Accounts payable (AP) staff have been working extra hours as they use legacy and manual procedures to handle a growing number of invoices.
Seventy-five percent of AP teams reported processing more invoices in the last quarter, according to “Demystifying AI’s Capabilities for Use in Payments,” a PYMNTS and Billtrust collaboration.
That share was up from the 66% of AP teams who reported doing so in the previous two quarters, the report found.
In response to the challenge presented by this increasing volume of invoices, companies are looking to solutions powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), according to the report.
PYMNTS Intelligence found that solutions powered by AI and ML can streamline operations, boost fraud-fighting efforts, circumvent human error and, in the end, allow companies to handle more invoices than financial professionals would be able to process manually.
AI is already having a tremendous impact on many financial business processes, Murray Sharp, vice president of partnerships, channel sales and business development at Billtrust, told PYMNTS in an interview posted on Oct. 10.
The technology has been shown to boost efficiency, help manage risk and provide predictive insights as well as improve the customer experience, Sharp said.
On the accounts receivable (AR) side, Sharp said, “A complete, collaborative suite of AR software minimizes the challenges caused by disjointed software systems — as well as by manual data entry, errors, wasted time and immature AR processes.”
Automating AP processes can save finance teams on average 9.9 hours per week, Nathan Bhatt, vice president of B2B products and partnerships at American Express, told PYMNTS in an interview posted on Oct. 5.
“That’s over 500 hours per year, which represents a huge saving for business leaders — especially those looking to juggle a huge set of priorities while trying to focus on what matters: growing their business,” Bhatt said.
Business leaders are optimistic about generative AI’s impact on the workforce, with one recent survey finding that 97% said that the technology will free their employees from manual processes and allow them to be more thoughtful and creative. Another survey found that 79% of CEOs said generative AI will help their companies increase efficiency.