Combat the nightmare of duplicate invoices with AI

Molly LaMantia

Molly LaMantia

Marketing Manager

25% of AP professionals say that duplicate invoices or payments are pain points of AP operations. Accounting AI is finally here to solve the many issues stemmed from duplicate invoices.

August 15, 2022

5 min read

Combat the nightmare of duplicate invoices with AI

You’re running a successful enterprise finance team, but you have to deal with one major problem: duplicate invoices. 

You’ve tried to fix the issue, but nothing seems to work. Employee training. Double-checking work. Implementing a duplicate invoice rule to catch them automatically in your AP automation system. You’ve tried it all. 

You recently read about computer vision and AI accounting software, but you’re curious about the exact benefits and drawbacks of the technology. 

In this article, we'll look at why duplicate invoices are so problematic in the first place and how you can use AI accounting technology to win the fight against duplicate invoices — once and for all.


Why duplicate invoices are problematic

Duplicate invoices are a nightmare for all parties involved. 25% of AP professionals say that duplicate invoices or payments are pain points of AP operations, according to PYMTS, Here's what happens when you have duplicate invoices:

  • For vendors, duplicate invoices waste their time and money by requiring them to pay back the overpayment for the  product or service to your company. This causes friction within your vendor relationships. 
  • For accounting departments, it's a tedious task that can make even the most proficient accountant frustrated. Imagine how frustrating it is to search through hundreds of thousands of transactions looking for duplicates or having to search for duplicates after the books are closed. This not only takes time away from their day, but requires more manpower to locate the source of duplicates and sort out the discrepancy with vendors if it’s caught in time.
  • And for finance departments, it's an additional burden on already overloaded budgets because of lost revenue from paying vendors twice for one thing. It also causes incorrect projections if purchase orders have been made, but your company is billed twice for the same product or service. 

From being the culprit of employee burnout to being costly to handle, duplicate invoices are pesky to deal with for all departments involved.  Duplicate payments are just as serious as late payments and will impact your cash flow as a buyer. 

Benefits of AI accounting technology to mitigate duplicate invoices

So, what can your company do today to mitigate the likelihood of duplicate invoices? The answer is in using AI accounting software to put your invoicing on auto-pilot. Here are the top ways AI accounting technology can help you combat duplicate invoices.

(1) AI finds duplicate invoices

Once your AI is adequately “trained”, it can be trained to look for patterns in your invoice data. Once an invoice is entered into the system, technology will be able to compare it against previous entries and detect if there are any duplicates. 

If a duplicate is found, then it will highlight them so that your teams can investigate further. Some common things that the AI system will look for include invoice number, vendor name, and invoice date. duplicate invoice detection with accounting AI

(2) AI prevents duplicate invoices

Duplicate invoices are a headache for any business, but AI can help fight this problem by looking for duplicate data and stopping it before the invoice is posted and paid.

For example, if two employees submit invoices with the same date and amount, AI can flag this as a possible duplicate. This prevents employees from creating duplicate invoices and ensures that there is only one invoice per order — saving you time in the long run!

(3) AI reduces time spent with duplicates

As mentioned above​, once training has been completed for your specific chart of accounts and dimensions​,​ ​AI ​can ​reduce ​the amount of time spent investigating suspicious invoices by highlighting them automatically instead of having human workers do so manually through tedious processes such as comparing images or scanning text line-by-line. 

This means that your teams will have more time back in their day to do other value-added tasks. 


Digitizing your AP processes in 2022

Digitizing your AP processes is essential to streamlining your business. An inefficient accounts payable process can lead to loss of potential discounts, require additional staff to reconcile, and drive up the cost of processing. Without automating these menial tasks, inefficiencies will continue. 

As with any major change, digitization will present some challenges. In addition to potentially being unfamiliar with the technology involved, you'll also have to overcome employee resistance and organizational obstacles before you can fully reap the benefits of a streamlined AP process. Although you may have some pushback, here are some important stats that you can share with your teams on why you need to digitize your AP process with

  • From June 2021 through May 2022, 1.1% of invoices exported/posted by U.S.-based clients received at least one duplicate invoice.
  • Duplicated invoices range anywhere from 0.5% to 2.4% of total invoices posted
  • Most duplicated invoices have either one or two duplicating invoices — but some have more.


Automate your processes with

As a business, it's essential to protect your finances at all costs. Duplicate invoices don't only waste time and money, but they can also damage your company's reputation with vendors. Luckily, you now have by your side to detect possible errors and instantly raise red flags. 

Ready to make finance teams more efficient, accurate, and intelligent? Download the full e-guide to learn 10 ways AI streamlines AP. 


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