Invoice OCR Using AI and NLP: A Beginner's Guide

Automating your financial processes is easy when you've got an invoice OCR solution using AI and NLP. Here's how it works.

invoice OCR using AI and NLP can transform your AP workflow.
invoice OCR using AI and NLP can transform your AP workflow.

Are you ready to streamline workflows for your AP team, saving your business time and money? Then you need invoice OCR software! This new technology utilises the power of machine learning to extract invoice data and eliminate the need for manual data entry altogether.

What Is Invoice OCR?

OCR stands for optical character recognition, and it refers to the processing of a scanned or image file to find the words on the page.

invoice OCR being done by a man with a smartphone
Invoice OCR involves scanning an invoice and turning the image into computer-readable data

You have likely come across the term ‘invoice OCR’ before, as it’s becoming a more common requirement for businesses looking for AP automation software. OCR software is a form of invoice recognition that can read a scanned invoice and analyse it to detect important information the page. The first step is to turn the image into words; as in traditional OCR scanning. The second step is to parse those words and extract the information in the invoice. Data extracted typically include:

  • P.O. Numbers
  • Balance Due
  • Due Date
  • Supplier details
  • Bank accounts and payment details

If you do a lot of invoice scanning, you’ll need data extraction software that leverages OCR technology to achieve the most accurate processing results.

The best invoice OCR APIs are trained on thousands of invoices to be able to accurately read any paper invoice, no matter the format. Not all supplier invoices look alike, and you need a solution that will extract relevant data no matter where it is on the page.

What Is NLP?

Intelligent OCR solutions also use NLP (natural language processing) to understand the semantics behind what’s written on the page. Going beyond just the characters on the invoice PDF, NLP enables the AI algorithms to fully understand different terminology used for a more accurate categorisation of data. Rather than simply running a keyword search, the neural networks involved will actually be able to understand the meaning of terminology variations.

The result? Automated invoice processing with as deep of an understanding of invoices as any of your staff. Document AI makes all the latest advances in NLP and AI accessible to anyone, and you'll feel as if you had a super-knowledgeable, high-powered assistant behind the computer screen.

Benefits Of Invoice OCR Using AI And NLP

Implementing an invoice OCR solution into your AP workflow might be one of the most far-reaching decisions you'll make this year. Here are just a few benefits you can expect to see:

More Time-Efficient

Using OCR invoice capture software takes the guesswork out of invoice processing. Instead of relying on manual data entry, this type of software can process an invoice in seconds, freeing up plenty of time for your employees. Instead, they can focus on the many other tasks of their roles, secure in the knowledge that the invoices are being processed accurately.

Works on Scanned Invoices

The tricky part of finding the right software for processing invoices is figuring out which ones will still work on scanned invoices. Now you know – just look for a data capture tool that uses OCR, and this extraction tool will function flawlessly even on your paper invoices.

Pay on Time, Every Time

Many suppliers offer favourable terms if you pay your invoices early. It’s usually the processing of invoices that prevents them from being paid early, as your team is constantly dealing with a backlog. By automating invoice processing, you will now be able to take advantage of any early payment incentives offered by your suppliers!

Why Choose Affinda’s Invoice Extractor?

Affinda’s invoice extractor is becoming increasingly popular with small companies and enterprise-level businesses alike. The secret? We offer an invoice extractor with comparable functionality and accuracy to many of our competitors but at a much better price point. Save money while maintaining accuracy and useability.

Our invoice parser also features adaptive recognition technology. Instead of relying on templates for our parser to recognise invoice fields, it is designed to adapt to any new type of format, analysing each document for the relevant information.

Our machine learning algorithm means that Affinda’s invoice parser learns from its mistakes, constantly improving over time. It can recognise a wide range of relevant fields, including invoice amount, PO number, supplier details, order date, SKU data, invoice number, and address.

Interested in trying it out for yourself? Head to https://affinda.com/invoice-extractor/ to put our product to the test. Upload some invoices and see for yourself how accurate the results are. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about the benefits of using our invoice OCR technology in your organisation.

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