Invoice Scanning

Scanning invoices is one of the most rewarding applications for scanning and OCR technology.

As one of our customers said…

Instead of processing one invoice every ten minutes, we’re now processing ten invoices in one minute

Invoice Scanning Options

  • Scanning invoices as they enter the company, Front End Scanning
  • Scanning invoices after they’ve been dealt with – Back End Scanning, or archiving

ProcessFlows can provide a vast array of scanning and data capture options according to your prioirities, from simple archiving to full process automation built around existing technology.

Front End Scanning

Scanning invoices as they enter the building, before processing, is by far the most rewarding way of handling the documents (paper, electronic or other) and is the first step towards automating the accounts payable invoice process.

Save ‘vast amounts’ of time

The automatic entry of information into the accounting system (indexing), is more productive, more accurate and more satisfying than doing it by hand.

The scanning is easy, and indexing invoices is fast and accurate when using software designed for the purpose.

The difference between standard scanning software and Invoice scanning software is the large amount of different templates that occur in supplier invoices.

Every Supplier Invoice has a different layout

With traditional, template based OCR, the quantity of different layouts would mean handling large amounts of templates, arkward and would defeat the purpose. Instead of spending time handling invoices, companies would spend time inputting and updating templates.

What’s needed is Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR). Recognising content, wherever it is on the page, is what’s needed for a successful invoice scanning operation.

Of course, it’s not the only thing you need. Every organisation has developed very sophisticated methods for handling exceptions thrown up by their individual industries and business models. An automation system has to be able to cater for very specific and unusual business rules.

Invoice Processing technology is what’s needed.

The overall benefit is to free up staff time and give them quick and easy access to the information they need to get on with the job with tasks that add value for the company.

Handle all invoice formats

There has been an increase in the number of electronic invoices and EDI, whilst a significant number of the invoices received by finance departments are paper, and a few other formats are appearing such as XML documents, digital images and faxes.

Our Invoice Scanning solutions are able to handle all types of documents, regardless of how they arrive.

Total Automation

If you want a totally automated accounts payable process, scanning invoices as they enter the business will give you the flexibility to automate more of the accounts payable process. This is invaluable when dealing with more complex supplier arrangements.

If you’d like to explore the steps towards invoice automation, why not take a look at our AP ProcessFlows application.

Back End Scanning, Archiving ‘post process’

If space, resilience and access to documents from multiple locations is the first objective, then scanning invoices after approval is relatively quick to implement and won’t require a change to current processes.

For a quick win, people sometimes would like to scan Invoices once payment has been agreed and suppliers are happy.

  • Speedy, quick and easy retrieval in the future
  • Provides an audit trail for quicker easier auditing
  • Saves archive storage space
  • Provides resilience through backups in multiple locations
  • Easy to implement – no impact on the current process
  • Cost effective, but payback low in comparison to a totally automated AP process

Start with the end in mind

We think it’s important that people know what can be achieved in the long term, and should choose solutions to grow into as business scales. Fulfill short term objectives whilst building towards matching and automatic posting later with ProcessFlows.

Choosing the scanning hardware

This is the last thing on the list, because it should be the last thing you do. It will be influenced by the:

  • Volume of data you need to capture
  • The type of documents
  • How much you can afford

We can help with this choice and at every step along the way.  To get an idea of what you might need, and the budgets involved, why not contact us using one of the buttons above right? We’ll get one of our consultants to drop you a line.

More Information

For information on any of our solutions or products, please call us on +44 (0) 1962 835053, or email

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