If you or your staff spend what you consider excessive time on entering the data from invoices into your accounting software you have probably wondered if there is an easier way.
Advances in technology mean that automated assistance is possible. One provider of this kind of service is Datamolino and we have recently taken the opportunity to review their software.
What Do They Do?
Datamolino is an online service that involves Optical Character Recognition (OCR) of invoices. It will recognise the data from scans or pdf files and automatically put it in a format that can be imported directly into accounting software.
Datamolino has particular tie-ins to two cloud accounting services, Xero and Sage One, where the data can be exported directly into your accounts once Datamolino has been linked to the service. Outside of this, CSV, XML and Excel files can be generated, which could be imported into other accounting software assuming compatibility.
How Does The Datamolino Process Work?
Firstly, you need to scan your invoices and receipts and then upload them via a web app or by email to your Datamolino account. These days many suppliers send invoices electronically as pdf files and so these can be forwarded directly.
Datamolino then process the scans. Once they have done this the resulting data is available to review in your Datamolino account. The information can be reviewed and, if necessary, any adjustments made. When you are happy that all is complete the data can be exported.
In addition to the export of data being available, all scanned invoices are held in the Datamolino cloud. They can be reprinted and are otherwise available for referring back to.
There are two options of service; Basic and Advanced. With the Advanced option each line item on the invoice will be extracted, whereas with Basic just the total figures will be taken.
Datamolino can also process sales invoices, which may be helpful where sales invoices are generated outside your accounting software. Sales and purchases invoices are held separately within the Datamolino cloud.
A further attraction is that since invoices are stored in the cloud there is no need to maintain and file paper copies.
Are There Any Downsides To Be Aware Of?
There is an initial ‘learning’ time period. As invoices are submitted the process will ‘learn’ how items should be coded and so be able to prefill the various fields accurately. A free trial period is available and a tip would be to use that trial period to submit as many invoices as possible.
Where you receive regular invoices from the same suppliers with the same type of purchases on them the process could work fairly well. Of course the reality of business is that purchases will be made from a variety of suppliers and there will be many one-off purchases.
Also anecdotally, it is rare for automated invoice processing to work accurately 100% of the time.
So the point is that if you are looking for an automated process where you can rely on invoices being scanned and then appearing in your accounting software correctly you are likely to be disappointed. There will need to be an element of review and adjustment before data can be imported into the accounting software. Initially we would expect this be fairly involved, but would of course reduce as time went by.
Because of this there is likely to be a trade-off depending on the number of invoices that need processing. Where a business has a fair number of invoices per month and owns a dedicated scanner able to process batches of invoices at one time, there are likely to be time savings available. On the other hand, a home business user with a few invoices and the type of 3-in-1 printer that includes a scanner will probably find that it would take as long to scan, send, review and export the data as it would to enter the data directly themselves.
Is Datamolino The Only Provider Of This Kind Of Service?
No. For example, other providers of a similar type of service would be Receipt Bank and Receipt Box. We hope to be able to review these for future issues of the newsletter.
Is There A Trial Period?
Yes. Datamolino offer a 14 day free trial period and will assist with training.
In addition, we have arranged for clients and non-clients a promocode with Datamolino for a 15% discount for 3 months of service if the code is used before the trial expires. The code is PRFREY-2016. Or the code will be pre-filled if you use this link:
How Much Does It Cost?
Charges are made monthly and pricing is tiered based on the number of documents that need to be processed per month. Current pricing ranges from free for a 10 document a month Basic package to €200 (excl. VAT) for 500 documents a month Advanced package. Beyond 500 documents a month, “partner” pricing is available.
In the interests of transparency, Parfrey Murphy have no connection with Datamolino and receive no financial consideration for this review or for clients using the promocode.
If you would like to discuss Datamolino further as to whether it would fit your needs please do not hesitate to contact us.