Sap Business One Invoice Scanning With Intelligent Data Capture

150 150 Tim Robertson

Sap Business One Invoice Scanning With Intelligent Data Capture photo

PayStream Advisors did a survey of corporate back offices at the end of 2017, and found that many organizations are struggling with high volumes of both email and paper invoices – without an efficient way to capture the information into SAP Business One or other ERP.

With the plethora of options around this burning issue, it’s easy to get confused. Even the different file formats are treated differently, so it’s a good idea to understand which technologies do what, exactly. Let’s start with the bigger picture.

Inputting Invoices Into SAP Business One

Overall, here are some of the issues you might identify with:

  • Emailed invoices are received electronically, printed out and then keyed in manually
  • Many companies may have some OCR software, but often it is outdated or not compatible with SAP Business One. Older OCR software often requires a lot of manual effort (manual field-mapping, for example)
  • PayStream talks about “efficient invoices” in the report, meaning invoices that arrive for processing through EDI or a solution portal. The vast majority of invoices are not in this category however, as most suppliers are sending both emailed and paper formats to their customers
  • With larger invoice volumes comes a need for more people to handle the workload

Here is a breakdown of the technologies available for invoice scanning and capture today:

Five Ways To Process An Invoice in 2018

1. Digital PDF
Suppliers issue an invoice from their ERP as a digital PDF. The PDF is sent to a specific email address that uses automation and Artificial Intelligence to instantly recognize the vendor and read all of the field data. The accuracy rate of 100% is achieved because it is a direct data transfer, since digital PDFs have a data layer that can be extracted by the software. Suppliers don’t need to change any of their technical structure or pay network fees, so on-boarding is rather painless.

2. Advanced OCR
For Paper Invoices
Paper invoices are scanned and advanced OCR recognizes the supplier and processes the invoice according to pre-set rules. The software intuitively knows which fields to captures and stores the information in a database. Accuracy rates are high for this method as well: around 95%. Suppliers are already sending their invoices by post, so on-boarding is unnecessary.

For Invoices Sent In Email as Scanned Images:
Sometimes suppliers will send a “picture” of the invoice (also known as a scanned image). This type of file is processed by advanced OCR as well, with the same accuracy rate.

3. Invoice Portals
Suppliers enter invoice data in a supplier portal. Usually the data is manually keyed in, a time-consuming task. Low on-boarding rates (but usually good for smaller suppliers).

4. EDI or XML
The supplier sends an invoice in the XML or EDI format. Buyers who have an EDI system in place are happy, but usually suppliers have to justify the cost of installing and maintaining EDI. EDI and XML both have high accuracy rates, but the on-boarding rate is low, due to cost.

5. Manual Data Entry
Keying in data from invoices manually, either from paper invoices or from emailed invoices that have been printed out to facilitate the process.

Things to Consider

For organizations looking to capture email, paper, and EDI or XML invoices digitally, it’s important to think about:

  • the time involved in set up
  • the I.T. resources needed
  • infrastructure costs
  • cost involved for the supplier
  • on-boarding rates

Intelligent OCR & Intelligent Data Capture
EchoVera’s Intelligent OCR & Data Capture solution handles all the above file formats, from paper, to email, PDF, EDI, and XML very efficiently. It integrates with SAP Business One – read more about it here.