AP Automation

Beyond Manual Data Entry – How AI is Giving Accountants More Time Back

May 31, 2021

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

If your accounts payable (AP) team is stuck dealing with duplicate invoices, overpayments, and mistakes, it may be time to reconsider your manual invoice data capture system. AP specialists tediously type in each invoice and match the data line-for-line from the physical copy into their systems. This isn’t just time-consuming, but it can also produce some of the following drawbacks:

  • Errors: while performing a highly-detailed and repetitive job day in and day out, slip-ups are bound to occur. Failing to identify and correct such faults in a timely manner can prove to be a costly affair.
  • Inefficiencies: most accountants would agree – data entry is extremely slow and can delay processes like month-end, financial reporting and audits. As one study suggests, 47% of accountants take work home every week. What’s even more worrying – 25% work overtime every day.
  • Risk of fraud: it becomes easy to take advantage of vulnerabilities within a system without proper tools, controls and a digital audit trail.

The latest addition to the SmartCapture feature-set is a tool called Line Item Capture, which further simplifies invoice data entry by extracting descriptions, unit costs, and quantities in minutes with 99%+ accuracy, and removing up to 83% of data entry from AP. 

Introducing SmartCapture, the AI-powered technology

With the launch of SmartCapture earlier this year, Beanworks customers were able to save even more time, while helping to eliminate errors and mitigate the risk of fraud in accounting. SmartCapture automatically picks up the header information from invoices, simplifying the day-to-day challenges in data entry.

The latest addition to this AI-backed feature-set is a tool called Line Item Capture, which further simplifies invoice data entry by extracting line item information, such as descriptions, unit costs, and quantities with 99%+ accuracy.


The addition of Line Item Capture gives a major boost to Beanworks’ existing set of “smart” features such as SmartCoding that codes invoices based on previous entries – with the simple click of a button.

By applying these features to the AP workflows, your business can significantly increase productivity, while reducing more than 83% of time spent on data entry so accountants can dedicate more of their day to high-value, high-impact tasks.

The advantages of AI

Even before the pandemic, a survey of 1,000 US workers found that 70% of them would like to automate data entry. The added pressure of “accounting from home” has only fueled this demand.

SmartCapture reduces the time spent on data entry by more than 83%, streamlining the AP workflow

Using AI, businesses can analyze large amounts of data fast, generating more accurate, actionable numbers. Considering 86% of SMEs still rely on manual systems to do this job, businesses using AI tools gain a competitive edge over industry peers.

Applying AI also helps in reducing fraud, which often involves human decision-making and strategy. Line Item Capture automatically populates information for each line on an invoice, eliminating the scope of manual intervention. All data flows directly into Beanworks and your company’s main financial system.

Crunch numbers – and time

Businesses store massive amounts of financial information and data, so it’s important that it remains accurate and up to date. Failure to do so may result in flawed analyses and have further implications.

AP automation and tools like AI and ML (machine learning) can help your company evolve to the changing needs of a fast-paced global economy. The industry agrees; based on a global survey of more than 3,000 executives, managers, and analysts performed by MIT Sloan Management Review, “almost 85% believe AI will allow their companies to obtain or sustain a competitive advantage.”

With Beanworks’ AI-backed data extraction tech, your business can easily access and manage invoice data in the cloud – gaining confidence in your AP data.

Curious to see how AI can remove data entry from your AP?

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