How to Empower Your Work Using OCR (Guide for Accounting and Bookkeepers)

Ever heard of OCR technology? Well, if you haven’t then you are missing out on the way you handle document workflow. Now, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) if a form of technology used to convert image documents, scanned or photocopied, and PDF files to machine encoded information. In plain English, it is a technology used to convert those scanned images and old paper into editable digital files.

OCR has greatly impacted the way business handle documents and accounting is one of those that have benefited from this. Unfortunately, most accountants still do not know what the heck OCR can do! In fact, let’s look at a brief overview of the benefits of using OCR technology for accounting work:

The benefits of OCR for accounting and bookkeepers

It Saves On Time

OCR saves time as it greatly reduces the amount of time spent on paperwork mainly in the realm of manual data entry. Information can now be easily scanned into the digital formats you fancy plus data can be extracted from the documents much faster using OCR data extraction capabilities.

In fact, research has found that the amount of time spent on paperwork can be reduced by 75% using OCR. You can even cut on the cost of getting people to work on data related aspects of accounting.

Improves Accuracy

Again, OCR software is designed with intuitive in-built algorithms that analyzes and extracts information with verified accuracy. Accounting is more about getting the numbers right meaning that even one small typo can lead to dreadful results.

OCR ensures that lots of common errors are reduced with document processing, keeping in mind that the accuracy levels of these tools surpass that of the human eye.

Save The Environment

Going paperless is one way of going green and saving the environment. After all, paper is made from cutting trees! Basically, OCR-based document processing will let you handle documents in digital formats thus you will cut on the paper material to store, photocopy, print or process accounting information and other docs. It’s a great way to keep lots of trees intact.

Keep Your Employees Happy

Truth be told, accounting employees get more engaged whenever they can escape paperwork. Of course, businesses prefer that employees focus their energy on doing what they love doing and this will in-turn grow the business. It can be done by adopting OCR which will help by cutting on the “boring” paperwork for accounting professionals.

Streamline Payment Processing

OCR technologies can help accountants handle structured documents particularly when it comes to processing payment. OCR’s ability to decipher key data found on a static layout lets you automate key accounting tasks.

One of the most common ways applied is in automating accounts receivable and check processing. This allows both customers and every other stakeholder involved to evade the hurdles of using manual data entry, traditional paper routing not to mention the lack of coordination and transparency within traditional vendor invoice processing

Better auditing and reporting on expenses

OCR management can help bookkeepers and accountants avoid reports aimed at adding fraudulent charges into businesses expenses. Optical character recognition in finance will help auditors when they oversee these expense reports. In fact, audits can be conducted with better depth and faster turnover thus providing auditors an easier search through expense documents and budget reports. The auditor can easily analyze the transaction details rather than just collating and reporting each one provided by a staff.

How to perform OCR using PDFelement

Now that you know a thing or two about the benefits of using OCR for accounting, let’s now look at how you can perform OCR using one popular tool loved by many accounting professionals- Wondershare PDFelement OCR tool.

The following is a simple how-to guide that will help you through as you perform OCR on PDF using this tool.

Step1. Open Files on PDFelement

After installing the PDFelement, go ahead and open it to perform OCR on your PDF. To open PDF files with this program, click on the “Open File” button at the left panel of the home window.

Step 2. Run OCR on PDF

Then click on the “Perform OCR” button on the top notification bar and then select the language you want to perform OCR with your file (Tip: PDFelement supports OCR in over 25 languages). After that save it and the OCR process will commence immediately.

Note: OCR has two modes. One is searchable text image, another is editable text. The former one allows you to search or copy then past the text. In regards to Editable text will be easy to understand. If you need to edit the scanned PDFs, that is what you need.

Step 3. Edit PDF after OCR

Next click on the “Edit” tab to find the editing options. In order to change texts and do any other changes, click on the “Edit” button and then double click to starting modifying text. You’ll find it easy changing the images and other aspects of your documents with the toolset.

It’s that easy! The next question is how can accounting professionals use the PDFelement’s OCR tool? What are the case use scenarios?

Using PDFelement 6 To Make Accounting Work Easy.

There are lots of ways to use PDFelement OCR tools to make your accounting workflows super seamless. Take an example where you have a ticket with the information you want to be processed. In such a scenario, you can scan the ticket with a normal scanner and the PDFelement software on the computer can automatically extract the information on the ticket.

Yes, that’s right! Provided the bill information scanned is highly structured data, PDFelement OCR tool can extract it fast. For instance, you can fetch things like the payee, the payer, and the tax number info among others. And if you aren’t happy with the anything then you can always do some editing using the PDFelement editing tools.

The beauty is that you can also do things in bulk-otherwise known as batch processing with the PDFelement. This will make document processing fast and fun!

How to extract Scanned PDF Forms to csv in bulk? (Must-Have Tips for Accounting)


In a nutshell, it’s hard to ignore how OCR has impacted on the way we do business. Be it in the world of banking, marketing, mail or even identification, OCR has clearly provided solutions. Business can now do more by turning hardcopies to digital copies, including doing clever data analytics that improves business. This is just the tip of the iceberg but it’s time to go ahead and get started with OCR!

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