When it comes to finance, accuracy is not just important, it is absolutely crucial. A single incorrect digit could lead to a major financial disaster. AI has undoubtedly revolutionized the way we function and it’s like having an efficient assistant that never sleeps. However, it is not the ultimate solution. Here is a concise guide on how to maintain precise invoice validation with AI as an assistant, but not as the driver.
1. Enhance OCR Accuracy with Human Verification
AI’s OCR technology has transformed data entry from a tedious task into a swift, automated process. But automation is only as good as its programming. Consider an instance where AI misread a smudged ‘5’ as a ‘6’ on a high-volume invoice, leading to a significant overcharge. It was a human’s keen eye that caught this slip-up during a routine spot-check. This is why a human-verified review process is crucial—pairing AI’s rapid processing with the meticulousness of a trained professional ensures that even the smallest errors are caught and corrected.
2. Construct Robust Auto-Posting Guardrails
Auto-posting can be compared to setting a spacecraft on autopilot, efficient but not without the need for a pilot’s discerning intervention. In the past, an AI system attempted to auto-post an invoice without the latest tax code changes, which would have led to a compliance debacle. This incident highlights the importance of having strong and flexible rules in auto-posting that can be navigated by AI, but not set by it. AI can suggest ledger entries based on historical data, but your financial experts must always verify each entry to ensure compliance with current regulations and company policies.
3. Refine Approval Routing with AI’s Predictive Learning
AI can significantly expedite the invoice approval process by identifying and learning from historical approval patterns. However, this system is not without its hiccups. For example, an AI once consistently routed invoices intended for a procurement officer who had been promoted, causing a bottleneck. It was a reminder that AI systems require continuous updates to reflect organizational changes. By monitoring AI’s predictive routing and incorporating feedback loops, you can ensure that invoices are always directed to the appropriate personnel for timely approval.
4. Augment Manual Coding with AI’s Analytical Insights
When it comes to non-PO invoices, manual coding is often a complex puzzle. AI can serve as a valuable ally here, offering analytical insights based on vast datasets. Yet, AI’s suggestions are starting points. I recall an instance where AI, drawing on incomplete data, miscategorized a significant capital expenditure. It was only through the scrutiny of a seasoned accountant that the error was identified and rectified. Therefore, while AI’s predictive coding can accelerate the process, the final coding decisions should rest with those who can apply the nuanced understanding that AI currently lacks.
5. Craft AI-Enhanced Rejection and Compliance Communications, Then Personalize
AI is doing more than just sending out messages; it’s getting them right. When an invoice doesn’t go through, AI uses the specific reason we give it to write a clear message. This means our team doesn’t have to type out each note by hand, and the message still feels personal, not like it’s just spit out by a machine.
And here’s the clever part: AI pays attention to the little things. It knows when and where to send these messages based on what makes sense for the supplier. If we’re dealing with a supplier in Spain, AI will wait to send the message during their business hours. It’s these thoughtful touches that keep our relationships with suppliers smooth and friendly.
The Human-AI Partnership in Invoice Validation
In closing, AI is a game-changer in handling invoices, but it’s not flying solo. Think of these five strategies as your master plan for a rock-solid validation process. AI’s got the muscle to do the heavy work, like drafting messages and picking the perfect time to send them. But it’s our human smarts that add the finishing touch, making sure everything checks out just right. By keeping AI in its lane as a helpful sidekick, we steer clear of those big mistakes that can really set a business back. It’s all about teaming up with technology to get the best results.