The purpose of this article is to demonstrate an API that is specifically designed to perform OCR (Optical Character Recognition) operations on photographs of receipts and extract key business information from them automatically, such as the name and address of the business, the phone number, the receipt total, and much more. Further down the page, I’ve provided code examples and instructions to help you structure an API call in Java.
There are dozens of costs associated with running a business, and efforts to manage those costs vary in complexity. While corporate expenditures such as office rent, salaries, and vendor contracts represent cyclical and manageable invoices that internal teams (i.e., accounts payable) can handle directly, employee expenditures in the form of client dinners, taxi rides, and team outings require corporate reimbursement which may only be accomplished with proof of the employee’s transactions. For the employee, proving such transactions entails presenting a receipt to the business. Along with displaying the all-important total cost of the outing, receipts provide other useful information which the employee’s business can verify, including the name of the venue the employee visited, its website, address, phone number, and a list of the specific purchased goods or services at that location. As simple as the receipt-expensing process may appear, however, it often suffers from a major technological deficiency: most businesses have fully digitized their payroll and expensing procedures, and receipts are still often obtained in hard-copy form. As a result, transitioning a physical receipt into a digital form presents a relevant business technology challenge.