Meet the Bill.com Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA)
What is IVA?
The machine learning capability in Bill.com that helps customers is called the Intelligent Virtual Assistant, or IVA. IVA saves firms time by reducing the need for manual bill data entry. IVA uses machine learning to extract information from invoices and improves or “learns” with feedback over time. IVA finds key bill data (vendor name, invoice number, invoice date, due date, and amount due) among a wide variety of bill formats and then extracts the relevant bill data for processing.
How is IVA different from OCR?
Optical character recognition technology, or OCR, software processes a digital image like a scanned bill, by locating and recognizing letters and numbers so that a computer can manipulate that information (process the bill). OCR doesn’t get better over time without implementing a new version of the software. IVA uses 10 years’ worth of accurately captured bill data for training in order to “learn” what to do with the next bill and it continues to get better with each new bill creation.
What is machine learning? Is that Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
Historically, the phrase AI referred to software possessing human-level intelligence. Technology is still far away from that vision. Today, AI is more commonly defined as a computer system’s ability to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. Machine learning is a subset of AI. Most of what we call AI today was called machine learning in the past. Machine learning is software that makes decisions based on past experience (“the learning”) without traditional programming that defines the information it can process. It uses statistical algorithms to improve over time based on past and present input and outputs, without reprogramming.
How do we talk to clients about IVA?
You can choose how much detail to provide clients about IVA, depending on the client’s involvement with the bill management process. For clients who are disengaged from the bill management process, they may not be interested in understanding the new technology that is reducing time spent inside the firm processing invoices. For clients who want to know all the details, it is important to note that IVA keeps firms and clients in control. IVA works on data extraction in the background but does not submit bills for approval, payment, or GL sync - those processes remain part of the standard Bill.com workflow controlled by firms and clients.
Want more information? Take a look at some of our blog posts on IVA: