How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Can Assist Accountancy Teams With Invoicing & Processes

The ever busy Accounts division of any business is essential to keeping things running smoothly but it is also one of the most overlooked business areas when it comes to modernizing.

Within any accountancy team, accounts payable and receivable keep the money flowing in the right directions and to and from the right people. When a business looks to scale up and prepare for bigger business, these areas are sometimes dismissed on the assumption that there is no room for improvement. This assumption leads to a missed opportunity for streamlining accounting procedures with artificial intelligence (AI) upgrades.

 

AI For Fraud Detection

 According to Pricenomics, online fraud in the US is estimated at around $32 billion per year.  Online scammers are becoming increasingly effective at conning businesses – small and large – out of money. Even tech giants like Google and Facebook have fallen victim to this type of fraud, losing 100’s of millions to one fraudster alone in 2017.

You could be of the mind that a fake invoice would be easy to spot, but a busy business is prone to human error. Fake invoices are sophisticated and can easily slip through the net of a standard Accounts Payable process. They have even been known to disguise themselves as legitimate suppliers. To avoid slowing down the accounts team as they triple check every invoice and bank account, AI can assist in the verification process. AI systems can learn from a company’s accounts team what to look out for and can even check bank details automatically before allowing payment to transfer.

“AI in AP can be an extra wall of security and a helping hand for a busy team,” says,  Will Donald an AI expert at Revieweal and OXEssays. “More companies are engaging with AI so they can focus on other areas of business and automate recurring tasks like payment.”

 

AI For Smoother Accounting Processes

 The day to day life of an Accounts Department is one of repetition and detail. One of the bugbears of any accounts team is chasing payment for invoices and setting up new suppliers on antiquated accounts systems. Step in AI to help with time-saving and automated follow-ups.

With AI, account departments can implement automated processes that require little or no input from them at all. Invoices reminders and remittance can be set up to run on a set schedule and reduce late fees and the need for accounting staff to call and chase payment in person.

Equally useful, when invoices are received by the accounts team, AI can be taught to look for and recognize specific details. This includes the ability to recognize supplier branding and to run through a check-list of necessary details like tax details, payment details, and purchase order numbers. If any are noticed to be missing then an automated email can be issued requesting that corrections be made.

 

AI For Reconciliation

 Another area where AI will benefit accounting is in payment reconciliation. The weekly or monthly task of checking payments against invoices and bank statements is something that can be learned by AI.  AI technology is a technology that learns and evolves systems based on new information. This means that it can take in the complete details of a client’s invoicing history and understand what is needed to help reconcile that client’s invoices and payments going forward. This will help with discrepancies in payments received that can be flagged for further investigation immediately rather than discovered at a  later date when it is harder to detect.

 

Will AI Replace Accountancy Teams?

Lastly, an important note, AI in accountancy will not mean a loss of jobs but will mean a change in jobs and processes. “There is a genuine fear with AI that it will lead to job losses. The smartest use of AI is in partnership with humans,” says, Eve Santos a fintech blogger at State Of Writing and UKWritings. “Having the mundane and repetitive tasks looked after by ‘robots’ means freeing up brilliant minds for new and complex projects”. There is an opportunity now for accountancy professionals to upskill and look at how they can become an integral part of introducing and managing AI in the workplace.

 

Emily Henry is a finance writer at Best Essay Services and Simplegrad who also offers local consultancy services to businesses considering introducing AI to their accounting departments. Emily is also a blogger at Assignment Services.

 

 

 

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