Why Accounts Payable Should Be Handled by Computers Instead of Humans


According to a new analysis, US corporations spent $16.52 trillion in 2021, yet $12.06 trillion remained unaccounted for. There are around 200 solutions boasting automation to address this issue, but what lies behind the hood of those solutions may surprise you: antiquated technology and a large number of humans. Humans make errors.

Teams have been begging management for funding to automate basic work for decades. Workflow solutions to supplement ERP were too difficult to manage and failed to address the issue. RPA solutions were rather broad.

While both workflow and RPA solutions decreased expenses within the finance team, they also resulted in labor costs being transferred to more expensive personnel.

The average age of a financial operations person is 48 and climbing. As it turns out, new college graduates don’t see manual data entry and payment issuance as a worthwhile career. They’re right, of course. Turnover in this area is expensive and isn’t going to go away. The only solution is to eliminate the labor entirely; it isn’t a problem to be outsourced.

2023 brings hope. We are no longer dependent on humans to enter data, take action on data, or even manually participate in accounts payable. In fact, humans are no longer required to train many types of artificial intelligence (AI). In 2023 systems that transfer work will make way for systems that eliminate work.

OpenEnvoy released an unsupervised data extraction solution paired with a neural network that assigns GL Codes to invoice line items without rules by the end of 2022.

It had a 98% success rate the first time it was utilised in production. Humans are around 75% accurate on this scale. In fact, it discovered and repaired human-made mistakes.

If this can be done with a tiny company’s processing capacity, think what may be done with a larger investment in the sector.