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Shaping the Future of Finance with Generative AI




  • ACI Score

    ACI is analogous to FICO credit score. Just as a FICO score uses previous purchasing history to determine a person’s reliability in paying back a loan with interest, the ACI gives an employee a risk score from 0 to 100 based on his or her expense reporting behaviors and trends over time.

  • Accounts payable (AP)

    A part of the finance team whose functions include: keeping track of all payments and expenditures, including payroll, purchase orders, invoices, statements, etc. They also reconcile processed work by verifying entries and comparing system reports to balances and contracts.

  • Accounts Payable (AP) Manager

    The main point of contact for the payment of vendor invoices at an organization.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)

    Refers to the ability of a machine to understand and deal with situations in the way a human would.

  • Audit Workbench

    The section within the AppZen platform where expense reports are displayed.

  • Auto-Renewal

    Acts to perpetually renew a contract if notice to terminate is not provided within a generally specific and relatively small window of time (for example, 30 days prior to the end of the term).

  • Accounts Payable (AP)

    A department or process responsible for managing and processing a company's financial obligations to its suppliers and vendors.

  • AI (Artificial Intelligence)

    The simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and learn like humans. AI is used to automate and improve processes in finance operations.

  • AP Audit

    An examination of accounts payable records and transactions to ensure accuracy, compliance with policies and regulations, and identify any errors or discrepancies.

  • Autonomous Finance Operations

    The automation of finance decision making and processes using AI, which incorporates deep finance and business domain knowledge and operates without the need for human intervention.

  • Autonomous Index for Finance

    A measurement system developed by AppZen to determine the level of autonomy achieved in finance operations, ranging from Level 0 (fully manual) to Level 5 (fully autonomous).


  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

    Someone who is responsible for managing finances, mitigating financial risks, keeping accurate records, and reporting.

  • Chief Procurement Officer (CPO)

    Someone who oversees sourcing and contract negotiations at an enterprise.

  • Compliance

    Covers everything from keeping track of important meetings to following government industry regulations. If your business fails to keep up to date with the applicable laws and requirements, it may incur a variety of fines, from one-time fees to major penalties.

  • Computer vision

    A field of AI that trains computers to interpret and understand the visual world, allowing it to identify and classify objects.

  • Contract

    A legally-binding agreement which recognizes and governs the rights and duties of the agreeing parties.

  • Contract Audit

    Looks at an organization’s supplier agreements in real time to spot compliance issues and pricing discrepancies to better help procurement and compliance teams have stronger negotiations with their suppliers and enforce contract terms 24/7.


  • Deep Learning

    Deep learning is a subset of machine learning where artificial neural networks, algorithms inspired by the human brain, learn from large amounts of data. Similar to the way humans learn from experience, the deep learning algorithm performs a task repeatedly, making small changes with each repetition in order to improve the outcome. We refer to this as “deep learning” because the neural networks that enable this kind of learning can be numerous layers deep.

  • Direct Spend

    Direct Spend refers to purchases of goods and services that are directly incorporated into the manufacture of a product. Examples include raw materials, subcontracted manufacturing services, components, hardware, and goods for resale. These are usually procured via purchase orders and contracts. Direct spend is reflected in a company’s income statement under Cost of Goods Sold (COGS).

  • Data Entry

    The process of manually inputting data into a system or database, often performed by finance staff in traditional workflow-driven finance operations.


  • Expense Audit

    An expense audit is the process of establishing the existence, validity, and accuracy of the evidence provided by employees to support their reimbursement claims for business expenses. This is done by assessing whether each employee transaction complies with internal company policies, government regulations, and reasonableness (i.e. not out of the ordinary course of business). Any out-of-policy or non-business related expenses claimed as a business expense should raise a flag for an expense auditor to review. This can lead to requests for further proof, such as manager approval records or merchant receipts. An expense auditor may deny a fraudulent, unreasonable, or non-compliant claim, leading to denial of the reimbursement.

  • Expense automation systems

    Expense Automation Systems, also referred to as Expense Management Systems (EMS), are software programs deployed by enterprises that allow employees to request, approve, book, claim, and be reimbursed for business travel and entertainment expenses. Common EMS systems include Oracle, Emburse, and SAP Concur.

  • Expense Report

    An expense report is a form used by employees to detail business expenditures they have incurred and for which they are requesting reimbursement. The employee typically provides or attaches information about the context and content of the expense, including the date, amount, merchant, beneficiary or attendees, any prior approval, supporting receipts, and invoices. This enables business managers and accountants to assess the existence, validity, and accuracy of the business expense claim and reimburse the employee. Finance managers can then record the reimbursed amounts as business expenses, which then affects their net income and tax exemptions.

  • Expense Audit

    An examination of expense reports to ensure compliance with company policies, identify fraudulent or wasteful expenses, and detect errors or inaccuracies.

  • ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)

    A software system that integrates various functions and departments within an organization, including finance, accounting, human resources, and supply chain management.


  • FCPA

    The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA), which was designed to make it illegal for companies to influence foreign officials with personal payments.

  • Finance AI

    Artificial intelligence specifically applied to finance processes, enabling automated decision-making and processing of financial transactions.


  • Machine learning

    A general framework of mathematical models that allow computers to learn from previous experiences.

  • Managed Spend

    Refers to all budget spent through a managed contract with a supplier. This often includes all non-payroll money that a company’s management team has influence over in dictating which preferred vendors will be used and how exactly the money will be spent.


  • Natural language processing (NLP)

    A field of AI that’s focused on understanding text.



  • Out-of-policy spend

    Charges that are outside of company policy and not eligible for reimbursement, such as flight upgrades or alcohol.

  • OCR (Optical Character Recognition)

    A technology that converts scanned images or printed text into machine-readable data, used to extract information from paper or PDF-based invoices and receipts.


  • Payment terms (Net 30, Net 60, Net 90)

    The conditions under which a vendor completes a sale including, when payment is expected; any conditions on that payment; any discounts the buyer will receive; etc.

  • Politically-exposed people

    Someone who has been entrusted with a prominent public function.

  • Procurement

    The process of finding and agreeing to terms, and acquiring goods, services, or works from an external source, often via a tendering or competitive bidding process. This process seeks to ensure that the buyer receives goods, services, or works at the best possible price when aspects such as quality, quantity, time, and location are compared.

  • Purchase Order (P.O.)

    A commercial document and first official offer issued by a buyer to a seller indicating types, quantities, and agreed prices for products or services.


  • Reimbursable Expense

    Charges that are within a company’s T&E policy

  • RPA (Robotic Process Automation)

    The use of software robots or bots to automate repetitive tasks and processes, improving efficiency and reducing the need for human intervention.


  • Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX)

    Passed in 2002, this is a federal law that outlines financial and auditing regulations for publicly-held companies.

  • Star matching

    In the matching process performed for goods and services ordered through a purchase order that takes place during the online invoice approval process, invoices are matched to every term, document, digital log available and accessible.

  • Semantic Analysis

    One of the foundations of AI, which uses logic to reason from designed models.

  • SLA (Service Level Agreement)

    A contract between a service provider (either internal or external) and the end user that defines the level of service expected from the service provider.

  • Sunshine Act

    Its full name is actually The Physician Payments Sunshine Act (PPSA) and it was designed to boost transparency around the financial relationships between physicians, hospitals, and drug companies.

  • Spend Audit

    The examination of expenses and spending activities to identify potential savings opportunities, detect fraudulent or non-compliant spending, and ensure efficient use of resources.

  • Structured Data

    Data that is, in very predictable, organized formats that can be captured accurately by legacy data management tools.


  • T&E

    Travel and entertainment

  • T&E Policy

    The guidelines which outline what can and cannot be submitted for reimbursement.

  • The Turing Test

    Developed by Alan Turing in 1950, this refers to the ability of a machine to be indistinguishable from a human.

  • Touchless Processing

    The automation of financial processes without the need for human interaction or intervention, accomplished through the use of AI and other advanced technologies.


  • Workflow

    Workflow is the steps on an expense report goes through from employee submission to payment.

  • Workflow-driven Finance

    A traditional approach to finance operations that relies on manual effort, sequential steps, and human decision-making, often involving the keying of information into structured forms and routing them for processing.


  • Unstructured Data

    Data that does not have a predefined format or organization, making it challenging to capture and process using traditional data management tools. Examples include images, text in receipts, and PDF-based invoices.


  • Human Error

    Mistakes or inaccuracies made by humans in financial processes, which can lead to financial losses, inefficiencies, or non-compliance.


  • Invoices

    Documents sent by suppliers or vendors to request payment for goods or services provided to a company.