On Trusting Software (Error Handling)
September 22nd, 2021
There are a lot of factors that come into play in helping customers feel comfortable trusting a solution. Business model, security, and privacy are often important considerations.
Transparency plays an important part in trusting a solution as well. Transparency happens when you know how something works and when something goes wrong. Although we work tirelessly to quickly eliminate bugs, errors can still sometimes occur in Semantik just like any other software. When something unexpected happens, we need to communicate this to you so you can do something about it.
Today we release a Notifications Center. Clicking on the new bell icon (at the top of your page) will take you there where you can manage any messages you've received. You will be able to view additional details for errors you may have encountered as well as copy all the relevant technical details to send to our help desk. And you will be able to keep track of your messages in the "reviewed" tab so that nothing gets lost.
We hope that this increased transparency helps you to feel even more confident about tracking the invoices you are sending into Semantik. If something goes wrong, you will (1) know about it, (2) know what to do about it, and (3) be able to quickly fix it.
Automagic Skew Correction
September 1st, 2021
Getting documents into Semantik should be the easiest thing you do. In fact, it is our hope that you don't even do anything at all, really. That is why we've worked to help you automate this step with workflow recipes (e.g., Power Automate) and an API.
However, lots of things can happen during an easy import that manages to blow up your workflow or just make your downstream tasks harder than they need to be. For example, a document might've been scanned sideways. This is why, back in June, we began looking for, and correcting, document rotation for you. (It works in the background so you should never be aware of it.)
We now also look for documents that have been skewed and we correct for this as well. Skew happens when people take pictures of their invoices with a camera that is not co-planar (level) with the document. (It is very difficult to avoid skewing a document when taking a picture of it.) It also sometimes happens when scanning invoices in a hurry. Since our customers scan many thousands of documents into their systems, we thought this feature was critical in helping them sustain their throughput.
There is now one less wrench that can crash your workflow. This means that Semantik is even more tuned to the high-velocity and high-volume document processing needs of our customers.
August 4th, 2021
We exist to make things easier for you. This means we do everything we can to increase the efficiency of Semantik. Some of the metrics we focus on are:
STP (Straight-Through Processing) - Percent of invoices that do not need a manual review.
DV (Document volume) - Number of documents processed
TMD (Time to Manually Process a Document)
Document Change Rate (DCR) - Number of fields revised in a manual review.
However, even if all of the above rates were 100%, efficiency can still be kneecapped when the system fails to extract all the necessary information. That is, you may process a document lightning fast and without any errors only to find that it is missing vital information in your ERP. You then have to key in the missing data or re-process the document. This is not efficient. Not one bit.
In order to ensure that all necessary fields are captured and sent to your ERP, we now provide a setting (on Invoice and Vendor fields) that allows you to make a field REQUIRED. When turned on, Semantik will prevent users from completing an invoice review unless the field is filled in.
No more documents should arrive in your ERP with missing information. No more processing a document more than once. This efficiency won't be reflected in the metrics above, but it is just as important.
To toggle required fields, just head over to Settings > Extraction. You will find them under your Invoice Fields and Vendor Fields.
New Password Pages
July 29th, 2021
As part of our ongoing effort to improve the Semantik architecture we have refactored two pages. The Create Password and Recover Password pages now utilize common user services and components. And they also look nicer!
This work continues to consolidate state management and UI components so that that they can be re-used across the app. This means we don't have to do repeat work (viz., styling and logic) as we develop new features.
In other words, Semantik will remain agile and quick as we scale. We will be able to continue responding to market and customer needs lightning fast.
Maturing doesn't have to mean slowing down.
Tenant ID displayed in-app
July 26th, 2021
Some of our new partners have asked for a way to identify the tenants that they are generating for their customers to help them set up their Semantik accounts. We thought Tenant ID would be the best way to do this because it is a reliable and secure identifier. Unfortunately, retrieving your Tenant ID was a lot of work. You had to inspect the payload of a test webhook request. (A very techie thing to do for a low-code/out-of-box solution like ours.) Plus, this did not always work. Imagine if you had 20 or 50 customers to set up. Yeah. Not good.
So today we've released an enhancement that lets you easily find and copy your Tenant ID in the app. Just head over to the settings and click on API Keys and you will see it.
This will help our partners get Semantik set up a lot faster and more securely.
Line Items Support Tax
July 22nd, 2021
Taxes. Who doesn't pay taxes? We all pay taxes, no? Before today, Semantik did not recognize tax information from invoices. However, many of our customers need this data to process a lot of their vendor bills. This means they had to key tax data in themselves after the invoice had been run through our fancy software that is supposed to be doing it for you.
Furthermore, some of our customers like to use automated workflows (built by e.g., Power Automate or Workato) which would break without the Tax data. Imagine if your highest volume vendor bills had taxes. This means you might be breaking (and fixing) your automated workflow and keying in tax data hundreds of times per month. You can see the problem. This is the opposite of automation. We clearly needed to do a better job.
Today, we released a new table attribute for Tax. This attribute is available for tagging table columns and can be used for managing any tax you might normally pay on your line items (such as F.E.T.). Tax columns should seamlessly be found which means that many more of your invoices will flow through Semantik without the need for manual reviews. This is automation.
The Tax attribute is disabled by default but can be enabled in your Extraction settings under Line Items. If it is not automatic for a tax that you pay, let us know and we can easily make a fix so that it is.
New Posting Date field is now Automated
July 20th, 2021
Last week we announced a new invoice field called Posting Date to enable you to pass a payment transaction date to your ERP that is different from the invoice date. Very nice when your pay period has closed.
If you used this field in the last week you might've noticed that, although useful, it was ... manual. Here at Ephesoft we don't like the word ... manual. It really bugged us that some of you might have been keying dates into the Posting Date field last week.
So today we've released an enhancement that now automatically pulls the date from your invoice into the Posting Date field.
Stop keyboarding data and get a cup of coffee.
Updated UI (Extraction, Import, Login)
July 13th, 2021
We run a pretty rad piece of software. Sure, I may be the Product Manager for Semantik but consider the evidence:
AI & ML - We do machine learning and artificial intelligence, people.
Low-Code Installation - We fit your business needs right out of the box.
Custom Webhooks - We support time-saving integrations (like pinging Slack when an invoice is processed).
Connectors - We're in popular automation tools like Power Automate and Workato.
Latest Standards & Frameworks - API keys, OAuth 2.0, Angular, etc. ensure the solution is secure, agile, and easy to use.
Modern Aesthetic - We sport a sleek UI that is expected in consumer software but uncommon with enterprise software.
In other words, we have some wicked machinations under our hood. Which makes us sometimes need to update the Semantik UI so that it feels and looks like the premium solution that it is. I mean, would you drop a 1973 Alfa Romeo Montreal 2.6 L V8 motor into a 1980 Chevy Citation? No, sir. You would not.
So we've souped things up a bit. You will now see
A new login screen
A spiffed up design for your Field settings (now called Extraction settings), and
An updated interface for your Import Settings.
More will be coming. You can be sure of that.
New Field for Entities
July 13th, 2021
A lot of companies process payments in a central location for multiple business units. These other units can be subsidiaries, branches, divisions, cost centers, franchises, partners, or more. Business can be complicated!
Today, invoices flow through Semantik with the assumption that payments are made for products and services that have been received by the company that is processing (and paying) the invoice. But what happens if you are processing an invoice for services that another business unit received? This can really cause some headaches, especially for our larger clients who are doing business in multiple locations. It forces AP clerks to denote this inside of their ERPs.
This is not ideal. First, if they forget to do this, then the payment can't be processed and a risk is introduced of failing to pay a vendor. Second, you hired us to automatically process your invoices and put all the data in the ERP for you. If you are still keying information into your ERP, then we have not delivered.
Today we have released a new field called Entity for tracking these other business units. Now, when the invoice leaves Semantik, you are done. No more opening up your ERP, finding the invoice that you just processed, and keying even more information in.
New Field for Posting Date
July 13th, 2021
Sometimes vendors have their own schedule. But they still want to get paid on time. When invoices are submitted after your pay period has closed, it should not make things hard for you. We now support a field called Posting Date so that these invoices can flow through to your ERP with all the information you need to keep your records straight and all of your vendors paid on time.
Disable Vendor Fields
July 13th, 2021
Clutter. It's the enemy of productivity, focus, clarity, and mental wellness. I meticulously clear my desk off at the end of every day for the simple reason that it calms my mind for the evening and allows me to relax and recharge. And it makes sliding into work the next day a lot easier too.
Clutters happens in the digital world as well. I find that a cluttered interface can really make my job harder. In our quest to vanquish clutter, we have built a new feature that gives our users the ability to disable vendor fields that they do not want to use. This way, when you are reviewing invoices, you only see what you need to see. Reviews can happen faster and probably even more accurately.
You can find the settings for changing which fields you want displayed under the Settings > Extraction > Vendor Fields (see below).
Notification of Multiple Invoices
June 22nd, 2021
Right now you can only send one invoice at a time to Semantik. Sometimes you may send more than one, though. Maybe you forgot, maybe you were in a hurry, or maybe it was no accident because you, sir, are a rule breaker.
The problem is that when a document with multiple invoices go through our system it can cause a serious headache for you, like a missed payment. So we thought it would be important to learn how to detect multiple invoices in a single attachment/document and then let you know about it so that you can catch them and split them up.
As of today, we now notify you when we think a document contains more than one invoice. You will see these notices in our snazzy new document notifications panel (on the right side of the screen). Hopefully, this makes payments easier, faster, and more on time for you.
PDF Exports with Text
June 21st, 2021
When you send invoices into our system we do a lot of fancy processing on them. We re-orient them, extract their metadata, match them to one of your vendors, extract their text and tables, map those extractions to your ERP fields, etc. There’s a lot going on!
And then we would export the very same PDF file that you sent to us as if we didn’t learn a thing about it. If you sent a PDF without text, that's what we gave back to you which means that you couldn't search, select or copy text in your PDF. Bummer.
We thought that returning the same file to you is ridiculous since we get to know these documents very well while they are in our system. So, as of today, this is no longer the case. We now ensure that all PDFs have a text layer when we export them no matter what you send in to the system.
So you will now be able to interact with your processed invoices and do everything that you are used to doing with PDFs, like search for and copy text.
Automagic Invoice Rotation
June 21st, 2021
We all thought that without a commute we’d be a little less busy by working at home. But that’s not how it turned out, is it? We’re all still pretty busy these days.
In our daily rush to get things done, we want our technology to work for us, not against us. In the spirit of making technology helpful again, we've released an auto-rotation feature.
If you upload an invoice sideways, we now turn it right-side-up for you. No action is needed from the user. No confirmation, no clicks, nothing. It just works. In fact, you should never be aware of this feature. And that’s the point. You should be focused on processing invoices, not fiddling with our interface.
The other upside to this is that our text processing algorithms should work better on a document that is oriented correctly.
Navigating Claimed Invoices
June 18th, 2021
When reviewing a set of invoices it can sometimes get a little confusing, especially if they look similar. You might sometimes feel like you've reviewed one before or you might wonder whether the one you emailed into the system last night made it in.
Until now, you had to click on each document in the left panel to open it and look through its (sometimes many) pages to find more information to help you keep tabs on everything. This takes time and even after opening it, you still might not see what you need to help you identify it.
Today you can now see key details about each invoice in the document panel to include:
Name of the file
Date of import
Number of pages in the file
This should help you keep track of everything at a glance without having to tediously click through and scan endless invoices. This will result in a faster, easier, and less frustrating experience for you.
Upload Invoices with Power Automate
June 15th, 2021
We put a lot of deep thought into automating the workflow of your AP department. We create data models using AI and ML (Machine Learning) to extract data and tables, we monitor for things that could cause you trouble down the line, we correct funky document stuff before you even see it... the list is a long one. (And it will be even longer pretty soon.)
However, it all starts with a piece of paper. You have to get a paper invoice into a computer before we can do any of our fancy processing or automating for you. It seems painful so we thought we might do something about it.
If you are a Power Automate user, you can now automatically upload invoices into our system with our new connector, Ephesoft Semantik for Invoices. For step-by-step instructions, please check out our help article Upload an Invoice Using Power Automate.
We hope that our new connector makes that first step of getting your paper invoices into our super smart system a lot less painful for you.
If you are a Workato user, we have you covered as well! Please refer to our Upload Invoices with Workato post for more information.
Automatic Vendor List Syncing (with Power Automate)
June 15th, 2021
We have a belief here at Ephesoft that there is no such thing as too much automation. Unlike an Arby's Jamocha Shake or Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby, a little automation every day will make you faster (and probably smarter too).
Being fanatics about using computers to make our lives better, we took a look at Semantik and asked our selves, Why do our customers have to upload a vendor file every time it changes? Can't we just have them do this one time and forget about it?
Turns out the answer to that question is a resounding 'Yes, yes we can'.
For those of you who are Power Automate users, you can now automatically upload your vendor file and keep it in sync with our new connector, Ephesoft Semantik for Invoices. For step-by-step instructions, please check out our help article Sync Your Vendor List Using Power Automate.
This connector will make sure that your vendor list in Semantik is always up to date. If you make a change to your list (e.g., add a new vendor), our connector will make sure that Semantik gets notified. No more importing new lists every time it changes.
If you are not a Power Automate user but would still like to automatically sync your vendor file, please see our article Dynamic Vendor Syncing to learn about our new API.
Notifications for Manual Reviews
June 15th, 2021
Would you like to use Semantik as a headless operation? Are you hesitant that if you automate the whole enchilada, you might miss something important? Maybe drop an invoice and forget to pay someone? Yikes!
Well, you can go to sleep at night now without your Calm app gently guiding you to let go of your anxiety about missing a payment. As of today, you can subscribe to events in Semantik that will notify you when an invoice needs a little human attention. If and when you get a notification, you can pop Semantik open, take a quick look, and move on with your day in a quick minute.
We don’t often create features that we hope you don’t need. In this case, we would prefer if an invoice never needed a manual review. However, sometimes the system isn’t sure that it can extract everything important correctly. This is where your manual review comes in.
Notifications are sent via a webhook event. Please refer to our Event Webhooks document for more information.
Document Details Panel
June 8th, 2021
Context is everything. We believe this so thoroughly that we’ve bet our business on it. The difference between a thriving and a failing organization is the ability to understand market context and respond appropriately.
Our vision for Semantik goes beyond processing invoices, automating business processes, and saving you money. We are building Semantik to give you a more complete understanding of your business operations and the market you serve.
Context for an AP department starts with an invoice: Where did it come from? When was it imported? Is there anything unusual about it?
In service of our goal to provide you with a more complete understanding of your business, we have added a new “Document Details Panel”. On the far right side of the Review page, you will see a vertical bar. By clicking on the “information” icon, you will see the invoice’s metadata.
Soon, we plan on adding notifications to this panel that will alert you to things that may need your attention.
Disabling and Deleting Users
June 8th, 2021
Any good enterprise solution must provide its customers a way to manage users in the app. Before today, Semantik was a good enterprise solution with no user management. We knew this was not up to snuff and finally found the time to fix it. As of today, you can now delete and disable Semantik users. If you click on the new settings icon at the top of the app, you will see an option called “Users''. It is there that you will find the new functionality.
There are many reasons you may want to remove or disable a user. Maybe your team has changed. Maybe someone has left the company. Maybe you were just kicking the tires of your new AP software solution and you left a few fictional users behind. We don’t care why you want to remove or disable users. This is normal. And now it’s a simple three clicks to do it.
Manual Document Rotation
June 4, 2021
Sometimes a document comes in that was scanned sideways. Until now, you had to turn your head sideways to review (or re-import a newly scanned document). It didn’t seem to us that these workarounds were very helpful. We don’t like it when you have to manually review anything. (We prefer everything to flow through automatically.) But if you have to do a manual review, we want it to be quick and we want it to support good posture.
On the odd chance that a document comes in sideways, you can now rotate it with a quick click of a button to turn it right-side-up. This will not affect the export but it will make your neck feel better.
Easier Line Item (Table) Editing
June 2, 2021
Tables are a part of most invoices. We have been working on our AI to automatically extract line items from tables and push your invoices downstream with no manual intervention at all. Most of the time it works. Sometimes, though, something happens and you will want to go into the table to fix a thing or two. When this happens, we want it to be as quick and painless as possible. That is why we’ve been working on easy line item editing within Semantik.
As of today, you can:
Clear multiple cells with the delete key or through the context menu:
Delete multiple columns or rows with the context menu:
Delete multiple columns or rows with a context menu by selecting a cell block:
Delete columns and rows with a new delete button:
Hopefully you will never need to use these actions. However, in the event that you do, it should be quick and painless for you.
Dynamic Vendor Syncing
June 1st, 2021
Imports and exports. Who does this anymore? Most digital tools today are smart enough to just get the data it needs when it needs it. No action required. In those cases where a user has to do something, it’s a simple drag and drop. And it’s fabulous.
We’ve been asking you to import your vendor list. Which is fine until you add a new vendor to your list. Then you have to import it again. Once is fine. Twice is ok. Three times starts to get a little tedious. What is really irksome, though, is that invoices failed to automatically match to a new vendor if you forgot (or just didn't have time) to upload a new list.
Today we released a new capability that allows you to automatically synchronize your vendor list to Semantik. If you have a new vendor, just add them to your list and let your sync process handle the rest. No more importing business and no more invoices stuck in a backlog because they don’t have an associated vendor.
We hope that this not only makes things easier for our operators, but ensures a more efficient bill pay process as well.
Please see our documentation to help you set yourself up for automatic vendor syncing.
Upload Invoices with Workato
May 25th, 2021
Emailing invoices into Semantik is a good way to get your documents uploaded into our system. However, we know it's not ideal for some of our customers which is why we offer an API for document uploads. We think this is a great solution. However, we've noticed that some of you are Workato customers which made us think, we could do something even better for you.
You can now automatically upload invoices into our system with our new Ephesoft Semantik connector. For step-by-step instructions, please check out our help article Upload an Invoice Using Workato.
We hope that our new connector makes that first step of getting your invoices into our system a lot less painful for those of you who use Workato.
If you are a Power Automate user, we have you covered as well! Please refer to our Upload Invoices with Power Automate post for more information.
New Feature: New Invoice Fields
May 21, 2021
As mentioned in our previous post, we strive to meet the unique needs of each business we serve out of the box. Each of our customers need to track different data from its invoices. We have now added support for three additional fields:
Service Start Date
Service End Date
These fields can be used for extracting and tracking information that pertains to start/end dates for licensing, subscripts, terms, etc.
These changes move us even closer to being a truly turnkey solution which any business can benefit from immediately. Please note, these new fields are disabled by default. If you want to use them you will need to turn them on in your field settings (Settings > Fields).
New Feature: New Vendor Fields
May 21, 2021
Not all organizations are the same. Each company has its own unique needs. We recognize this and strive to make Semantik flexible in how it processes your invoice. In service of this goal, you can now include five new fields in your Vendor List CSV file:
If you download our schema you will see these new fields included in the file. Of course, we will extract and export all fields that you choose to include. If you use webhooks, you will want to include any new fields in your payload. (Please note that the tax field is called “TaxId” in the schema and webhook export data.)
New Feature: A New Power Automate Connector
May 18, 2021
Accounts payable just got even easier for those of you using Microsoft Power Automate to streamline your workflows. Our new connector (Ephesoft Semantik For Invoices) already has its first flow (Semantik Invoice To CSV) that eliminates the tedious task of saving approved invoices to your OneDrive for Business.
You can find the new flow under the Connectors tab in Power Automate. (Listed with the "Premium Connectors".) Connector documentation will quickly get you started.
We look forward to brining you more workflow solutions soon.
Improved Experience: Updated Settings & Logout Placement
May 17, 2021
You may have noticed a slight change we made to the Semantik header.
We moved "Settings"!
Instead of having "Settings" next to the "Review" tab, we moved it over to the right as a gear icon. Settings isn't a place where our users will spend much time post onboarding, so we wanted to disconnect it from the Dashboard and Review tab.
User Dropdown w/ Logout
We made a minor change to how users log out. Just click on the icon with your initials and you can select "Logout"
New Feature: Improved Table Editing
May 10, 2021
As part of our ongoing effort to make table extraction more powerful, we've released some new Table Editing capabilities 🎉 . You can now insert and delete columns and rows by clicking on contextual menus in your table. It is very quick and should be familiar to anyone who has used a spreadsheet program before.
Why is this important?
Table Accuracy - We like to think that our AI is pretty rad. But if it ever overlooks a column or row in your table, you need to be able to manually add it back in.
Table Speed - If we've added a row or column that you do not need, why send it downstream? Remove it and capture only what your business needs. A simpler table is easier to review.
How do you get started?
Next time you are reviewing a table, hover above the header or to the left of the table and you will see a "+" icon appear. By clicking on this icon, you will insert new columns or rows.
New Feature: Introducing our Document Upload API & API Key Authentication
April 28, 2021
That’s right, we now have a second way to upload an invoice into Semantik!
Why is this important?
Previously, you could only import invoices into Semantik via email. This can end up being quite cumbersome in a number of ways and prevented our clients and partners from streamlining invoice ingestion.
How are we solving the problem?
We have officially released our Document Upload API with API key authentication, which enables clients to upload invoices into Semantik via API. Our APIs require API key authentication, so you'll need to "Create an API Key" prior to using the API. With that, we also added "Ingestion ID" as an available field on the export. As a result, you can easily reconcile what came in via API also got processed and exported successfully.
Improved Experience: Preventing the Completion of an Invoice if the Data Type is Incorrect
April 26, 2021
Our engineering team has been hard at work making sure bad data doesn't flow into your downstream systems. As a result, we now prevent you from completing the invoice review if a field doesn't match the correct data type.
Why is this important?
Simply put, we're reducing the incidence of poor data flowing into an ERP.
Updated Microsoft PowerAutomate Example: We've updated our .CSV example in Github
April 20, 2021
If you're creating a CSV using Microsoft PowerAutomate, we've made some changes to better support our table output.
Why is this important?
If you need a CSV output with line item data to send to your downstream systems, head on over to our github repo for the latest update.
New Feature: We've added support for more fields!
April 14, 2021
You want it, we've got it! We want to make sure we're continuing to enable more AP automation and support for our clients. As a result, we've added a few fields that can be manually entered for each invoice. By default, these fields are turned off in your settings. If you want to utilize them, just head on over to the "Fields" screen and turn them on.
Invoice Fields we've added
Service Start Date & Service End Date
If your invoice has a contract start/end date, service start/end date, subscription start/end date, etc. This is your field. It can help your downstream system calculate the amortization schedule.
So many of you have asked for a free text memo / notes field. Now you have it.
Line Item Fields we've added
If you need to GL code at the line item level, specify a department for the item or add a note, you can now do that with ease.
Vendor List .CSV Available Fields we've added
We've added more fields to the vendor upload template. If you want to associate a GL Code, Department, or include a standard Memo for a vendor, you can use these instead of Custom 1-5. Additionally, if there is a particular approver that should be assigned to an invoice prior to bill pay, then you're able to set this field as well.
Improved Experience: Preventing Autosuggestions on the Review UI
April 1, 2021
You no longer will see any field level autosuggestions on the UI.
Why is this important?
If you previously edited a field on the Review UI and you needed to edit the same field for a different invoice, you may have seen the browser autosuggests your previous value. Clearly the suggestion won't be accurate. As a result, we've removed all autosuggestions on the Review UI.
New Feature: Automatic Table Line Item Extraction
February 19, 2021
We've just introduced automatic table line item extraction! Semantik Invoice will now automatically extract line items from your invoice based on your enabled extraction fields. This means that invoices with tables may flow through the system with no interaction!
Why is this important?
Faster Data Capture — You no longer need to draw a box to capture line items during review, Semantik will do it for you.
Minimal Configuration — Setting up automatic extraction is super simple! Just enable the line items you want to extract once, and Semantik will take care of the rest.
Data Verification — If Semantik is unable to automatically capture the line items for any reason, you can still do it manually, by clicking and drawing a box around the items to be captured.
Check out automatic table extraction to learn more.
New Feature: Manually Capture Tables
Sept 28, 2020
Most tables are simple. Some tables are complicated. We say, all tables should be easy to process. However, our AI is still young and learning which means that complicated tables can sometimes gum up the works. If this happens, you will probably want to extract the table again.
Before today, you had to delete and re-upload the invoice to do this. Now, you can simply extract the table with a few clicks in your review screen.
For step-by-step instructions, please see our help article “Manually Capturing Tables”.