In the ongoing effort to cut invoice processing times and, in turn, boost the cash flow cycle and make it more efficient, technology reaches ever higher and farther.
And, of course, accounts payable functions can use some streamlining. The supply chain can unlink quickly if payments are tardy, payments get lost in translation or invoices are riddled with errors.
Tipalti, which provides supplier payments automation, last week said that it is adding optical character recognition (OCR) technology to its invoice processing functions. The firm has said that the use of this technology, which scans and reads printed matter — in this case, invoices — can help reduce processing times by as much as 80 percent. The key to such automation is grabbing the information that is most needed from the invoice itself, presented through, say, emails or PDFs, to bring it to the needed parties for approval (and other functions).
In an interview, Tipalti CEO Chen Amit said OCR helps “change the way we capture the invoice,” and the OCR functionality is part of the end-to-end offerings via Tipalti’s automated software. The inbound invoices that could be scattered across an organization or its disparate parts, said Amit, now are collected and pass through a single point of reference.
The parsing of data, entered into the flow, also occurs through machine learning, which the CEO said matches the invoice with purchase orders and payments. The automated nature of the platform, said Amit, allows for firms to “push more of the work to the suppliers themselves.”