Everything is getting modernized. From homes to farms to businesses, everything now uses technology to improve what's there. For instance, companies use expense management software to handle accounting and booking tasks. While they are useful, they sometimes lack some function. So, you add more technology to upgrade it. You can add OCR tools for scanning receipts.
An OCR tool would let you extract data from receipts. That is a huge time-saver that will improve productivity in your company. It would reflect in your customers' experience; they will be pleased by the excellent service. And so, they'll be likelier to buy your products or services.
Indeed, OCR technology is a must-have for expense management software. This article will introduce you to the best receipt scanner and OCR tools.
In this article
Benefits of Digitizing Receipts
Digitized receipts are easier to access. You can let technology search through your collection of electronically-stored receipts to find what you are looking for. And it would find it faster than you could.
You will have a cluttered mess with many paper receipts in your office. And as time goes by, that mountain of receipts will continue to grow.
What if you store your receipts on a computer? Nothing will change in your office as you get more receipts, aside from your computer having less storage space left.
Peace of Mind
Paper receipts, just like any other printed document, can be lost. What if you suddenly need the missing receipt?
Electronically-stored receipts are not that easy to get lost. You can even make copies of them for backup in case someone accidentally deletes the data.
Digital receipts are more secure than paper receipts. Sure, hackers could potentially access them. However, as long as you do the best security practices, it should not happen.
Digitizing receipts also reduces the risks of fraud. People with malicious intentions can steal paper receipts and use them for their own purposes. It would not happen with digitized receipts.
As mentioned at the start of this article, technology allows businesses to do tedious tasks faster. In other words, it increases efficiency. By digitizing receipts, many processes become faster. So, employees could focus on other tasks that can help the business grow faster.
How To Digitize Receipts
There are a number of ways to digitize your receipts. Here are three OCR scanning methods to convert your receipts into digital copies.
Using PDFelement for iOS
Wondershare PDFelement is a known PDF tool with a version for iPhones and iPads. It's a handy tool that is a must-have for many people. One of its features is allowing users to create PDF files. And it enables you to do that using your device's camera.
Digitizing receipts with PDFelement is very straightforward. Follow these easy steps to do it.
- Launch PDFelement.
- Tap the '+' (Plus) icon at the bottom right of the screen.
- In the pop-up menu, under Create New, select Scan. It will activate the camera of your device.
- Point the camera to the receipt you want to scan, then take a picture.
- PDFelement will automatically convert the image into a PDF.
- Save the file.
Using Office Lens
Microsoft Office Lens is a mobile app from Microsoft, the tech corporation that made Windows OS and many other digital tools. This app allows you to scan documents into digital copies. Here's how to use Office Lens to digitize receipts:
- Open Microsoft Lens.
- Swipe left or right to select a scanning mode. For receipts, the Document mode is the best choice.
- Take a picture of the receipt. Crop as needed.
- Tap Done.
- Select how you want to save the file. You can save it as an image, PDF, Word, or Powerpoint. Also, you can store it directly in OneNote or OneDrive. Tap Save.
Using Adobe Scan
Adobe is another tech company known for making reliable productivity tools. One of its products is Adobe Scan, an OCR tool for mobile. You can use it as a receipt scanner. Follow these steps to do so:
- Open Adobe Scan.
- Swipe left or right to select scanning mode.
- The Document mode is the most appropriate for scanning receipts.
- Take a picture of the receipt.
- Select Retake if unsatisfied with the captured image. Otherwise, select Adjust and save.
- Edit the image as needed. Tap Save PDF when done.
Challenges of Extracting Data From Scanned Receipts
Digitizing your receipts allows you to do more than free office space. It also streamlines data entry. You no longer need to retype the receipts' content on a system. Instead, you can use OCR tools to extract data from the receipts. From there, it's just a matter of copying and pasting.
How To Extract Data From Receipts
Python is currently one of the most popular programming languages. This high-level, multipurpose programming language can help you extract data from receipts. More specifically, the Mindee Python client library allows you to extract data from invoices and receipts.
The catch is you need programming knowledge to use this tool.
Using OCR API
API stands for Application Programming Interface. It is a software intermediary allowing two applications to "talk" to each other. An OCR API connects an OCR program to another tool to extract text from documents like receipts.
As with extracting text using Python, you need some technical knowledge to extract text through this method.
PDFelement is a very versatile software full of sophisticated features. Mentioned above was a scanning feature on the iOS version. Now, we'll talk about the OCR data extraction feature. How? Follow these steps:
Convert Receipt Image Text Into Editable Text
- Launch PDFelement.
- Click Open PDF - if the receipt is already in PDF form. Otherwise, click Create PDF to convert the image into a PDF.
- Click Perform OCR or OCR to convert the scanned PDF into an editable PDF.
- Select Scan to editable text in the Scan Options.
- Set the language used in the receipt. Click Apply.
Extract Data From Receipts
- Click Form.
- Select Extract Data > Extract data based on selection > Apply.
- Use the cursor to frame the fields you want PDFelement to extract.
- Click Apply.
- Save the .csv file PDFelement will create. You can open that on Excel or similar apps to view the extracted data.
People Also Ask
How To Organize Digitized Receipts?
Paper receipts can make your office cluttered. Likewise, scanned receipts can cause file clutter on your computer. So, it's wise to combine similar receipts into one PDF file. It reduces the number of files you'll see in your receipts folder. Furthermore, it makes searching for specific receipts faster. PDFelement has a feature allowing you to combine PDFs. You can utilize that.
When Will You Need to Digitize Receipts?
You need to start digitizing receipts once searching for a specific one becomes a time-consuming task. But you can do it right from the start, so you don't need to allot time for digitizing old receipts. The latter is recommended because, as said above, digitizing receipts improves security and efficiency.
Scanning receipts to convert them into digital copies is highly recommended. It makes them easier to find. And when you need to extract data from the digitized receipts, you can use OCR tools instead of typing the data.
Wondershare PDFelement is an excellent tool to have. The iOS version allows scanning receipts and merging PDFs for organization purposes. Meanwhile, the desktop version provides more powerful tools, like extracting data from forms and receipts.