How does Invoice Parsing work?
March 7, 2022
|
6 min
OCR
DATA-EXTRACTION
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This article discusses challenges involved with manual data extraction from invoices. The workflow of semi-automated invoice parser, and why prefer intelligent document processing solution for invoice parsing - we answer all the questions in this article.

Let's jump right into it:-

An invoice has is a significant commercial document that lists a transaction record between a buyer & a seller. It provides an overview of goods or services purchased through credit. Most of them account for statements based on available modes of payment.

Numerous challenges come with manual invoice processing - data extraction and its handling are key areas where it hovers around. Many discrepancies related to invoices can hinder your daily tasks.

Complexities concerned with invoices

Some of the common problems template-based data extraction solutions face are as follows:-

1. Format variability

Every invoice generated follows a format pattern specific to the supplier. The problem comes while processing and understanding those patterns. The means such as emails, paper, and PDFs move through heaps of file and digital record before payment approval.

2. Poor quality documents

Sometimes, machine-printed invoices are so poor that it’s difficult to read them for human eyes. It can be critical at times when there are no external alternatives whatsoever.

3. Key-value pair extraction

A lot of crucial data is presented in key-value form in invoices, where Key is a unique identifier that comes with a value associated with it. Manual way of extracting key-value pairs is time-consuming and multiple levels of reviews to ensure desired accuracy. It’s equally difficult for traditional OCR to identify extracted values, either as a key or a value without any context-based information.

4. Line items

Similar to key-values, extracting line items is equally or more difficult for traditional OCR. Transaction tables may or may not come with horizontal and vertical lines, which makes it difficult for OCR to add any context to extracted line-items. For this purpose, OCR has to rely on position reference which again comes with another set of challenges for 100% data extraction accuracy.

How does invoice parsing work?

There are modes to get invoice processing, as mentioned earlier. However, the chances of fetching the invoice data and retrieving the data through a manual routine can pose huge problems. However, if you deal with PDFs or scanned invoice documents, an invoice parser is the best alternative.

Invoice parsing takes place via data extraction along with the data format for further operation. In addition, it also eliminates unnecessary manual inputs on your ERP and other software platforms.

You can install the package, set your Invoice parsing API key, and submit your invoice in the form of a PDF. You also have the option of scanning the invoice image in PNG/JPEG. After the scan, you can wait for its processing through the API on Docsumo servers. The processing speed is fast and takes less time than other servers.

Extracted fields get saved as either a JSON file or readable form. You can quickly check the results as a document, web preview or even output table based on your preferences. There is one very effective way to make sure that you parse your invoice through API. 

All you need to do is follow some simple steps down below:-

Step 1: Attach the Mindee API link as given below
# https://mindee.com/documentation/apis/invoice-parsing/python-invoice/getting-started
Step 2: Attach the required package and then import
pip install mindee
from mindee import Client
Step 3: Paste the invoice API file accordingly
mindee_client=Client(invoice_token="your_invoices_api_token_here", raise_on_error=True)

How to extract data from invoices with Docsumo?

With intelligent document processing, Docsumo analyses printed text to convert scanned images or PDFs. With an amalgamation of deep learning and computer vision, Docsumo can categorise key-value pairs along with entities and tables. The best part is that Docsumo can generate prominent results with minimal human interaction.

To get an instant result from Docsumo's PDF invoice parser, you need to follow the simple steps given below:

1. Sign in to Docsumo

Auto-forward emails to Docsumo inbox and see them get automatically processed.

2. Upload invoices

Invoices can vary depending upon their types and needs. Docsumo provides the choice of choosing invoice documents from email or your computer. Be it any invoice type, Docsumo can process these documents quickly. However, you must ensure to use supported formats of image and PDF.

3. Edit the required entries

Machine Learning based smart data extraction algorithms help Docsumo users to extract data from documents. Users can make corrections and add/delete fields to be extracted.  

4. Field validation

The right data type means a better value extraction. Docsumo validates extracted data against validation rules defined by you. Any excel-like formula can be used as validation rules. 

5. Smart suggestion

Once you get over the field validation, Docsumo processes and lets you know regarding the document's key-value pairs from the invoice. These automated suggestions give you an option to keep them or discard them based on your preferences. After selection, you can click on approve to finish the step.

6. Download and review

After following the above steps, Docsumo extracts and export the invoice data in your file format. Whether it's CSV, JSON, or XML, Docsumo can extract the data in any of these file formats. You can even transfer the data using an API to the designated database or software.

7. Multiple invoice processing

You can upload as many invoices for parsing as you want. 

Be it any hard-copy or low-quality documents, Docsumo filters out the flaws with a high level of accuracy. Software compatibility with invoice documents used to be a big problem in the past. But Docsumo makes it easier for you to pick any format of scanned/pdf/image invoices in either a high-quality or a low-quality. Check out our latest video to see how to process the invoice with the help of Docsumo:-


Docsumo is effective in both standardised and non-standardized invoice documents. With 95% accuracy, the software provides up to 90%+ straight-through processing in invoice parsing. Thus, it relieves you from observing it from time to time. It also saves your extra hours on every invoice. The software pricing is so less that it reduces manpower and training costs. Moreover, Docsumo ensures to save well over 70% of processing costs.

How is Docsumo effective in invoice parsing?

No wonders how tricky your invoice can be, document AI invoice parser by Docsumo cover it all for you. The software has the following features loaded for you:

1. Extract tables

You can extract multipage tables through PDF invoices. After extraction, you can convert the file to excel or JSON data for further downstream processing.

2. API integration & webhooks

Docsumo simple process helps you share extracted data to other compatible software with the help of APIs & webhooks.

3. OCR scanned invoice

With the help of many futuristic technologies such as Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Neural networks, we surpass the need for manual work. Automated ways help to extract the text and key-value pairs in a quick interval.

4. Batch Uploads

Multiple "drag and drop" through local disk will help you keep up with batch files. These files can be easily accessible through API and cloud integrations after you import them accordingly.

To get a better overview of how Docsumo can make invoice parsing easier, check out invoice processing use-case.

Written by
Pankaj Tripathi
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How does Invoice Parsing work?
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March 4, 2022
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