AI document automation software is designed to automatically review, extract, organize, and save data from standard documents such as invoices or tax documents. This process mainly transfers data stored in unstructured formats (like PDFs and paper documents) to structured formats (like an accounting system) where the data can be easily and efficiently be processed and stored for record-keeping purposes. Document AI processing software can help organizations save time processing business documents such as invoices.
Traditional document automation software scans the document and generates a text layer using optical character recognition (OCR). Then, it uses templates based on images or rules to locate text and understand data fields. This automated process is very efficient when an organization is processing documents with identical formats.
Unfortunately, reality is rarely so convenient. Most of the time, the documents an organization processes utilize a huge variety of formats. Even two of the same kinds of documents, like two invoices from different suppliers, can contain an enormous degree of variance.
Using traditional AI document automation software is not an effective solution for processing documents that are formatted differently from one another because the AI is only capable of following preset rules; if a document’s format is even slightly different from what the AI has been told to look for, it can result in significant errors.
There is a better solution, however, through intelligent document processing (IDP). IDP provides document processing software that not only automatically reads and extracts data, but intelligently interprets and re-formats it without the need for human intervention or a long list of pre-written rules. IDP imitates human behavior through the use of AI and machine learning.
This effectively solves the accuracy problem that inconsistent document formats introduce. Some of the best intelligent data processing solutions include Rossum AI, Microsoft Azure document AI, and Google document AI. One of the best ways to compare these options is to look at the intelligent document processing Gartner report.
Throughout the rest of this article, we’ll examine automated document processing in detail and review some of the problems it can solve and benefits it can impart. There are many practical intelligent document processing use cases that can benefit your business.
AI document processing converts unstructured documents
AI document processing uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically convert unstructured business data to structured formats. For example, AI document processing software could automatically read a PDF data invoice and transfer the necessary data into a business’s accounting system using intelligent document processing.
PDF invoices from different suppliers that are formatted inconsistently would pose a serious issue for traditional document processing automation, but intelligent document processing software can detect and correctly enter information no matter what format it starts in.
Organizations that want to use AI document processing to improve invoice processing (or nearly any kind of data entry) have several options. Many companies use well-known solutions like Amazon intelligent document processing tools. Rossum AI is another example of a top-quality provider of intelligent document processing software.
Automated document processing efficiently captures data
Automated document processing is one of the most efficient ways to capture data from invoices or various other business documents. However, while automated document processing can save organizations a lot of time and effort, highly-automated systems can be very fragile since they rely on rigid sets of predefined rules.
Intelligent document processing software like Rossum allow organizations to introduce a degree of flexibility to their automated document processing. AI that’s been trained with machine learning can analyze and understand data in different formats and react accordingly without human intervention.
This significantly reduces the time businesses need to spend writing long lists of rules for their automated processes because the AI can “think” for itself. For example, even if two invoices arrive in vastly different formats, intelligent document processing software can still accurately discern the key information contained in each and extract it appropriately.
When humans read a document like an invoice, they don’t usually read it in order, line by line. Instead, it’s more typical to scan for the information one needs by quickly taking in the format of the document as a whole and then focusing attention toward the locations where one would expect to find key information.
Humans will always be better at interpreting formatting than software that lacks this kind of understanding. AI document automation, on the other hand, can be trained with machine learning to read a document and extract information in the same manner as a human brain.
Integrating with UiPath Document Understanding
Rossum’s AI document automation can capture data from invoices with no template setup required, and UiPath robots make it easy to integrate this technology with the UiPath Document Understanding framework. Now, we’ll explore the uipath document understanding architecture. Organizations can connect Rossum document processing intelligence to UiPath document automation in just a few easy steps:
- Send documents to Rossum
- Wait for Rossum’s AI to cognitively process the documents
- Use the Rossum online user interface for manual verification (this step is optional)
- Receive the newly structured data from Rossum and store it in a .xlsx file
Completing these steps requires both Rossum and UiPath Document Understanding. OCR-based data capture systems are usually not as efficient or accurate as this combination.
Intelligent document processing has many advantages
To thoroughly understand the advantages that intelligent document processing can provide, it’s necessary to first understand the disadvantages of a manual document processing workflow.
- Manual processing is time consuming. The average time it takes an invoice to travel through the entire manual processing cycle is 12.4 days. Large quantities of invoices can be very hard for accounting departments to keep up with, which easily leads to bottlenecks.
- Manual processing is expensive. The average cost per invoice is $2.03 when a business uses a manual data extraction process and, for many companies, it’s much higher. Intelligent document processing can reduce expenses considerably.
- Manual processing is error-prone. A manual invoice processing workflow typically puts a great deal of strain on the accounting department. The more invoices that need to be processed, the higher the chances of human error entering the equation.
With intelligent document processing, PDFs and other unstructured data formats no longer present these disadvantages. Instead, intelligent document processing trends are leading the way toward more effective data capture possibilities.
Intelligent document processing benefits for your business
With intelligent document processing, challenges associated with manual document processing can be mitigated significantly. Here are some examples of the challenges an accounts payable team could solve using intelligent document processing:
- Large quantities of invoices, each using a different layout, can be very difficult and time-consuming for a team of humans to process. Before intelligent document processing, OCR alone was not enough to comprehend invoices the same way humans can. Intelligent document processing software uses machine learning to tackle this obstacle.
- Manual document processing often requires repetitive data comparison. Intelligent document processing software like Rossum can automatically verify data against a registry of vendors or companies.
- Manual data entry of any kind takes a long time. For an accounts payable team, this can easily lead to missed payment deadlines, especially if there’s a large influx of invoices and they begin to stack up. Intelligent document processing speeds up invoice data capture significantly.
- Some manual processes don’t utilize efficient internal communication. When this happens, discrepancies often happen. Intelligent data capture solutions are almost always cloud-based, making it much easier for teams to collaborate and update data automatically.
Here are some of the primary benefits of using AI for invoice processing in a little more detail:
- Save time: A typical invoice requires about three minutes of manual processing. That means for every invoice an organization receives, a human must spend approximately three minutes working on it for it to be processed correctly. This time can add up quickly at large companies that process vast numbers of invoices. Cognitive data capture technology can reduce the time per invoice to approximately 30 seconds. This enables organizations to process documents six times faster.
- Increase Accuracy: Intelligent automation also frequently results in more accurate data entry. Unlike rule-bound automation, AI is capable of continually learning and self-correcting the same way a human brain is. Cognitive document capture technology can now process documents with up to 98% accuracy.
- Improve productivity: Increased accuracy and reduced time per invoice combined result in improved productivity. Based on a study of Rossum’s users, businesses that use intelligent document processing tools reduce the number of manual actions required to process an invoice by 97%.
This list of intelligent document processing benefits is not exhaustive, but it includes some of the most notable advantages organizations gain when they implement AI-enabled document processing solutions.
Top intelligent document processing vendors
Once an organization recognizes its need for a better document processing method, there are multiple options available. The first step is to consider the organization’s needs. Factors like the size of a business, the number of suppliers it uses, and the frequency with which it receives invoices are all relevant.
The next step is to identify some of the top intelligent document processing vendors and compare them. For example, Rossum is one of the best choices on the intelligent document processing market due to its unified, cloud-based approach to intelligent data capture, among other benefits. Other well-known intelligent document processing companies include multi-purpose providers like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, or Google Cloud Vision.