How Can OCR Help Automate Accounts Payable?

OCR Help Automate Accounts Payable

Dealing with accounts payable is never the most interesting task when operating a business, but it’s an unfortunate reality that always needs to be handled promptly and professionally. In fact, it is one of the most important parts of running any business. Errors in the accounting process can have a serious impact on a company’s finances, taxes, and relationships with suppliers, so an impeccable level of accuracy is vital at all times.

One challenge for businesses during the accounts payable process is the digitization of information. Most businesses now operate on a mostly digital basis, storing the majority of their data on computers for convenience and security, but many documents used as part of accounts payable are still paper-based. All of these invoices and other documents generally need to be digitized as quickly as possible, and optical character recognition (OCR) technology can help to automate this process accurately and reliably.

In this article, we look at how OCR software – and AI OCR software in particular – can help organizations to automate their accounts payable and streamline their finance operations.

What is OCR for accounts payable?

OCR for accounts payable is much the same as OCR technology used for any other purpose in that it takes physical documents and transfers the information on them into a digital format, only it is applied specifically to an accounts payable context. This could involve scanning and digitizing the information from paper-based invoices, for example, or other kinds of accounting documents.

In the past, businesses needed to manually transfer data from documents by hand into computers, a laborious, expensive, and often inaccurate process. When OCR software initially began to be developed, many organizations adopted it to help with their document digitization. However, basic OCR software suffers from several limitations such as high error rates, making it often even less accurate than manual data transfer.

OCR For Accounts Payable
                                                                                    OCR For Accounts Payable

Now, AI-based OCR can bypass these limitations and offer a new, more efficient way for companies to digitize their data faster, more accurately, and with less work than ever before.

How can OCR help companies automate accounts payable?

Automated data entry and transfer

The single biggest benefit of AI-based OCR for accounts payable is its ability to automate the digitization process, eliminating the need for businesses to commit large amounts of resources to data entry. Previously, companies were forced to rely on employees copying data by hand to computers, a time-consuming, expensive process that is prone to human error.

OCR automates the transfer of data from physical to digital form, helping businesses bypass the long process of manual data transfer. AI-powered OCR further improves the digitization process, boosting accuracy rates and saving organizations money on their digitization by automating the process.

More accurate accounting

Accuracy when it comes to accounts and financial information is absolutely fundamental for any business. However, traditional digitization methods of manual data transfer and basic OCR platforms often have notoriously high error rates. This can cause genuine problems for organizations, at best costing time and effort to correct and at worst causing serious discrepancies in accounting data.

AI-based OCR gives businesses a way to carry out their data digitization with exceptional accuracy, avoiding the usual issue of high error rates and the problems that come with it. This gives users the confidence to rely on the accuracy and reliability of their digitization with minimal intervention.

Integrated with existing systems

The advanced capabilities of some AI-based OCR platforms mean they can be seamlessly integrated with existing IT systems, such as databases, accounting software, and so on. This helps organizations to streamline the digitization process even further and reduce the pressure on workers to worry about navigating incompatible systems.


Each employee has a limit to their working speed, so high demand for data digitization – such as during particularly busy periods for accounting or when a business is growing rapidly – can make it extremely difficult for companies to keep up with digitization. This can cause businesses to fall behind in their growth, workers to become overwhelmed with workloads, drops in data accuracy, higher staffing costs, and other negative consequences.

OCR platforms are inherently more scalable, giving organizations a far greater capacity to process financial documents and digitize the information. Many AI-powered OCR platforms can process thousands of documents in less time than a human can process one, making them perfect to cope with growing businesses and constant fluctuations in demands on accounting teams.

Process any accounting document

Another limitation of manual transfer and basic OCR software is the fact that both methods can struggle to recognize and process complex documents. Unfortunately, financial documents encountered by accounts payable teams are regularly complex and unique in their formatting. This can result in long processing times, reduced accuracy rates, and – in the case of basic OCR software – complete incompatibility with certain documents.

AI-based OCR can reliably recognize a far greater range of complex documents and unique formats. Additionally, the algorithms powering the software can often be pre-trained to recognize any specified document type. These features make AI OCR more useful to businesses aiming to automate their accounts payable process and digitization.

Why choose Digitise.AI accounts payable OCR?

The advanced AI behind the Digitise.AI platform can transform the way your organization handles accounts payable. With Digitise.AI powering the processing and digital storage of your accounting data, you can accurately automate key elements of your accounting process and cost-effectively streamline your operations.

Our accounts payable experts can personalize the Digitise.AI platform to match the unique demands of your business, pre-training the machine learning algorithms to recognize and accurately transfer data from any specific document type.

Talk to our team today to learn more about the efficiency-boosting improvements Digitise.AI can bring to your business and see the platform in action.

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