Zero Error Revolution: Are You Missing Out?

Compared to the younger generations, I am a technology dinosaur when it comes to social media. I don’t use Instagram, TikTok, Twitter (or X), Facebook, Snapchat, or BeReal. 

Yes, I watch YouTube Shorts (the Google equivalent of TikTok) but that puts me in the ‘old people’ category for social media in the eyes of the younger generation. 

Does that mean I am missing out? Maybe, but unless I check them out, how will I know? 

That’s the thing with technology, we become comfortable with what we are used to, and are often unaware of what might be possible. 

The same applies to the technology we use at work. We may be content with the solutions we have because we have tailored them to our needs, but maybe there are better ways of doing things if we give them a chance? 

Is There Technology That Is Better than the Ones We Use? 

We have become so used to workarounds for the errors that occur with traditional OCR systems that ‘read’ data from invoices that when a new technology comes along that can extract data with 100% accuracy, we think we don’t need it. 

After all, how could it improve the processes we already have in place? 

And anyway, we already use AI-OCR (Artificial Intelligence aided OCR). How can we get more accurate than that? 

Unfortunately, if AI is given incorrect data, then its decisions will be incorrect. 

And OCR relies on interpretations of pictures of invoices rather than the actual data, so it can easily be thrown by font issues, poor quality images, background shading, and many other issues found on real-world invoices. 

For example, did you know that in some cases, PDF invoices don’t show all the data that is contained on the invoice? Strange as it may seem, I have seen examples of this, particularly with product descriptions, but sometimes with money amounts. 

Most of these issues require human intervention to correct. 

Understanding ZERO Error Invoice Automation Technology 

Faced with the challenge that none of the existing OCR solutions can extract data with 100% accuracy, we decided to create a totally different technology, one that doesn’t rely on interpreting a ‘picture’ of an invoice, but one that natively reads the PostScript language Adobe uses to determine how to print a PDF invoice. 

This is an incredibly complex technology that uses advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques to accurately read and extract invoice data. 

However, while accurate data is a major part of the solution, it is not the only one. For example, ‘Smarter Interpretation’ ensures that data is treated in the correct context and ‘Rules-Based Automation’ offers fully automated 3-way matching (invoice is checked against purchase order for pricing, and against receiving transactions for quantities). 

It also supports 2-way matching where pricing on an invoice is checked against a purchase order, and supports workflows where purchase orders are not used, and invoices need to be reviewed and approved. 

Benefits Of Our Approach 

This new method of processing invoices offers many advantages over existing solutions. 

  1. Error-Free Data Extraction 
    Eliminates discrepancies that could lead to financial misreporting or compliance issues. 
     
  1. Enhanced Decision-Making 
    Businesses can trust their financial insights and make strategic decisions confidently. 
     
  1. Operational Cost Savings 
    Automation can reduce operating costs very significantly. 
     
  1. Streamlined Workflow 
    Accounts Payable workflow can be streamlined, improving overall efficiency. 
     
  1. Improved Supplier Relationships 
    Accurate and timely processing of invoices leads to better supplier relationships as payments can be made promptly and without error. 

The Challenge: Recognizing what You’re Missing 

The dilemma for many businesses is not knowing what they are missing out on. If your current system seems to work ‘well enough,’ it can be challenging to envision the need for change. However, ‘well enough’ often masks underlying inefficiencies and costs. 

Identifying the Need for Change 

So, how do you know if there may be a need to change? 

  • Look for signs of inefficiencies 
    Examples include frequent data entry errors, invoices taking more than 3 days from receipt to approval, financial periods taking more than 4 days to close 
     
  • Stay informed about emerging technologies 
    Monitor trends in industry forums, webinars, conferences, and yes, engage with technology providers, especially new ones with innovative solutions. 
     
  • Benchmark against industry standards 
    Check if your cost per invoice processed is higher than your peers. The cost is often far higher than you might imagine because it’s not simply a case of dividing the number of invoices processed by the salaries of Accounts Payable staff.  This is a significant percentage of the cost, but there are many other costs too. 

Embracing the ZERO Error Revolution 

Understanding and embracing this technology is crucial. It’s not just about what you’re currently experiencing, but about the potential benefits and opportunities you might be missing out on. 

Adopting this technology means stepping into a future of precision, efficiency, and informed decision-making, propelling your business towards greater success. 

Finbarr McCarthy