Accenture is an intelligent enterprise that applies artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and embeds analytics into our operations. Our CIO Applied Intelligence organization collaborates with Accenture business stakeholders to drive new, innovative capabilities and use case-based intelligent products to bring greater insights to Accenture’s businesses.
With 721,000 employees around the world, Accenture purchases a high volume of goods and services, amounting to nearly 200,000 purchase orders annually. Our global procurement organization, Procurement Plus, uses SAP Ariba’s Guided Buying capability on SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to optimize spend totaling more than $4.5 billion dollars every year. Internally, Accenture branded the SAP Ariba product to Accenture BuyNow. Accenture also processes 1.1 million invoices annually through our accounts payable function. We realized that buyers of Accenture goods and services were less familiar with the downstream accounting of their purchases, and that this was creating friction and driving inefficiency and cost into the process.
There was an opportunity to improve efficiency in purchase requisitioning and non-purchase order invoice processing by using predictive analytics and automating the recommendation of general ledger accounts to buyers at the point of purchase. Predictive analytics, embedded as AI, and automation better prepare buyers who are less familiar with accounting to be more accurate with their purchases and significantly streamlined downstream accounts payable accuracy, time and cost.
The challenge: To create an artificial intelligence model using predictive analytics that provides general ledger recommendations for goods or services being purchased, improving subsequent accounts payable accuracy and efficiency and enhancing the procurement experience for Accenture.