Open Source Invoice Data Extraction API (and an Alternative)

An open source invoice data extraction API might have the power to speed up your invoice processing and make your entire AP office more efficient. Here's what you need to know about open source data extraction options -- and one non-open source alternative.
June 2, 2022
4 minutes
Open Source Invoice Data Extraction API (and an Alternative)

Are you looking for an open source invoice data extraction API? Invoice parsing tools can significantly speed up your invoice processing times, making your AP team more efficient through automation. However, you need to ensure that you’re choosing the right tool for your business. There are plenty of options out there – just make sure that you complete thorough research before spending time and money implementing a potential solution in your organisation.

What Is Open Source Data Extraction?

When people are looking for an invoice data extraction API, they often come across ‘open source’ tools as they search. So, what is an open source API?

The term ‘open source’ started as a way to describe an approach to creating software, one that celebrates collaboration. Most software is proprietiery, which means someone wrote and has copyrighted the code, then licenses individuals or corporations to use it as-is or with designated changes.  Open source software is software that has coding anyone can see and change, customizing it to their use cases at will. The source code is the foundation of any software, and the end-user doesn’t see it – it’s just for the use of computer programmers. Essentially, it’s what makes the software work behind the scenes.

Open Source Invoice Data Extraction API Options

Ephesoft

Ephesoft offers an open source data extraction tool that relies on invoice OCR to extract data. This automation software works at scale, so it suits both small businesses and those with requirements for larger invoice extraction capacity.

The website notes that their software completes document capture and classification, but there is not a lot of information provided on the accuracy of the Ephesoft tool. The focus seems to be more on the speed and number of invoices processed.

Textricator

Another option for open source PDF invoice extraction is Textricator. This tool extracts text from digital invoice PDF files. However, this is not an invoice OCR API – it does not have OCR abilities. First, you would need to parse the files with an OCR solution and then upload them to Textricator. Plus, it seems to be more focused on generally processing text than dealing with invoices.

Tabula

Tabula allows you to take extracted data from PDF documents and turn it into an Excel or CSV file. It is known as a data scraping tool instead of invoice processing software. While it has the potential to be an excellent tool for gaining structured data from PDFs, it may not be the best option for scanned invoices as it doesn’t have an OCR API component.

An Alternative To Open Source Data Extraction

Open source software is incredible if you’re using it for a personal project or for something where you don’t need to prioritise accuracy. However, you need reliable and accurate data when it comes to your accounting system. So, it’s likely better to go with a non-open source invoice processing tool.

One of the best invoice data extraction APIs on the market right now is the one offered by Affinda. While it is not open source, the programmers behind this technology have invested years in updating and perfecting the algorithm to ensure incredible parsing accuracy. They have leveraged the power of deep learning models and artificial intelligence to create a tool that every financial services company needs.Eliminate manual data entry with this new invoice extraction API and save yourself some serious time and money. We also offer excellent support to our customers. Give our team a call at any time to get advice on implementing an invoice parsing tool in your business. We can also explain how your developer can integrate it with your accounting platform so that the data gets pulled through. We are willing to adapt our product to your specific use case, so let us know what your needs are, and we’ll come up with a plan to meet them.

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