OCR, or Optical Character Recognition, is a technology that helps you convert printed text into digital text that you can edit and manipulate. One clear application for an optical character recognition app is invoice processing. The best OCR software should not only recognize text, but the best OCR software should help you automate further by automatically entering data or coding the text it scans for easy processing.
Using OCR software can help you streamline the first step of accounts payable invoice processing. The best OCR software for an accounts payable team should be able to convert invoices the company receives into digital files that can be edited. This means that the OCR software can extract data from a variety of sources, then compile it all into a neat document.
OCR software for accounting is becoming the standard among middle market companies, as automation is the key to freeing the accounts payable department from unnecessary and overwhelming paperwork. With these factors in mind, the ideal OCR software should be thought of as a helpful tool in accounting, working alongside the accounts payable team members to prepare invoices for review and minimize opportunity for human error, therefore allowing invoices to quickly enter the fourth step of invoice processing, which is forwarding to the appropriate person or department for approval.
OCR in Accounting
One of the first commercial uses of OCR software was for invoice scanning in accounts payable departments. So what is OCR in accounting? Accounts payable teams are still receiving paper invoices from their suppliers, but there are ways to update your invoice processing with software. After you scan invoices, you need to check the amount on the invoices against their corresponding purchase orders. Are there discrepancies? If the amount on the invoice does not match the amount on the purchase order, then you have other work to do before you approve payments.
Before OCR software, this was a much more tedious, fully manual process that delayed the rest of the invoice processing cycle, which relied on its completion. Rather than relying on manual input, OCR automates the way we extract and utilize information from a variety of formats into a digitized, editable document.
This kind of software is the perfect tool for an accounts payable team, where its purpose is to automatically conduct text extraction from bills and invoices. OCR is an important first step of the invoice processing cycle. OCR technology pairs nicely with AvidXchange’s invoice capture abilities, which captures key value pairs and tables that can be used to further streamline the automated invoice process. OCR is the easiest way to enter data, especially from paper invoices, into a digital platform like AvidXchange for further invoice processing.
Best OCR Software for Invoice Processing
You should use an OCR software service specifically designed for efficient invoice processing. Alongside machine learning, AvidXchange uses OCR software not only to scan invoices, but also process and deliver these invoices to the accounts payable team via their platform. As soon as an invoice is scanned onto the platform, the invoice can be pushed to the first stage of your approval process.
The OCR software provided by AvidXchange comes equipped with machine learning technology that can be useful for extracting structured data from invoices automatically. Consider how invoice processing machine learning can adapt to your workflow and provide you with the best OCR software for invoice processing. OCR software can help you replace manual data entry with invoice data extraction software that scans invoice documents and inputs data automatically into your invoice processing software. The invoice is then ready to be processed and approved, and you can even automatically code the invoice data before you begin processing. Utilizing OCR is beneficial for the accounts payable team to work efficiently by automating what would otherwise be a very time-consuming process.
OCR for Invoice Processing
The utility of OCR for invoice processing is unmatched when it comes to identifying, processing, and synthesizing invoice information. This is a process that can take a decent period of time to complete depending on the format the invoice arrives in, whether that be a PDF, printed text, and so on. Most of the time, going through these documents and extracting the important data manually takes significantly longer than an automated procedure would.
Preparing invoices for processing can normally be a fairly time consuming task prone to inefficiency. Employing the assistance of invoice data extraction powered by OCR software allows accounts payable teams to process invoices faster. Invoice processing is a complex, multi-stage task for every accounts payable team, so you are always at risk of moving slowly and being at higher risk for accidental human error. Take advantage of software automation and lower these risks.
An advanced OCR-based software system is one of the best options for breaking down an invoice. A scanned invoice dataset generated automatically using OCR software far outpaces that of what is capable with manual entry, so you can improve the speed and efficiency of your accounts payable team.
OCR Invoice Processing Open Source
The best kind of automatic invoice processing software has the ability to be catered to the specific needs and wants of the company. It should be able to provide a tailored experience that reflects the existing workflows of the accounts payable team. You may use OCR to help you extract all of the necessary data from invoices. You can find open source invoice processing software or free invoice processing software, but there may be disadvantages to using these. Open source software may not be as focused as you want it to be. Your business may have a very complex accounts payable system, and you may want software that is more tailored to your industry.
The OCR solution for invoice processing is one that gives the company and accounts payable team as much control as possible over the entire invoice approval process from the beginning. If you are considering invoice OCR open source software, then consider if it will fit into your overall invoice processing workflow. It may not be good enough to only consider how you are scanning invoices. You should have an OCR software that sets your team up for success during the entire invoice approval process.
Free OCR Invoice Scanning
While you may be able to find free OCR invoice scanning software out there, it is important to realize that there are shortcomings to these types of free programs. There are differences in capabilities when comparing free OCR invoice scanning software to premium versions or services. The typical free OCR invoice scanning software may be able to scan handwritten or printed files and convert them into digital text, but there may not be any other features. Even if you scan invoices and convert them into a digital dataset, you may have to clean up the dataset and code invoice data before you begin invoice processing. There does not have to be a delay between invoice scanning and invoice processing. Paid software may have features where you can scan invoices and convert it into a usable dataset for invoice processing.
AvidXchange’s OCR software and invoice processing service offers a degree of automation that can improve efficiency and workflow within the accounting department. One of the most important benefits to consider is it can save you time and it can make the invoice process simple to navigate. Even the most accurate free OCR technology available tends to fall short on automation features. At the end of the day, what matters is what an investment will create for accounts payable and the company in terms of value. What is the platform that will give you the most from your investment when its additional perks and overall effectiveness are taken into account?
API stands for Application Programming Interface. Considering that OCR for invoice processing is built into AvidXchange’s system, this means that you can have a seamless experience scanning invoices into the AvidXchange platform. Once again, you have an opportunity to save time while the accounts payable team is working to get invoices approved. Having OCR technology as one of the features of the AvidXchange platform gives your team an improved workflow by having a quick start to your approval process. Scanning invoices and converting them into a usable dataset is an important first step to digital invoice processing, so getting this step right can help your team process invoices faster.
Using the best OCR API for your invoice processing software can help you quickly move into your approval process. The first thing you will want to do is match the information from the invoice to your purchase order. Before you approve payment for the invoice, you will want to make sure that the amount from your purchase order matches the amount on the invoice. With AvidXchange, the data pulled from the OCR technology is immediately usable for invoice matching. Having a user-friendly invoice OCR API can be an advantage to efficiently processing your invoices.