Follow us today>


Get industry insights, product updates, event invites, articles and latest NAV release to your inbox.


OCR to Improve Data Entry

Posted: 7/07/2016 12:03:19 PM by Dynamic Business IT Solutions


Typically, in case of purchases, incoming document files represent payment receipts for expenses or small purchases. Many a times these transactions are not recorded in Microsoft Dynamics NAV from the outset. Instead, an external business document comes into your company as an e-mail attachment or a paper copy that you scan to file.

Other examples of incoming document files are electronic documents from trading partners with whom you have agreed to exchange documents electronically.

The generic version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV supports incoming invoices and credit memos in the PEPPOL format. From PDF or image files representing incoming documents, you can have an external OCR service (Optical Character Recognition) generate electronic documents that can then be converted to document records, like for electronic PEPPOL documents.

1. Prerequisites

1.1 Subscribe to OCR Services

Microsoft has paired up with Lexmark to provide their OCR technology to read images of invoices and import them into Dynamics NAV 2016.

You must register the service with Lexmark. You can choose between two plans (free and subscription based) and set up an account with Lexmark for their OCR services.

NOTE: Following section uses example from a free account created by Dynamic Business IT Solutions with Lexmark. For more information on accessibility refer to internal Dynamic Notes (not distributable).

If you are registering with Lexmark, you will get all the necessary details about the credentials and settings in the welcome mail.

1.2 Sample File

You would need an electronic document to work with this example. We are using a sample Super Amart order confirmation file (PDF) in this example.

1.3 Create a Vendor

For this example, create a vendor with the following details:


Field Value
Name Super Amart
Address Oxley Bedding Superstore
Post Code 4075
State QLD
Country/Region Code AU
Phone No. 07 3723 3333
Gen. Bus. Posting Group EXPORT
GST Bus. Posting Group EXPORT
Vendor Posting Group DOMESTIC
Exemption Certificate No. 65009810324


2. How to Setup OCR Service in NAV?


  1. Click Departments/Administration/IT Administration/Services.
  2. Click OCR Service Setup (or just search for it).
  3. The following field information is provided by your OCR service provider (Lexmark in this case).
    • a. User Name
    • b. Password
    • c. Authentication Key
    • d. Service URL
    • e. Login URL
  4. Click the action Test Connection. The fields in Status fast tab are filled automatically for you. If the connection is successful, you will get a confirmation dialog as well.
  5. Select the Default OCR Doc. Template (Australian Invoices in this example).
  6. Select the Enabled field. Job Queue entries are created for you.

NOTE: You can set up the job queue to automate the process, however in the following sections we will discuss manual process to check the functionality.

3. How do I handle Incoming Documents?

Companies typically receive business transactions such as purchases as electronic documents by e-mail or even through document exchange.

The incoming document function allows you to record these documents and link or convert them to the relevant documents into Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

3.1 Create Incoming Document From File

  1. Click Departments/Financial Management/General Ledger/Incoming Documents.
  2. Click Create from File, browse to the network location and select the file. 

  3. A new incoming document is created. By clicking on the main attachment link, we can have look at the PDF invoice.;

3.2 Create Document Manually

Once incoming document is created, you can manually create a journal, sales or purchase document by using the Create Manually action.

Example – Purchase Invoice

Let's say we choose to create Purchase Invoice.

After you create a purchase invoice, click OK and you will see that a link to the incoming document is created.

3.3 Using OCR Functionality


Instead of creating documents manually from the incoming documents, you can use the OCR functionality. After you create an incoming document from file, use the action Send to OCR Service. You will receive a message if it was successful.

Now, wait for Lexmark to review the Invoice and Identify the fields needed to process it, as there might be a delay.

After the file has been reviewed by the OCR service, the Receive from OCR field will be editable, indicating that it is ready to be received. Click the Receive from OCR Service action to import the document coding.

If there are any fields that need correction or could not be identified by the OCR service, you can correct them prior to attempting to create the document. You can click Correct OCR Data.

After reviewing the scanned document, you can create the Vendor Invoice from this page by clicking the Create Document action.

Go ahead post the open purchase invoice.

NOTE: If there are any errors or warnings on the document, you can correct them by reviewing the Errors and Warnings fast tab and address as needed.

4. How Do I View Incoming Documents?

Once transactions have been posted from incoming documents, you can easily retrieve the incoming document from these posted transactions.

For example:

  • View from Posted Purchase Invoice

  • View form Vendor Ledger Entry

  • View from General Ledger Entry

So you can trace the incoming documents through the transaction.