Invoice scanning solutions
Invoice processing and scanning is one of the most effective applications suitable for scanning and OCR (optical character recognition) technology.
As one of our customers pointed out to us recently
“we use to process an invoice on average one every ten minutes we are now able to process ten invoices a minute. The use of scanning technology has completely revolutionised our accounts payable process.”
There a two scanning options:
- Scanning invoices as they arrive into the company which is called “front end scanning”.
- Scanning invoices after they have been dealt with “back end scanning”
Both options are relevant according to the business and industry type.
Depending on a company’s requirement this will determine the scope of a solution employed ranging from archiving to full process automation built around existing technology and the company’s document flows.
What is front end scanning?
This involves scanning invoices as soon as they enter the company even before they are processed whether paper, electronic or fax and is the first step in the accounts payable invoice process.
Vast amounts of staff time can be saved by the automatic keying of information into the accounting system (indexing).
Scanning is straight-forward and indexing invoices is quick and accurate when using software designed for the purpose.
The fundamental difference between invoice scanning software and standard scanning software is the amount of supplier invoices/templates that need to be allowed for in any invoice scanning solution.
Every supplier invoice will have a different layout and using an Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) scanning solution will effectively recognise content wherever it is on the page of an invoice.
No one company and business are the same and each have a unique method of handling invoice exceptions therefore by integrating an automated system which has to be able to cater for bespoke requirements is a prerequisite for any invoice scanning solution.
What is required is invoice processing technology. In turn this frees up the accounts payable team’s time and enables quick and easy access to up to date financial information.
There has been a steady increase in the various electronic invoice and EDI. A significant number of invoices are still paper based but there has been a steady rise in XML documents, encrypted PDF and digital images.
Any invoice scanning solution must be able to handle all types of documents regardless of how they arrive.
Achieving an automated accounts payable process involves scanning invoices as they enter the business in turn this will increase your flexibility to automate more of the accounts payable process.
What is back end scanning? (Archiving and post process)
If space, resilience and access to documents from multiple locations is the primary objective then scanning invoices after approval is relatively quick to implement and wont require a change to your current processes.
The benefits of the back end process are:-
- It’s quick and provides easy retrieval
- Provides an audit trail
- Saves archive storage space
- Provides resilience by way of backups
How do I choose the scanning hardware?
- The decision will be influenced by the volume of invoices you capture across a given period
- The type of documents – paper, electronic, digital images
- The budget you have allocated to the project
If you’re not sure where to start then contact us using one of the social buttons or by adding your contact details below on the form and one of our consultants will call you.
For Accounts Payable and Receivable Solutions contact Digital Print Management for help and advice.
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