How AI can help with Invoice Data Extraction and Processing?
by Sujith Parakkunnath, on February 16, 2022 9:30:00 AM PST
Automation is glamorous in almost every sense of the word. After all, we have all seen or at least heard about swanky robot vehicles, sophisticated coffee machines, intelligent CCTVs, and hundreds of machines and devices around us that define the epitome of automation.
Right from enhancing the human powers to accomplish a task, to making even the most cumbersome of jobs seamless, Artificial Intelligence (AI) clubbed with Automation can work wonders for a wide range of industries.
Data Extraction can be defined as the process of acquiring data from a structured or unstructured data format data extraction refers to the process of procuring data from a given source and transforming it into a new context, such that its readability and comprehensibility are enhanced.
Importance of Data Extraction
If there’s anything that the world simply can’t get enough of, it is data! The same is the case with businesses. Right from employee data to customer data as well as invoicing data, the quantity of the data is much more than any business can possibly process. And this bulk of information only keeps growing with each passing day, adding to the complexity of managing it.
Thankfully, advancements such as OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology and other deep learning approaches, especially Artificial Intelligence, are making it rather easy for all to keep up with the ever-increasing load of information.
AI and Data Extraction
Artificial intelligence enables businesses to gain insights into the information that was once considered inaccessible, simply because it was either stored in the form of paper documents or other analog forms. Now that AI can extract this information, even from unstructured data, businesses can stand to benefit in more than one way from it, including -
- Increased efficiency
- Greater speed
- Reduced human errors
As obvious as these benefits may seem at the first glance, each of them can significantly contribute to enhancing the bottom line of the business. Right from facilitating accuracy to ensuring continued business growth, AI-powered invoice information extraction and verification can prove to be a great addition to any and every business.
Digitization of extraction is the keystone in ensuring the extraction of information from unstructured data and verifying the same in the most efficient and beneficial way possible. Modern-day technologies such as Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning as well as Intelligent Document Recognition, have proven to be indispensable especially when it comes to gathering information, sorting it, and maintaining it in a manner that it becomes accessible.
Invoice Processing AI
While OCR has proven to be an ideal tool that can help convert images into text with a high level of accuracy, this technology cannot facilitate invoice processing. Okay, truth be told, it can.
However, processing invoices through OCR would mean that you'd need to input new templates as well as new rules for each and every new invoice that your business receives. Now, doesn't this sound like too much work for not enough output!
This is precisely where AI-powered data extraction comes into the picture. When an OCR platform is clubbed with AI-powered software, you can consider yourself free from instructing the OCR at every step of the way. AI offers dependable neural networks to the OCR, thereby enabling it to better understand and process the text present within each data field or every invoice.
Since financial documents are fairly complex and often too varied in nature, it is crucial for organizations with financial functions to have a dependable automated invoice processing tool that can process invoices using set invoice templates. The deep learning capabilities of the AI ensure, that any new invoice format is easily recognized by the software with almost no human intervention.
What's more? It is only AI that can essentially understand that "Amount Payable", "Total", and "To Pay" mean one and the same thing, something that primitive OCR simply cannot decipher.
Just like humans, a neural network is capable of analyzing and understanding a new invoice format. The only difference? Humans may take hundreds of hours for processing invoices, while neural networks can pull it off within a few minutes. Hence, it wouldn't be wrong to say that the deep learning capabilities come as a boon to the AP team members.
Benefits of Invoice Processing AI
AI-enabled extraction is used in many fields, however, one of its most significant uses is that if invoice processing as it entails a myriad of benefits for the AP team including but not limited to -
Quicker Invoice Processing
With each invoice belonging to the same supplier that is processed using AI, the time taken to process the invoice gets shorter and shorter. And hence, every future invoice no longer requires human validation, thus giving way to completely automated invoice processing eventually. Now, if that's not a futuristic way to save time, we don't know what is!
Given the time-saving feature of AI data extraction, it doesn't come as a surprise that your data entry and correction become exceptionally efficient. Not only does it eliminate the need for human intervention, but it also facilitates the AP staff to engage in more beneficial activities such as financial planning, improving vendor-customer relationships, and acquiring actionable insights through the derived analytics.
The deep learning capabilities of AI ensure that the accuracy with which the data is extracted from the invoice is truly commendable and comparable to that of a human. In fact, in the long run, AI proves to be more accurate than manual processes simply because a human data entry clerk is more prone to making errors, as a result of the weariness caused by this dull repetitive task.
Increased Financial Benefits
When invoice data is captured through AI, it helps increase cost savings. In addition to this, automated invoice processing can also benefit through other ways such as timely invoice approval, early payment discounts, and streamlined AP function, all of which together results in increasing profit margins.
Frequently Asked Questions About AI-Based Invoice Processing
What are some of the limitations of manual Invoice Processing that AI can help overcome?
When it comes to the management of accounts payable processes, there are numerous drawbacks associated with conventional methods. These include -
- Slow Processing
- Missing Invoices
- Manual Data Entry
- Lack of Structured Approval Process
- Unauthorized Purchases
- Poor Visibility
- Generic Discrepancies
AI-based invoice automation can easily help overcome all these limitations and ensure that accounts payable (AP) are handled seamlessly without the scope for any error-prone data entry. The removal of manual processes helps decrease invoice processing time while also increasing the overall efficiency of reading and contextualizing the captured data.
How Infrrd AI for Invoice Processing Can Benefit Your Business?
When you choose Infrrd AI for Invoice processing, you can stand to experience a myriad of benefits, the most prominent of which are as follows -
- AI-first and template-free, capable of managing exponential volumes and variations, an area where other document processing solutions fall short.
- Out-of-the-box invoice and accounts payable document models make deployment easy and quick.
- Streamlined configurability, allowing companies to choose from a variety of fields to build their own processing models, based on their distinct needs.
- ML-based capabilities ensure continuous improvement in extraction accuracy, thereby enhancing efficiency and improving productivity.
- Automated purchase order matching to facilitate the connection of invoices with their respective purchase order numbers for seamless processing.
How can a business enhance its Invoice Processing efforts?
In order to ensure that the Accounts Payable Processes (AP Process) is as efficient as possible, a business must adhere to the following measures to the maximum extent possible -
- Laying down and establishing clear payment terms with customers
- Ensuring that the invoices look impressive
- Curating accurate invoices, without any mistakes whatsoever
- Offering complete and relevant information on the invoices
- Generating invoices as quickly as possible
- Following up with the clients until the invoices are processed
- Utilizing digital tools to create accurate and efficient invoices
- Adopting invoice processing automation in their offices
Simply put, using smart invoice processing software can eventually lead an organization to fully automated invoice processing. Not only can this help with faster AP processes and invoice processing, but can also help the organization in enjoying an improved bottom line, while eliminating the need for labor-intensive tasks.