How Artificial Intelligence Enhancing Accounts Payable

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How Artificial Intelligence Enhancing Accounts Payable

AI has recently influenced accounts payable. Significant progress has been made in finance and procurement processes in the last few years. There has been an enormous movement to automate manual and strategic activities, especially in accounts payable. The push is causing global enterprises to focus and, as a result, implement process improvement projects.

CHANGE IN STRATEGIC OUTLOOK FOR ACCOUNTS PAYABLE

The new competitive landscape appears to be positioning AP at the frontline of driving growth and serving as a tool for strategic foresight. Compared to the old traditional connotations of accounts payable, this streamlines and automates accounts payable procedures, offering better visibility and control over essential financial data.

Companies can remove the manual parts of accounts payable rather than automating them due to the numerous advancements made with process-level improvement. The main objective here is to move faster, reduce errors, and assist the company in scaling rapidly.

The next wave of advancement aims to make AP an autonomous function by leveraging AI technologies. Existing operational automation must be augmented with cognitive automation to generate more measurable and strategic value.

EVOLUTION OF ACCOUNTS PAYABLE AUTOMATION

AP departments throughout companies have long used RPA and OCR technologies. Most of these technologies are used to augment manual AP tasks and are commonly referred to as “AP Automation.”

With the transforming level of global business, these technologies have become outdated. The goal of next-generation Artificial Intelligence is to implement cognitive automation while reducing the need for manual intervention.

Reasons Why Companies Need to Invest in Ap Automation

Cost-cutting And Additional Savings:

Recognition and streamlining of operations to reduce expense and uncover additional savings are the AP function’s primary objective. Companies can redeploy FTE and save up to 60–75 percent on costs while lowering costs per invoice processed by up to 60 percent.

Saves Time And Improves Accuracy:

Due to the nature of manual AP activities, they are prone to errors, likely to result in occasional breakdowns, additional checks, slower TAT, and scaling issues. Companies can increase efficiency and productivity per FTE and decrease invoice processing time by up to 65 percent.

Better Supplier Relations:

Enhancing supplier relationships is critical for cost reduction, supply chain volatility, and better discounts. As a result, organizations must ensure immediate grievance redressal and proper correspondence. By augmenting present technologies with AI technologies and external stakeholder collaboration, one can streamline and automate.

The Revolutionary Impact of AI in the Valuation Advisory Space

The role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the modern valuation advisory space has been pivotal and instrumental in reshaping the operational excellence, strategic thinking and applied thought leadership focus of market participants as well as the nature of market dynamics. AI has shed light into unsolved business problems, incomplete computing capabilities, resource inefficiencies, scalability issues, and organic inter-company integration challenges. AI has also provided valuation practitioners, appraisers, consultants, and financial executives with access to powerful and dynamic models and real-time information that have transformed the chessboard of business intelligence and valuation accuracy. While there is still a long road ahead in terms of the development of AI and its integration into everyday business life, the evolution of machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP) and robotics have revolutionized the valuation advisory space in many ways, the most critical of which are described below.

• Data Structure and Advanced Data Analytics

Valuation appraisers now have access to a “treasury” of data through advanced machine learning, supervised and unsupervised deep learning, and advanced data analytics techniques. Data that has been traditionally extracted through manual intervention (i.e., information from financial statements, market intelligence on customer products, online business due-diligence, historical pricing indications, etc.) can now be extracted with advanced ML and NLP techniques and summarized into powerful business reports. Additionally, data analysis techniques like clustering, principal component analysis, artificial neural networks, decision trees, and random forests boost the quality of data and the statistical significance of the data available for valuation and financial analysis purposes.

• Advanced Predictive Analytics, Computation Techniques, and Cloud Scalability

The development of supervised and unsupervised deep learning techniques has exponentially increased the predictive accuracy of forecasting models and the robustness of computationally intensive techniques (i.e., improved credit rating models, advanced sentimental analysis, dynamic pricing techniques, dynamic market segmentation analysis, more sophisticated valuation models related to FDA drug applications, etc.). Additionally, the development of data visualization techniques (i.e., parallel coordinates, scatter plot matrix, kernel density estimation, network diagrams and Box & Whisker plots, etc.) has played a fundamental role in better understanding of the nature of data, the processing of inputs in generating more customized and advanced outputs, and the minimization of the standard error in valuation models. Furthermore, the focus on the development of scalable cloud-based technology infrastructure had yielded fruitful results, since there are now many products available that provide a variety of data analytics that cover a broad set of variables and business needs and are aligned with the digital strategy of the underlying companies.

• Optimization and Automation

One of the fundamental principles of the AI revolution wave was the automation and optimization of large, repetitive procedures that involve a considerable amount of manual human intervention. During the last decade, there has been significant growth in this area, and valuation advisory firms have been consistently focused on the competitive advantages obtained by the automation of processes/procedures in order to develop more sustainable and profitable operational frameworks, advanced scale economies as well as boost their market position and offer a broader variety of diversified products and solutions. Additionally, valuation advisory firms have been primarily concerned over the past years with creating more advanced thought-leadership content through the optimization of valuation processes, techniques, and products that generate “customer alpha” in terms of the value accretion for the clients based on the more and more complicated financial products, business transactions, quantitative business needs, and overall sophistication mentality. Typical examples of improvements in this area are the automated processing of engagement letters and engagement lifecycle files, invoices, standardized valuations for financial reporting of tax purposes (i.e., 409(a) purposes), real-time analytics solutions, automated quarterly market/ business/segmentation reports, robotic applications, etc.

• Increased Productivity, Advanced Strategy and Disruptive Innovation

The inclusion of a variety of AI types within the main operation model of valuation advisory firms is linked to higher productivity, increased quality of offered services, increased market share, diversification of solutions and broader coverage, more effective cost & diversification leadership style, and improved margins. Despite the substantial investment in terms of capital and resources needed upfront, valuation advisory firms realize the importance of AI from a financial, operational, and social perspective and strive for the successful integration in a timely manner. Firms with increased AI capabilities have higher flexibility in terms of the strategic managerial focus and the penetration in niche market areas that were not mapped in the prior years due to lack of the appropriate infrastructure, leadership style, and subject matter expertise, the ability to support such a respective growth model as well as the lack of market competitive advantages. AI capabilities and tools allow companies to boost their innovation efforts to capture more precisely the market powers of supply and demand, the ability to influence markets and customers with the most sophisticated understanding of the data landscape and the power to lead the direction towards more sustainable, innovative business solutions and disruptive, adaptable and scalable technologies.

While AI has seen tremendous growth the past couple of years, there is still a long way ahead in terms of a more harmonious integration with society and a more concrete understanding of the true capabilities and applications of AI in business overall. Unsupervised deep learning techniques and robotic applications are expected to play a foundational role in the further development of AI within the valuation advisory spectrum. Stout, among other top-tier valuation advisory firms, has heavily invested on the AI capabilities, and we are looking forward to the continuous successful implementation of more and more advanced AI-capable applications and valuation solutions.

My personal view is that AI is the solution to the organic need for scalable progressive business/social evolution and the problem of the non-modern lack of sophistication embedded in the conservatism of the optimistic stagnation yielded frequently from the illusion that success is a given privilege and that the current business status quo lasts forever. AI is going to give us answers to problems that we don’t even imagine that currently exist. I am very excited about the prospects of AI and what the future might hold for the valuation advisory world.

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