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Automated Invoice Processing Using Astera ReportMiner

Ammar Ali

Content Manager

August 19th, 2023

For decades, processing an invoice essentially meant hand-keying information. The paper bills would pass through multiple touchpoints and require a lot of manual intervention. That has all changed in recent years with automated invoice processing, as enterprises look to reduce the transaction cycle and timeline of paying an invoice from several weeks to days or even minutes.

It’s no surprise that automated invoice processing — powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) — has become a preferred approach for modern businesses. Given the fast adoption of AI data extraction, it’s safe to expect automation to continue being a driving force behind invoice processing.

manual invoice processing vs automated invoice processing

Manual vs. Automated Invoice Processing

Manual invoice processing is an error-prone and time-consuming approach that isn’t very efficient — to say the least. It involves receiving paper invoices from vendors, performing manual data entry in the accounting system, matching it against the purchase orders for tolerances, making a scan to add it to the filing system, and sending it for approval. Afterward, each invoice is added to the ERP manually.

Once all these steps are completed, then the payment is processed. Now that’s a lengthy manual process that consumes a lot of staff’s time and costs money. 51% of enterprises say manual data causes them the most problems in processing invoices.

Enterprises need to quickly pull relevant information from invoices, available in an unstructured format, to process, validate, store, and approve payments in real time.

And that’s where automated invoice processing comes in. It automates the entire process of receiving an invoice, extracting information from it, and adding the info to your ERP system.

It significantly improves payment processing time, minimizes errors, and helps businesses take advantage of early payment discounts and avert overdue fees.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key benefits it brings to the table.

benefits of automated invoice processing

Benefits of Automated Invoice Processing

Time and money savings

Automated invoice processing software minimize the risk of missing invoices. They save businesses from delayed payments, leading to penalties and strained vendor relationships. Making accurate and timely payments also help companies get discounted rates and favorable credit terms, contributing to a positive cash flow.

Improved data accuracy

Human error is unavoidable when processing invoices manually. It can easily lead to missed discounts, duplicate payments, and overpayments. On the other hand, using an-AI powered intelligent data capture technology minimizes the chances of human errors to virtually none.

Increased productivity

Examining invoices, identifying errors, validating their contents, and getting payment approvals are resource-intensive activities. Invoice processing automation eliminates the need to perform these tasks manually, allowing employees to focus on more critical jobs and become more productive.

Higher employee morale

Manual invoice processing isn’t just time-consuming but also a cumbersome and repetitive activity. Letting AI data extraction solutions take over allows employees to focus on more engaging and higher-value work that would improve their morale.

Improved supplier relationships

Automation simplifies and streamlines vendor invoice management, facilitating timely payments and efficient dispute handling. Maintaining good working relationships with suppliers goes a long way — it helps companies get quicker services and negotiate better terms, among other benefits.

And there are a whole bunch of advantages of invoice workflow automation, including improved audit and regulatory compliance, reduced chances of fraud, and more.

Here’s How It Works

Some of the steps in setting up an automated invoice processing workflow are:

  1. Selecting a file source. This is where incoming invoices are stored.
  2. Generating an extraction template. You can also set up data quality rules to ensure consistency within data.
  3. Exporting the extracted data to a destination for approval.

It’s as simple as that.

An automated invoice processing software can leverage AI technologies like natural language processing and machine learning to easily capture important fields, including product or service description, quantity, price, tax information, payment terms, and more.

Intelligent document processing software requires minimum human supervision. Modern invoice automation solutions allow users to create pre-defined validation rules to manage anomalies, errors, and missing fields. The validated data goes to the enterprise resource planning or accounting solution for payment approval and recordkeeping.

From scanned PDF bills to e-invoices sent through Electronic Data Interchange, an automated solution processes all the invoices coming from different sources with accuracy and speed. This approach streamlines the accounts payable process, allowing enterprises to benefit from low-cost efficiency and maximize productivity.

Astera ReportMiner: Advanced Data Extraction Solution to Automate Invoice Processing

Astera ReportMiner is an end-to-end invoice extraction solution that can transform a large volume of unstructured data into meaningful insights. Using our automated, code-free platform, you can automatically build extraction templates to extract data from invoices.

Our solution’s new AI-driven data extraction capabilities have made things easier than ever. Here’s how you can automate invoice processing in three steps:

  1. In order to utilize the Astera North Star feature, you will need to create a new project from Project > New > Integration project or open an existing project in Astera ReportMiner. 

    Automated Data Extraction Step 1 - Starting a project 

  2. Next, right-click on the source files folder in the project explorer and select AI-Powered Data Extraction > Auto Create Report Models using Astera North Star. 

    Automated Data Extraction Step 2- Auto creating report models 

  3. Now that the report models have been created, they are ready to be used for data extraction.Automated Data Extraction Step 3 - Exporting the extracted templates

It’s that simple! Leveraging Astera ReportMiner’s Auto Capture technology, you can extract data from PDF invoices in a matter of seconds. Moreover, the job scheduling feature will facilitate accounts payable automation. Whenever a new invoice comes from the vendor, the solution automatically extracts data and sends it to your preferred destination.

ALSO READ: This Government Department Cuts Down Invoice Data Extraction Time from Hours to Less than a Minute

Automate Invoice Processing With AI

Automated invoice processing helps accounting and finance departments increase efficiency and data processing time. It reduces manual intervention, minimizes errors, and eliminates unnecessary routing, significantly decreasing invoice processing time.

Account payables automation through modern invoice processing software allows employees to shift their focus to more value-added activities. Moreover, efficient vendor invoice management helps companies maintain a good relationship with their suppliers, leading to better business outcomes.

Request a free trial of Astera ReportMiner 10.0 to experience AI Capture today!

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