Even as the B2B industry marches toward digital invoicing and electronic payments, there are still many erroneous transactions that plague accounts payable (AP) departments. And the ongoing quest to solve these problems via manual auditing prove to be a headache as well. That is where artificial intelligence may hold the key to reducing payment mistakes.
Supply chain management company, APEX Analytix, recently released a new solution that aims to not only automate the AP recovery audit process, but to enhance its capabilities through artificial intelligence and other next-generation technologies according to pymnts.com.
What Issues Are Affecting Accounts Payable?
Frequent mistakes in AP departments lead to overpaying suppliers; sometimes paying them twice. According to Danny Thompson, senior vice president of market and product strategy at APEX Analytix, there are a few common mistakes that contribute to this problem.
1. A single vendor will land on multiple vendor master files.
“Roughly 30% of duplicate payments stems from some sort of vendor master issue, either as a duplicate or some other error associated with the master file,” explains Thompson. When a vendor sends one of these invoices for processing by the AP department, it may get processed against one copy of the vendor master. If that vendor sends another invoice, it could get processed against the other vendor master in the system and get paid twice without anyone catching it.
2. Duplicate invoices aren’t always exact copies of one another.
It’s difficult for an AP department to catch a duplicate invoice because they aren’t always exact copies of each other. Sometimes suppliers set up electronic invoicing but also send a paper invoice. Other times, if not paid by the agreed-upon-date or when a supplier doesn’t see their bill in the system yet, the vendor may send an invoice again. ERP systems have difficulty identifying bills in the system due to invoices having a new date and invoice number.
3. Invoices can live in two ERP systems.
If a company’s systems have recently changed due to upgrades or consolidation, an invoice may live in two ERP systems. This oversight on the back-end could very well trigger duplicate payments.
Artificial Intelligence Can Help
There is much room for improvement and deploying automated tools through machine learning. With artificial intelligence, it can analyze data and help identify overpayments. Sometimes key information is buried in emails and supplier contracts and can’t easily be identified and collected by humans. In these cases, APEX Analytix uses IBM Watson to capture this type of information with ease.
Audits can involve assessing large amounts of data including invoices, supplier contracts, contact information, and other relevant content. More so, this information can span over many years. In this scenario, artificial intelligence shines with its ability to process an enormous amount of data. AP departments must go the extra mile to stop the cycle of costly overpayments. But with machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other sophisticated technologies, the tools are now there to help get them there.
Contact Infintech to Learn More About B2B Payments:
Contact us online or call 1-800-621-8931.