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The ROI from switching from manual to autonomous invoice processing

October 8, 2021

Autonomous invoice processing uses AI to run the accounting process from beginning to end, which means less time and money per invoice.

According to recent research by Gartner, 50% of B2B invoices will be processed and paid without manual intervention by 2025. Quickly getting the correct invoice to the right person is essential to keep processing cycle times as low as possible. This leads to fewer errors, late payment fees, and more time for AP teams to optimize financial operations.

Common invoice mismatches alleviated by autonomous invoicing

Not all invoices are created equal, which is why invoice processing can be so tedious. By having a so-called Intelligent Accounts Payable Invoice Automation (APIA) solution, the system has the ability to understand what is wrong with the invoice and who the correct person is to solve the problem.

These are some of the most common reasons for a mismatch between the invoice and the purchase order, which is time-consuming unless it can be alleviated by autonomous invoicing.

  • Pricing discrepancies at the line level or for the total invoice

  • The supplier’s name is unknown or not identifiable

  • Invoice quantities do not match the purchase order

  • Tax or other surcharges added to the invoice but are not on the purchase order

  • Missing or differing part numbers

  • Incorrect purchase order reference information on the invoice

  • A nonexistent purchase order for an invoice

  • Invoices that cover multiple purchase order

APIA solutions with built-in AI are driving higher autonomous match rates, as it’s using machine learning to train the AI to perform better out of the box than a simple rule -or template-based solution. Intelligently dealing with mismatches through automation leads to shorter approval times and correct financial coding, among other benefits described below.

ROI from process improvements with autonomous invoice processing

Autonomous invoice processing uses AI to run the accounting process from beginning to end. AI technology can extract the number on an invoice, understand and classify the cost, send it to the right person for approval, or automatically approve it if it meets all the criteria.

In other words, with autonomous invoicing, the company needs to spend less time per invoice, which directly impacts the cost per invoice processed. There are, however, other benefits as well in terms of process improvements:

  • More effective payment execution

  • Prevention of late fees

  • Increased capture of discounts

  • Reduced costs related to paper invoices

  • Less cost deriving from errors

  • Improved employee productivity and fewer full-time employees required

So, how does that translate into real money? By taking the average invoice processing time from ten minutes to one minute, the average cost per invoice goes from $12 to less than $2. Compare productivity and costs with no automation, vs and end-to-end automation in the graphs below.

One of Vic’s clients, HSB Real Estate, has, as of June 14th, 2021, saved around 650 hours in labor. That is equivalent to 16 people taking a whole work week off without changing processes or re-hiring. If you want to learn more about HSB, you can find the full case study here.

ROI from increased control with autonomous invoice processing

If you’re still not convinced by the benefits described above, you should also consider how increased control will improve these areas:

  • Complete audit trail

  • Electronic approval process

  • A quicker and better audit process

  • Fewer vendor requirements

  • Improved visibility into unpaid invoices

  • Reduced invoice and payment fraud

Book a demo with our experts if you’re ready to take your business and finance team to the next level with autonomous invoicing.



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