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Using AI to Automate AP

SAP Concur Team |

There are a lot of people who may still believe that artificial intelligence (AI) is something that belongs in the future. Thankfully, we’re not quite at the point where robots are planning to take over the world, but there are many ways AI can help the smooth running of your business and make a positive impact right now.

As we soar through 2021, it’s more important than ever for your business to be fully operational from anywhere. One area where costly mishaps can occur, if you aren’t streamlined and automated, is within your AP process. It’s crucial to get this right in order to keep your business running efficiently and save money in the process.


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Use AI to Streamline Your Invoice Process

With a manual AP process, invoices are handled by multiple people within an organisation before they finally reach the finance team for payment. Not only can this slow things down, but it can lead to invoices slipping through the cracks, causing a major headache for your AP team and potentially costly problems when month end rolls around.

With the average cost to manually process a single supplier invoice sitting at £9, it’s imperative to find ways to streamline this costly process. AI can achieve this by capturing and uploading invoices to your spend management platform automatically, whether they are on paper or electronic. It can then provide you with a dashboard showing a clear view of your AP function in one place. This easy-to-use solution gives you greater visibility over which invoices need to be paid, when they need to be paid by and who the money needs to go to, as well as more detailed line items that may be useful.


Have Peace-of-Mind at Every Stage with Automated Processing

Collecting invoices, especially paper ones, throughout the last 15 months has proven difficult for some companies; with tales of high-level execs acting as a post person and personally hand delivering invoices to AP teams being common place. So it’s no surprise that broken lines of communication between teams has meant that fraudulent activity is at an all-time high.

Michael Benn, an SAP Concur AP Specialist explained in his webinar, How to Automate Capture, Process & Pay a scary stat we’ve seen recently is that the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) estimated the average business loses 5% of top line revenue to fraud. Imagine how much money your marketing or sales team would have to spend to generate an extra 5% of revenue this year.”

By using AI to automate your invoice process, you don’t have to worry about human error when manually inputting data points. Solutions like Concur Invoice feed the invoice data into all the correct fields and flag up any potential issues or errors for closer inspection. Businesses using this solution have reported seeing an 18% increase in policy compliance.


Save Your Business Valuable Time

Spending time wisely and making sure your employees are happy is at the top of most business agendas. But without automating your invoice process, your AP team are still inputting important data manually. With the average supplier invoice having around 70 data points that need to be captured, if you roll this across the average 500 invoices received per month, we’re talking 35,000 data points that someone in AP is currently having to manually enter or validate.

Even before the challenges of hybrid working, approval processes for invoices could take longer than expected. From chasing for approvals to desk dropping for signatures, there are many factors that can hold things up which don’t look set to improve as we move through 2021. However, with the use of AI, your AP approver will automatically be alerted to which invoices still need approval regardless of where they are. And if using the Concur mobile app can be approved at the touch of a button on the go. On top of this, if your business is already using Concur Expense, no retraining will be needed as the process is the same as when submitting and approving expenses.


AI Gives You the Confidence to Scale

Whether you’re planning to grow in the future, or you’ve seen your business boom over the past year, it’s important to make sure your company can keep up with the workload and manage what’s being spent. Making sure that your workforce doesn’t feel too much added pressure can be difficult when your business is doing really well, but by using AI, you can let them enjoy your business’ success.

With 38% of SMBs believing they will go out of business if they don’t adapt to new technologies, it’s important to find a solution that will be there for the long run.

Whether you are processing 50 invoices one month and 1000 the next, there is no limit to the number of invoices the solution can process per month. Not only does this mean you can grow without fears of employee burnout, but you can make plans for the future without having to worry about how the workload will be handled.     


Find Out How AI Can Transform Your Business

With most businesses embracing technology to help simplify workflow processes, it’s time to see how AI can give you the ability to scale and adopt hybrid working models to improve employee satisfaction – companies using Concur Invoice saw an improvement of 46% in overall staff productivity.

AI is becoming commonplace and helping more functions across the business perform more efficiently. If you want to find out more about how AI can enhance your processes, take a look at our latest report How AI and ML Automation Solutions Solve Business Problems.

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