What is digital? How much do you think about this basic question? When you stop and think about it, the term “digital,” in its most basic form, means zeros and ones. 0 and 1. But why should you care at all?
While it may seem rudimentary, these digits are the core components of all modern data. If you haven’t yet gone digital, you do not have access to these basic building blocks which are crucial in implementing advanced or artificial intelligence (AI) into your finance processes. The message I’m trying to get across here is to start with the basics which, in turn, will allow you to reap the benefits of automation in the future.
So, what are the basics?
A process is always a combination of subprocesses. When you look at your finance process as a whole it may seem complicated, with lots of tasks and rules. But you can really simplify it if you drill down a bit deeper, and look at all the individual components, or subprocesses, that make up the larger process. Things begin to make a lot more sense.
Take accounts payable, for example. You may be running a paper-based AP process from a desk inundated with paper and folders. This means you are running a paper-based AP process. Unfortunately, that is not zeros and ones. But fortunately, a paper-based AP process can easily be converted to a digital one, replacing paper with zeros and ones.
But why should I go for digital AP?
The simple answer is control, visibility and efficiency. Paper does not add value to you, AP automation will. Processing vendor invoices is a combination of logical steps in which AI can play a significant role. When you start going digital, you suddenly realize that there are countless benefits at your fingertips.
Once you’ve gone digital, and begun streamlining your invoice automation process, you have taken a critical first step and are ready to begin experimenting with AI for greater benefits.
AI relies on learning and experimenting
Agile is the word. Instead of undertaking a massive, expensive and time-consuming project, focus on smaller and faster experiments. Start with one vendor, give the machine the inputs and see what comes out. If you’re not happy, experiment again. This is the simple logic for applying AI. You can obviously do this yourself or trust someone who has done it before. The key point, however, is that all the technology and knowhow is out there already, available for anyone to access.
Why not start today?
Start with what? The simple things. Go digital with your AP and reap the benefits – or risk to fall behind.
What is AP Automation?
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