Blog/AI/ML February 13, 2024

The Real Impact of AI on Finance Teams

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Finance teams are well aware that AI will have a huge impact on business overall and on their roles, in particular. Many are concerned that executive commitments to “do more with less” using AI will wind up eliminating jobs, especially in Accounts Payable. What they seem to overlook is the potential of using applied AI to do more—to add more value to their companies and improve the quality of their jobs.

Needed: A Clear, Positive Vision for the AI-Empowered Finance Team

Concerns around the scope of change that AI can deliver and what it will mean for job replacement are valid and troubling. Teams that feel threatened in the face of AI-related change may resist it and hold back information needed for successful change management. 

In fact, instead of wiping out jobs, the very best AP platforms (and teams) will use AI as a force-multiplying tool. Finance leaders must help their teams understand this distinction in order to engage and retain them. They’ll need experienced staff to build a stronger, AI-empowered team. 

Leaders must set a clear vision showing how using AI can make it possible to do things in a new and better way, rather than just doing the current process faster. How can a company digitize 100% of supplier invoices? How can it achieve a “touchless” process for non-PO invoices? The vision for AI-empowered teams involves overcoming persistent obstacles to make a real difference for the company.

What Applied AI Brings to the Table

AI offers benefits across the board, from the staff level to the business as a whole. By digitizing clerical work that consumes AP professionals’ time, AI platforms let teams become exponentially more efficient and effective, with positive results for their job satisfaction. AP professionals’ workload will consist of high-value, engaging, business-critical work.

At the company level, AI-powered pattern recognition can eliminate losses to fraud, duplication, and supplier overbilling. This opens up a value driver or line in the AP automation business case for reducing non-headcount spend. Process improvement and automation can also extend to reducing the time spent across the business validating invoices against contracts, bids, price lists, and other documents.

The Refocused Role of AP Professionals

The AP team can become a powerhouse of value for the business. With more time to focus, AP teams can accomplish mission-critical accounting work that enhances the company’s visibility into its books, financial health, and daily needs.

The future of AI-equipped AP isn’t a loss of relevance for finance workers—in fact, it’s just the opposite.

Learn More about the 7 capabilities of AI-empowered AP teams who truly deliver more.

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