Episode #14: AI answers: What bottlenecks does the finance team face on a consistent basis?
Updated: Oct 10
Me: What bottlenecks does the finance team face on a consistent basis, e.g., invoice approval, data entry into ERP, searching for and retrieving documentation? if you could wave a magic wand what are the three changes you would make to the accounts payable department? For example.
The above question was 2nd out of 5 questions to which I was invited to discuss around the Roundtable on Thursday, the 21st of September by Roger Laird, BizEdocs https://bizedocs.ie/wp/ together with:
1. Akhil Jain CTO Wayleadr
2. Anees ur-Rehman CEO and Founder
3. Angie Mezzetti CEO Ocarina Productions
4. Augusto Bernardo CEO Myndware
5. Cormac O'Neill CEO & Chief Tempo Officer Webio Ltd
6. Jan Filipowiak Founder Virtualist
7. Katarzyna Haśnik CEO Hasnik Limited, myself
8. Michael McGuinness Founder & Product Manager Tachyon Tech
9. Norbert Narbut Founder ExtendedMedia
10. Paul McCabe Chief Operating Officer VLE Therapeutics
11. Philbert Nshimiyimana Process Support Specialist PSC Biotech Corporation
12. Rusty Weise Chief Technology Officer & Sr. Architect Trakwell.ai
13. Tony Duddy COO, Board Member Memjet Technology
14. Yang Tong, Founder and CEO OrderIT Ltd
15. Zohaib Jabbar CTO Fund Recs
It is always inspiring to learn from like-minded business, Founders, CEO, CTO, COO people.
Thank you Andrea Ryan https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrea-ryan-sales/ and Angelica Ganados for organising it.
Now, let's ask OpenAI: https://openai.com/. What does AI think about it? (P.S.: To gather all the information below, took OpenAI-ChatGPT, 56 seconds...🤔 This leads us to follow questions in upcoming days, which were as well discussed at the Roundtable.)
ChatGPT: The finance team often faces several consistent bottlenecks and challenges in their day-to-day operations. Some of these include:
Invoice Processing and Approval: The approval process for invoices can be slow and cumbersome, especially in larger organizations. Invoices may get stuck in various approval stages, leading to delayed payments and potential vendor dissatisfaction.
Data Entry into ERP Systems: Manually entering financial data into Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems is time-consuming and error-prone. It can lead to inaccuracies in financial records and reports.
Document Retrieval: Locating and retrieving financial documents, such as invoices, receipts, and purchase orders, can be challenging when documents are stored across various platforms or in physical filing cabinets. This can impede decision-making and auditing processes.
Expense Reporting: Employees' submission of expense reports can be slow, and the verification and reimbursement process can also take time, impacting the overall financial efficiency.
Vendor Management: Maintaining vendor relationships and ensuring timely payments can be a challenge, especially when dealing with a large number of vendors.
If I could wave a magic wand to make three changes to the accounts payable department, I would consider the following improvements:
Automation of Invoice Processing: Implementing a robust invoice processing automation system that uses optical character recognition (OCR) and machine learning algorithms to extract data from invoices and route them for approval. This would significantly speed up the approval process and reduce errors.
Digital Document Management: Implement a centralized digital document management system that stores and organizes all financial documents in a searchable and easily retrievable format. This would streamline audits, reduce document retrieval time, and enhance overall efficiency.
Expense Reporting Software: Implement an integrated expense reporting software solution that allows employees to submit expenses digitally, automates expense approval workflows, and expedites reimbursement processes. This would save time for both employees and the finance team and improve accuracy.
These changes would not only address the bottlenecks but also enhance the efficiency and accuracy of the accounts payable department, leading to cost savings and improved vendor relationships. Additionally, they would free up the finance team to focus on more strategic tasks rather than manual data entry and document retrieval.