Better Together: OCR and AI in Accounts Payable

September 11, 2023
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In the ever-evolving landscape of finance operations, technology is making remarkable strides, artificial intelligence unsurprisingly taking centre stage in these new developments. One of the most exciting applications of AI in financial operations is the seamless integration of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and AI, allowing Kloo to provide not only automated, but autonomous accounts payable workflows, ushering in a new age of efficiency. In this blog post, we'll cover what exactly OCR is and how it works, how it fits in within automated and autonomous AP tools, and how Kloo leverages OCR and AI to streamline AP workflows.

What is OCR?

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) simplifies document capture in the accounts payable workflow by enabling computers to extract and interpret text data from various sources such as scanned images, PDFs, and electronic documents, ensuring a high level of precision in data extraction. 

In the document capture process, OCR technology plays a pivotal role in transforming physical and digital documents into machine-readable text. This step is crucial for automating data entry and expediting the overall accounts payable workflow. Understanding the nuances of OCR in document capture is essential for organisations seeking to enhance efficiency and accuracy in their accounts payable processes. 

Exploring the intricacies of OCR techniques provides insights into the adaptability of the technology and its ability to handle diverse document types. This adaptability is crucial for organisations dealing with a variety of invoices and purchase orders from different vendors. 

Automated vs Autonomous

Automated AP Tools

Automated accounts payable (AP) tools are software systems or platforms that primarily rely on predefined rules and instructions to process and manage AP-related tasks. These tools can streamline routine tasks, such as data extraction from invoice documents using OCR but may still require human intervention to handle exceptions and unique cases. 

Autonomous AP Tools

Autonomous AP tools, pioneered by Kloo, are software systems that integrate advanced technologies like AI with existing technologies to achieve new levels of accuracy and efficiency. These tools go beyond simple rule-based automation and have the capability to handle exceptions and complex scenarios intelligently through context-based decisions. This significantly reducing the need for human intervention in AP processes, saving AP teams hours of work per week.  

How Kloo Uses OCR for Accounts Payable

Traditionally, managing invoices was a labour-intensive process, fraught potential errors and often requiring manual data entry and consuming extensive human resources. The introduction of OCR technology marked a significant leap forward. OCR can automate the extraction of data from invoice documents, streamlining the input of information into AP platforms. It represented a significant advancement in efficiency, but certain challenges persisted, especially when handling exceptions. 

Kloo, recognising the immense potential to reduce the exceptions and edge cases that had previously required human intervention, now integrates OCR in accounts payable with the capabilities of Gen AI. By amalgamating these technologies, the platform significantly enhanced the accuracy and intelligence of invoice matching, reducing the dependence on manual intervention. 

After data is extracted using OCR, Kloo uses a secondary stage of AI processing to improve the accuracy of invoice matching. Consider this scenario: A purchase order displays a supplier's full name, while the corresponding invoice shows a different version of that name, perhaps an abbreviated form. This seemingly minor difference would pose a challenge for traditional automated systems, requiring manual intervention. However, Kloo's layer of integrated AI can identify these subtle matches through contextual reasoning, allowing even the most intricate invoices to be matched accurately.  

Key Takeaways

In an era where efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness reign supreme, Kloo's approach to AP software stands out as a transformative force, the fusion of OCR and AI representing an exciting paradigm shift from automation to autonomy, promising unmatched efficiency and accuracy.

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