Bills finally sleepwalking into your accountancy tool

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The story

With 1.4M clients around the world, Xero is the most popular and loved Software as a Service Accountancy tool.

Xero success story is not surprising: accountancy is a sector ripe for automation. The reason is simple: in accountancy, a lot of very tedious, low added-value processes are traditionally performed by humans.

Tools like Xero are progressively lifting such tedious run-of-the-mill jobs from the desk of book keepers around the world.

The Challenge

When it comes to bills, the usual pain is to codify them into your accountancy system. Even in the case of a small business, your book keeper could end up spending hours and hours every day to deal with hundreds of bills either in .PDF format or in paper.

The Solution: OCR combined with a slick App

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Xero came up with a simple but effective solution to overcome this problem: you forward or scan your bills to an email address and an AI does the rest.

A smart AI reads the incoming PDF bill, and it automatically populates fields, such as the ContactDateTotalDue Date, and Reference fields.

The best part is that this workflow also includes a mobile app that helps you bringing your bills directly into the right place!

The Benefit

The result ? With this new feature, Xero can save hundreds of thousand hours to their clients EVERY DAY : we estimate that on a yearly basis this new feature can save up to 50M hours to bookkeepers around the world!

This is an example of how a relatively old technology (OCR - Optical Character Recognition) can produce an enormous amount of value if rolled out at scale.