Invoice Scanning and OCR Data Capture for Accounts Payable – EchoVera
Invoice Scanning and OCR Data Capture for Accounts Payable – EchoVera 150 150 Tim Robertson
Invoice Scanning and OCR Software

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Invoice Scanning and OCR Software

With a large majority of companies in North America struggling to input and process with both email and paper vendor invoices, it’s no wonder the competitive landscape for back office automation is heating up.

AP departments are rife with inefficiencies as a result of out-dated software, paper-based workflows, and spreadsheet-based task management.

After processing over $4B in invoices the last few years, we have a pretty good idea of what works. Here is an overview of what you can achieve with the right invoice scanning solution for AP.

Eliminate data entry with Invoice Capture Software

Many companies manually enter invoice data into their ERPs. Some will even print out emailed invoices and manually key in that information as well. The good news it is possible to eliminate data entry, reduce manual errors, and reduce the likelihood of fraud all in one stroke.

There are two workflows for automating the data entry of paper and emailed invoices. Paper invoices are scanned and OCR technology “reads” the information on the invoice and extracts essential data. Emailed invoices are electronic documents with a data layer, and cloud capture technology extracts the data from the data layer.

The result is a 95% accuracy rate for paper OCR (because the technology is reading the data and interpreting it) and 100% accuracy for electronic invoices (because the data transfer is direct and without interpretation).

That means it is possible to have all of your invoices sent by email, invoice data extracted, and entered into your dashboard with minutes of receipt.

Approval workflows

Many companies have gone through the painfully expensive exercise of trying to code workflows into their ERP. Truth is, ERPs were not built for approval workflows.

That’s where AP automation comes in. AP automation solutions have a complete approval workflow that distributes invoices to the right approvers. Good solutions have mobile capabilities and ad-hoc rerouting.

An enterprise based solution will also automatically match purchase orders to invoices and goods receipts. This technology transforms AP departments in that the matching takes place in minutes without anyone having to review the documents. If there is no match, the system flags the invoice and sends all the information to the approver to sort out.

Archive and Audit

For auditors and company investigation, AP automation provides a big boost to productivity. The system stores vendor invoices and provides a time-stamped audit trail. That means it is a big time saver for AP staff as everything is searchable and at hand.

Invoice Scanning and OCR Software for Accounts Payable

Our Intelligent OCR invoice capture solution combines best of breed invoice OCR and capture software to handle both paper and email based invoice workflows. It integrates with popular ERPs, and also has invoice processing, mobile approval workflow and auditing functions. Enterprise customers can take advantage of the PO matching engine. Find out more about Intelligent OCR here.

EchoVera Invoice Dollar Volume Surpasses $4 Billion Mark
EchoVera Invoice Dollar Volume Surpasses $4 Billion Mark 150 150 Tim Robertson


EchoVera has surpassed the $4 Billion dollar volume invoice processing mark for the organizations it serves in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

EchoVera, an AP automation solutions provider in North America, surpassed the $4 Billion invoice processing mark for the organizations it serves in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. EchoVera’s AP automation solution includes Intelligent OCR for invoice data capture, and Palette Software for invoice processing, PO matching, and an approval workflow.

Key to automating the business processes of AP is an efficient digital capture system, seamless integration to the ERP, and an approval workflow that is highly configurable.

EchoVera’s Intelligent OCR solution takes paper or emailed invoices and intuitively captures the invoice field data. It can handle electronic formats such as PDF, EDI, XML, TIFF and more. The accuracy rate for paper is 95%, and for electronic formats is 100%.

Palette’s invoice processing and approval workflow software gives employees visibility into invoice status and lets them approve invoices through email and mobile devices. Palette automates the matching of invoices, purchase orders and goods receipts, and also matches invoices to contracts for recurring expenses.

The Palette AP automation platform complies with rigorous bank and healthcare standards and regulations such as SOC1, SOC2, HIPPA, GDPR and PEPPOL.

Ralf Leitner, CEO of EchoVera said, “Palette AP Automation is extremely powerful and can be configured to the most demanding business processes inside the finance departments of our customers. Users find it intuitive to use as it easily adapts to different roles within any organization. As well, it seamlessly integrates with popular ERPs such as NetSuite, SAP Business One, Dynamics, Intacct, and Oracle.”

Intelligent OCR and Palette AP Automation require minimal IT resources and are available on-premise or in the Cloud.

For more information about EchoVera’s Intelligent OCR solution visit

https://echovera.ca/solutions/intelligentdatacapture/

For more information about EchoVera’s AP Automation solution visit

https://echovera.ca/asap-new-main-page/

About EchoVera:

EchoVera Inc. provides Intelligent OCR, AP Automation and Purchase Automation solutions to organizations looking to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of their financial operations. EchoVera brings over 30 years experience to clients worldwide.

For more information about EchoVera: http://echovera.ca

About Palette:

Palette is a leading provider of Accounts Payable Automation, with 4,500 customers worldwide and approval ratings of 96%. Palette is a global solution for companies with multiple ERPs, multiple countries, currencies and tax rules. Customers get unlimited users with no user license costs, bulletproof compliance control and minimal IT involvement.

Palette is the AP automation platform behind solutions offered by international banks, accounting firms, and ERP managed service providers worldwide.

To learn more about Palette Accounts Payable Automation: https://www.palettesoftware.com

Invoice Scanning and Approval Software for Accounts Payable
Invoice Scanning and Approval Software for Accounts Payable 150 150 Tim Robertson

invoice scanning and approval software

Companies looking to solve the manual input of invoice data with invoice scanning and approval software have several options. They could go with an invoice scanning software and then pay consultants to code the workflow in their ERP – not an elegant or inexpensive solution.

You are looking for a solution that will extract the data of incoming supplier invoices, whether they arrive in paper format or though email. Having processed over $4 Billion (invoice dollar value) in supplier invoices, we have a bit of insight as to what works best for companies processing 20,000 – 60,000 invoices per year.

You are looking for a solution that:

  1. Scans paper invoices and accurately extracts essential data
  2. Extracts essential data from emailed invoices
  3. Exempts your team from having to validate the data – in other words, looking at each and every invoice to check for accuracy
  4. Has an approval workflow that is configurable and easy to use
  5. Will not impact your suppliers with infrastructure costs or other fees of any kind
  6. Is a reasonable cost
  7. Has great support
  8. Seamlessly integrates with your ERP

How Invoice Scanning Software Works

Paper invoices are scanned by the technology, which “reads” the invoice and extracts specific data fields. This is known as OCR (optical character recognition). If the solution is a superior one, the OCR technology extracts invoice data at around a 95% accuracy rate.

Emailed invoices are typically PDFs or other formats. Invoices in PDF format (or Html, Word, EDI, and other electronic formats) are scanned in the cloud and the invoice data is extracted. Because there is a data layer in the electronic file and the information extracted is digital, the accuracy rate for this method is 100%.

Your Game Plan

Your game plan should be to convert as many suppliers as possible to sending you PDFs or electronic format invoices as opposed to paper. That is not too hard a sell as there are some obvious cost savings, and most ERPs output PDFs.

All the invoices sent in this format will be processed and entered right into your ERP within minutes of receipt, and with 100% accuracy. This alone will cut many hours off the processing time that includes manual data entry or validation.

Tackling the Paper Challenge

For the remaining vendors who insist on sending paper invoices, you have OCR do the heavy lifting extracting the data. Here you would have a trained team member check the invoices the capture system flags.

Because the OCR has a memory and intuitively remembers invoice templates and layouts, the validation is minimal and the team member is only checking flagged invoices. This speeds up the process considerably.

Approval Workflow

If you’re planning to boost productivity in Accounts Payable, don’t stop at automating invoice capture. Pick a solution that has an adaptable approval workflow complete with a time-stamped audit trail and searchable archive. That way you get the full benefit of automation and the chance to go completely paperless.

Not only that, but project managers and approvers will appreciate the ease of approving an invoice on their laptop, tablet or phone. And your AP team will have a better handle on bottlenecks and the status of unpaid invoices in the organization.

Intelligent OCR checks all the boxes

Intelligent OCR invoice scanning and approval software that does all of the above. It uses OCR and digital data extraction in the cloud to handle and process your incoming supplier invoices. You’ll have an efficient workflow that reduces manual touch points and lets your AP staff focus on higher value activities – beyond manually entering invoice data and managing with spreadsheets!

To find out more about Intelligent OCR, click here.

 

Accounts Payable Invoice Scanning Software – Getting Best of Class
Accounts Payable Invoice Scanning Software – Getting Best of Class 150 150 Tim Robertson

Accounts Payable Invoice Scanning Software

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Accounts payable scanning software is essential for automating the AP process and reducing manual error. There are numerous invoice OCR scanning solutions available. You want to be looking for the following features:

  1. the solution can handle both paper and emailed invoices
  2. the solution intuitively remembers invoice layouts and stores that information in a database
  3. there should be no cost to suppliers
  4. adoption rates should be easy for suppliers (for example, having them send a PDF of the invoice instead of paper)
  5. you can divide the invoice intake into 2 flows – paper goes to OCR to be scanned, and email or a PDF (or any other electronic format) goes directly into a cloud data extraction process
  6. the paper workflow should have an accuracy rate of 95%, and the PDF or email workflow should have an accuracy rate of 100%
  7. the solution comes with a complete approval workflow and invoice processing package

If none of these parameters are met by either your current setup or the solution you are looking for, then you are not taking advantage of advances in technology that provide a more precise and efficient data capture.

Struggling with Invoice Data Capture? You’re Not Alone

Third party reports from the field confirm the challenge organizations face when capturing invoice data. 80% to 90% of invoices received by both medium and large size companies in North America is either paper or email. 

Even with the advent of technologies such as EDI and network portals, the bulk of both invoice receipt and invoice data entry revolves around paper and email.

So how are organizations tackling invoice capture? Not very efficiently:

  • Paper invoices are handled and entered into accounting systems manually
  • Emailed invoices from suppliers are printed out and manually keyed into the ERP 
  • AP scanning is done with legacy OCR technology that has limited functionality, depth, and integration capabilities
  • For growing companies, larger invoice volumes has meant adding to their headcount
  • Most ERP solutions do not have the functionality to automate these areas

Looking for a good solution for accounts payable invoice scanning and data capture of both mailed and emailed invoices? Check out Intelligent OCR.  It’s automated data capture that replaces outdated invoice scanning solutions.

Intelligent OCR is invoice data capture software that efficiently extracts data from both email and mailed invoices. As well, it provides a complete approval workflow with a searchable invoice archive. See more about Intelligent OCR.

Accounts Payable Audit Software
Accounts Payable Audit Software 150 150 Tim Robertson

DidyousayAUDITHow Accounts Payable Audit Software Helps Stress Levels

An audit is one of the most expensive (and stressful!) of all the various types of financial statements examinations.

How it works:
The audit firm will compile a list of documents to be reviewed, and forward it to the company in order to ensure that the audit process can proceed at an organized pace. Once on-site, the documentation is reviewed and transactions are selected for testing.

During this phase, much care is given by the company to ensure that all documentation that is pulled, is also copied in order to assist with the completion of the audit. Once the initial testing is complete, more samples are chosen based on either prior sample results or questions that arise during the testing process.

During the audit, business is still being conducted and day-to-day transactions are being processed. You can imagine the stress that this process brings to the accounting department. Great care is given to ensure that all documentation that is pulled for the audit is a copy. Inevitably, the company will agree to hand over original documentation in order to avoid delays. Once an original is in play, all documentation that has been pulled must be examined before determining if it needs to be filed as an original or shredded as a copy.

A good purchase to pay system will show all invoice history and audit information on one screen. When reporting capabilities allow for a quick ‘copy-paste’ from the audit request list, accounts payable staff are able to produce the audit trail. This includes a PDF of the vendor invoice, GL accounts, approvers, and payment information, and a screen print that is saved to a flash drive.

If the system has drill down capabilities, a user can produce the original P.O. as well as the purchase requisition directly from an invoice screen, where a second screen print can be generated. This not only speeds up the testing process, it provides more detail than the manual pull and copy method.

Below is a quote from Erik Krueger of Plante Moran, where he witnessed the transformation that EchoVera AP Automation brought to one of his clients. The client is one of the leading automotive suppliers of highly engineered plastic injection-molded components.

“When Palette was implemented at a client of the firm, the client was able to very quickly realize efficiencies in the administration of ordering and invoicing for goods purchased and sold. As a result, there was enhanced visibility of documents associated with buying/selling and a more streamlined process in place.” – Erik Krueger CPA, MSA | Associate | Assurance Plante Moran, PLLC www.plantemoran.com

Find out more about EchoVera AP Automation here.

Invoice Data Extraction Software for Accounts Payable
Invoice Data Extraction Software for Accounts Payable 150 150 Tim Robertson

Invoice Data Extraction


Invoice Data Extraction Software Technologies Explained

There are two ways to capture invoice data. If the invoice is in paper format and has been scanned, OCR is the technology that will read the scanned image and extract invoice data. If the invoice is emailed and in PDF format, cloud capture technology extracts the data from the data layer that is embedded in the PDF.

OCR Technology

OCR software has a 95% accuracy rate. That’s because it will not always accurately interpret the scanned image (which is what OCR does), and invoices have to be validated as being accurate. In spite of this OCR is one of the most commonly used forms of invoice extraction technologies.

PDF Cloud Capture

PDF cloud capture has a 100% accuracy rate. That’s because the software extracts data from the embedded data layer inside every PDF directly, so the error rate is minimal as there is no “interpreting” the invoice data like OCR does.

Which will suit your organization best?

Both of these methods have merit. Your suppliers may still send you paper invoices and you have to process them, which means scanning them in and having OCR read the data. Other suppliers send their invoices by email, which means the invoice has been created and sent as a PDF.

PDF invoices can be read instantly with cloud capture, and the data is forwarded to your ERP within minutes of receipt. So it makes sense to have a system that uses both of these processes, and divide incoming vendor invoices accordingly.

EchoVera’s Intelligent OCR

Intelligent OCR uses both of these processes and optimizes data extraction for any invoice format. As well, Intelligent OCR:

  • Automatically learns supplier invoices based on their respective layouts, intuitively mapping field data.
  • Allows the user to search typical values in any document, and tagging it using a built-in database.
  • 95% accuracy rates for paper invoices
  • 100% accuracy rates for electronic file formats that received in email, such as PDF, XML, CSV, HTML, Word, Excel and more.

Once the data is captured by Intelligent OCR the option is to have it sent directly to the ERP or through an accounts payable SaaS like EchoVera AP Automation.

For more information about OCR invoice scanning visit Intelligent OCR, here.

How to Automate Your Accounts Payable Audit Trail
How to Automate Your Accounts Payable Audit Trail 150 150 Tim Robertson

accounts payable audit trail


Having your organization’s financial statements and AP processes audited can be both stressful and time consuming. Technology has made it easier for AP audits though, thanks to automation. Audit trails complete with all of the connected documents, messages between team members in your company, and timestamps are included in robust AP automation systems.

Importance and Value of an Audit Trail

An audit trail or audit log is a history of every transaction and includes all of the documents involved in the purchasing and payment process, including messages between employees, invoices, purchase orders, and more. It is a record of all the steps involved in the transaction. The benefits of having a software-based audit trail in place include:

Fraud Prevention

Once employees realize that everything is being tracked by software, they will think twice about attempting something they shouldn’t. A good AP automation platform will record each and every transaction and auditing is usually the default setting.

Reduction of Manual Errors

How many times have people in accounting or finance spent hours searching for all the documents related to one transaction? A software audit trail can access all records instantly. The audit trail will also show corrections or other changes made to a transaction, and provide visibility into who made them and when.

Reduction of  Stress Levels

Tax audits can be painful and expose the business to tax penalty risk any time it happens. Audit fees are based on the time involved and paper processes will take up a considerable amount of it. Showing a lack of an audit trail, or having missing documents and transactions raises red flags for auditors, so it’s wise to ensure everything is available for review, and quickly.

Ensuring Compliance Regulations and Investor Concerns

Companies in every industry, whether they are regulated by government or other regulatory body, need to show that they are compliant with policies and procedures. As well, lenders and investors need to be assured that the organization is transparent and accountable for all the transactions it undertakes.

Comprehensive AP automation software is engineered to provide an audit trail complete with all of the documents and messages involved in each and every transaction.

For more information about EchoVera AP Automation with Archive & Audit, visit our solution page here.

 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 AP Automation That’s Comprehensive
Microsoft Dynamics 365 AP Automation That’s Comprehensive 150 150 Tim Robertson

….
Microsoft Dynamics 365 ap automationOrganizations looking for Microsoft Dynamics 365 automation solutions want technology that provides intelligent invoice scanning, 3-way invoice matching, and an AP workflow that integrates not only with Dynamics, but also with their specific invoice approval sequence/flow. In other words, a comprehensive suite of technologies that integrate well with both their AP processes and the Dynamics environment.

Let’s take a look at what each of these technologies does in detail:

  1. Intelligent invoice scanning (also known as data capture)
    Data capture often consists of either manually keying in data from paper invoices, or using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to scan paper invoices. Intelligent OCR teaches itself to “read” your different supplier invoices based on their respective layouts, and then intuitively maps the data fields.
  1. Electronic invoice capture
    Invoices sent by email are processed automatically by software that maps and stores the data. Virtually all billing applications generate data PDFs and the capture system uses the data layer found in PDF invoices to extract the required information.
  1. 3-way matching of invoices, purchase orders and goods receipts
    Automating the 3-way matching process takes a lot of time and effort out of the manual accounts payable workflow. When an invoice matches a purchase order, it inherits the account postings and authorizations from that order, and can go directly to payment without any manual intervention. With simple rules, you control what happens to invoices that don’t match a purchase order, and which tolerances apply.
    ….
    All invoices can be automatically matched against the corresponding PO at the header or line level according to your predefined rules and tolerances. Invoices that are matched within your approved tolerances are sent directly to Dynamics 365 for recording. Invoices that have values outside of your tolerance values are automatically sent to the appropriate role for review.
  1. Workflow
    The AP automation workflow starts with the data capture of either mailed or emailed invoices. Invoices are gathered into a central dashboard. From here they are automatically routed to the appropriate approvers for review and approval. Once approved, invoices are sent to Dynamics 365. Invoices are then archived in the cloud for searching, reporting, and audit trail.

Find our more about how a robust AP automation platform for Microsoft Dynamics 365 that has a 96% recommend rate here.

EchoVera Surpasses $3 Billion Invoice Processing Mark
EchoVera Surpasses $3 Billion Invoice Processing Mark 150 150 Tim Robertson

AP AUTOMATION
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As seen in MarketWatch, Morningstar and PRNewswire

EchoVera, an AP automation solutions provider in North America, surpassed the $3 Billion invoice processing mark for the organizations it serves in Europe, Australia, the US, and Canada. EchoVera’s customers use Palette AP Automation software to process, approve, and match supplier invoices.

EchoVera services and sells Palette Software solutions to customers in diverse industries such as biopharma, automotive, airlines and telecommunications.

Ralf Leitner, CEO of EchoVera said, “Palette AP Automation is extremely powerful. It can handle complex tasks such as PO matching with invoices and internal or external purchase orders that have multiple pages and hundreds of lines. Users find it intuitive to use as it easily adapts to different roles within any organization. Customers are always concerned about integration and Palette has a rapid deployment connector for popular ERPs such as NetSuite, SAP Business One, Sage 200, Sage Intacct, Microsoft Dynamics, and Oracle.”

Palette AP Automation gives employees visibility into supplier invoice status and lets them approve invoices through email and mobile devices. Palette also automates the matching of invoices, purchase orders and goods receipts. Exceptions are automatically put into an approval workflow, delivering all the information necessary for approvers to clear the exception.

Palette’s AP Automation and Purchase to Pay platform complies with rigorous standards and regulations demanded by financial institutions and healthcare organizations. Accreditations in the US include SOC1, SOC2, HIPPA, ISO 27001, GDPR, and PEPPOL.

Key to successfully automating the business processes in accounts payable are an efficient invoice data capture system, seamless integration to the ERP, and an approval workflow that is highly configurable. 

One of EchoVera’s service offerings that complements Palette is digital capture technology for collecting invoice data. Intelligent OCR takes paper or emailed invoices and intuitively captures field data. It handles electronic formats such as PDF, EDI, XML, TIFF, CSV, and HTML. The accuracy rate for paper is 95%, and for electronic formats is 100%.

Palette AP Automation and Intelligent OCR require minimal IT resources and are available on-premise or in the Cloud.

About EchoVera

EchoVera Inc. provides Intelligent OCR, AP Automation, Purchase Automation & Spend Management solutions to organizations looking to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of their financial operations. EchoVera brings over 30 years experience to clients worldwide. Clients include NCAA, Riovant, Mygrant Glass, Transtelco and ClubLink.

For more information about Echovera: https://echovera.ca

About Palette

Palette is a leading provider of accounts payable automation with 3,500 clients and 250,000 users worldwide. Palette is a global solution for companies with multiple ERPs, multiple countries, currencies and tax rules. Customers get unlimited users with no user license costs, bulletproof compliance control and minimal IT involvement.

In user surveys, 96% feel that Palette fulfills expectations and 95% consider Palette to be a worthwhile investment.

Palette provides the white label platform behind AP automation solutions offered by international banks, accounting firms, and ERP managed service providers worldwide.

To learn more about Palette Accounts Payable Automation: https://www.palettesoftware.com

OCR Invoice Scanning Software for Netsuite
OCR Invoice Scanning Software for Netsuite 150 150 Tim Robertson
OCR invoice scanning software for NetSuite
OCR invoice scanning software for NetSuite captures supplier invoices in both paper and email formats

There are key differences between OCR invoice scanning technologies. The difference can mean having a solution that handles all formats (with a substantial increase in productivity) where intelligent software intuitively maps out the fields to be scanned, and then inputs the data to Netsuite – or investing in OCR technology that is limited in the formats it handles, has NetSuite integration issues or is user-unfriendly.

The most cost-efficient platforms offer a subscription where pricing is based on the number of invoices processed (as opposed to the number of users).

Look for a solution that gives you the most flexibility no matter what the format, as well as the option to have an approval workflow, PO matching, and other functionality.

Legacy OCR

Historically invoice data capture is performed in two ways: manually keying in data from paper invoices; or the invoices are scanned with OCR software and then manually mapped in order to capture essential information from relevant fields in the document. Here are some of the issues with simple OCR:

  • Time is spent on field-mapping: a staff member gives the OCR software instructions as to where data is located on an invoice
  • Time is also spent on data collection: a staff member manually selects the data zones
  • Integration and the lack of a workflow
Intelligent OCR

Intelligent OCR changes the playing field dramatically. It intuitively performs field mapping and data collection, freeing up time and making the entire process more efficient:

  • Automatically learns supplier invoices based on their respective layouts, intuitively mapping field data.
  • Allows the user to search typical values in any document, and tagging it using a built-in database.
  • 95% accuracy rates for paper invoices
  • 100% accuracy rates for electronic file formats that received in email, such as PDF, XML, CSV, HTML, Word, Excel and more.

Once the data is captured by Intelligent OCR the option is to have it sent directly to NetSuite or through an AP automation platform.

For more information on OCR invoice scanning visit Intelligent OCR, here.

With every capture solution you’ll need an automated approval workflow. Watch the video “How AP Automation for NetSuite Works”