Invoice Processing Software uses OCR data capture technology and page layout analysis to automatically identify the common data elements in an invoice, such as vendor, date, amount, invoice number, line item data, etc.. Invoice Processing applications are built using the same technology as other data extraction applications, but have been specifically configured to recognize Invoices since they are one of the most common documents that companies need to automate.
Who can benefit from Invoice Processing software?
Any organization that receives a large number of vendor invoices on paper can benefit from invoice processing technology. The more data from each invoice that you are hand-keying into your accounting software the more benefit you can get from each page you automate.
Accounting firms and other companies that do outsourced accounts payable processing stand to gain the most return on investment from automation. It also has the benefit of on-shoring the data entry, providing additional security and piece of mind to your customers.
A robust OCR invoice processing solution becomes justifiable when you have over 1,000 invoices per month. When dealing with smaller volumes the potential return on investment does not justify investment in an enterprise solution. However, a simple document scanning solution to digitize and store scanned invoices can still provide many benefits.
How does it lower the cost of AP processing?
There are many benefits to OCR invoice systems when it comes to AP processing that give these systems a very high return on investment.
The total cost of a invoice processing solution includes several items:
Cost of the software
Time to install and configure the software
Training the software to recognize your particular vendors and invoice formats
Configure data export to your accounting solution
User and administrator training
Labor required to verify the recognition results
IT infrastructure and maintenance costs
If you have an IT staff that is familiar with document scanning and OCR applications, it is possible to do much of the configuration and maintenance in-house. However AP invoice processing involves a lot of specialized knowledge that can only be gained with years of experience implementing these systems. Any invoice processing solution will require Consulting Services to guide you through the implementation.
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What is the typical invoice processing workflow?
The process of converting a paper invoice to live data in your accounting system is as follows:
Paper invoices are scanned; electronic invoices are imported from email or a hotfolder
Document text is recognized with OCR or extracted from electronic documents
Automatic separation splits multi-invoice PDF files and handles attachments
Classification matches the invoice to its vendor
Trained vendor template locates field regions on the invoice
Identified regions are re-recognized with field-specific settings
Business rules are applied to check the results and flag unexpected values for validation
Fields with OCR errors or validation flags are presented to an operator for verification
Once all errors are corrected, data is exported to a file, database or API
Corrections made in verification are used by AI to train and update vendor invoice templates
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What OCR Invoice Processing Platforms are Available?
These application suites offer packaged OCR invoice processing solutions. Check out SimpleIndex for basic invoice processing where line item capture is not required. FlexiCapture and PaperVision Capture offer complete invoice processing with line items, business rules, AI-based training, and other features listed here.
SimpleSoftware’s SimpleIndex can be used to recognize key data on invoices as well as many other types of documents. With SimpleIndex it is possible to OCR invoice header data such as Vendor, Invoice Number, Date, Amount, etc., though it cannot read line item data. SimpleIndex has no page count limits and a very low price, making it one of the best deals on Invoice Processing. It also has the unique ability to use existing text from MS Office and PDF documents, creating a unique solution for extracting data from electronic documents without OCR.
SimpleSoftware also developed the SimpleQB QuickBooks Data Importer that can take the output from SimpleIndex or any other Invoice Processing available and receive them in QuickBooks automatically.
ABBYY FlexiCapture for Invoices is a ready-to-go solution that is capable of identifying data fields on the vast majority of invoices, enabling you to start processing right away. Intelligent on-the-fly Auto-Training technology refines the extraction of data from invoices with non-standard layouts. It features country-specific validation rules, adaptable logical and arithmetic checks, and can match captured data against the company’s databases to ensure legal compliance and consistency of data, facilitate invoice approval, and detect misbilling. The program’s flexible settings allow you to adjust the processing workflow in accordance with your company’s specific business requirements and implement straight-through processing of invoices which have successfully passed all automatic validation rules, enabling the verifying personnel to focus on those documents which really require their attention.
PaperVision Capture's fully customizable OCR server uses a machine-based Open Text OCR license to give you incredibly fast full-text OCR capable of handling millions of pages per day without expensive click charges. It can be expanded to add powerful zone OCR and forms processing capabilities. PaperVision Capture was designed for the biggest service bureau scanning operations in the world and tackle any scanning, OCR and data capture job. Its modular licensing based on the number of capture stations gives it the best price/performance ratio for many scenarios.