2 October, 2019
If you are reading this article, you are the pioneer who tries to “future proof” your business or accounting practice. When we conduct a little survey with our friends, 9 out of 10 never heard the term “OCR” before.
OCR stands for Optional Character Recognition, and it will be becoming the next common software in the coming 5 years in Asia, after Accounting & HR system. The OCR technology has matured, which means the accuracy and speediness have improved significantly compared to 5 years ago.
There are a few very popular OCR software solutions in the market and let’s focus on 3 very popular OCR solutions here.
|Line item extraction||Yes||Yes||Not Really|
|Connect to Xero||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Connect to QBO||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Price||$98 for 500 copies||$140 for 500 copies||$20 for unlimited copies|
* If you have 3 companies, you can share your credit with Autoentry & Datamolino, for Hubdoc, you have subscribed for 3 companies.
** Hubdoc allows users to save processed documents in third-party app such as Dropbox or Google Drive
Most OCR solution takes around 24 to 48 hours to recognize bill for the first time, thereafter, the speed will get faster and faster, usually less than 2 hours for subsequent documents from the same supplier. Eg. if I scan my first Singtel bill, it takes about 24 hours for OCR software to understand it, and then it will take less than 2 hours for the software to recognize the subsequent Singtel bills.
Both Auto Entry & Datamolino usually recognize the first document within 24 hours, but Hubdoc surprisingly able to recognize within 2 minutes and sometimes almost instantaneous. The artificial intelligence technology deployed within Hubdoc was really impressive and it caught my attention right away.
Line Item Extraction
All OCR solutions are able to extract common information such as,
- Supplier’s name
- Invoice Number
- GST or Tax
If you would like to have line item extraction, ie. retrieve what is written in the details (eg. 5 rims of A4 paper & 10 pieces of scissors), then NOT all software can do it. So far, Datamolino has the most satisfying line extraction accuracy and completeness. If you are very particular in terms of what gets entered into your accounting software (just like me), then the line item extraction function in Datamolino will be really suitable for you. Of course, you will have to pay a little more for line extraction.
If you are still using manual banking or receiving a paper statement or PDF copy, bank statement extraction maybe really good for you. Auto Entry extracts the debit and credit from your bank statement and miraculously arrange into the required format, whether you are using Xero or Quickbooks Online (QBO), so you can easily import into your preferred accounting software.
If you are using ABSS Accounting (fka MYOB Accounting), you will love it too because there is an import/export function within ABSS. We use such function when performing data migration from/to ABSS.
The bank statement extraction is only available in Auto Entry, when we contact Datamolino & Hubdoc, this function was not on their roadmap and Datamolino commented live bank feed will be the future and hence, it is unlikely that this function is important in 5 years time.
You may click this link below to understand more about the bank feed for Xero.
Value for Money
Looking at the price, Hubdoc adopts an unlimited copies pricing (I bet you like buffet too) and the cost is only US$20. It is unbeatable for now and the functionality and user interface are cool too. There is another OCR solution, Receipt Bank, which also adopts unlimited copies pricing, but Receipt Bank was mainly focusing on accounting firms and hence, I did not include Receipt Bank as part of our comparison.
There are pros and cons for each software and nothing is perfect. As a general rule, if you are managing less than 3 companies, Hubdoc is probably the most value for money OCR solution for you. On the other hand, if you are managing a group of companies or you are an accounting or bookkeeping firm, then you may consider Auto Entry or Datamolino as the information extracted is more complete and you may one plan to manage multiple companies.
Which is the Best?
If you really want me to rate, my answers are as follow,
Value for Money – Hubdoc
Line Item Extraction – Datamolino
Statements Extraction – Auto Entry
Speed – Hubdoc
User Interface – N/A (I think there are rooms to improve for all of them)
Most Automated – Hubdoc
So, the overall winner is….. Hubdoc!
You may sign up for a free trial by clicking the link below,
Alternatively, just drop us an email or chat and our friendly consultants will be contacting you to understand exactly what you require and advise you the most appropriate solution for you.
As a software agnostic company, we do not push for a particular brand but rather only recommend the best software for your situation.