PDF Capture - Take Control of Your Invoicing Process

PDF Capture Overview

SapphireOne’s PDF Capture function, located in the Workbook Mode under the General Tab, enables users to streamline their daily accounting tasks. The PDF Capture feature automatically reads and processes PDF Order Client Invoices (OCI) and Order Vendor Invoices (OVI) directly into the software. Consequently, eliminating the need for manual data entry. Users need to calibrate the PDF Capture once for a specific vendor’s document. Then it will then automatically process all their PDF Vendor Invoices and Order Vendor Invoices in the future. Additional PDF capture functionality for different PDF forms can be easily integrated into SapphireOne.

Currently, only a small number of Vendor Invoices and Order Vendor Invoices are processed through Electronic Data Interchange. This means that the majority of vendor invoices are still being sent as scanned PDF documents or in paper format.

This results in slow and inefficient processing of capturing and entering data from these types of PDF invoices. Errors in classification and data entry may lead to late payments, missed discounts, strained relationships with suppliers, and cost overruns.

SapphireOne’s PDF Capture feature can easily mitigate negative effects and inefficiencies through automation.

PDF Capture Page

When the PDF Capture function is first opened, SapphireOne displays a list of PDFs that have already been mapped. This means that users will need to map their PDFs to the system to take advantage of the PDF Capture functionality. Once the mapping is complete, the automated process will save time and reduce errors associated with manual data entry.

Efficient Mapping and Reuse of Saved Procedures

When using the PDF Capture function, it’s essential to carefully consider and plan the names given to each mapped item during the mapping process. This ensures clarity and consistency across your documents.

Once an item has been mapped initially, users are strongly advised to save the mapped items when the same PDF is entered into SapphireOne. This will enable the system to remember the mapping for future use with documents from the same vendor.

At a later date, when a PDF arrives from the same vendor, all that is required for the user is to select their saved mapping procedure and apply it to the new PDF. The mapping will be applied to the PDF on screen, and a transaction will be automatically created without any further user intervention. This streamlined process helps save time, reduce errors, and enhance efficiency in managing vendor invoices.

Initiating PDF Capture Procedure and Handling Different Scenarios

To start the PDF Capture procedure, click on the ‘Upload PDF’ button in the lower-left corner of the screen. Your workstation will open the standard file search pop-up. Once you’ve selected a PDF, SapphireOne will perform several actions:

  1. The software will check if the PDF matches any previously saved mappings in SapphireOne. If a match is found, SapphireOne will immediately use the mapping to create a transaction in the system without any further user intervention.
  2. If a match is found, SapphireOne will also check if the PDF has already been entered. As a result, it will display a message to that effect. Additionally, the software will check for any issues with generating a transaction based on the details in the PDF, and if any problems arise, an error message will be shown to the user.
  3. If no mapping appears to have been done for the PDF, SapphireOne will display the ‘Mapping not found’ message. In this case, hover the mouse over the line and select ‘Create new mapping’.
  4. To edit an existing mapping, click on the line that requires modification and select the ‘Edit Mapping’ option.

By following these steps, users can effectively manage the PDF Capture process, making it easy to handle different scenarios and streamline the handling of invoices in SapphireOne.

New PDF Mapping Page

It’s essential to note that the PDF Capture function defaults to a Transaction Type of Accounts, which the user must check as selecting the wrong Transaction Type will result in an incorrectly created transaction in Accounts instead of Inventory.

  • When processing a Vendor Invoice PDF and selecting the default Transaction Type of Accounts, SapphireOne will create a Vendor Invoice in Accounts mode with all the data automatically entered into SapphireOne.
  • When processing an Order Vendor Invoice PDF and selecting a Transaction Type of Inventory, SapphireOne will create an Order Client Invoice (OCI) in Inventory mode with all the data automatically entered into SapphireOne.

It’s also important to ensure that both internal and external numbers are available for the conversion procedure. The PDF Capture function will not proceed unless both numbers are present on the PDF.

Once you’ve selected the ‘Create New Mapping’ option, the mapping screen will be displayed, as shown in the above image. The PDF is displayed on the left, while the fields that need to be linked to it are displayed on the right.

PDF Mapping Data Entry Fields

Once mapped correctly, the PDF Capture function will immediately create a Vendor Invoice (VI) or an Order Client Invoice (OCI) within SapphireOne in either Accounts or Inventory mode. The function then attaches the captured PDF to the newly created transaction.

To begin, users must enter data into three data entry fields located at the top of the PDF Map screen. These fields are essential in ensuring that the PDF is mapped correctly to the appropriate transaction:

  1. Title: Enter a title or name for this PDF Mapping record. Ensure that the name contains enough information to identify which mapping record it is. The user will likely have a list that is a proportion of the size of their Vendor master records in SapphireOne. (Every vendor will require mapping).
  2. Vendor: Enter the Vendor ID. This field has a light blue background and is wildcard searchable.
  3. Expense: Enter a General Ledger Expense account for the creation of this transaction. Again, it has a light blue background and is searchable for the correct General Ledger account.

Dictation and Speech to Text Overview

SapphireOne’s implementation of both Dictation (MacOS) and Speech to Text (Windows) is a game changer for data entry. Any data entry field you can type into using a keyboard can use this feature.

You can also use this functionality on all inquiry screens within SapphireOne. For example, the user is in a Contact within a Client. They may have made a phone call to that particular client using the Softphone technology. Consequently, this will automatically date and time stamp both the contact and the phone number you called.

As soon as the call is completed, the user has the ability to use Speech to Text (Windows) or Dictation (MacOS). They can dictate into the memo field of the CRM contact, adding as much description as they require.

Dictation and Speech to Text Procedure

This functionality applies across every single Data Entry screen. For example, the SapphireOne user is entering a Vendor Invoice (VI). Additionally, you may want to add a memo within the Vendor Invoice (VI). The user can utilise the tool and simply dictate the memo.

Another example is if the user wants to add additional lines to the General Ledger account, within each General Ledger account. When the user is completing data entry using a General Ledger, there’s always a unique memo field for each GL account line.

The user can then utilise this feature to quickly add the information they need to add. Alternatively, you may have an interview with an employee. After the interview process is completed, the user can then make notes about the employee.

Speech to Text or Dictation is an extremely powerful tool. It is something that we at SapphireOne, as well as our clients, utilise daily. It is a massive time saver.

Mapping the PDF

When mapping the PDF, users will note that there are seven primary fields that must be linked to fields or cells within the PDF. These fields enable SapphireOne to correctly read the vendor details from the PDF into SapphireOne.

In addition, there are seven fields related to transaction lines that must also be mapped, enabling SapphireOne to enter the lines in the transaction correctly. Users should test this process by using a copy of their data file.

Each of the mapping fields is color-coded so that the user can easily identify which field is mapped to which data cell in the PDF. By mapping these fields accurately, users can ensure efficient and accurate data capture from their PDF invoices in SapphireOne.

Mapping Procedure and Data Cell Selection

To map the PDF fields to SapphireOne, users should first click on the mapping links in the right-hand column. Next, click on the required location or cell in the PDF where the data is located. On clicking in the PDF, SapphireOne will draw a colored box around the cell in the PDF it has been linked to.

  • Unique Area Selection: SapphireOne must be trained to recognise or separate invoices from various vendors. To do this, select a unique area of the invoice for the Master Link. This area must be unique to the invoice, so an ABN or telephone number is a good place to start. Avoid selecting any cell that will be used by the remaining links as only a single link may be made to any location or cell in the PDF.
  • Proceed with Linkages: Proceed through and make the linkages from the Internal Reference number to Line Project as required using the procedure documented above. By mapping these fields accurately, users can ensure efficient and accurate data capture from their PDF invoices in SapphireOne.
  • Changing Links: To change a link, select it again in the right-hand column and select a new location or cell from the PDF. It’s important to review and update these links regularly to ensure the mapping remains accurate and relevant.
  • Page Button: Many invoices are multi-page, and the page button allows the user to select the First Page (default), Last Page, or All Pages. This is particularly important as Grand Totals are usually on the last page of an invoice. By selecting the appropriate page, users can ensure that all relevant information is captured accurately in SapphireOne.

Exiting the PDF Mapping Function in SapphireOne

When exiting the PDF Mapping function in SapphireOne, the user has three options:

  1. Cancel: This button cancels the current mapping procedure without saving any changes.
  2. Save Mapping Only: This button should be selected if the user has an old invoice and wants to store the mapping for planned future use. By selecting this option, the mapping is saved but no transaction is created.
  3. Save Mapping & Create Transaction: This option is the most commonly used. By selecting this option, the mapping is saved, and a transaction is created in SapphireOne. This streamlined process helps save time, reduce errors, and enhance efficiency in managing vendor invoices.

The transaction created from the PDF will be displayed in SapphireOne, as seen below, enabling users to review and verify the accuracy of the data capture. This transaction will include all the information captured from the PDF, such as vendor details, invoice number, transaction lines, and any other relevant information.

PDF Creator: Automatically Mapped Transactions

Once SapphireOne recognizes a scanned PDF, it will automatically create the transaction immediately without any further user intervention. A list pop-up will be displayed indicating what resulted when the PDF capture function was completed. On this screen, the user has two options: select the Close button or select the Upload PDF button to repeat the procedure with another PDF.

Once the user selects the Close button, they will be able to view the transaction created by going to:

  1. Accounts \ Payables \ Transaction Inquiry to view the Vendor Invoice created a VI.
  2. Inventory \ Sales \ Transactions Inquiry to view the Order Client Invoice created an OCI.

Differences Between a Real/Native PDF and a Scanned PDF 

The SapphireOne PDF capture function requires a real or native PDF to read the data into SapphireOne. The differences between a real/native PDF and a scanned PDF are documented below.

A PDF document (Portable Document Format) can be created from various sources and by different devices or software, but they are not always the same. A scanned PDF is a typical example, as it may look like a normal PDF file.

In reality, a scanner is designed to convert a physical page or photograph into an electronic file. When a page of some type is placed into the scanner, it scans the page and stores it as a single image, creating a file with the extension of PDF. This is a scanned PDF.

If you receive a scanned PDF of a file, SapphireOne will be unable to import it into SapphireOne for the reasons as documented above. You will have to ask your suppliers if they can send you an electronic file of the invoice so that the SapphireOne PDF capture function may be used to import the invoice into SapphireOne. These are normally sent as attachments to emails.

By understanding the differences between a real/native PDF and a scanned PDF, users can ensure they have the correct file format to enable the PDF capture function in SapphireOne to work effectively and efficiently.

How to Check for Real vs Scanned 

Checking for Real vs Scanned PDFs is an important step before importing them into SapphireOne.

To check if a PDF is real or native, move your cursor over some text. If the cursor changes from the arrow to an I bar, the PDF is likely to be a real/native PDF. If the cursor changes to a + symbol when moved over an image, it may be a scanned PDF.

To check further, try drawing a box over the text or image. If the box is drawn along the text itself and follows the lines of the text, the PDF is likely to be a real/native PDF. If the box is random and cuts across images and text, it is probably a scanned PDF.

It is important to note that for the SapphireOne pdf capture function to work correctly, the PDFs must be real/native PDF files in a location accessible by SapphireOne. A real/native PDF contains recognisable fields that SapphireOne can read with simple training.

To ensure smooth functioning of the pdf import function, it is recommended to create a specific folder for this purpose. After importing a PDF, it should either be deleted or moved to a holding folder. Additionally, it is advisable to give each PDF a meaningful name to avoid difficulty in identifying them later.

Why Mapping/Training is required 

Mapping and training are necessary to enable SapphireOne’s PDF creator function to recognise and extract relevant information from invoices. Typically, businesses do not change the layout of their invoices, making it easy for the function to identify a unique identifier and locate specific information on the invoice. Once this mapping and training are done, SapphireOne can quickly create invoices from the same company without any further intervention. It is important to note that mapping and training only need to be done once for each vendor invoice.

You can also access the PDF Capture function from the Palette data entry menu, located at the bottom of the list.

You can review our Blog and YouTube channel for additional information and resources on SapphireOne ERP, CRM and Business Accounting software.

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