The center of every organization revolves around accounting and finance. When company’s financial analytics are not correct, updated, and relevant it can pose an array of issues. Manual accounting processes can complicate this even further, with human error always a possibility and time-consuming methods continuing to be used. According to a study by the IMA, one-third of accounting teams are spending anywhere from 51% to 75% of their time on repetitive, low-value tasks. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are the future of digital finance. They make it possible to automate accounting processes and eliminate time consuming tasks, which can cut costs and improve productivity for your organization. Here are 3 things that AI and ML can do to help your organization shift to a digital finance era:
Automate Accounting Processes
With so many layers of finance and accounting within an organization, and increasing workloads on employees, manual accounting processes can be time consuming and costly. According to a study by the IMA, 56% of survey accountants said they need automation just to keep up with their increasing workloads. Incorporating AI and ML into cloud-based accounting software can have numerous benefits for your organization. Accounts payable and expense tracking and management have much tedious, time-consuming work involved. By incorporating AI and ML algorithms into accounting workflows, error-prone manual accounting processes are substantially reduced or eliminated. Accounting automation applications can read documents from a variety of sources (email, PDF, paper) and identify key data points to correctly code the invoice or expense to seamlessly integrate with the accounting system. As the application “learns” an organization’s processes, documents can be electronically approved (or rejected) and the transaction completed. This automation can eliminate time consuming tasks and allow for enhanced productivity throughout your organization to help make the shift to a digital finance era.
Improve Financial Analytics
Being able to easily see and understand financial metrics and analytics is something that has always been an issue. Accounting departments can spend days verifying general ledger entries are coded to the correct account before closing out a month, quarter, or year. AI and ML can automate this process by using historical transaction patterns to proactively identify journal errors. By evaluating transactions during the approval cycle, approvers can be notified when a transaction does not match the regular pattern. AI and ML incorporated with cloud-based financial systems can also easily evaluate larger capacities of data to help get the monthly or quarterly reports faster and ensure they are accurate. This provides real time financial analytics at your fingertips in a much more time efficient matter.
Increased Security Measures
Money is literally the most valuable part of an organization, and that means it is one of the most important facets to any successful company. Tracking and measuring financials is important because one wrong record can throw off the entire financial overview. As crucial as it is to track the money of your organization, it is just as important to perform safe transactions with vendors. Because of the recent pandemic, it is more difficult than ever to receive and send out paper invoices and paper checks, which have a higher chance for mistakes and fraud. The future of digital finance lies with Automated Clearing House or ACH payments. ACH payments automate the process of clearing payments to be paid out to the vendor. This way organizations and vendors can transfer money without checks, cash or even credit networks, and no one touches the money including banks and postal workers. AI and ML also allow ACH payments to have exception handling. This means that if there are any anomalies within the transaction, it becomes and “exception” and is placed aside for someone within the organization to investigate. This drastically reduces the chance of human error or fraud, making for safer vendor management.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence are the first step in making the shift to a digital finance era. They allow the finance team to focus on intense and complex solutions to improve the business instead of tedious, repetitive workloads. These solutions move finance and accounting from a more clerical role to a strategic and analytical role. Not only can AI and ML increase productivity and automate accounting processes but they can also cut costs and provide enhanced protection for your organization.
For more information on how cloud based accounting software can allow machine learning and artificial intelligence to help your organization, please email us