Accounts Payable Outsourcing: Human Expertise vs. AI Automation

May 3, 2024 Mimi Torrington

accountant using AP AI on computer showing results on clipboard

Also known as payables, accounts payables (AP) refer to short-term obligations that a firm owes suppliers or creditors. Many businesses struggle with paper-based AP processes, which hinder visibility and strategic planning. Accounts payable outsourcing services offer strategic access to the expertise of dedicated teams for a significant advantage vs. solely AI-driven AP automation.

How Companies are Leveraging AI for Accounts Payable

Artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized how various industries manage their accounts payable processes. AI solutions offer unparalleled efficiency and accuracy in invoice processing by harnessing the power of automation, machine learning, and advanced algorithms. These technologies enable full automation of invoice handling, from receipt to payment, minimizing manual intervention and reducing the risk of errors.

outsourcing bookkeeper using AI on multiple devices to help make her accounts payable work easier

AI provides valuable insights into spending patterns and potential fraud detection for optimized AP workflows. Organizations are also automating the accounts payable workflow to help validate financial data accuracy, strengthen tax compliance, improve vendor management, and generate advanced reports and analytics. Even though AI has clear benefits for AP automation, it's important to understand its limitations.

Pros and Cons of AP Outsourcing Vs. AI

business owner starting AI course on her laptop

AI provides unmatched speed and accuracy in processing invoices and identifying patterns. It also excels in repetitive tasks and data-driven analyses. However, it lacks the human element necessary in AP management. Entrusting AP functions to experienced professionals has several benefits:

  • Outsourcing teams possess in-depth knowledge of AP processes, ensuring efficient and accurate handling of complex invoices and exceptions.

  • AP providers offer customized solutions that adapt to your company as it scales.

  • It frees your internal finance team to concentrate on strategic initiatives and core competencies.

  • Dedicated personnel can build positive relationships with vendors and facilitate smoother communication/dispute resolution.

  • Outsourcing often provides a cost advantage compared to in-house staff and infrastructure investments.

  • Having a team actively manage your AP process gives an additional layer of security and control over your financial data.

Companies must assess their specific needs and priorities including organizational culture to determine the most suitable approach for their AP management.

Why Finance and Accounting Outsourcing Stands Out Compared to AP AI Automation

Outsourcing enables scalability and enables businesses to flexibly adjust resources based on fluctuating demands without the overhead of maintaining a full-time workforce. It also facilitates process standardization and optimization to streamline workflows and improve efficiency.

The integration of AI automation augments these benefits by automating repetitive tasks, freeing up human resources to focus on strategic analysis and decision-making. However, the human touch remains indispensable where emotional intelligence and nuanced understanding are necessary. Outsourcing comes in handy for complex judgment-based activities such as risk assessment, negotiation, and relationship management.

accounts payable outsourcing clerk working on client accounts previously managed by AI

Accounts payable outsourcing offers cost-efficiency by leveraging labor arbitrage, where companies access skilled professionals at a fraction of the cost compared to in-house hiring. Human expertise from a seasoned outsourced provider boasts specialized knowledge and cutting-edge technology that helps enhance accuracy and compliance while reducing error rates.

Organizations can leverage decades of industry expertise, best practices, and technology-enabled solutions by partnering with a trusted outsourcing provider like Personiv. This frees you to focus your resources on significant business functions while ensuring efficient processing by a team with the expertise to handle real-world complexities.

Personiv; Your Partner in Streamlined Accounts Payable

company executives brainstorming how to streamline accounts payable using tech

With nearly 40 years in the outsourcing space, Personiv has established a proven track record of providing invaluable assistance to help clients meet their business needs. We offer scalable, cost-effective, and innovative virtual accounting solutions that enable companies to achieve greater efficiency, accuracy, and compliance in their AP operations.

Personiv's custom outsourcing solutions provide dedicated resources and skill sets required to optimize your AP process. Our firm delivers a seamless onboarding process and collaborates with you to ensure a successful transition. Contact us today to see if outsourcing your accounts payable is the solution for you.

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