OCR is the electronic conversion (through scanning) of invoices without extractable data (either paper or image files) into data that can be integrated directly (as an EDI or XML file) into a buyers Accounts Payable finance system for payment.
Outside of EDI and invoice portals, OCR has been a predominant tool of choice to enable e-document transfer.
But, even though technological advances have reduced the errors encountered, there will always be an inherent percentage of error in character recognition that requires human intervention to validate the information. This coupled with its link to paper invoicing (and the many touchpoints that requires) means that the benefits of e-invoicing (business and environmental) are greatly reduced.
OCR still does have a place within a complete e-invoicing service, where a small percentage of suppliers are unable to provide an application generated electronic invoice.
However, new advances in AI (Artificial Intelligence) enabling computers to process human readable documents (pdf, doc, html), make OCR’s place in the market outdated and will see this method of document transfer diminish.