Recent capital investment in receipt capture apps has once again demonstrated how valued the technology is to global commercial enterprise. As we march ever closer to long-term remote working and wholesale adoption of cloud computing, it seems inevitable that OCR for receipts will become a feature of most every business operational model the world over.
Why OCR for Receipts is the Future of Expense Management
Now, you can ask yourself of all the tech innovations of there, why is receipt scanning OCR attracting significant investor attention? The answer is obvious. The right OCR API, like that which Tabscanner has developed, adds significant value to businesses the world over, streamlining processes and saving resources.
In the age of video calling and social media, wearable technology and IoT, when our integration with technology is everywhere you look, investors look for what’s likely to be the next thing that will grab consumer’s attention and cultivate the feeling that you just won’t be able to live without this.
Is OCR technology the next big thing? Well, to some it may not be as romantic as, say augmented reality, autonomous driving or 5G internet, but, without question, the applicational benefits and environmental impact of OCR technology make it one of the most attractive propositions for any investor.
So, what exactly is OCR? Well, if you want to learn tech that will impact your life more and more as the decade unfolds, read on.
OCR for Receipt Recognition Explained
You don’t need to be a genius to understand OCR. Like some other innovations that shall remain nameless, OCR simple to wrap you head around. Optical character recognition (or OCR) is technology that allows the user to extract information from a written document and convert it to digital format.
Think of it this way. You have a handful of receipts and you want to save them to your computer’s hard drive or the cloud. How do you convert these paper documents into a digital file? Easy, you use an OCR receipt scanner (using an app on your phone is best) to scan the receipt and covert it into a JPG, TIFF or PDF which can then be saved to your computer or the cloud.
What OCR does is analyse the document line by line, capture the information of that document, including the retailer, the date and time of purchase and the amount paid, and them create a JPG, TIFF or PDF of the receipt. Got it? Simple, right?
Widely used as an effective and accurate method of data entry, OCR can be used to convert receipts, documents, bank statements, invoices, even graphical images into digital files.
The Next Generation: OCR Meets AI
The template-based solutions of AI integrated OCR elevates optical character recognition to a whole other level. Before AI, OCR was still useful, handy even for scanning through microfiche documents looking for a statistic, headline, or specific piece of information. Today, AI is making possible what was previously thought to be impossible.
In simple terms, AI allows an entire document or receipt to be scanned in individual fields or line by line, with the contents analysed and then converted into a digital file. This degree of detail allows for the most meticulous data transfer possible – in fact, Tabscanner’s advanced AI has 98% accuracy on core data!
The only thing that stops data transfer hitting that 100% mark isn’t the capabilities of OCR API, but the quality of the document. Think about it, if you’ve got a scrunched-up receipt, one with faded ink and the odd tear and lost information, even most powerful OCR AI will be able to retrieve lost information!
However, it should be said that no tech is perfect, some are even far from it… just look at some video conferencing software and apps! OCR is no different… Despite this, OCR is still much more reliable than video conferencing!
Important data points can be lost in rare instances. However, given the rate at which OCR and technology is evolving, it won’t be too long before little issues are completely ironed out and the tech becomes as trusted as the naked eye. Just imagine how much time you could save when calculating your expenses!
What Could We Expect as the Best OCR for Receipts and Documents Evolves?
OCR technology is undergoing a quiet revolution. Ambitious software providers and businesses continue to integrate OCR with existing tech to streamline and improve their processes and service offerings. Receipt and document scanning technology may be the most common-used and efficient application, but who’s to say where the technology will branch off in the coming years!
What’s apparent is that data capturing software has evolved to simultaneously capturing content and comprehending its contents. This means that AI will be able to automatically check for mistakes and, like we see in auto-correct functions on text messages, WhatsApp’s, and Microsoft Office, highlight and correct mistakes and discrepancies.
One of the more detailed study’s on OCR AI highlighted the technology as one of the best ways to help businesses manage financial reports of various languages, translating them into English. Guess what? Tabscanner can do this too!
Another example of how OCR is set to invigorate sectors the world over is how OCR AI can be used to simplify the management of mortgage documents. This can automate document creation and help users to identify high priority loans. Once those loans that needed to be handled swiftly were pinpointed, actions can be taken. It’s believed that this reduced processing time from two hours to five minutes!
The Paperless Office
More than 60% of SME senior decision-makers believe that the time employees spend trying to locate paper documents has a significant effect on day-to-day productivity. Look at this way: if one employee spends 15 minutes a day looking for lost paperwork that’s 75 minutes a week or 300 minutes or 5 hours a month looking for lost paper!
Then consider this: what if you have 5 employees, only 5 who rely on paperwork to do their job and they all have the same problem. This means that just 5 employees waste 25 hours a month (more than half a working week) looking for lost paperwork!
Let us now ask you this… what if you have 50 employees with the same problem? Can you afford to lose 250 hours of work a month all because of lost paperwork? Tell us any business who can!
So, why mention this? Well, the potential loss in productivity is just one reason why you should change to a paperless office. Think about it, you won’t have to worry about losing important documentation, like expense reports, invoices, or receipts ever again!
There are several ways that a paperless office can optimise your office processes… and yes, OCR for receipts is just one of the actions that you can take… did we mention that you’ll be doing your bit for the environment too!
Along with a paperless office, utilising the most accurate and therefore best OCR for receipts or documents helps businesses to achieve higher productivity, by creating an easier and swifter means of retrieving data. All that time and effort than employees spend trying to find specific information in a mountain of documents can now take just a few seconds.
Searchable documents, like PDFs, only require a quick Control F on a PC or Command F on a Mac to find what you’re looking for. Numbers, addresses, names, and dates can be found in seconds, regardless of whether you’re searching a document with one page or a hundred pages. Can the same be said for paper documents? Obviously not. This frees up so much time that could be better spent by employees across more vital areas of their role.
Using a mobile OCR receipt scanner will save you money. Why? It saves businesses having to hire professionals to complete data extraction at a premium and streamlines manpower. You won’t need to have a ten or twenty-person strong accounts department, with each employee costing the business a pretty penny all things considered when a large part of accounting – the expenses – can be done through technology.
Additionally, other costs like copying, printing, shipping or the time and cost of replacing misplaced or lost documents and the cost of storage will also be saved. All in all, it’s a win-win situation!
No business wants to invite disaster but having a plan in place should disaster strike is all part of sound commercial planning. One of the lesser spoken of advantages of OCR technology is that it can be integral if, for example, a fire breaks out in an office. Paper documentation burns in seconds. Data uploaded to the cloud is there forever, even if your laptop is destroyed!
The Features of a Good Receipt OCR API
Now, let’s say you’re thinking of implementing mobile OCR into your office. Well, first off, you’ve made the right decision! Second, what should a good OCR API demonstrate?
We’ve got the lowdown on what you need to know before choosing OCR software. Spoilers, Tabscanner has all these features!
Intelligent Data Capture
Our OCR receipt scanner AI understands human levels of intelligence across all receipt fields. What does this mean? You get near perfect data capture and digital file conversion.
Lightning Fast Cloud API
Today, everyone is used to lightning fast services. Google returning search requests in under a second, instant bank transfers, the digital world is immediate. Our receipt scanning API is no different. All data fields from a POS receipt are processed in less than two seconds.
98% Accuracy on Core Data
What good is data capture that doesn’t fully capture the required data? The answer, none. OCR has evolved exponentially in the last few years alone, and Tabscanner is evidence of this. Our OCR returns as accurate results as you can get on core data, including establishments, dates, and totals.
Line Item Data Extraction
How data is extracted is integral to the success of any OCR API. This is where Tabscanner excels. We have the only technology to return accurate line items from any POS receipt in the world. This includes all languages and character sets.
Simple and Robust API
What good is mobile OCR software if it cannot be easily installed or run? The answer, none. Tabscanner features seamless software installation through a reliable and easy to use API. What does this mean? It’s never been easier for you to setup and manage your expenses and documents.
SOC3 and GDPR Compliant
Data security is one of the most importance considerations of any business today. If you’re going to use software with private or financial information, it’s paramount that you’re protected, right? Well, rest assured, Tabscanner adheres to strict data privacy standards and has ISO 27001 accreditation, ensuring that your data is kept safe and secure.
Clients and Success Stories
It’s often said that the prowess of a business can be judged by the clients they work with. Why? Well, the more prestigious the clients are, the more a business is trusted to do what they say. In short, if you want to see how good a business is, look at who trusts them. Simple. See our case studies for in depth examples.
Tabscanner is proud to have worked with global brands that everyone recognises. From Chevron to Fujitsu, established companies across a wealth of sectors have discovered our simple to integrate, scalable and insightful OCR API vital to their day to day operations.
Better still, Tabscanner has won a POC for a renowned expense management and account solutions provider with an application that services more than 50,000 SME’s globally. Their OCR expense management solution fell short of the required data recognition and transfer standard and they were looking for a new vendor, inviting Tabscanner to pitch our technology along with two other vendors.
The results were as astounding as they were clear cut. When competing with two other vendors, Tabscanner achieved a cumulative unison accuracy percentage of 91%. The other competing vendors only achieved 82% and 58% respectively.
OCR for Receipts is the Future
There are so many reasons why OCR for receipts – and any other commercial documents – will drastically streamline processes and save costs whilst improving business offerings to clients and saving operational costs. It’s that simple.
Tabscanner is at the forefront of the future of expense management. Our OCR API is the best in the business and the scalable solutions we offer allow clients to tailor the software according to their commercial needs as the business grows.
With 98% accuracy on core and lightning fast API, managing your expenses has never been quicker or more reliable. The only question left is why aren’t you using Tabscanner’s document and receipt scanning software already?