How many times as a business owner do you find yourself juggling multiple admin tasks that take your attention away from running and growing your business? When it comes to day-to-day bookkeeping, any efficiencies that can be gained mean more time to invest directly in working ON your business rather than IN it.
There are a whole host of apps and add-on software that can be used to achieve this. One of the most fundamental is Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software.
Whether you scan invoices into your accounts software or file them separately, it can be a heavy admin burden entering them into your software even with the efficiencies already built in – entering the date, supplier name, invoice reference, description, amounts and account codes for each bill all takes time.
With OCR software linked in to your accounts software you unlock the ability to upload your bills in bulk and the software will extract this data for you. You then only have to review and approve the extracted data before it is pushed through to your accounts, complete with a copy of the original invoice. Electronic copy invoices are filed digitally, removing the need to retain paper documents. However, despite the powerful benefits of the technology, it is not yet standard practice for all businesses – although this is changing.
Xero recently announced that their OCR offering ‘Hubdoc’ would be available free for anyone with a full Xero subscription. This is welcome news and has led to a number of businesses exploring an OCR solution for the first time. It has the ability to ‘fetch’ bills from certain suppliers such as telecoms and utilities and is a good entry level solution.
However, it does not yet have the same level of accuracy as other products on the market and doesn’t have some of the additional features i.e. multiple invoice line extraction. In short, you get you get what you pay for!
AutoEntry is our preferred OCR solution due to its higher level of accuracy, greater automation and additional features. It is very user friendly, has excellent support and can also be used for expense claims, scanning bank and credit card statements or reconciling supplier invoices to statements. It works on a credits basis allowing you to upgrade/downgrade subscription plans as required.
Armstrong Watson have been using AutoEntry internally for years, and due to the efficiencies we have seen ourselves, we have partnered with AutoEntry to offer this software to our clients at a discounted price.
We have extensive experience in the range of OCR software available and have seen efficiencies gained for businesses using both of these OCR solutions, in some instances together.