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Benefits of using AI for accounts payable automation in SAP

So you have a beautiful SAP system. It works great. But when invoices are received from suppliers, there is still a lot of effort to be performed by the accounts payable department before these invoices can finally be settled. Anybody with knowledge of the procure to pay process knows the pitfalls in this process.

According to data published by Eurostat^, as of 2020, only 25 percent of EU companies with more than 10 employees send e-invoices suitable for electronic processing. This implies that in 2020, in the EU, three out of four suppliers in this segment still send their invoices in the traditional way. That means either in the form of an attachment in an email or via the really traditional way of a paper document in an envelope.

With the ever-increasing advances in OCR technology, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, the use of this technology offers us ways in which we may improve dramatically upon the accounts payable process. Automating data entry by means of optical extraction and AI supported matching and error detection as provided by AMP intelligent Invoice processing can result in huge improvements in efficiency for the SAP AP departments.

Certainly of concern to some, but making use of AI technology to support your AP processes does not mean that the accounts payable department will become obsolete. It should rather be seen as an evolution and an opportunity. It can be a valuable tool that we can deploy to get more for the efforts, by reducing repetitive manual tasks and preventing unnecessary data entry errors in the process.

This will hugely increase efficiency and supplier invoice processing speed. Processing speed of course being key in preventing late payment fees and enabling the company to optimize cash flow and optimally make use of early payment discounts.

However, as described in the Forrester report “The Sorry State Of Digital Transformation In 2018”, there is still a huge gap to close when we look at actual use of AI technology. The survey showed that: “while three of four executives think emerging technology is key to transformation, only 17% are investing in artificial intelligence”

The AMP Intelligent Invoice processing solution offers SAP companies an easy way to benefit from the latest advances in AI to close the gap and better manage the accounts payable process.

^Source Eurostat: ISOC_EB_ICS 13-01-2020