Accounts Receivable Applications
In most Accounting departments, an Accounts Payable group is responsible for sending out invoices to be remitted. Likewise, an Accounts Receivable group is responsible for posting payment. As with most companies, this is a daily routine that can be repetitious and take quite a long time to process all payments and accurately post each one in a timely fashion.
By simply printing a bar code of the invoice or customer number on all remittance invoices, Accounts Receivable can quickly scan the number directly into the existing software application and post payment with no modifications to the accounting program. By using a scanner and wedge decoder to input the information, the customer number will appear on the screen as if someone had actually typed it from the keyboard. The accounting software then marks the appropriate invoice as paid. Not only is the productivity increased, but the accuracy as well. This is the same procedure that many of the Fortune 100 companies use with their remittance slips.
Another means to improve efficiency for Accounts Receivable would be to OCR the customer number directly into the application. The best illustration is portrayed during checkout at large retail stores that can automatically verify a customer's account using the banking information at the bottom of a check. The cashier places the check into a document reader which in turn decodes the bank number to verify that the account is not outstanding. Even though some of these Point of Sale systems are very complex, the principal is the same. Information that is human readable is automatically entered and processed by the host application. Data entry time is dramatically reduced and errors are practically eliminated.
Depending upon the current configuration of the Accounts Receivable department, hand held bar code scanners would generally be recommended with a wedge decoder. An autosense bar code scanner could also be employed to have a hands-free operation by allowing the user to simply place the bar coded invoice underneath the reader. In general, if human readable characters are required then OCR is an alternative. However, it is probably more practical to position a human readable number underneath a bar code when possible.