Present and future of OCR in the new paradigm of e-Invoicing

Many of our customers are at a point of uncertainty and doubt arises as to whether OCR will continue to be necessary. Questions such as: what is going to happen with OCR? If the future is an electronic invoicing scenario, we won’t have to use OCR, will we? They are increasingly common.

Before beginning to resolve these doubts, it is necessary to clarify concepts.

What is OCR?

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology is an automated process that identifies and recognizes text from an image or scanned document/PDF. Enables automatic data extraction, which saves time and reduces the possibility of errors compared to manual document processing.

In addition, it integrates well with other technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, enabling greater automation and efficiency in business processes such as accounting for incoming invoices.

However, there are several misconceptions about OCR and electronic invoicing.

Truths and Myths about OCR and e-Invoicing

If I have an electronic invoice I need OCR. Incorrect.

The electronic invoice is a structured document, with detailed information between specific tags. Therefore, it is not necessary to use OCR to identify the key content of documents and invoices, because it is done through these tags.

The introduction of the Crea y Crece law will force the use of XML format and we will gradually move from a scenario based on paper/PDF invoices to XML and our system will have to adapt to recognize the data from these.

So what is the future of OCR?

The mandatory use of electronic invoicing in Europe is a very near reality and, therefore, the sending of invoices in paper/PDF format will eventually disappear.

In Spain, the introduction of the Crea y crece law will make the use of electronic invoicing mandatory by 2024, in a first phase that will include companies with a turnover of more than 8 million euros, and one year later for companies with a turnover of less than 8 million.

However, this will not be mandatory for individuals who are not self-employed and for foreign companies, which will be able to continue sending their invoices in a format other than XML.

Therefore, the optimal result in invoice automation will be the combination of technologies and formats (XML and PDF) in order to achieve maximum performance.

At Brait, we can help you achieve greater efficiency in the invoice automation process using the latest OCR technology, as well as integrate electronic invoicing into SAP with Invictia.

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