Invoice processing is arguably the least enjoyable part of running any business, but it’s also one of the most important things to get right. As invoices are directly linked to finances and taxes, invoice processing needs to be extremely accurate at all times, making it a stressful and time-consuming yet necessary part of running a company.
Depending on the size of your operation, it’s not uncommon to go through hundreds of invoices or more each month, many of which are often manually checked and inputted into a computer system by employees. When coupled with the need for accuracy, this makes invoice management a very lengthy process for staff members, costing money and taking resources away from other areas of the business. For these reasons, automating the invoice management process using optical character recognition (OCR) can have huge benefits for any organization, avoiding unnecessary expenditure and freeing up time.
In this article, we look in more detail at how AI-powered OCR can help to automate invoice processing and the benefits it can bring to businesses of all kinds.
What is OCR and how can it be improved by AI?
Basic OCR software is capable of identifying textual information and converting it into a digital format. This is, in theory, useful for automating the processing of any business documents, including invoices.
However, while traditional OCR software is useful for some simple document digitization, its real-world applications are limited when handling anything but the most basic documents and anything outside of its narrow range of programming. This can result in large numbers of errors, which makes it problematic for businesses relying on the accuracy, such as when handling invoices.
Now, a new generation of OCR software powered by AI is overcoming these challenges and revolutionizing document processing. Driven by AI, OCR can recognize more complex documents, digitise content more accurately, and simplify the use of the automation of invoice digitization.
How can AI-powered OCR improve invoice processing?
Eliminate manual data entry
The most obvious benefit of using OCR software is the fact it automates the data capture associated with invoice management. This enables businesses to eliminate, or dramatically reduce, the amount of manual data entry necessary to digitally store invoices.
By cutting out the laborious and often inaccurate task of manual data transfer, OCR software can reduce labor costs and free up resources to be used in other important areas of the business.
Capture invoice data more accurately
A serious issue with both manual data entry and traditional OCR software for invoice processing is inaccuracy. Humans are, and always will be, prone to errors, but traditional OCR software is often even more inaccurate than humans. In any situation, these inaccuracies are undesirable, but with invoice processing, they can have a significant negative impact on businesses. Financial statements, taxes, and more can all be affected, making accuracy hugely important in this context.
Advanced invoice management software uses AI and machine learning algorithms to recognize a broader range of text-based inputs with exceptional accuracy, regularly performing better than both manual data transfer and more basic OCR software.
Integrate with existing software
Advanced AI-powered digitization software can easily be integrated with a large range of business software, meaning that even more of the invoice management process can be effectively automated. For example, it can be designed to work directly with a business’ existing database and accounting software to streamline the process and save time.
Retrieve data faster
Another benefit of using AI-powered OCR software to automate invoice management is the potential to retrieve data more quickly. AI enables intuitive features that would otherwise not be possible, such as visual question answering. This feature allows people to literally ask a question about a specific document, such as “What is the total invoice value?” and receive an immediate, accurate answer. This eliminates the need to manually delve into invoices to gather information, speeding up the process significantly.
By operating digitally and automatically, AI-powered invoicing software has the ability to process a huge number of invoices almost immediately. This contrasts with old-fashioned manual invoice processing, where busy periods result in a greater number of man-hours. Instead, businesses can handle busy periods with ease and maintain exactly the same invoice management process even as they scale up, saving time and money and simplifying the accounting process.
Handle complex invoices with ease
A further advantage of AI invoice management over traditional manual data transfer or basic OCR is its greater ability to understand and harvest data from even highly complex invoices. Firstly, it is generally capable of automatically recognizing a wider range of types of text than basic OCR software. Secondly, the machine learning algorithms can also be trained to recognize specific formats and complex documents instantly, ensuring absolute compatibility with any business and its invoicing process.
Why choose Digitise.AI for your invoice management?
Digitise.AI’s transformative document digitization platform is built using the latest in AI technology to rapidly, automatically, and reliably transfer data from physical to digital storage in an instant, including business invoices.
We pre-train the advanced machine learning algorithms powering our platform to recognize any specific invoice format and achieve an exceptional level of accuracy, greater than the average human or more basic OCR software.
Speak to our team today to see Digitise.AI in action and discuss how it can help your business eliminate manual data entry forever.
Automate your invoice management today