In general, Accounts Payable automation (AP Automation) helps automate your manual offline invoice approval process, but when combined with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence it becomes even more powerful. At Stampli, we use Machine Learning to learn the way your organization does accounting – and the more you use it the smarter it becomes. It learns how you assign your GL-codes to assist in faster data entry; it learns who needs to be involved in your approval process to get the right people involved from the get-go and recognizes patterns to help identify potential fraud risk.
Keep reading to learn more about how Stampli’s Machine Learning can create a smarter AP workflow for your organization.
Speeding Data Entry with Accounts Payable Automation
In the standard AP workflow, the speed at which an invoice gets entered into the system depends on the workload of the employees assigned to the task. With Accounts Payable automation software data intake is a nonmanual process. At Stampli, as soon as we receive invoices electronically through a company’s specialized email address, our Machine Learning extracts the data and inputs the codes into the appropriate fields for you. Unlike outsourced AP services which take days to turn invoices around, Stampli gives you instant access to your invoice data. This ensures timely processing.
The standard data entry process, albeit effective, is prone to human errors – costing organizations valuable time correcting errors. Our invoice automation learns your organizations’ unique patterns and how you code to help combat this problem. Our Machine Learning bot, Billy, will suggest the specific data in the appropriate fields. Your AP team is always in control, with the ability to change anything before it is submitted. We can also create a link to the corresponding purchase order from the company’s purchasing system. As your organization changes, Stampli learns these changes and applies them for future similar invoices.
Enhanced Verification and Fraud Detection
Fraud is a common problem that can be difficult to mitigate without integrating Accounts Payable automation software into the workflow. As invoices arrive, employees must determine the validity of each document. Most AP personnel are properly trained to spot potential issues that could indicate fraud. However, AI is much better suited to recognize patterns that even the most trained eye could miss.
With Artificial Intelligence (AI), Stampli reviews the information on the bill, such as company name, invoice number and amount – to determine if it is a duplicate invoice. Our AI can also use a vendor’s historic invoice data to help AP spot signs of inflated or erroneous invoices. If, for example, a vendor invoice is off compared to previous totals, Stampli summarizes and makes previous invoices easily accessible.
What makes Stampli such a valuable tool in fraud mitigation is that it can help spot even the smallest details that might indicate signs of a phony invoice. Things such as a change to the vendor’s phone number or address might be difficult to detect during a manual review. By using AI to recognize pattern changes like this, companies can be more confident in knowing that each invoice has received the proper review necessary to minimize their exposure.
AP Automation Software Supports Intelligent Workflow
Without AP automation software, invoices are prone to a cycle that could cause delays in processing. In the traditional workflow, invoices float from person-to-person while waiting on the necessary review and approvals. This lack of control and accountability often leads to processing invoices late or worse, not processing them at all because they’ve somehow gotten lost in the process.
Newer, automated workflows available with Accounts Payable automation software helps ensure all invoices follow the appropriate channels in a timely fashion. As soon as the invoice arrives, our AI analyzes and suggests the necessary approver based on previous actions taken with similar invoices. AP staff can then review and accept the suggestions for approvers. As it moves down the approval path, employees can add additional parties needed to approve if their process has changed.
Those assigned to the invoice receive an email notification alerting them that their approval is required. Once the reviewer logs into the system, they can view a list of items in their queue and approve or request further information.
Companies that use third-party financial systems such as Oracle NetSuite or Intuit QuickBooks are often faced with the challenge of managing data and processes between systems. Our Accounts Payable solution solves this problem by helping automate the flow of information between Stampli and these systems. For example, Stampli automatically sends updates on invoices directly to these third-party systems and vice versa. Integrating our system into the current workflow helps minimize data entry between systems.
As we mentioned above, our AI helps in identifying all the approvers that need to be involved based on previous invoices. That’s only half the battle. Approvers need to communicate with others in the organization to obtain the answers they need to confidently provide an approval. Communicating about an invoice is often a process that stalls the workflow as employees work to track down answers. This process for many companies will entail phone calls, long email threads and sometimes word of mouth to deliver the information. It is a lengthy process that often results in miscommunication and invoices that miss payment deadlines.
Stampli’s Accounts Payable solution minimizes these issues and provides a centralized invoice communications platform for improved AP collaboration. All conversations happen on top of the invoice. If an employee has questions regarding a bill, they can request that information directly from the invoice. The person receiving the request can log into the system and provide their input directly in the system – and with the answer logged on top of the invoice. Employees can also request information from vendors in the same manner. Thus, Stampli becomes the record for all communications regarding any invoice.
Centralizing communications in this manner enhances collaboration between all parties involved in the AP process. Employees can get the information they need quickly without having to track it down through backchannels. Our Accounts Payable automation software also creates a level of transparency which keeps everyone informed. Ultimately, Stampli fosters an environment of collaboration that keeps invoices moving through the process by minimizing delays.
Invoice Automation Allows for Detailed Reporting
Accounts Payable automation software is instrumental in helping business leaders manage the company’s cash flow. We provide a variety of reports that provide companies the information they need to make appropriate business decisions. Custom reports can be easily created to gain insights into the efficiencies and bottlenecks of AP processing workflows.
Our Accounts Payable solution helps companies automate their AP workflow for a faster and more controlled invoice approval process. By providing an electronic intake process, we help reduce the likelihood of data entry errors and exposure to fraud. Our Artificial Intelligence bot, Billy, further strengthens the process through workflow automation and provides a collaboration hub which is vital to getting invoices approved in a timely fashion. Click here to read success stories from other Stampli users or contact one of our Accounts Payable pros to see how to get started today.