But every recommendation Billy makes is clearly labeled for the AP team to verify his work. 

We know we’ve got a well-balanced mix of AI technology and human oversight from our customer feedback. Customers constantly request Billy t-shirts, and in the reviews they post on sites like G2, they thank Billy by name!

However to us, the best part of the interview was when Eyal told the story of the founding of Stampli. Give it a read on Accounting Today!

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