Document processing refers to the handling and management of different types of documents within a business, such as invoices, contracts, and purchase orders. The process involves capturing, storing, organizing, and retrieving information from these documents.
Invoice processing, specifically, refers to the handling of invoices received from vendors or suppliers. It involves capturing data from the invoices, such as the invoice number, date, and amount due, and entering that data into an accounting system for payment processing.
A quick way to understand document and invoice processing is to think of it as a way to automate manual, time-consuming tasks involved in managing documents and processing invoices. By using technology tools such as OCR (Optical Character Recognition), automated data extraction, and workflow automation software, businesses can save time, reduce errors, and improve accuracy in their document and invoice processing workflows.
A brief explanation of some common terms related to document and invoice processing:
- OCR (Optical Character Recognition): OCR is a technology that enables machines to recognize and extract text from scanned or digital images of documents. It converts the scanned image of a document into machine-readable text that can be edited, searched, and stored electronically.
- Data Extraction: Data extraction refers to capturing and extracting specific data points from documents such as invoices, contracts, and receipts. This process can be automated using OCR technology or data extraction software to extract invoice numbers, dates, amounts, and vendor names.
- Workflow Automation: Workflow automation involves automating manual, repetitive tasks in document and invoice processing workflows. It can be done using software that automatically routes documents to the appropriate person for review, approval, and processing.
- Document Management System: A document management system is a software platform that manages and stores documents electronically. It enables businesses to organize, store, and retrieve documents more efficiently while ensuring they are secure and accessible to authorized users.
- Electronic Signatures: An electronic signature is a digital signature that can be used to sign and authenticate documents electronically. Electronic signatures are legally binding in many countries and can streamline the approval process for documents such as contracts and invoices.
Who uses document and invoice processing?
Many businesses and organizations from various industries can use automation for invoice and document processing. Any business that handles large volumes of invoices, purchase orders, receipts, and other documents can benefit from automation to streamline workflows and reduce manual errors.
Some common industries that use invoice and document processing automation include:
- Finance and Accounting: Accounting departments can use automation to streamline accounts payable and receivable processes, automate invoice matching, and reduce manual data entry.
- Healthcare: Medical offices can use automation to process medical claims, insurance claims, and patient invoices.
- Retail and e-commerce: Retail businesses and e-commerce sites can use automation to manage purchase orders, receipts, and invoices.
- Manufacturing: Manufacturers can use automation to manage purchase orders, supplier invoices, and other procurement and supply chain documents.
- Government and Public Sector: Government agencies can use automation to process citizen applications, invoices, and other forms.
Overall, any business or organization that handles large volumes of invoices, purchase orders, and other documents can benefit from automation to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and minimize errors.
Learn more about how automating your processes can increase your output. Call our Automation Expert today!