In this post, you will find what invoice OCR software can offer and when it is reasonable to invest. We will also discuss distinctions between several approaches against invoice automation.

Is it Worth to Invest in Invoice OCR ?

Every day we hear big and bright sentences about RPA, business automation, machine learning etc. Digitalization of business is of course one of the hottest topics of our day, yet we must pick the right tools to invest to gain profit and benefits.

Invoice OCR software is a useful tool, which helps companies to eliminate manual processing of invoices. Manual processing might seem like an ancient concept to you since invoices are mostly received in digital formats. However, there is still a huge work to be done in terms of collecting, processing, validating, and delivering data stored in these digitized invoices.

Invoice OCR (also called invoice automation, invoice extraction or invoice capture) is a technology, which converts image of an invoice into text based, structured data. Crucial point about invoice OCR software is how fine-grained the extracted data is. If you are working on a single layout, OCR is easily trained to find and extract relevant data properly. In such scenarios accuracy rates are very high. But this is not the case for most of the companies. Accounts payable department receives invoices in many various layouts.

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Shortcomings of Invoice OCR

Legacy OCR solutions use the location of data points in a document to find and extract the relevant information. This means, system must know precisely where to look at and the system can only know it if you teach it. It is relatively easy to teach an invoice OCR software to find meta-data of an invoice, such as date, invoice number, vendor name, total amount etc.

However, invoices contain more detailed information. Line items, tables, and other possible details each vendor may add to its unique invoice layout. It is obvious that you need to train invoice OCR software for parsing each layout variation and it is not a practical alternative in terms of AP automation.

AI Powered OCR Solutions

As we described above, invoice OCR systems tend to fail when we need to extract detailed information from variable invoice layouts. Since the aim of accounts payable automation is processing any invoice without human intervention, a solution is needed to enable OCR technology to parse various layouts. In the last decade, AI has come into play and made it possible to build invoice OCR solutions which are template/document agnostic.

AI powered OCR solutions don’t use predetermined rules or templates. Instead, they themselves can read and understand invoice content. Machine learning (ML) component is the secret, which makes it possible to parse a completely different invoice layout. Based on comparative semantical analysis of thousands of invoice layout, ML reaches to a contextual understanding of the content.

How Much Does Invoice OCR Software Cost?

Total cost of processing invoices with an OCR solution depends on several topics. Yet it is important to use a cloud-based solution like onVision, which offers pay as you use pricing model. In this pricing model, you don’t need to invest in hardware or pay for license and installment. There are no annual fees.

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