Unlocking the Power of AI in Finance: A Dive into Invoice Ingestion Revolution 

In a recent webinar hosted by the Executive Leaders Network (ELN) and Basware, we delved into the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in finance, particularly in the critical area of invoice ingestion. The speakers, Daniela Merk, Director of Product Marketing at Basware, and Kaj Ethan Bergene, VP Head of Vendor and Expense Management at DNB Bank, shed light on the significance of accurate invoice data for automation and the evolution beyond legacy optical character recognition (OCR) technology.  

Invoice ingestion: the legacy challenge

Daniela kicked off the discussion by explaining the historical context of invoice processing. She highlighted the legacy challenges associated with manual data entry from paper invoices, a method still prevalent in some companies today. The advent of OCR technology in the 1980s brought relief by automating the conversion of printed paper invoices into machine-readable text. However, this technology had limitations, requiring manual corrections and validations.   

The introduction of the Portable Document Format (PDF) in 1993 marked a significant shift, as PDF invoices became more prevalent in the early 2000s. While OCR was adapted for processing PDFs, it brought new challenges, leaving companies with the burden of validating and correcting extracted data. As the decades continue to pass, this technology still has limitations, again requiring far too many manual corrections and validations. The need for a more efficient solution became evident, leading to the era of AI-powered financial revolution in invoice ingestion.  

Uncovering trends in invoice processing 

Two pivotal poll questions during the webinar provided valuable insights, offering up a riveting market discussion and setting the scene for the introduction of Basware’s cutting-edge SmartPDF technology.  

The first poll question, “What portion of your invoice volume is currently coming in as PDF?”, paints a compelling picture of the existing industry landscape. A substantial 40% of participants reported that more than three-quarters of their invoices come in the form of PDFs. What does that say about current processes and what opportunities does this present?   Blog image 1_SmartPDF ELN webinar poll question 1

The second question addressed how organizations currently process PDF invoices, with results indicating a significant shift away from manual processing toward digital formats. A notable 47% of respondents reported sending PDFs directly to an OCR-based system (albeit with manual validation). What should this prompt organizations to consider? And how will embracing AI help them embark on a financial revolution towards further process improvements?  

Blog image 2_SmartPDF ELN webinar poll question 2

Join in on this discussion here.  

Basware's solution: SmartPDF 

As the leader in invoice automation, Basware recognized the need for a specialized AI-powered solution that leverages deep learning and AI vision to address the challenges presented by PDF invoices. This innovative technology, known as SmartPDF, extracts and validates invoice data with a self-learning system trained on over 20 million invoices globally.  

SmartPDF seamlessly accommodates both machine-readable and image-based invoices, offering a unified invoice ingestion process. Impressively, up to 92% of PDF invoices can be validated with 100% accuracy from day one. Other notable benefits of SmartPDF include:  

  • Maximum data quality  
  • Increased processing speed  
  • Simplified supplier onboarding  
  • Reduced manual intervention  

The solution's rapid data extraction and validation process significantly reduces processing times, transforming a potential 24-hour turnaround into just a few minutes. SmartPDF stands as a testament to Basware's commitment to revolutionizing invoice processing with state-of-the-art AI technology.  

Embrace the financial revolution  

We invite you to watch the full webinar on-demand to explore the transformative potential of SmartPDF and embark on a journey towards more efficient and automated financial processes. It's time to leave behind legacy solutions and unlock the power of AI in finance.  

Watch now or download our ebook to join the financial revolution!  

An expert in IT-marketing from the field to product marketing and local to global markets for 20+ years. As Senior Manager, Product Marketing for Basware, Anu communicates and positions the e-invoicing services portfolio to all our global markets. Coming from a highly digitized market area, Anu has seen paper invoices turn into e-invoices, both in business and personal, over the last 15 years.