Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Vic.ai: The New Era of Intelligent Accounting

No matter the industry, every company needs accounting, which is inheritably tedious and time-consuming. Accounting tasks have always been managed by using legacy systems that are based on various predefined rules and templates. But Vic.ai’s customers have never felt accounting was cumbersome, thanks to its intelligent accounting software.

Vic.ai was founded in 2017 by Norwegian serial entrepreneurs Alexander Hagerup and Kristoffer Roil. Accounting – a global, well-recognized challenge – is close to both of their hearts. Alexander “grew up” in his mom’s accounting practice, and Kris has assisted financially troubled companies throughout his career.Hagerup and Roil wanted to infuse intelligence into accounting through an AI solution that can reason like humans and make accounting decisions so that employees can focus on more high-value activities. That was the start of Vic.ai, founded as a pure AI company that was built on a very significant dataset of more than 200 million accounting documents and corresponding journal entries. A total of 300 million records were then reviewed by accountants (partnering with PWC, BDO, KPMG, among others) through live usage of the platform, training the algorithms.

In a nutshell, Vic.ai is an award-winning solution that completely disrupts an underserved industry when it comes to technology and innovation. Vic.ai works with accounting and finance visionaries embracing automation and AI to accelerate digital transformation – modernizing inefficient processes to deliver improved financial management. Vic.ai’s world-class AI solution has been meticulously developed by top engineers over the last five years and trained on more than half a billion invoices.

The company’s founders strongly believe that accounting automation shouldn’t be confused with autonomous accounting. The first is rule or template-based, pre-programmed, and therefore not adapting to the environment. When leveraging Artificial Intelligence, the technology itself reasons and strategizes on the data when autonomous accounting is achieved. “Vic.ai’s AI algorithms can reason on behalf of Accounting Teams and also adapt to new requirements making the accounting process autonomous,” explains Alexander Hagerup, Co-Founder and CEO, Vic.ai.

Today, Vic.ai is addressing the most manual and inefficient task in accounting—invoice processing—to improve its speed and scalability and ultimately enable customers to reinvent their accounts payable operations.The platform is designed specifically for upper mid-size and enterprise finance departments and empowers accountants, CFOs, controllers, and accounts payable (AP) teams with AI, to process invoices at a lower cost, faster, and more accurately. Vic.ai is ushering in the new era of intelligent accounting by eliminating manual data entry and automating invoicing completely.

Automated Analytics

Vic.ai Analytics, as a part of the Intelligence pillar, provides clients with customizable processing insight dashboards and includes performance data based on user, region, AI accuracy, processing time, and more. One of the key intelligence metrics is measuring the share of the (no-touch) AutoPiloted invoices in real-time to ensure that finance teams are on track to maximize autonomy.Another analytics metric that can be extracted is user performance, which is vital for process improvement. The platform gives clients insights into how the team uses it and identifies if someone struggles in any part of the new workflow. This is vital intel for finance leaders to have at hand in real-time without leveraging internal or external auditors. “The broader goal with Vic.ai Intelligence is to derive valuable information from financial transactions in real-time, which drives better decision-making, and creates a competitive advantage with data insights,” points Kristoffer Roil, Co-Founder and COO, Vic.ai.

Creating Continuous Innovation

Autonomous invoice processing uses AI algorithms that perform transactional accounting tasks and cost-side accounting autonomously by learning from clients’ data and their accounting team without human intervention. Vic.ai’s artificial intelligence runs the accounts payable process from beginning to end, mimicking human decision-making. The algorithms process an invoice autonomously – enter the data, classify the costs, and send it for approval – once it is has determined that it’s confident enough not to require human review.

The longer clients use Vic.ai, the more autonomy they get. This autonomy element of the platform is all about driving and developing a technology that can reason and make decisions on its own. The platform is currently operating on a 97-99% AI accuracy, already surpassing human-level accuracy, and clients see up to 80% process improvements by having the AI algorithms perform the work previously handled via templates and human revision. With Vic.ai, CFOs and controllers from high-growth enterprise finance teams can keep headcount under control, increase security, and reduce costly errors due to poor internal controls.

Since opening its doors in 2007, Vic.ai has been creating continuous innovations that streamline accounting operations for its clients. The company today has 2500+ corporate finance and accounting clients, plus enterprise clients including Nordic Hotels (Sweden’s largest real-estate management company), Intercom Inc. and HireQuest Inc., as well as top accounting firms like KPMG, PwC, BDO, and Armanino LLP While explaining the company’s solutions, Hagerup illustrates an instance when Vic assisted HSB—the largest property management firm in Sweden, which needed to replace its back-office financial software to future-proof their business. HSB manages over 5,000 properties with about 300 accountants in their accounting department, who process nearly 1.5 million invoices a year. HSB’s existing scanning technology for accounts payable and straight-through processing involved manual coding and classification of every invoice, requiring an average of five to six minutes to process an invoice. In an ambitious bid to future-proof its business, the company was in dire need of innovation in its century-old back-office financial operations. This is where Vic.ai stepped in with its intelligent platform that allowed autonomous management of AP workflows with zero human touch or review. In a validation of success, Vic.ai drastically reduced HSB’s average invoice processing time to 30 seconds per invoice. With over 200 HSB employees using Vic.ai, the client saved more than 25,000 hours in a year—a massive amount of time that the finance employees can now use for more important business aspects, such as corporate strategy, real estate needs, and capital investments.

Augmenting the Capabilities of the AI

Vic.ai’s approach delivers solutions guided by continuous and compounding innovation. The solutions developed should work autonomously, with the support of highly talented cross-functional teams pursuing the unknown in an agile and vision-driven manner.  Furthermore, Vic.ai has raised $63M to date and is backed by top tier VCs, including ICONIQ Growth, GGV Capital, Cowboy Ventures &Costanoa Ventures, who share Vic.ai’s vision to disrupt and innovate a whole industry.

Today, as part of the company’s evolution plan, Vic.ai looks forward to expanding its market in both Europe and the US while also focusing on augmenting the capabilities of the AI engine and the platform at large. Vic.ai’s solutions partner program enables VARs to sell, implement, support and administer Vic.ai to their customer base. The company also has a technology partner program where other software platforms can embed Vic.ai technology into their solutions.New features will be focused on Vic.ai’s Intelligence solution, which in the future will be divided into Vic.ai Analytics and Vic.ai Intelligent Insights. “As mentioned, our ultimate goal with Vic.ai Intelligence is to derive valuable information from financial transactions in real-time to enable prescriptive and actionable advice around spending,” concludes Hagerup.

Company:
Vic.ai

Management:
Alexander Hagerup, Co-Founder & CEO
Kristoffer Roil, Co-Founder & COO

Quote:

Vic.ai’s AI algorithms can reason on behalf of Accounting Teams and also adapt to new requirements making the accounting process autonomous”

The broader goal with Vic.ai Intelligence is to derive valuable information from financial transactions in real-time, which drives better decision-making, and creates a competitive advantage with data insights”

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