Efficient processing of company documents using artificial intelligence

Onespire Ltd.

Introduction

In this post, we write about the data-level processing of business documents. Companies manage countless documents along different processes and rules. From this set, let’s take a closer look at those where the processing of a document at the data-level requires significant human investment.

Supporting invoice processing using artificial intelligence

A classic case is processing the company’s incoming or vendor invoices and financial documents. These documents can be of various types, with domestic or foreign tax identification numbers, receipts, proof of purchases, and so on.

How can artificial intelligence process documents and how accessible is all this in everyday life? The answer is clearly positive, AI (Artificial Intelligence) can provide significant support if implemented properly and used according to the capabilities offered by the service. The details, perhaps as always, are very important here as well, let’s see what we are up against.

Registering invoices, for example in an Enterprise Resource Planning system, is not only a time-consuming task, but the manual data entry carries the possibility of error. A zero here or there makes a huge difference, a recording error discovered later requires a whole series of expensive and unpleasant processes during the correction.

The machine processing of invoices is not a new feature, in a corporate environment there are many software solutions that can be used to reduce human expenditure and the associated probability of erroneous recording. The diversity of the task results from the varying formats of the invoices. A particular tool is required for machine processing of a printed invoice, and another for a readable PDF invoice with or without XML data content.

 

Efficient processing of company documents using AI illustration

Data extraction systems based on OCR (Optical Character Recognition) solutions used for processing printed invoices are widespread, one can choose from a wide variety of products. The effectiveness of their application depends on the capabilities of the system, during their implementation, the acquisition of knowledge, also known as training, is the real challenge. The system has to learn the different invoice formats, and interpret which of the information on the invoice are the nameable fields, for example, which of the amounts is net-gross-VAT. Different products approach the solution of the problem with various strategies, but the task cannot be circumvented, achieving adequate efficiency takes months of hard work.

The processing of invoices received through electronic channels is also a task that requires attention, the data must also be extracted from the readable PDF format. In the case of electronic invoices, this is facilitated by the XML data embedded in the PDF format, which is mostly of the same format, but there are also differences. Regulation of the format is being prepared at the level of the European Union, but standardized electronic invoice data is still a long way off.

The so-called NAV (Nemzeti Adó- és Vámhivatal, Hungarian National Tax and Customs Administration) interface provides significant IT support for the processing of vendor invoices with a Hungarian tax identification number, from which invoices issued to the company’s tax ID number can be downloaded in a uniform, XML format. The solution provides reliable help for the digital management of the vendor, accounting amounts and dates. However, in the case of recording the lines of a multi-item, possibly multi-page vendor invoices, it is still a task to be performed, either by manual recording or by machine processing.

With a significant number of incoming invoices (over 1,000 – 2,000 per month), a well-structured invoice processing system means a lot in terms of both resource savings and data accuracy. Such a solution is complex because it has to have many capabilities, such as OCR, PDF processing, and NAV interface.

What can artificial intelligence support? The application of AI in the field of machine processing is not a new feature, many data extracting products use AI algorithms to reduce the length of learning cycles and improve data quality. The recent period has brought about a change in that, following the resounding success of Large Language Models (LLM), large software companies have made available services that can be used, at a particularly competitive price. An example of this is Microsoft Azure AI Document Intelligence, as well as the service created specifically for processing invoices.

Does Azure AI solve all invoice registration tasks? No, unfortunately we are not there yet, the invoice processing is still a complex task. On the other hand, it brings the ability of machine processing much closer to users.

The IT support of the process has become faster and cheaper with the help of AI. The Azure AI service provides high-quality data extraction for any scanned document, whether it is a scanned copy or an electronic invoice (PDF), and all this is extremely fast. The company approval of the processed invoice data, the transfer of the data to ERP or accounting software, and the handling of electronic copies according to the rules are still an IT task to be solved.

Machine processing, on the other hand, is available in the form of a callable service instead of a multi-component complex IT system, without language problems. Currently, the solution can interpret documents in 27 languages, including Hungarian. The creation of invoice management systems supported by machine processing has become faster, simpler and significantly more accessible. Those who are just starting to solve a similar task should definitely consider AI-supported options, in the case of an existing OCR-based system, it is more a question of return calculation, but the challenge is given, and artificial intelligence is competitive.

Efficient processing of documents illustration

DocuLine Enterprise DMS

If you are interested in AI-supported document processing solutions, discover DocuLine, an application developed by our company, which supports efficient operation with flexible and modern functions in the field of digitization and automation of work processes!

Using the system makes administrative processes more efficient and helps internal communication. You can store documents securely and protected by permissions, avoiding unauthorized access. The application offers remote access, which enables effective home office work. Don’t waste your time with repetitive manual tasks, free up your resources by digitizing and automating processes.

Do you have questions about AI-powered document processing solutions?

Contact our company digitization experts!

Efficient processing of company documents using artificial intelligence

Author: Zsombor Bereczki

Images made with generative AI by Vanda Kocsis

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