The trending topic of invoice data capture is all over the financial world at the moment, so undoubtedly you’ve already heard of it. But do you know exactly what invoice data capture is and, more importantly, how it can transform the accounts payable process in your business?
What Is Invoice Data Capture?
The invoice data capture process happens in every single AP department around the world – but it can be completed in a variety of ways. From manual data entry to fully automated software that does the entire job for you, there are plenty of options.
Usually, when people mention invoice data capture, they are talking about the automated version. This technology uses automatic recognition software to detect the data on invoices and extract the most relevant information to populate your accounting system.
This provides you with a constant flow of the most up-to-date data from invoices, accessible at any time.
Types Of Invoice Data Capture
So that you can make the most informed decision on which type of invoice data capture solution is the best, let’s discuss the various types.
Manual invoice data capture is the process of an individual reading an invoice and typing the information from it into your accounting system. Yes, this option extracts the data, but the process is notoriously time-consuming and error-prone. Plus, it’s not a fun task for the person who is manually reading and typing out hundreds of invoices a month.
Automated invoice data capture uses AI and machine learning to correctly analyse and identify the various pieces of data on the page. This version is much faster and more accurate than manual processing.
How To Choose The Best Invoice Data Capture Software
Now that you can answer the question ‘what is invoice data capture’, do you know how to go about looking for the best software for your business? When comparing options, keep the following characteristics in mind.
Look for AP automation companies that already work with businesses of all sizes. Right now, you may only have a hundred invoices to process per month, but you’re better off investing in software that can grow with you as you scale up your operations. Some vendors work with small businesses right through to enterprise-level organisations. If the software can suit that many types of companies, surely it could be the right fit for you as well!
You don’t want to wait for days to get your invoices processed – after all, that’s exactly why you’re looking to automate this function. So, speed should definitely be a consideration when you’re seeking out invoice parsing software. Get your invoices processed quickly and never again miss a payment!
One of the top reasons to switch to automated data capture is to gain higher accuracy in your accounting systems. So, don’t settle for a subpar accuracy rate. Instead, seek out a tool with an accuracy rate of at least 95%. Some software can also offer you the option to correct the mistakes the AI makes so that it can learn to improve over time.
Optical Character Recognition
Optical character recognition (OCR) is the process of taking a scanned or paper invoice and using this technology to analyse what’s on the page to turn it into digital data. This is used for invoices received via snail mail so that you can still automatically process them in the same way as the ones you have received in an email. If your chosen invoice parser doesn’t have OCR, you will still have to manually type out paper invoices, so it’s definitely something you want in your chosen solution.
Numerous Fields Recognised
There’s nothing worse than taking the plunge and signing up to use a tool that just isn’t fit for purpose. That’s why you should look out for invoice automation software that recognises numerous fields on an invoice. It should at least be able to detect the invoice number, each line item, dates, addresses, PO number, and payment information.
Who Is Automated Invoice Data Capture Useful For?
Businesses Who Reimburse Expense Receipts
Say you have staff who travel for conferences quite frequently. Staff will usually take photos of their receipts while they are out and about and then email them to the finance department when they get the chance.
This can be a real hassle for your AP team, as they then have to look at the photo and manually enter the data from it into your accounting system. This is precisely the scenario where it would come in handy to have an invoice parser with OCR that can automatically detect the data in the image and correctly categorise it.
This may include the name of the restaurant, line items, total, taxes, and more.
Companies With Remote Workers
One of the best parts about going paperless in your office is that it supports the ability to have remote workers. No longer do you need to physically pass around pieces of paper, as everything is online instead. If you hire remote workers, AP automated software can make your workflows function much more smoothly.
For example, if you have a remote worker in your AP team, you will no longer need to mail them paper invoices to enter into an accounting system. Instead, the invoices can easily be uploaded online.
Benefits of Automated Invoice Data Capture
Try out invoice data capture for yourself to see the benefits for your workload.
Did you know that paying someone to manually input invoice data is far more costly than investing in a software to do it for you? So not only are you saving someone from a highly tedious task, but it’ll actually cost you less to automate invoice data capture.
Higher Accuracy Levels
As mentioned, manual data entry has an incredibly high error rate when compared with invoice processing software. As you’re working with financial data, accuracy is paramount. Even one number in the wrong place or mistyped can completely upend your budget.
Imagine if, when going through an audit, you could have all of the relevant data at your fingertips. That’s precisely what an invoice parser can provide you with! Ensure that you are fully compliant with all company and legal requirements by storing and organising data securely and in an accessible format.
The paperless office movement is trending right now, and for good reason. Not only is less paper better for the environment, but it also declutters offices and makes information easier to find. Get rid of your storage boxes and filing cabinets full of invoices and store them online thanks to the magic of invoice data capture.
Which Invoice Data Capture Software Is The Best?
Many people think that invoice data capture software is a newly developing technology, but it’s actually far past that stage. This type of software has already gone through many iterations to become the streamlined and savvy technology it is today. If you want to get a leg up on your competition, the time to act is now.
Affinda’s invoice data capture tool is the cost-effective solution you’ve been searching for. We don’t offer our software off-the-shelf; instead, we work with you to fine-tune our offering according to your business needs.
Many finance departments are understandably risk-averse, and that’s why they choose to use our invoice parser. We offer trusted software that’s used by firms all over the world. Don’t just take us at our work – check out some of our online reviews. One customer had this to say:
“When I had suggestions that they thought would improve their product overall and help their other customers as well, they were sometimes able to roll out new fields to production in as little as two weeks.”
Integrating your accounting system with Affinda’s invoice parser couldn’t be easier. When you sign up, your developer will gain access to the API code and can link up the systems in no time. Then you’ll be able to send data from your invoices straight into your accounting software.
The Affinda Difference
- More than 50 fields parsed – our invoice scanning OCR extracts dozens of fields from every single invoice, including addresses, invoice dates, PO numbers, payment data, and invoice numbers.
- Range of formats accepted – upload PDFs, JPGs, Word docs, and PNGs.
- Parses more than 56 languages – did you know that our extractor can detect information from invoices in more than 56 languages? If you work for an international company, this can significantly simplify your processes for inputting invoices. Languages include English, Spanish, German, French, Chinese, and many more.
- Plug and play – no special training is needed with our invoice data capture software. It’s so intuitive that your staff will simply be able to open it and navigate around in no time.
- Adaptive recognition – if you receive invoices in many different formats, our parser will adapt to each one like magic! There’s no need for dates and numbers to always be in the same place – our AI is smart enough to recognise which field is which.
Now that you know what invoice data capture software is, why not try it out for yourself? Contact us today for a free trial.