Intelligent Automation Series: Which Intelligent Document Processing Solution Is Right for Your Business

Ryan Courtade

54% of executives have seen increased productivity in their business due to implementing AI-powered solutions.
PwC

More and more organizations are leaving their legacy systems behind in favor of automated solutions. But as the list of applicable technologies continues to expand, it becomes crucial for decision-makers to differentiate between solutions.

Out of all the current tech, Intelligent Automation (IA) is the most cutting-edge addition to the virtual workforce. But what makes this approach truly intelligent? 

Defining Intelligent Automation

When it comes to understanding what makes Intelligent Automation (IA) stand out, it can help to compare it to its predecessors.  

A rigid, rules-based approach to automation, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one of the most widely used alternatives to IA. Generally, a bot will repeatedly perform manual tasks according to a script predefined by your customized workflow. And it works well for simple tasks.

The primary limitation of RPA is that it can only function with well-defined rules and inputs. An RPA bot cannot handle complex or dynamic processes that deal with significant variation. The more complex the task, the more bots you need to complete a task. And the more bots you have, the more likely that you will need to invest in an individual or team to handle errors and take care of items that the bots can’t handle. 

Optical Character Recognition (OCR), which identifies characters from printed books, handwritten papers, or images, suffers from similar problems. OCR lacks the ability to scale accurately and can’t handle significant variations. 

Intelligent Automation, meanwhile, offers the very flexibility and scalability that RPA and OCR are missing. IA solutions, such as Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), provide automation through leveraging AI, ML, deep learning, and other technologies. Rather than depending on a strict set of rules, IA can adapt to large and complicated workloads. And it can make complex decisions based on variations.  

Intelligent Document Processing in Action

60% of occupations could save 30% of their time with automated processes.
McKinsey

Intelligent Document Processing can be used in several scenarios – from processing invoices and receipts to client onboarding and compliance validations. 

One example of how accounting and finance teams are harnessing the power of Intelligent Document Processing is through turning unstructured and semi-structured data from receipts and invoices into structured data for financial applications and workflows. 

There are many use cases for this technology, but let’s look at one example: A travel and expense company. The number of receipts, invoices, and other financial documentation can be demanding, and accounting teams can often get bottlenecked due to the intensive workload. Furthermore, manual processes make it difficult to spot irregularities, maintain a high level of accuracy, and compile data reports. 

With the right IDP solution, processing this data is significantly faster and cleaner:

  • The IDP solution captures the data from the receipts, invoices, and other accounts payable documentation. The right IDP solution will be able to extract handwriting as well as typed text accurately.
  • Based on a pre-set template, important information is compiled into a preferred document type.
  • The automation tool will then verify that the new document has no irregularities.
  • In the last step, the final document is generated and sent to the related department. 

In addition, the best IDP solutions will always be quick to deploy and have an immediate positive effect on STP rates. And this cutting-edge technology can be used in automating commercial payments, ERP, and tax document extraction.

The IDP Solution Evaluation Checklist

Successful IDP Solutions generally work in three steps. They must be able to extract, validate, and then enrich the documents they process. And it helps if they can support numerous file types and structures.  

But with an increasing number of IDP solutions, it can help to have a checklist for what works. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Cost Reduction 
      • Reduces overall costs by at least 50%
      • Does not require full-time developers to manage
      • Provides a faster and more affordable solution to outsourcing
      • Includes automated document sorting, transcription, and structuring capabilities
      • No need to re-key data from other systems
      • Lower reconciliation costs
  • Performance
      • Provides 99% accuracy
      • Fast Deployments
      • Ability to process rich data sets
      • Automated reconciliation
      • Accurate handwriting extraction
      • Customizable automation capabilities
      • Can group similar documents together
      • Accuracy and automation improve over time
  • Usability
      • Build for businesses, not just developers
      • Plug-and-play templates
      • Provides an extensive dashboard for analytics
      • No or little code required
      • Role management is customizable
  • Technical Requirements
      • Enterprise-grade system security
      • Cloud-based redundancy
      • Handles semi-structured and unstructured documentation
      • Provides 2x throughput after set up
      • Provides separate models for each data type
      • Offers over 70% automation with a 99% accuracy rate
  • Customer Service
      • Global Market Coverage
      • Build-in quality assurance
      • Standardized packages
      • API enables downstream connections
      • Allows employees to review cases and tailor-made models

Ultimately, you’ll need to balance IDP features with your needs and budget. However, it’s clear that the IDP is the future of efficient and accurate automation. And as compliance continues to become an essential element of Accounting and Finance automation, the more robust and intuitive system you have, the better. 

If you have any questions or comments on this blog or interested in learning more about what we do at Itemize, please reach out to Khushboo Koutu.

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