Accounts payable automation has become essential for today’s businesses. Especially in cases where enterprises receive and send thousands of invoices each day. In such cases, it becomes inevitable to have automated accounts payable solutions to reduce the burden of manual entry and also to make the payable workflow system faster, more accurate and error free.
Why Is It Necessary To Have Accounts Payable Automation?
In today’s ultra modern and technology-driven businesses, gone are the days when invoices were printed or manually created. With the cloud computing technology taking over and automated solutions that combine all the departments of the business and connect them to each other, it becomes imperative that invoices are generated electronically.
No more hard copies of invoices or payable receipts and no more envelopes and file binders holding hundreds of revenue slips. Today, smart businesses handle their payables more efficiently – they automate account payable solutions.
Apart from the most common reason of automating – saving time – there are numerous benefits of account payable automation.
- Overall Savings – Automated account payable solutions save money (by reducing the overhead of manual data entry), time (automation makes the system faster and easier) and efforts (a accounts payable workflow software will set things up for long-term use).
- Integrated System – Automated accounts payable solutions are integrated with your business process and streamline the entire payable workflow. You don’t have to spend time and efforts in routing your payables from one department to another. The automated solution takes care of that.
- Error-Free Data – When it comes to invoices, a minor error can cost a lot. From inaccurate balance sheets to wrong payment information, automated solutions ensure your data is error free. It also makes detection of any error or fraud easier and faster.
- Real-Time Tracking – Unlike manual invoice generation system, automated accounts payable solutions help you in real-time tracking of invoice. With the help of payable automation, you can find out where an invoice is, and you can know its status in real-time. This helps in getting rid of unnecessary delays and in receiving and sending payments promptly.
Other than the above, there are all the benefits of automated payables solutions, as in any other automated software.
What To Look For In An Automated Accounts Payable Solutions?
Most of the account payable information is processed in digital formats, i.e. PDFs, scanned images, online formats etc.
While electronically generated invoices are the way to go forward, the problem arises when we have to capture the information stored in the digitised invoice. How are we going to extract the data trapped in pdf or scanned invoices?
To address these challenges, businesses need a robust and reliable automated workflow software.
If we talk about payable accounts specifically, then we need an automated account payable workflow software that not only automates the process of generating and receiving invoices, it also helps you in understanding and extracting the essential data captured in those e-invoices.
So, to truly leverage the power of an automated accounts payable solution, businesses need a solution that is adept at locating and extracting the fine-grained data points present inside those digital invoices. Although there are numerous software claiming to be good at retrieving the data inside the PDFs or the scanned images, most of them fail at identifying intricate patterns such as invoice line items.
If a business receives hundreds of invoices from different suppliers, then a accounts payable automation is a necessity for them, and in that case, the business should choose the solution accordingly, keeping in mind that the automated software must be capable of streamlining the hundreds of different invoices in varied formats.
Features Of A Great Accounts Payable Workflow Software
A good accounts payable solution should have the following features:
- Reliably Recognize and Extract Key Data – This is the most critical distinction between a workable automated solution and a great solution. A great accounts payable solution should be able to extract key data points from all kinds of invoices whether they are in different data formats or different file formats. The software should know what fields to extract and how to align the data as per your desired business format. In case of PDFs or scanned images, techniques like Optical Character Recognition (or Zonal OCR specifically) and keyword based pattern matching can be used that lead to accurate parsing results.
- Accurate OCR Techniques – Since most of the invoices come either in the form of PDF or scanned images, it is important that the software has OCR techniques that can be trained in a way that the software knows which data fields are to be extracted each time an invoice of the same format passes through it. That way the software will automatically extract data in a fine-grained structured form from all the future documents. Also, with such a software, it is possible to extract line-items, i.e. not only you can have the meta-data like date and number but also the minute data which comes handy when you feed this data to your ERP system for advanced data analysis.
- Customizable As Per Your Business Needs – Every business is unique, and this makes it crucial that your software is tailored as per your needs. Your automated solution should understand which data fields are to be extracted and where those fields should be put. Not just that, a great solution acts as a bridge between the source and destination of an invoice when the source and destination of the invoice have different formats. In this journey of the invoice, the software knows your business model and understands which line items are to be parsed and how they are to be arranged in the final file output.
How Can Docparser Help?
Docparser does a fantastic job at parsing PDF files, documents, scanned images and photos. Docparser is capable of handling all the tasks and features listed above.
Businesses of all sizes use Docparser to automate their accounts payable system. To know how exactly Docparser can help you with your business needs, click on the links below to read about its specific features.
With Docparser, you can:
- Extract Data From PDF
- Convert PDF To Database Records
- Extract Data Fields From Scanned Documents
- Convert PDF To XML and PDF To CSV and PDF To Structured JSON Data Objects and PDF To Google Sheets
- Build Your Own Automated Purchase Order System
- Read Barcodes and QR Codes from Documents and PDFs
Are There Any Limitations?
In the article “Invoice Capture Software – Is Automated Invoice Scanning A Viable Solution?” we discussed an instance where invoice scanning solutions might fail. This situation applies to accounts payable as well.
In a case when the layout of the invoice or the payable receipt is not clear and you have to retrieve the invoice line items i.e. fine-grained table data, chances are that the solution might not deliver the desired results.
Even with the advances in artificial intelligence, this area has a lot to be improved upon.
So, the best way to address this situation is that either the format of the payable receipt is known or if the layout is not clear then only the metadata is to be extracted.
Also, if there is an absolute necessity of retrieving fine-grained line items from an invoice or receipt that comes in an unclear or unknown format, businesses can adopt a human validator who manually flips through the processed invoices and receipts and validates, corrects or rejects the parsed data.
The Final Word
Every business has its unique needs and processes. Which automated solution works for you depends on your business case and only you can choose the best solution for yourself.
As a service provider, we care for your tailored needs and hope that this article helps you in making a decision. If you need any assistance from us, please let us know.
Need anything else? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to assist you in any of your business needs.
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