Invoice scanning has grown in demand with the improvements that have come to scanning software technology in recent years. But is generic scanning software enough, or do you need invoice scanning software for capturing all of those invoices? What features should you look for? What are the benefits? What is the best invoice scanning software to use for invoice processing? In this article we'll cover these questions as we highlight our top pick for the best invoice scanning software solution: FileCenter.
A Case for Invoice Scanning Software
Twenty years ago, document scanning was still a rarity among most businesses. Business processes still relied almost completely on paper documents. Today most businesses have at least explored the option of going paperless thanks to scanning software and desktop document scanners that have moved this technology forward enough to make it possible for businesses to go completely digital.
But even in this new landscape of paperless offices, physical invoices continue to litter the scene. Most invoice processing and data capture are performed by hand. Why? Because most businesses don't realize that invoice scanning software has grown up significantly in the last few years, providing features that can vastly improve invoice scanning, sometimes eliminating the need for manual invoice processing and data entry.
What Is Invoice Scanning?
Today, invoice scanning means capturing not just the image of a paper invoice as a PDF file, but also capturing key data from an invoice. Invoice scanning requires specialized invoice scanning software that can provide data capture to eliminate data entry.
What Makes Invoice Scanning Software Different
While there are many document scanning software options available today, most of them are not good choices for invoice scanning. Document scanning software only concerns itself with digitizing documents – making the paper documents into searchable PDFs through OCR. A good invoice scanning software solution needs to provide PDF invoice images, just like document scanning software would do, but it needs to provide additional automation features and benefits specifically designed for processing invoices, like the ability to spot data fields, provide data extraction, and automate data entry with the invoice data.
Automated invoice processing can not only speed up business processes, the best invoice scanning software can pay for itself quickly through efficiency gains.
Features of the Best Invoice Scanning Software
We've discussed invoice scanning software in general terms. Now it's time to get specific. What features should be present in the best invoice scanning software? The starting point is to consider what you realistically need in terms of invoice processing. Most sites are interested in extracting key pieces of data from the invoice. But for what purpose?
Using Invoice Fields to Name and Save Invoices
In many cases, you simply want to name and store your invoices using key fields from the invoice. For example, suppose you organize your scanned invoices by vendor name. You want to store the invoice in the vendor's folder and name the invoice with the invoice number and the invoice date. The best invoice scanning software will use automation to perform data capture, looking specifically for the vendor name, the invoice number, and the invoice date on the scanned document. It will then use these values to automatically name and save the invoice as a PDF.
FileCenter, our top pick for invoice scanning software, does just this. It has automation features that, when used with invoice scanning, can extract specific fields from the invoice and use them to automatically name and save the invoice.
Invoice Data Capture
Some businesses are interested in minimizing data entry, a slow and often inaccurate task when performed by hand.
The best invoice scanning software takes advantage of OCR technology – short for Optical Character Recognition. OCR software takes a scanned image of a document, such as an invoice, and converts it into actual text. In the case of invoice scanning, this text can be made available to databases.
For example, FileCenter invoice scanning software can be programmed to recognize specific fields on the invoice – either by region or by pattern-matching. These fields can then be pulled from the invoice and saved as data files that are suitable for being pulled into databases. A business that fully implements such invoice processing will enjoy two benefits: first, all of their invoices will be digitized and organized; second, key data from the invoices can be automatically pulled into other systems, like accounting software, CRMs, medical records management software, etc., completely eliminating data entry. This kind of intelligent, automatic data capture happens seamlessly behind the scenes with every invoice that gets scanned.
The Best Invoice Scanning Software Recognizes the Need for Good Organization
Data extraction and automatically processing invoices isn't the only benefit provided by the best invoice scanning software. The ideal invoice processing software understands that there is also a need to organize all of these scanned invoices together with other documents. In fact, one of the key benefits of your invoice processing solution should be intuitive, efficient document organization.
Document Management Features for Invoice Organization
Even if your invoice scanning solution is able to capture all of the data on the paper invoice, you still need a way to organize all of these digitized invoices so that you can easily pull them back up later if necessary.
The best invoice scanning solution will automatically separate stacks of paper invoices into individual computer files, ideally saved as searchable PDF files, as mentioned earlier. Converting the scanned invoice to PDF and performing OCR should be an automatic, transparent part of the process.
Next each of those PDFs need to be named and organized. As the invoice itself contains all of the data needed to name the file, your solution should be able to automatically handle the naming and saving.
FileCenter, our favorite solution, has all of the tools and features needed to completely automate the saving and organizing of your scanned PDF invoices.
Optional Cloud Storage for Invoices
If your business is like most, you have at least considered using the Cloud to store your scanned invoices. The best invoice scanning solution will support saving to the Cloud, but not require it. Some businesses enjoy the convenience of anywhere-access that the Cloud provides. Other businesses prefer the privacy and security of storing all of their sensitive scanned invoices locally.
FileCenter is fully compatible with all of the major Cloud providers: Google Drive, One Drive, DropBox, SharePoint, etc. But the actual storage takes place on your local hard drive or network, giving you full control.
Our Recommended Invoice Scanning Software: FileCenter
When it comes to invoice processing and eliminating data entry, generic document scanning software won't do. Software designed specifically for invoice processing will . FileCenter is an outstanding invoice processing solution with many benefits, including the ability to automate document naming from details on the invoice, such as the invoice number, and the ability to eliminate manual data entry by extracting data fields from the invoice. Paired with a quality invoice scanner or document scanner, FileCenter invoice scanning software will noticeably improve your business workflow and efficiency. Download a free trial today and discover why FileCenter is quickly becoming the invoice scanning solution of choice.
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