Surprisingly, many businesses still rely on manual printing, publishing and archiving of paper documents. In fact, the UK distributes 11.2 billion paper receipts worth £ 32million each year. Storing information on paper is inherently expensive and inefficient.
The challenge of relieving organizations of administrative burdens such as handling paper documents goes hand in hand with the digitization of processes and the introduction of new technologies. To date, finance teams have made good progress in optimizing and automating processes such as accounts payable and invoice processing. For example, technologies based on artificial intelligence (AI) can already recognize important information in documents: invoice or order numbers, total cost of the invoice, beneficiary, date and whether the invoice is on time or late. This will certainly continue as more and more finance teams try to save time for repetitive activities. The management of personnel costs is ripe for this type of transformation because it spends a lot of time managing profits, while the real value for accountants and finance professionals lies in managing political controls and interpreting the results. data.
There is a growing movement towards digital systems. Digitizing these processes in the financial world prevents loss of receipts and improves efficiency by automatically saving this data online for future access. This is not the only type of digitization we see when translating from paper to digital format. The use of artificial intelligence-based technology is increasingly changing the way data is collected and analyzed. For example, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology can convert typed or handwritten text from a scanned document or photo. Essentially, technology can help finance and accounting teams process large amounts of data, such as paper and electronic receipts, without increasing the workforce. This not only saves financial professionals from manually transferring information from paper receipts to expense reports, but also uses the storage capabilities of artificial intelligence systems.
As accountants and finance professionals file expense reports, machine learning algorithms can identify spending trends and patterns and determine future projections. This provides better visibility and control of spending in real time, while leveraging machine learning capabilities to increase efficiency, quality, and find new ways to reduce costs. The technology can also be used to prevent fraudulent claims, as policy reviews can be built into expense management software. It also increases the compliance rate because policy validation is automated, meaning that the approval effort is minimal. Such features are invaluable for small businesses that may not have their own finance teams.
Automation for strategic decisions
It’s no secret that more and more finance teams are being asked to provide more strategic support to the business. To leverage data and support decision-making, finance teams need to stop performing transactional processes like reviews and audits. Automating tedious and manual accounting tasks not only saves valuable time, but also increases efficiency so that finance professionals can focus on analysis.
The shift to artificial intelligence-based systems and automated processes does not make trained finance professionals redundant. Instead, it requires less repetitive digital processing tasks and a greater emphasis on the ability to manage and interpret data. Access to real-time information is becoming an important consideration for many finance professionals, and with the advent of more AI technologies, paper-based processes will decrease. Given the efficient way most organizations can now share information, it makes little sense for finance teams to re-enter data between systems and filter paperwork between departments.
The finance teams of the future are flexible, cross-functional, and use data to drive better business insights.
As accounting software becomes easier to use, we’ve seen technology evolve. From digital spreadsheets, to transaction recording systems, to systems that can import transactions, keep track of digital receipts and taxes. With paper orders and invoices almost dead, there are many parts of the financial services industry that artificial intelligence can replace, and paper receipts are the next step.