understanding payment terms with natural language processing

Using Natural Language Processing to Understand Payment Terms

Do you receive payment terms in the unit of measure you require? Most of the time, when we receive a supplier invoice, the payment terms are not written in a way that allow us to enter into our accounting system. In addition, we need to do some of the calculation based on the agreement we have with our supplier.

Do you based it on the invoice date? Or do you base it on the date you received the invoice? Do you push the date to the end of the month? Either way, in order to do the calculation you will need to understand the meaning in the payment terms. Some examples are as follows:

  • 30 days from date of invoice
  • 1 month from date of invoice
  • Actual date: 12 Jan 2020

With the way dates are written, it may not be consistent as well. Some people write the date format as be Date/Month/Year but others might write it as Month/Date/Year. In order to make this process easier, we can use natural language processing.

What is Natural Language Processing?

Natural language processing (NLP) is a branch of artificial intelligence that helps computers understand, interpret and manipulate human language. Zapbot can understand the meaning of the date, phrase it in the right format and check against the policy you have with the suppliers. If you need to calculate the due date, you need to convert the text to a time frame. This can also be done by Zapbot.

What are the advantages?

With natural language processing, you can enable end to end automation for your account payable process. This will also remove the risk of human errors as Zapbot is efficient and consistent. This will allow you to have better relationships with your customers as you will not have to worry about sending invoices with errors in them. Your business will also run smoother with automation, as Zapbot can work 24/7. Zapbot will help you to save time as it is 3-5 times faster than humans. Your staff can then use the time saved to do more productive tasks. Use Zapbot for your business processes!


Written by: Christopher Lim


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