Three reasons to automate extraction and validation of digitally-signed QR codes on GST e-Invoices

Alabhya Pranay | Digital Marketing Manager

In September 2020, the Government of India made the inclusion of digitally signed QR codes (digital barcodes containing data) mandatory on all electronically-generated GST invoices. The move is part of the larger e-invoicing initiative by the Government aimed at improving the ease of doing business. 

As per the mandate, all companies with a turnover of Rs. 100 crore and above must implement an e-invoice system with a unique IRN (Invoice Reference Number) and a QR code digitally signed by GSTN for all invoices raised. The mandate also requires organizations receiving these digitally signed invoices to extract and validate the QR codes. 

With the April 1st deadline for vendors to implement this fast approaching, organizations can expect the workload of teams handling vendor invoices to increase significantly. For teams that are still not equipped to handle this effort efficiently, now is the time to act. 

How will QR codes help e-invoicing?

Of course, the inclusion of these QR codes brings more than just additional effort. It allows the processing of inbound invoices to go completely digital. The code contains essential invoice details such as the GSTIN of the supplier and buyer, invoice number, date of generation, the unique IRN, the digital signature of IRP, etc. By just scanning it with a handheld device or an application, all relevant details of the invoice can be retrieved without relying on an external source. For businesses, this means:

  • Easier invoice tracking and faster reconciliation 
  • Little chance of fraudulent invoices getting through 
  • Interoperability of e-invoices generated using different software

But when the number of inward invoices is high, these benefits can easily get eclipsed by the amount of manual effort and time that goes into complying. And that’s why the QR code extraction and validation process is a great use case for automation.  

Let’s take a look at three benefits you can realize by automating QR code extraction and validation: 

Reduce the Average Handling Time (AHT)

Locating and scanning QR codes is a simple task. But with a higher volume of invoices, this translates to redundant and time-intensive work. An automation system equipped with intelligent document processing capabilities (Computer Vision, OCR, etc.) can identify, extract, and validate QR codes with minimal human intervention.

For example, a Fortune 50 e-commerce company receives about 16 million invoices per month. By automating e-invoice QR code extraction and validation with Soroco’s solution, their team’s manual effort has been reduced by 75%. The team is now able to manage 5x more invoices each month. 

Minimize the scope for errors

Handheld devices or free applications for manual extraction have accuracy issues. And there’s always the chance of human errors creeping in. This can cause gaps downstream in data reconciliation and delay vendor payments, damaging the overall vendor experience. 

The same Fortune 50 company, with the help of Soroco’s QR code extraction engine, achieved 90% accuracy in extraction. It also enabled a faster way to notify vendors about missing, incorrect, or poor quality QR codes. The system also analyzes failed extractions using AI and recommends how vendors can avoid such errors. 

Be prepared to scale

The demand for efficiency in the process is strongly linked to the volume of inward invoices. With every new vendor partnership, the workload on teams processing e-invoice QR codes can increase multi-fold.

Automation systems that are cloud-native let you easily scale up with demand as necessary. By implementing a solution built with the cloud-native Soroco Automation Suite, the Fortune 50 company can increase invoice processing capacity with only marginal effort and additional infrastructure investment.

Soroco’s QR Code Extraction Engine

At Soroco, we’re helping customers automate e-Invoice QR code identification, extraction, and validation through an automated QR code extraction engine. Built using our Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) technology, it uses deep learning-based models and is pre-trained on one of the largest datasets of invoices in India.  

This means that the solution is pre-built to process invoices from most vendors your organization partners with. With the deadline to avoid penalties right around the corner, this is an accelerated way to ensure that your organization does not have to deal with all the pains of inefficient, manual processing and is also compliant with the Government’s mandate.

Have questions about the e-Invoicing QR code requirements? Or interested in learning how Soroco’s offering  can help? Get in touch with us here or write to hello@soroco.com