Freight audit & payment: Automated process versus manual audit

Pieter Kinds

Pieter Kinds

October 15, 2015 - 09:00

Are you being charged the correct freight rates on your invoice? Are there unclear extra costs added to your transport? Are your LTL shipments combined so your carrier charges full truckload rates? If this is the case, it's high time for a rigorous automated freight audit and payment solution.

Controlling logistics costs is currently a very hot topic in the transportation sector. The need to know if your carriers are invoicing you at the agreed and correct contracts (rate updates!), or the transportation quote you agreed on, is bigger than ever.

When companies audit every single invoice manually, without any form of automation, it's assumable that savings from these efforts can be scored out against the costs of personnel. This results in a cost-inefficient freight audit process. In this case the only viable solution is to outsource freight audit / payment activities to a third party. recovering costs (overbilling) is a very important function of automated freight audit & payment, but you must realize that employee time savings, 100 % correct shipment data for carrier benchmarking, transport tender and future procurement of freight and optimizing process and workflows are at least as effective to lower your freight spend.

Many of the following data visuals are to illustrate the differences between companies that “automate” international invoice transportation management versus those that manually handle this process.

The costs: Automated freight audit& payment versus manual

How the freight audit & payment data is used by companies

How the freight audit & payment data is used by companies

Pre freight audit versus post-audit

Pre freight audit versus post-audit

Transportation modes Invoiced

Transportation modes Invoiced

Savings from freight automation audits meet expectations

Savings from freight automation audits meet expectations

Freight invoice automation features shippers can expect

- Receive Invoices using the most efficient method possible for your organization (EDI)
- Payment can be centralized and practically be automated
- Full 24/7 invoice visibility via online platform
- Improved procurement position thanks to timely and correct payment
- Reporting/Accruals do not need to be created anymore as it is available via Business Intelligence
- Insight in the extra costs in transportation that saves customer and carrier time in its handling
- The invoice is always in the same format and always correct
- Freight invoice consolidation
- Ad-hoc shipment process more visible and more efficient via integrated online shipment booking tool.

Benefits of freight audit automation for transportation carriers

- Instant invoice mismatch alert
- 100% flawless invoices and timely payments
- 24/7/365 on-line invoice support
- Online exception management handled by freight audit provider

*Images are taken from the 2015 American Shipper Transportation Payment Benchmark Study