Dematerialization (and going paperless) is a strategic subject for all companies, to increase speed, accuracy and to reduce the materials needed to transact bookkeeping activities.

Going paperless is part of many organizations’ CSR policies as business drives activities to “do more with less” and reduce the environmental impact on the planet. This movement historically has arisen from a mixture of voluntary and mandatory initiatives.

One such area is the exchange and import of supplier invoices.

Legislation across Europe for electronic invoicing

In France, a new regulation will be in force in 2024, from 1 July the electronic invoicing between companies changes dimension:

  • Issuing electronic invoices will gradually become mandatory for all companies between July 2024 and January 2026, depending on company size
  • Therefore, from 1 July 2024 all companies are likely to receive and will be obliged to accept, electronic invoices

This follows on from an EU-wide directive to introduce a European Standard for eInvoicing in response to the many eInvoice formats used across the EU. These varied formats cause unnecessary complexity and high costs for businesses and public entities.
In France each year there are two billion B2B invoices issued, and it is estimated that only a quarter are electronic. The French government sees great potential in further streamlining of processes, simplification and of course recouping lost taxes. They state that for the business world itself, a saving of €4.5bn can be made through the widespread use of eInvoicing.

Microsoft response for OCR functionality in Dynamics 365 Finance

Microsoft has announced the launch of an OCR functionality available in public preview from July 2022.
Microsoft’s objective is to provide an optical character recognition (OCR) data processing with enough flexibility to fulfil multiple business needs of their customers.

This new feature provides a list of configuration settings that include:

  • Mandatory invoice data fields: Defines the minimal data required when creating vendor invoices. Microsoft provides a default setting, which can then be tailored to your organization’s needs by adding or removing fields
  • A new confidence score for invoice recognition. When the OCR process is finished, the system sends structured invoice data and the corresponding confidence score for each field on the invoice. You can configure the confidence scores to indicate differences in the severity of the detected errors
  • If the confidence score in itself is not sufficient, you can set up a mandatory manual review

For more information take a look at the overview in Microsoft Docs.

Prodware’s roadmap for OCR features

In our IP, such as the EDI accelerator we have integrated features for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management apps that allow our customers to receive supplier invoices with EDI exchanges. In answer to market demand we will extend this functionality to include OCR features and create a new connector.
Our R&D team will deliver new and enhance existing IP:

  • Maintain ease of use and set up for end users and not just IT specialists
  • Enhance accuracy and productivity by flowing import data information directly into the order
  • Ability to integrate with best-of-breed OCR technology

In addition to Microsoft’s new features coming in July, with our new connector, our customers will be able to integrate the confidence score from the Rossum OCR platform with an automated flow.

If you would like to discuss the roadmap from Microsoft and Prodware that supports your paperless ambitions, please contact me.

Originally published on LinkedIn