The concept of electronic invoicing is not particularly new, in fact, the technology was first conceived way back in the mid-1960s. Back then, few had even dreamed about the “paperless” offices that many of us work in today. These primitive e-Invoicing systems were all developed in-house and were proprietary for the company using them. Chances are, many of those that worked with the oldest types of e-Invoicing systems have long since retired, however, they would tell you that these systems were not at all flexible and lacked any type of standardization between companies. It was not until the 1990s that the e-Invoicing software we recognize today would start to be adopted by companies looking to simplify their AP/AR process. These new systems are often developed by third-party software providers and featured a more user-friendly interface. They enabled the sending of invoices via channels like the web, email, and point-to-point integrations, allowing for the submission of file formats such as CSV, PDF, and XML. For many companies, these legacy e-Invoicing systems that were implemented in the 1990s are still in use to this day. Although great at reducing complexities and speeding up the invoicing process, these legacy invoicing systems have become obsolete in the face of modern solutions that have capabilities to go beyond simple digitization.
With modern advances in artificial intelligence, e-Invoicing has gone through its most radical transformation since the 1990s. Today, sophisticated electronic invoicing providers can offer a holistic approach to the invoicing cycle. The latest solutions feature functionalities beyond basic invoice transmission and make the invoicing process virtually touchless. This automation unlocks abilities that were previously never thought possible. Companies can efficiently process hundreds of thousands of invoices, organize significant amounts of data, and easily identify and verify every transaction they have ever made. With such power, companies can take greater advantage of economies of scale, be in full control of their costs, and manage their supply chain with maximum efficiency.
While these new developments in the world of e-Invoicing are exciting, the most innovative of software companies are taking things a step further. Utilizing machine learning in conjunction with artificial intelligence, the most advanced e-Invoicing tech has groundbreaking new abilities such as anomaly detection, smart business rules generation, automatic data validation and completion, and self-learning image conversion. These abilities are game-changing and make significant strides towards our collective goal of completely touchless e-Invoicing.
A solution with anomaly detection can automatically identify possible deviations or errors in invoice traffic. For example, based on historical data and in-depth traffic analysis, these systems can easily determine whether a particular client should have received or sent a specific set of documents. Anomaly detection can also be used to pinpoint other problems with the document exchange such as a failure of the client's ERP system or unavailability of the communication channel. In these cases, the system would then inform the user that the infrastructure is in need of repairs.
Smart Business Rules Generation
Utilizing technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced e-Invoicing software can process and analyze information, such as purchase order data, collected from internal systems like an ERP system. With access to this data, an integrated e-Invoicing solution can generate new business rules to check for duplicates, match invoices to their corresponding purchase orders, and assign invoice lines to the right Cost Center or GL Account.
These business rules substantially reduce human error in document processing thereby lowering not only operational costs, but also the risk of being non-compliant with legal requirements.
Automatic Data Validation and Completion
An electronic invoicing system that utilizes automatic data validation and completion can verify data presented in a given invoice and automatically classify that invoice with information such as GL, CC, and tax codes. If the AI/ML algorithms detect any deviations from the previously generated business rules, the system will update the model with the information provided in new documents and adjust any existing document processing methods on the spot. This results in reduced workload, higher quality financial data, and lowers the chance of having to deal with human errors.
Self-Learning Image Conversion
Another AI-enabled feature found only in the most advanced e-Invoicing tech is self-learning image conversion software. Image conversion is capable of turning unstructured content into machine-encoded, editable documents. With the help of this software, invoice data can be extracted without the creation of templates and, by utilizing machine learning technology, the system can teach itself indexing rules based on the user's decisions.
Self-learning image conversion also makes it possible to put all historical invoice data right into the system at the beginning of a new e-Invoicing project. The system can then read it, learn from it, and come up with business rules on the spot.
Only the most advanced electronic invoicing software is capable of going beyond simple invoice digitization and transmission to feature all the above abilities. Comarch e-Invoicing is one such software that features the above technology and more. This is a powerful, comprehensive product that streamlines and automates the AP/AR invoicing processes to enable efficient document exchange with all business partners and clients. The software is trusted by some of the world’s largest brands and is fully compliant with the latest legal regulations and can automatically verify and convert every invoice it sends or receives. This system is capable of carrying out the most complex B2B and B2G operations without any enhancements whatsoever. To learn more about Comarch e-Invoicing, visit their website.
The e-Invoicing software of today is hardly recognizable from its humble beginnings in the 1960s. Increased access to the internet saw the first major transformation of e-Invoicing in the 1990s and advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning are driving the ongoing shift we’re seeing today. It is certainly an exciting time for electronic invoicing as its capabilities are sure to continue to evolve. To stay competitive, companies need to propel themselves into the future by integrating a solution that utilizes AI and ML to make their AP/AR process as simple and touchless as possible.
If you want to learn more about all the latest innovations Comarch has made to their e-Invoicing software, download the two-part eBook series. Book One of this series delves into the ways artificial intelligence and machine learning technology improves the performance, reliability, security, and the UX of e-Invoicing platforms. Book Two showcases how you can start and configure your e-Invoicing system in seconds using advanced self-onboarding tools.
Tune-in to our webinar on December 16th at 10:00AM EST to learn more about how artificial intelligence and machine learning are shaping electronic invoicing and bringing us closer to touchless e-Invoicing capabilities.