AP Automation

Data Entry is Finished. Here’s What’s Replacing it

February 25, 2021

Data entry

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

When OCR (Optical Character Recognition) debuted as the new and improved tech for data entry in the 2000s, hopeful accountants handed over the grunt work to the new technology. But so far, despite high hopes, finance teams are still mired in tedious manual work.

About 86% of accounting teams enter data manually – and for 40% of them, this task takes up a quarter of their workweek.

In paradox, executives are asking CFOs for real-time financial insights so they can explore new, low-cost opportunities to increase profitability and improve cash flow management. Thanks to accounts payable (AP) automation, that’s easy to deliver.

Beanworks AP automation is helping accountants become more progressive by freeing them from the chore of keying invoices. Its AI-based technology captures invoice details including line items, header information, and the total amount – saving staff time on invoice data entry.

Now that vendors are pushing for electronic payments, it makes sense for AP teams to digitize this part of the process. Vendors can submit an invoice directly to Beanworks through a dedicated email. From there, data extraction takes place in the cloud.

Syncing up your other AP workflows with Beanworks also has its advantages, e.g. invoice data will automatically match with your purchase orders.

Disastrous Discrepancies

Accounting errors are a common problem. It’s too easy to add an extra zero or miss one altogether. When a London 2012 Summer Olympics employee entered “20,000” instead of “10,000” tickets in a spreadsheet by mistake, the committee sold 10,000 seats that didn’t exist. Incidents such as these can make it hard for CFOs to have confidence in their data. It’s why 70% of finance leaders admit they’ve made business decisions based on inaccurate information.

Using Beanworks, AP employees can create AP ledger entries in seconds with 99% accuracy, and without the risk of data being mishandled. A digital audit trail means information is secure from risks such as fraud.

Discrepancies such as duplicate invoices are immediately flagged within the system too. What would normally be caught during an audit, is now identifiable in real-time.

AP teams can easily access invoice data online

More time? Yes, please!

The most tangible benefit of data entry automation is the amount of time it saves. Most of the data you’d otherwise enter and then check or copy across different systems such as spreadsheets is automatically verified. This means you don’t have to manually cross-check the details.

There are no lost receipts, missed emails, or avoidable phone calls to ask for copies of lost invoices. Everything is accessible online. Even with the limitations of COVID-19, companies are saving as much as 73% of their time with automated processes.

Buckle up – changes are rolling in fast

Most accountants will remember the (not-so-long-ago) days of physical storage rooms full of paper and files. Where retrieving a document to verify data meant scouring through mountains of files.

But with Beanworks’ invoice data extraction feature, everything is managed in the cloud and therefore easily accessible. It means your AP staff can have confidence in their data.

See how Beanworks simplifies invoice data entry using AI

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