OCR for Invoices: An Essential Guide

May 31, 2024
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Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a technology that converts documents, such as PDF files or images into editable and searchable data. While the concept of OCR isn't new—tracing its roots back to the 1920s and telegraphy, today, OCR technology is more sophisticated and powerful, especially in its application for invoice processing.

OCR for Invoice Capture

In accounts payable, OCR technology plays a crucial role by automating the extraction of data from invoices. When an invoice is received, OCR software scans the document and converts the printed text into digital text. This process allows the system to read and capture essential information such as invoice numbers, supplier details, line items, prices, and totals. By automating invoice data capture, businesses can significantly reduce the time and effort required to process invoices manually, leading to greater efficiency and accuracy.

OCR and AI: A Powerful Combination

OCR and AI together create a highly efficient system for invoice data extraction and mapping.  OCR extracts data from invoices, while machine learning can analyse invoice structure and identifying patterns. This combination allows the system to accurately interpret the extracted data, distinguishing between different categories of information e.g. invoice number and PO number, or amount due.  These technologies enables solutions like Kloo to automatically place the invoice data into the correct fields for further processing. Additionally, AI facilitates deeper automation by enabling context-based matching and other advanced processes, further streamlining the workflow and reducing the need for manual intervention.

OCR- Powering a Smart Invoice Inbox 

Kloo's Smart Invoice Inbox integrates OCR into a wider set of automated processes for seamless invoice management. Not only does it capture the data from invoices, but it also formats the data according to your ERP fields, checks for fraud, uploads it to the Kloo platform and ERP systems, conducts 2- or 3-way matching, and assigns it to the appropriate approval workflow. This comprehensive solution ensures that the entire process—from invoice receipt to approval—is streamlined and automated. With Kloo, businesses can significantly reduce manual data entry, mitigate the risk of fraud, and ensure that invoices are processed quickly and accurately.

The Bottom Line

OCR technology, especially when combined with machine learning, transforms invoice processing by automating data extraction and validation. This not only enhances efficiency but also reduces errors and fraud, making it an essential tool for modern businesses. Integrating OCR into smart systems like Kloo's smart invoice inbox further optimises the process, enabling companies to handle large volumes of invoices with ease and accuracy. As businesses continue to seek ways to streamline operations, OCR and AI-powered solutions will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in driving efficiency and innovation in accounts payable.

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