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What is AI-Based Document Automation and Do I Need It? Finally, a Brief Explainer

Updated: Mar 17

As a CFO or business executive, you and your teams undoubtedly have an overwhelming amount of paperwork and documentation that come across your desks on a daily basis. Sorting through and processing all of these documents can be a tedious and time-consuming task. To compound the problem, economic conditions are progressively forcing us to do more with less. However, with the rise of machine learning and AI technologies and the latest software that harnesses their power, document automation is becoming an increasingly popular solution to this problem for its efficiency and accuracy.

In this blog post, we will explain how the latest cutting-edge document automation works and how it can benefit your organization.

What is machine learning/AI-based inbound document automation?

Document automation uses machine learning and AI algorithms to automatically process and classify inbound documents such as invoices, human resource-related documents, receipts, contracts, and more. This technology allows for a more efficient and accurate way to handle large volumes of inbound documents that may vary in type.

How Does it Work?

  • The process begins with the system capturing the inbound documents either through scanning, email, dedicated portal, upload, or other means of ingestion.

  • The documents are then processed through the automation solution's algorithms, which uses OCR, data extraction, pattern recognition, natural language processing (NLP), and other methods to classify the inbound documents.

  • Once the document has been classified, the process continues with data extraction. According to the document type, relevant information is extracted from the inbound documents using a variety of methods. For example, an organization might configure their solution to extract various data points from an invoice like ship-to address, line item details, tax amount, and other data while extracting a name, ID, and other data from HR-related documents.

  • The extracted data then undergoes validation, such as confirming the data accuracy against a set of defined rules. This validation step also includes aligning the extracted data to the enterprise resource planning (ERP) data. For example in the case of an AP invoice the solution will determine the supplier ID, product IDs, and appropriate coding while in the case of an HR-document the solution may match the document to an existing employee.

  • The extracted data is processed through a second validation which can include fraud detection, duplicate detection, and out-of-bounds values. Business processes can also be configured and applied here such as the addition of approval data, routing codes, and internal notes.

  • Once validated, the information and document attachment is integrated into the organization's existing systems, such as accounting software or enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, where it may trigger additional business processes.

What are the Benefits of Document Automation?

  1. Increased efficiency: With document automation, the time-consuming task of manually sorting through and processing inbound documents is eliminated, freeing up valuable time for your staff to focus on more strategic tasks.

  2. Reduced errors: Manual data entry can lead to errors, which can have significant financial consequences. With reliable and accurate document automation, the risk of errors is greatly reduced as the algorithms are designed to accurately extract and validate data.

  3. Cost savings: Automating the inbound document processing can result in significant cost savings for your organization by reducing the need for manual labor and minimizing the risk of costly errors.

  4. Scalability: As your organization grows, so does the volume of inbound documents. automation allows for seamless scaling to handle increasing volumes of inbound documents without the need for additional staff.

Document automation is a valuable tool for organizations looking to streamline their document processing workflow. By leveraging a reliable and accurate automation solution, inbound documents can be efficiently processed, reducing errors, increasing efficiency, and ultimately saving your organization time and money.

If you're interested in implementing document automation or would like to learn more about how AI can transform your organization, book a FluidDoc demo or contact us for more info.

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