• John D. Hannan

AP Automation with OCR Requirements for Microsoft Dynamics 365

Updated: May 26

Most people have heard the terms AP Automation and Optical Character Recognition (OCR), or even if not familiar with the terms, understand the concept.  Pharmaceutical start-ups often operate with a lean office staff, where everyone is focused on the development, approval, and ultimately commercialization of their product.  Any time spent processing and paying invoices is time not spent elsewhere.


I recently was asked by a life sciences client to evaluate a AP Automation solution and integrate it with their Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation. The evaluation resulted in a recommendation to the executives for a solution that filled all of the relevant functionality to this client.  

Here are some key requirements that this client felt were critical for the OCR and AP Automation solution:

  • A system that has the ability to receive invoices via e-mail

  • Ability for the system to read invoices and identify the vendor, invoice number, due date, line items, quantities, dollar amount

  • Ability for the system to assign a general ledger code and financial dimensions based on user, line item, or person sending the invoice

  • A vendor that provides a human review of the invoice matching to increase accuracy

  • A system that captures an image of the invoice in PDF and can return it to the ERP system for recordkeeping purposes

  • A workflow for invoice approval supported by e-mail and mobile applications for multi-level approval routing based on vendor, dollar amount, and ledger coding

  • The ability to integrate purchase order information with three-way matching capabilities

  • The ability to pay vendors by credit card, EFT, ACH, or check

  • An integration from the AP Automation system that integrates to the ERP system with vendors, items, purchase orders, the general ledger, product receipts, and payment detail

  • A product that also offers a solution for employee expenses


There is a lot of solutions to consider among the many Microsoft Dynamics 365 Independent Software Vendor (ISV) solutions and third party vendors, such as Bill.com, SAP Concur, Stampli, MineralTree, Expensify, AvidXchange, Beanworks, and many more.

A given business may not require all of the above listed requirements.  As such, there are many different solutions with varying capabilities.  There are also different costs to consider (see accompanying blog post, Organizational Cost for AP Automation Solutions).


John Hannan LLC is making ERP visions a reality. If you're looking for expertise to implement a new system, upgrade to a new version or integrate other add-on solutions, contact us today and learn how we're helping similar organizations.



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