Customer story

A safe journey towards AI-based automation

“Considering the invoice checkups and robust algorithms that form the basis of Kaunt, I can only conclude that the team behind it have really done their utmost. The system is user-friendly and stable, and now, it automatically handles a large amount of our ingoing supplier invoices.”

A safe journey towards AI-based automation

In late 2018, Svendborg municipality signed a deal with Kaunt to deliver automatic bookkeeping within the municipality. Prior to this, the municipality had successfully forayed into unexplored territory with a groundbreaking VAT analysis covering the years 2013 to 2015. An analysis which utilized the newest technology in artificial intelligence (AI). The brave pioneers at the end of the table in the picturesque municipality in southern Funen were department manager of the economic capacity, Karsten Effe Jespersen, and economic director, Jens Otto Kromann. They were both of them enthusiastic about freeing up resources by automating administrative processes and at the same time gain experience in utilizing the possibilities in AI.

AI-based VAT review uncovered surprising results

In 2018, Svendborg municipality has just completed a tough series of cutbacks, which severely impacted budgets at all ends of the organization. Even though Karsten Effe Jespersen and jens Otto Kromann saw great potential in automating bookkeeping using Kaunt’s solution, it was difficult to have to make further cuts to non-central budgets to fund the inception of another “increased effectivity project.” Even if there were immediate, process-related benefits to using Kaunt from day one.

For this reason, it became crucial to the collaboration that a joint financial model was negotiated, one that ensured Svendborg municipality a positive cash flow from the outset. This unique financial model involved an AI-based VAT analysis using Kaunt’s solution, VAT Review. The project turned out to be holding the first surprise for the municipality – or, as recalled by Karsten Effe Jespersen:

Despite other external VAT experts already having scrutinized the years 2013 to 2015 through a professional lens, the AI-based booking algorithms of Kaunt could reveal a pattern showing a plethora of smaller booking errors. All in all, this gave rise for us to take home a less than insignificant VAT refund, thereby securing funds to finance the automatic bookkeeping with Kaunt.”

Karsten Effe Jespersen, Department manager of the economic capacity
- Svendborg municipality

A start tailored to Svendborg municipality

Kaunt’s solution for automatic bookkeeping of supplier invoices recommends a wide deployment across the organization from the get-go. For their startup period, Svendborg municipality chose to follow a more typical path to implementation in which, slowly, department after department was slowly opened up to Kaunt. Karsten Effe Jespersen relates:

For a long time, we discussed if we were bold enough to “let go of the wheel” completely. Afterall, Kaunt is a classic example of new technology and opportunistic IT engineers encountering a reality characterized by well-established procedures and workflow processes, where decisions are usually made democratically, in joint conference with all parties involved.”

Karsten Effe Jespersen, Department manager of the economic capacity
- Svendborg municipality

Absolute trust in Kaunt

A directorial decision in April of 2020, focusing on optimizing effectiveness, became the basis for Svendborg municipality finally taking the leap and opening up in earnest to let Kaunt handle all ingoing invoices, either with or without final approval by an employee. Since then, no one at the municipality has looked back. Karsten Effe Jespersen wraps up the interview:

I must say that our cautiousness proved unfounded. Considering the invoice checkups and the robust algorithms that form the basis of Kaunt, I can only conclude that the team behind it have really done their utmost. The system is user-friendly and stable, and now, it automatically handles a large amount of our ingoing supplier invoices. We do have employees that take some getting used to the new reality, in which we have more time for local citizen projects or more complex problems, but we are exceedingly enthusiastic. Perhaps we should have let go of the wheel a little earlier on.”

Karsten Effe Jespersen, Department manager of the economic capacity
- Svendborg municipality

Curious?

Reach out to CEO Frank Aaquist at +45 20 69 18 68 or faq@kaunt.com. We offer a non-committal presentation of options online – but we’d also love to drop by and talk it through over a cup of coffee!