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Aspects of Document Automation
- Automating Processing of Received Documents: This is also referred to as document process automation. It means to automatically collect the required data from different types of documents, approving its validity and to make use of the data collected from it by adding relevant features and increasing its value.
- Automated Document Generation: This aspect enables businesses to focus on creating new documents such as contracts, order forms, invoices and so on from the data extracted in the previous step.
Process of Document Automation
- Extraction: Extracting data from various documents depends on the type of document.
O Structured Documents: Documents such as excel sheet would include all the information arranged in an organized way. Questionnaires and surveys may also be similar. However, they can be submitted as images. Document processing tools would need relevant data with optical character recognition (OCR) technology and would have the capability to extract essential information directly.
O Semi-structured Documents: These are documents like invoices and order forms that are not bound to specified data fields. With OCR, the required information can be easily converted to text and deep learning text can be converted into structured data.
o Unstructured Documents: There are no presser templates for unstructured documents and it can be in any form. Articles, letters and contracts are some examples. The documents are harder to convert to structured data as there may be only a few commonly agreed structured data fields in these documents. They might include date, signing parties, purpose of the document and if certain clauses exist in the document. With the help of OCR, domain knowledge and deep learning algorithms, companies can auto process documents by focusing on aspects of the document which is of value to a company.
- Validation: Once the data is extracted from the documents, the document processing tools can check the validity and quality of source data with the help of both companies’ internal policies, public data and business rules.
o Validation with the Help of Business Rules: Most companies would not process duplicate documents. For example, duplicate invoices might cause redundant payments. Document automation vendors can easily identify duplicate documents.
o Validation using External Data: In certain cases, like invoices, documents would have public guidelines. Some automation platforms can conduct automated VAT compliance checks on invoices that allow the businesses to recognize compliance risks while document processing without making any additional effort.
- Enrichment: This refers to increasing the value of internal data by adding related attributes from external sources. In cases of invoices, a manual and extensive step can be to create accounting entries for individual items in invoices. The entries are not auto created as various companies use different ledger accounts while maintaining bookkeeping entries for similar spending.
How Automated Document Generation Works
Many companies make use of automated tools to generate documents. It collects the required data and converts them into desired document types. Handling this process might manually take up a lot of time and may cause some errors. However, the tools can generate a higher number of documents in a short span of time by eliminating all mistakes. Let’s take a look at how the automated document generation tool works.
- Captures the Input Data: Businesses should determine the data that needs to be generated for the documents. In most cases, they should capture price, order quantity and customer details automatically from the order management systems.
- Chooses the Output Format: Once the input data gets collected, companies have to choose the documents that must be automated. The documents can be legal contracts for legal services. It might involve invoices for logistics or retail companies or businesses would be interested to generate different document types at the same time. They also help in determining specific templates for each type of document.
- Transforms Data based on the Desired Format: Document automation tools add input data to the determined document templates. This process requires transforming input data format to a different format.
- Arrangement of Content: Document automation tools can check for any irregularities in the output. For example, some address details may be too long and would not fit in the invoice. The solution can be to reduce the font size or the address details can be cut down once it reaches the character limit.
- Generated Output Documents: The documents get generated in the desired formats and are automatically sent to related customers or departments.
Few document types that can be automated:
Finance Operations Sector
- Invoices: Invoice automation can be important for fundamental business processes including the accounts payable, VAT compliance and accounting. The automation tools can help companies to reduce their invoicing costs and errors and handle the related business functions in a shorter time period.
- Bill of Lading: It can be a document issued by a carrier to acknowledge the receiving of cargo for the shipment process. It is an important document for companies that deal with cross-border supply chains.
- Offers: It clarifies the terms of an offer to a potential customer. If a customer approves the offer, it can be included in the purchase order.
- Purchase Orders/Order Forms/POs: The teams that handle sales, order management, logistics and supply chain management can benefit from an automated order form processing and generation.
- Medical Records: They can be used to communicate between different healthcare providers by insurance companies in offer preparation and claims processing by the legal service providers in lawsuits related to claims.
- Prescriptions: Pharmacy businesses and the healthcare sector can automate prescriptions that can help in providing faster services. With prescriptions turning automated, doctors can provide standardized prescriptions quickly and the waiting time of patients can be reduced for the prescriptions to be filled and taken – this would improve the level of customer satisfaction.
In short, the generation and processing of bank statements, medical records, annual reports and various other government documents can be automated. You might find many platforms that offer document automation but only few might actually help you attain your goals! Checkbox Best Document Automation Software USA. Click here to check out their website and to find out about the services they offer.