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Workday OCR: Transforming Accounts Payable Through Data Entry Automation

Workday OCR: Transforming Accounts Payable Through Data Entry Automation

Too many organizations today have large Accounts Payable teams that manually key supplier invoices into their system. Workday Optical Character Recognition (OCR) allows organizations to refocus their Accounts Payable teams on vendor management and high impact tasks while reducing turnaround times, storage space for paper documents, and data entry errors. In addition, organizations can take advantage of early payment discounts, reduce DSO/DPO and optimize their payment processing.

What is OCR?

Workday OCR transforms unstructured invoices – such as pdfs or images – into structured data, reducing the need for manual data entry. In addition, the Accounts Payable team is able to quickly enter the missing data required to submit invoices using side-by-side split screen technology.

Workday OCR provides drag-and-drop invoice load functionality and email ingestion. Email ingestion allows organizations to have a centralized email address for sending invoices. Workday will automatically scan the email sent to a specific domain within your tenant on a scheduled basis, immediately increasing your Accounts Payable team’s productivity.

What does Workday OCR Offer?

  • Multiple Languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian and Dutch. Korean and Japanese are targeted for a future release.
  • Various file extensions:  PDF, JPG, JPEG, TIF, TIFF, GIF, PNG, BMP, WEBP
  • Bulk upload of up to 50 attachments
  • Multi-page invoices of up to 15 pages
  • Detection of 11 header fields: Company, Supplier, Currency, Invoice Date, Invoice Due Date, Control Total, Payment Terms, Supplier’s Invoice Number, Tax Amount, Freight Amount, and PO Number
  • Automatic population of related attributes when Workday locates the supplier and purchase order
  • Detection of these 5-line level fields: Item, Description, Quantity, Unit Cost, and Extended Amount
  • Global date format recognition
  • Machine learning (can take up to 2-3 weeks)
  • OCR Line level data (will try to match to PO line)
  • Automatic supplier invoice adjustment if the line total is negative
  • Application of payment terms from the supplier rather than the system
  • Routing of invoices to specific individuals based on rules or tags

How To Configure It

The Workday OCR, split screen, and email ingestion can be up and running with minimum configuration. First,  opt-in to the “Supplier Invoice Automation: Scanning” innovation service. Then ensure the following domains are enabled and configured with the appropriate security groups:

  • Manage: Supplier Invoice Work Queue
  • Process: Supplier Invoice Work Queue
  • Reports: OCR Supplier Invoice
  • Set Up: Supplier Invoice Work Queue
  • Process: Supplier Invoice – Core

Lastly, configure Supplier Accounts Options in Edit Tenant Setup – Financials. You must also edit the “Supplier Accounts OCR Tenant Options”. Workday OCR allows you to configure rules to route supplier invoices to a specific assignee and create tags for invoice priority based on payment terms, suppliers, currency, and more. The Accounts Payable team will perform all invoice tasks in the Supplier Invoice work Area. The Supplier Invoice work area provides visibility to draft invoices, invoice flow timing and exceptions.

An efficient accounts payable team is essential to all organizations and Workday’s OCR will allow your organization to improve efficiency by automating the process of data entry and reducing errors, better access to digitized paper documents making them easier to store, search, and access. This will improve accuracy, enhance security by storing documents electronically, and reduce costs due to physical storage no longer required. Your Accounts Payable team will be aware of all debts, preventing delayed payments to vendors and preserving financial stability and reputation. More time will be available to refocus their attention on complex, high-priority tasks that benefit the organization.

Thank you for reading this blog post! Please reach out to us if you have questions or would like assistance implementing this supplier portal feature!


  • Linda Zelms

    Linda Zelms has been in the Workday ecosystem since 2014. She was a subject matter expert for a software company from implementation to post-go-live support and continuing process improvement. She supported the following modules in her role: credit and collection, customer contracts, procurement, supplier and supplier accounts, projects, security, business process configuration, banking and settlements, reporting, business assets, and core financials. While in this role, Linda diligently worked to improve the Workday Financials product by becoming an early adopter of new functionality working closely with Workday developers to ensure the product met the needs for all clients. As a Workday Business Consultant, Linda aims to provide clients with simple solutions for complicated problems.