Smart Extract BETA

Smart Extract BETA

What is Smart Extract?

Smart Extract is Lightyear's next generation AI technology that extracts data in almost real-time from your Bills/Credit Notes/Receipts. Ideal for handwritten documents, poor quality scans, and one-off documents where a reusable map isn't needed. It should be used in any situation where our traditional mapping method isn't ideal.
Please Note: During Beta, Smart Extract will extract Summary Data only.
Smart Extract has the ability to extract the following information:
  1. Supplier Name
  2. Bill Number
  3. Bill Date
  4. Due Date
  5. Purchase Order Number
  6. Tax Total
  7. Invoice Total

How do I use Smart Extract?

There are a couple different methods for using Smart Extract within Lightyear:
  1. Document Upload
  2. Email
  3. Mobile Phone

Document Upload

Upload and Smart Extract

If you want to upload a document to Lightyear and know you want to use Smart Extract from the get go, you can click the Upload icon 

Click Browse Files to find the document(s), or drag and drop the document(s) into the Upload modal.

The far right column is for Smart Extract. As a Bill/Credit, this will be deselected by default, but can easily be selected by checking the box.

Please Note: When uploading a Receipt, Smart Extracted will be selected by default and cannot be unselected. Smart Extract is not available for Purchase Orders.

After clicking Upload, the document will appear in your Processing tab and will begin to Smart Extract.

Smart Extract after upload

If you've already uploaded the document to Lightyear without selecting Smart Extract, you can easily switch anything to Smart Extract within Processing.

In the Mappings tab in Panel 2, you will see 3 options: 
  1. Map My Data
  2. Smart Extraction
  3. Manual Entry

To Smart Extract a document, click the middle option. The document will then begin to Smart Extract.


If you prefer to Email documents into Lightyear, you can also use Smart Extract via this method. 

In the Recipient Address, enter your Lightyear Email address found in the top left of your screen (e.g, and add in +billsummary after the name section, this will send the document in as a Bill. In this example, I would be emailing to

If you want to upload a receipt via email, you can do so by adding +receipt to the name section, e.g.

When the document(s) are sent and received in Lightyear, they will appear in your Processing tab and will begin to Smart Extract.

Mobile App

If you have the Lightyear App installed on your mobile phone, you can take photos of documents and receipts to be sent into Lightyear.

When you have the Upload as Receipt option enabled, all documents sent to your Lightyear account will automatically be Smart Extracted.

Simply upload an image via the mobile app, or capture an image directly from the mobile app, and click Upload. Once sent to your Lightyear account, the document will begin to Smart Extract.

What happens after I use Smart Extract?

With every upload method, the documents will first appear in the Processing tab and begin to Smart Extract.

After completion, one of two things can happen.

If we extract a Supplier Name and it does match one already created within your Lightyear account, the document will automatically move into Approvals with the extracted data. 

If we extract a Supplier Name and it doesn't match to one already created within your Lightyear account, Panel 2 will refresh and the data will appear in the Manual Entry tab. You can then check the data to make sure it's correct and create/select a Supplier from your list.

When you're ready, click Send to Approvals and the document will move through and apply any automation or approval rules set against the Supplier.

Smart Extract vs Map My Data

Our traditional mapping and templating extraction technology isn't going anywhere! You can still request or search for existing maps. But, as mentioned previously, there are some cases where you might want to use a Map, and others when you should use Smart Extract.

Situation: My supplier has sent me a scanned copy of my bill and the scan quality isn't the best or the scan isn't as straight as it could be.
Extraction Method: Smart Extract will extract data from the wonkiest of scans, rotated images, or documents where the scanner hasn't quite picked up what it's needed to.

Situation: My bill is clearly formatted and it's easy to pick out where specific pieces of information are.
Extraction Method: Map My Data can accurately extract data from documents where the layout is easy to read and it's possible to clear distinguish between different data points.

Situation: My supplier can only provide handwritten bills.
Extraction Method: Smart Extract is great for extracting handwritten bills 

Situation: I need to pay my bill now and can't wait for a map.
Extraction Method: Smart Extract can extract your data in around a minute!

Situation: This bill is recurring and I am likely to receive them frequently from this supplier.
Extraction Method: Map My Data is best for recurring documents that you receive frequently. Get the document mapped once and it will always flow straight through into your Workflow in future.

Situation: This is a one-off bill that I am unlikely to process further bills from this supplier.
Extraction Method: Smart Extract! Don't sit around and wait for a map you won't be using again any time soon. 


Smart Extract extracts your data in real time, using our very own built-in logic to figure out which piece of data relates to which field within Lightyear.

So the simple answer is, you can't, there are no maps!

Why isn't my Document Automatically Smart Extracting?

If you have uploaded a Supplier Document via Smart Extract previously, and are now uploading the same Supplier Document without Smart Extract, Lightyear won't remember that you want this to be Smarted Extracted... yet.

During Phase 1, Smart Extract needs to be triggered manually on each document, via the above methods, to extract the data. 

Why has my Document Disappeared from Processing?

If you have a Supplier in your Lightyear account at the point of Smart Extraction, once the data has been extracted, the document will automatically move into your Approvals tab, as we know which Supplier to match it to.

If you import your Purchase Orders into Lightyear, you will be familiar with this flow.

What Type of Documents Can I Use Smart Extract For?

Currently, Smart Extract is designed for bills and receipts only. It will not process credit notes, statements or purchase orders.

Why is my Document Appearing as Manual Entry Only?

If you are seeing the manual entry icon  in Panel 1 there will have been an issue with the Smart Extraction.

Be sure to check in Activity to see the error message - the most common issue will be related to the number of pages. Smart Extract has an upper limit of 5 pages currently, anything higher than this will fail.


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