As someone deeply entrenched in the world of marketing, I recently embarked on a journey to understand the potential of generative AI. I believe everyone working in marketing has regularly been asked to help colleagues with “that final touch” to presentation materials and other important things.
No more! Using ChatGPT, one thing I swiftly realized is that we'll soon all be effortlessly creating polished and professional materials. And, while my AI adventure began in marketing, I believe there's a parallel that holds great promise for Accounts Payable professionals, too.
We’ve come a long way in AP process automation through software such as Dooap. More recently, Machine Learning has brought major improvements in, for instance, predicting workflows and coding, and the new opportunities are an inseparable part of software roadmaps.
However, generative AI — like ChatGPT — introduces a fresh approach. It provides us with an ever-present personal assistant, helping us with time-consuming, repetitive tasks, idea generation to help us get started, checking, and controlling vast amounts of data, etc.
Let's consider the progress we've witnessed through automation software. In marketing, automation has empowered us to focus on strategic initiatives by handling routine tasks. I believe this aligns closely with the transformation that automation has brought to AP. As automation lightens our load, we're left with more time to analyze data, make informed decisions, and forge stronger connections with suppliers.
But we shouldn't halt at automation alone. This is where the magic unfolds — machine learning. In marketing, machine learning has shown its power by continuously learning and adapting from data. It's this very capability that propels AP to new heights. By analyzing historical data, machine learning can provide recommendations for optimal processing routes. Just as automation has transformed the mundane, machine learning can make our processes more intelligent and efficient.
Now, let's circle back to my marketing experience. I've witnessed generative AI in action, acting as a creative catalyst. It suggests fresh ideas, innovative approaches, and content that resonates. What if we could harness this same creative force in AP? Imagine having an AI assistant that generates inventive solutions for intricate cost allocations, identifies potential discrepancies, and optimizes interactions with vendors.
Recently, I took part in a course to deepen my comprehension of the philosophy behind generative AI. One of the things that resonated with me most was the discussion about the T model of competencies. The T-shaped model of competencies is a framework that illustrates a person's skills and expertise in a visual format. The vertical bar of the "T" represents the individual's depth of knowledge and specialized skills in a particular domain or field. This vertical depth signifies expertise in a specific area. The trainer added AI as “wingmen” or “co-pilots” to each side of the T. This illustrates the potential of utilizing AI as a personal assistant, while at the same time using our profound, experience-based expertise within our specific domain.
This is the essence of my message – the fusion of automation, machine learning, and generative AI holds the key to a more efficient and inspiring future in AP and helps us make the most of our special, deep expertise and experience. Just as generative AI sparks creativity in marketing, it has the potential to transform AP by elevating us beyond transactional tasks.