Editor’s Note: Thank you for joining for part four of four in our “Beyond ChatGPT” blog series. If you’ve missed the previous installments in this series, click one of the following links to review this critically important content.
Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) is generating significant buzz in today’s business landscape. It is captivating the attention of CFOs, Controllers, Finance VPs, Accounts Receivable (AR) management, and senior B2B credit professionals alike like few other trends have in the last year. Its integration into financial processes is seen as a pivotal move in a world increasingly reliant on digital technology for efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and time-saving measures.
A recent survey by KPMG revealed that 77% of executives consider Generative AI to be the most impactful technology on their horizon. Moreover, 71% of respondents intend to implement their first GenAI solution within the next two years.
Accenture’s Tech Vision 2023 echoed this sentiment, with 97% of global executives acknowledging that AI will revolutionize data connections, reshaping how and where AI is deployed.
The Crucial Role of GenAI in Accounts Receivable (AR) Management
Effective management of the Invoice-to-Cash process, particularly within accounts receivable, is paramount to an organization’s financial well-being. This holds even more significance during economic downturns and times of uncertainty or volatility. Inadequate receivables management can detrimentally impact cash flow and, in severe cases, lead to a company’s downfall. Among the challenges faced, the cash application process stands out as a significant bottleneck in AR management.
Cash application encompasses a series of manual and repetitive tasks, primarily revolving around cash allocation and invoice matching. Traditional, manual-based cash application methods have long hindered collections processes, particularly during periods of financial strain when immediate access to cash is vital. Delays in cash application can obscure a company’s cash flow position, which is undesirable during crises.
Overcoming Cash Application Challenges with GenAI
The solution to these challenges lies in adopting automated intelligent cash application tools. These tools are specifically designed to alleviate the burden of manual tasks in the AR process, striving to maximize automation rates and minimize manual efforts across departments. They expedite collections, reduce the backlog of overdue invoices by promptly updating customer accounts, and provide greater transparency to the entire process.
Integrating Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning into cash application automation allows organizations to achieve a higher degree of standardization. These technologies enable processing of all incoming documents in any format, ultimately improving the efficiency of the AR cycle and bolstering the overall financial health of the business.
Automation of Invoice Matching and Cash Application
Generative AI’s role within AR automation primarily involves the extraction and processing of data from various documents, including invoices, remittance advice, bank statements, emails, and other related paperwork. Traditional methods required manual data entry and invoice matching, which was not only time-consuming but also prone to errors. GenAI eliminates these drawbacks by extracting essential details such as customer names, invoice numbers, total amounts, and deductions, regardless of document format or structure. With natural language processing and image recognition capabilities, GenAI excels in understanding and interpreting text with impressive accuracy.
By adopting GenAI, companies can significantly save time and resources, allowing staff to focus on strengthening customer relations, increasing sales, and dedicating more time to high-value tasks. The harmonious blend of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning facilitates intelligent cash application, enabling same-day invoice matching, eliminating unapplied cash, reducing DSO, and overall efficiency enhancement in the order-to-cash processes.
Digital World-class Leaders Use Emagia Cash Application Automation
The Benefits GenAI Brings to Collection Management
Harmonizing human expertise with AI-driven automation produces the most effective cash application processes. Automation reduces non-value-added tasks, enabling staff to engage in strategic decision-making activities that drive meaningful progress.
Intelligent cash application solutions empower AR teams to set up rules, even for complex scenarios, without extensive manual intervention. These rules consider payment behavior and patterns, applying this knowledge to customer names, invoice details, and bank information for efficient data interpretation. Additionally, the technology excels in recognizing exceptions and can manage them for bank statements, remittance advice, and lockboxes. Furthermore, automated cash applications can trigger follow-up actions to expedite the collection of outstanding invoices, saving time and effort.
The future of the cash application process hinges on digital technologies, with GenAI leading the way. Cognitive technologies like GenAI enable instant configuration of pre-defined rules by comprehending and interpreting information from bank statements, remittance advice, settlement, and lockbox files. These intelligent cash application tools seamlessly complement end-to-end AR cycle automation. Forward-thinking companies have already begun integrating these technologies, reaping the benefits of this progressive approach in finance and accounting, including the Order-to-Cash (OTC) process. The adoption of GenAI and similar automation technologies is set to become a fundamental practice in the financial world, shaping the future of the industry.