Optical Character Recognition (OCR) was created to pick up data from images and to reduce the need for human to manually enter the data into the system. It becomes a way to digitalize physical copy of documents into electronically machine-encoded text. OCR has improved and evolved over time. With reasonable quality image and pdf documents, the accuracy of data extraction is close to human eye now. OCR can now pick up both printed text and handwritten text. OCR plays a critical role in managing the physical documents of business owners especially when office space is expensive. When the image is digitalized and the data in the image is processed into machine readable text, it allows the computer to search the content and locate necessary information. This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) meets OCR.
OCR and AI in Accounting
Having the content in physical documents and images extracted by OCR and the reading, understanding and analyzing of the content performed by AI, OCR with AI tool creates a very powerful system to increase human efficiency. It allows the AI tools to check for human mistakes, filter the contents for analysis and generate meaningful reports for decision making. For example, invoices and bank statements can be extracted for accounting purposes; Goods and Services Tax amount can be re-tabulated to ensure correctness; information in the Passports and Identity Cards can be easily extracted. The use of OCR with AI has made AI Accounting possible.
Impact on Businesses
Companies are now rethinking their operations and processes to incorporate OCR and AI. With AI enabled operations and processes, companies can operate with a fraction of their current workforce, minimize human errors in their production and re-deploy their valuable human capital to more value-added jobs. Routine, predictable and non-creative work will no longer be viable for employees. Employees have to be trained for higher level and more sophisticated tasks which AI is unable to produce. For companies that embrace OCR and AI, the higher efficiency and effectiveness will have significant positive impact on their bottom line.
Higher Level Jobs
In accounting industry, a bookkeeper's job of recording financial transactions may eventually be replaced when businesses use OCR and AI together with 100% digital payment. All entries will be captured by the machine and reconciled accordingly. Accountant will no longer be producing simple analysis but interpreting the multiple reports generated by the AI. Reports with various "what if scenarios". Accountant needs to constantly feed his/her interpretation of the reports to the AI so that the AI continues its learning process. Accountants will have to show that they have the creativity which AI is lacking in order to win the race against AI. AI will replace those tasks with high predictability and little creativity. Routine work will definitely be replaced by AI and Robotics Process Automation. Jobs which require high level of creativity (e.g. jobs relating to entertainment and media) may be less likely to be replaced by AI.
OCR with AI Services
Our company focuses on OCR data extraction for accounting and non-accounting purposes. Our engine for OCR extraction and AI interpretation is able to extract and classify data accurately. Its machine learning capability ensures that repeated images and documents are picked up in the way you want it to. Send us an email today via the contact form below.
AI Accounting Pte Ltd
36 Newton Road #03-02
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