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Basware predicts the end of OCR

Monday 5th February, 2018

Basware has predicted that the number of US invoices that are processed manually using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology is moving toward extinction.

“Traditionally, onboarding suppliers to sending methods other than paper has been a roadblock, hence why OCR has become common place in most AP departments”, Said Michael Jasper, Director of Basware’s Network business in the Americas. “Today, the top suppliers have the capability to send an electronic invoice, and two-thirds of the remaining suppliers can send an e-mail from their accounting system. That is why OCR is going to go away”, Says Jasper. “Basware has a way to read those PDF invoices without using OCR, resulting in accurate, real time data at a fraction of the cost.”

McDonald’s Germany has seen their invoice processing time improve from 20 days to 7, thanks to Basware’s touchless invoice receiving. Basware first migrated the company’s largest suppliers to electronic invoices, allowing the Accounts Payable department at McDonald’s to process structured invoice data without human intervention. Together with Basware, McDonald’s then offered all of its 30,000 suppliers free, flexible invoice sending methods from Basware, with the majority of suppliers choosing to send invoices via e-mail. McDonald’s is now targeting to have 90% of their invoices processed automatically.

“Basware PDF e-invoice helps us save time and money when processing invoices,” says Daniel Voigt, Senior Manager of Process Management for McDonald’s Deutschland.

McDonalds is not alone. "We are seeing a surge in growth for invoices sent and received in PDF format”, says Mikko Pilkama, Senior Vice President of Basware’s Network and Financing Services business.

"The suppliers can continue to send the same invoices they do today, and customers can ingest the data in near real time without errors, or manual validation steps is a real game changer for our industry."

"Our customers choose Basware due to our unique ability to process 100% of their invoices electronically", says Michael Jasper. “Our ability to allow a supplier to send invoices in their preferred method, and do so for free, eliminates all the supplier side objections and results in extremely high adoption rates."

Moving away from OCR and other manual processes also results in higher automation and significant cost savings.

“We used to have thirty employees working for us - now we’re doing the same work with a team of five”, says Serge Flantua, Director of Shared Services in SUEZ.