OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition and is the technology
that allows software to interpret machine printed text on scanned images.
Invoice Processing Software uses OCR 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 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 Scanning Invoices 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 justifyable 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
capture solution to digitize and store scanned invoices can still provide many benefits.
How much do Scanning Invoices systems cost?
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
Invoice Processing applications can be quite specialized and must be installed and
configured by a certified professional. Once the initial configuration is complete, ongoing
maintenance, including adding new vendor templates as needed, can be performed in-house or as
part of an ongoing engagement with the ScanStore
Professional Services team.
Contact Us to get a professional analysis of your project
requirements and a full time and cost estimate.
What is the typical data entry workflow?
The process of converting a paper invoice to live data in your accounting system is as follows:
Paper is prepped for scanning (unfolded, staples removed, etc.)
Invoices are scanned on a high-speed document scanner
Scanned invoices are recognized with OCR
Relevant data is located using keywords & other layout elements
Questionable fields are displayed to a data entry operator for manual verification & correction
In advanced systems, corrected fields are used to train the template automatically
so that data is captured correctly the next time
Once all errors are corrected, data is exported directly to your accounting
Invoice Processing solutions are grouped into 2 categories. Specialized Invoice Processing applications
are pre-configured to handle just invoices. General purpose data capture applications can be configured
to recognize all or part of the data from invoices but require you to specifically configure data capture rules
for each vendor. Specialized applications are easier to configure and maintain, but general purpose
applications cost less and can be configured for use in other document and data capture projects throughout the organization.
IRISExtract Accounts Payable is a market-leading Invoice Processing solution in
Europe. ScanStore is proud to be the first US company to offer this cutting-edge solution.
IRISXtract has incredibly powerful classification technology capable of extracting most invoice
data (including line items) with minimal custom configuration and training. New
vendors and recognition errors can be trained on-the-fly by users instead of
programmers, constantly improving recognition rates and saving thousands in
long-term costs. This technology is as powerful as any solution available in the
US market with a very competitive price.
ABBYY FlexiCapture is a general purpose tool for locating and extracting data on
any kind of document. It requires more time to configure than the
invoice-specific applications, but it has far more flexibility. This flexibility
can be handy in cases where industry-specific data must also be captured, like
Bill of Lading numbers or Fuel Surcharges on trucking invoices. In cases where
more detailed setup is required, FlexiCapture becomes much easier to configure
than the IRIS solutions. FlexiCapture can also recognize table-formatted data on
any document, including invoice line items.
Of course, if you can see the applications of data entry automation outside the
accounts payable department, FlexiCapture has the robustness and scalability to
be used throughout the organization. The Distributed version of FlexiCapture
supports hundreds of scanning, recognition, verification and administration
stations that can be located all over the globe.
FlexiCapture Scanning Invoices with QuickBooks Video
This video shows how FlexiCapture can be used with the
SimpleQB QuickBooks data importer to provide a complete
Invoice Processing solution for QuickBooks. Though the focus of this video is on the
QuickBooks integration, it demonstrates
how invoices are recognized, verified and exported with FlexiCapture. Invoice data exports to more
advanced accounting packages can be done directly from FlexiCapture.
Simple Software's SimpleIndex can also 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.
Simple Software 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.
SimpleIndex Scanning Invoices with QuickBooks Integration Video
This low-cost solution is perfect for QuickBooks users that don't require line item data. It uses
SimpleQB QuickBooks Importer to import the recognized
data and create the transactions.
Using Screen Scraping OCR to Capture Invoices
With SimpleIndex it is also possible to use screen scraping OCR to index invoices automatically
by reading the data entry screens from your accounting software. In this scenario, invoices are data entered
in the acccounting system normally, then SimpleIndex uses OCR to read the key values from the data entry
screen and files the invoice automatically. The result is that data entry times are improved slightly while
invoices are digitally archived without any additional effort.
This approach has several advanatages:
Configuration and training takes hours not weeks
Scanned images are indexed with no extra work
All the advantages of digital docs--security, searching, sharing, etc.
Use all the data validation features of your software
No flipping through paper documents
Operator keeps eyes on the screen and hands on the keyboard
Data entry can be done remotely
Data entry performance improves and files are archived at the same time
On-Site Support Available for much of the
Eastern US Online support available worldwide!
We will perform on-site installation and
training services at any location within a 3 hour drive of one of our offices
without charging extra for airfare. However, our extensive online support
options make on-site visits unnecessary for many applications.
From our headquarters in Knoxville, TN we
are able to provide on-site service and support for East Tennessee (Knoxville,
Oak Ridge, Maryville,
Alcoa, Chattanooga, Nashville, Tri-Cities, Kingsport, TN), Western North
Carolina (Asheville, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Raleigh, Durham, NC), North
Georgia (Atlanta, Athens, Augusta, GA), Western South Carolina (Greenville,
Spartanburg, Columbia), North Alabama (Birmingham, Huntsville, AL), Eastern
Kentucky (Louisville, Lexington, Georgetown, KY) Southern Ohio (Cincinnati, OH),
and Southern Virginia (Bristol, Roanoke, Richmond, VA).
From our branch office in Boston we are able
to provide on-site service and support for Massachusetts (Boston, Worcester,
Springfield, MA), Rhode Island (Providence, Newport, RI), Connecticut (Hartford,
New Haven, Bridgeport, Danbury, CT), Southern New Hampshire (Nashua, Manchester,
NH), Eastern New York (New York City (NYC), Yonkers, Long Island, Albany, NY),
New Jersey (Newark, Trenton, NJ) and Eastern Pennsylvania (Philadelphia,
Allentown, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, PA).