What is Invoice Processing?
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.
- Automate data entry tasks
- Eliminate data entry errors with validation rules and improved UI
- Automate retrieval of invoices from vendor websites or email
- Assign Profit Centers and GL Codes based on business rules
- Match invoices against open POs
SimpleIndex can bring speed and efficiency to your scanning or doc filing no matter the process. Even if all you are doing is hand keying a few basic details about a document, breaking those details into individual indexes and adding tools like drop down choice lists, automatic orientation, and blank page deletion ensure a smoother, more consistent process.
Here’s where things start to get interesting. From basic tasks like splitting individual documents within at stack of pages by spotting a blank page, a specific mark, or a barcode separator to capturing index data directly from the page or looking up additional details about a document in a database, SimpleIndex has a host of powerful tools to tame your piles of paper or drives full of digital files. Let’s look at a few.
Optical Character Recognition is the ability to take a scan, which is merely a picture of a page, and turn it into words that the computer can understand and use to index your files. SimpleIndex leverages the power of ABBYY FineReader, recognized as one of the best OCR engines on the market, to accurately capture names, dates, important numbers, document types, and other details about your file. Some products have you set a box and capture whatever information happens to fall in that zone. SimpleIndex takes it further with Dynamic Zone OCR to enable you to set an oversized zone that allows for shifting of the pages between scans, but still captures just the date you need by matching against templates, lists, or even Regular Expressions (RegEx). You can also skip the zones entirely and use the full text of a page to find matches for your index data.
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If you have a scanner and want to avoid retyping your documents, SimpleOCR is the fast, free way to do it. The SimpleOCR freeware is 100% free and not limited in any way. Anyone can use SimpleOCR for free–home users, educational institutions, even corporate users.
If your documents have multi-column layouts, non-standard fonts, tables, poor quality or digital camera images, you will not have much success with applications based on free and open source engines like SimpleOCR and Tesseract. You will need a commercial OCR application to get an accurate read. Our OCR Guide compares desktop and […]
The phrase “document management” is rather broad and can apply to a variety of scenarios depending on the needs (and size) of the business. In some instances we are talking about a system that merely gives us an efficient way to scan paper and save it out in an orderly, intuitive structure. Other times, we need to bring in search and viewing capabilities that are all handled inside a single piece of software.
Likewise we may be working with more than just digitized paper files. Native born electronic documents such as MS Office docs, CAD drawings and graphics files. There can also advanced records management requirements like access audit trails, document retention, lifecycle and workflow. These features are especially important when dealing with regulatory compliance such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley.
Personal & Small Business
Users within a single department, working from home or who have a small business can simply scan their documents to a folder that is shared to everyone. In this “ad-hoc” scenario you only need some basic document scanning software to simplify and bring consistency to your filing system. Our SimpleIndex software is a perfect all-in-one scanning and document management tool for this purpose.
If you want to move to the next level, there are Desktop Document Management options that provide an all-in-one means for capture, storage, search and retrieval of documents. These solutions are affordable and focused on automating process of organizing and filing documents rather than advanced security and workflow features found in enterprise solutions.
And let’s not forget cloud-based options that alleviate the need to maintain storage servers or keep software up to date.
One Source, Many Solutions
There are many document scanning solutions to choose from. ScanStore offers many of the top document imaging solutions under one virtual roof. ScanStore‘s CDIA+ consultants can work with you to explain the strengths and weaknesses of each option and even provide a demo of the products using samples that you provide.
You’ll find flexibility with each of these products allowing a one-person shop to jump right in, or scale up to enterprise or service bureau proportions. If you need to throw some data capture into the document imaging mix, ScanStore also carries OCR, forms processing and document management tools.
Information and Advice
Take a look at the Scanning Solutions Comparison page to find in-depth information on the features of the available offerings and for more insight in finding the best fit.
And be sure not to miss the detailed comparison of the favorite Batch Scanning solutions in the exclusive Document Scanning Software Review.
What’s Right for You
You want a paperless office and document scanning is part of the path to get you there. Simply buying a scanner and feeding paper into it isn’t going to save you money. Automation of the scanning process is what holds costs down and drives up your Return on Investment.
For example, if an OCR automation costs $3,000 to implement, but by doing so you save a $15/hr employee 10 hours per week of data entry, the feature has paid for itself in 20 weeks.
So how do we automate the data capture? Here are a few possibilities:
Full-Page OCR turns a scan into a full-text document you can search
Barcodes on each document contain key data like a customer name or invoice number
A single field […]
Enterprise OCR servers let you perform Optical Character Recognition on thousands of documents at a time, scaling to meet the demands of the largest document conversions.
Traditional Desktop OCR applications require a person to load the scanned document, run the OCR process and save the output files. This makes sense when you are converting individual documents, but large organizations with thousands or millions of documents need something much more automated and scalable.
Typical Enterprise OCR Applications
As the cost of OCR software and hardware goes down each year and the quality goes up, full-text search is included in more and more records management applications. Typical applications include:
- Data mining
- Litigation support
- Full-text searching
- Document management
Features of Enterprise OCR Servers
- OCR is performed in the background without a user interface
- Files are imported automatically from hotfolders
- Ability to use multiple CPUs and servers for processing
- Management tools for remote administration
- Web service & API integration to submit OCR jobs
What is the Best OCR Server?
The ABBYY FineReader Server offers the best combination of features, performance and pricing. It has flexible licensing, including an unlimited CPU-based license that does not limit the number of pages processed.
Foxit PDF Compressor has the lowest entry level pricing, OmniPage OCR and unique PDF compression technology that can dramatically reduce the size of searchable PDF documents, leading to faster viewing and lowered cloud storage and bandwidth costs.
The SimpleIndex Server offers affordable unattended OCR services coupled with advanced data extraction and indexing capabilities that organizes documents automatically or saves metadata to Excel or a SQL database. It doesn’t have the scalability, API interfaces or compression technology that other OCR servers have, but you can bundle the Standard Server version with them to add indexing, […]
Batch OCR for Full-Text Conversion & Searchable PDF
The primary purpose of Optical Character Recognition is to quickly and automatically convert scanned images of machine-printed (typed) text into actual text data that you can search through and modify.
Batch OCR software allows for the conversion of multiple files at once, usually through a hot folder or watched email inbox method that converts any files added to a particular folder.
While automatic processing is available in these applications, they are not designed for true server-based processing since the application has to be running on the user’s desktop. OCR servers are designed for unattended batch OCR processing and high-volume applications that require multiple CPUs and processing workflows.
OCR Data Capture systems are designed to read specific data points from documents and output structured data like CSV, XML, JSON or SQL databases. SimpleIndex, FlexiCapture and PaperVision Capture all offer batch zone OCR as well as advanced features like AI-based training, invoice processing and line items.
Our OCR experts can help you find the batch OCR software that is right for your project, as well as providing remote installation, setup, training and support that’s not available for most desktop OCR applications. We can also help with enterprise implementations, custom API integrations, RPA or […]
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