How to automate your freight audit process


Prevent unnecessary costs and save up to 9% on your budget

01/14/2024 | 6 min

In the complex world of logistics, where millions of shipments navigate the globe every day, precision and transparency are paramount. One crucial aspect of this precision is freight audit, however, traditional methods struggle with the numerous challenges of modern transportation.

Manual freight audit procedures are characterised by time-consuming, labour-intensive practices, which are prone to human error. Embracing an automated, digital solution can optimise the freight audit process, transforming it into a streamlined and efficient operation. 

Transporeon’s Freight Audit is a process akin to a legal review, leaving no room for ambiguity. By ensuring accuracy, compliance and transportation expense optimisation, Freight Audit distinguishes itself as a vital process.

In this article, we take a close look at how automating and digitising the process of invoicing and payments ensures transparency of all aspects of freight transactions.

The power of an integrated solution

Choosing the right freight audit solution is pivotal, and an integrated system is the ideal choice for auditing, especially when a substantial volume of shipments is handled each month. This system efficiently streamlines both logistics and auditing processes within a unified platform. It initiates with the procurement of agreed rates via a dedicated platform, seamlessly transfers these rates to a Rate Management system, and culminates in modules that execute the shipments. This unity eliminates the need to juggle various solutions or extract data from disparate systems, offering a more efficient and error-resistant approach.

Integration of clean data

Once data of executed shipments populates the Freight Audit system, the auditing process starts. This involves rigorous data validation using automated algorithms, which ensures accuracy down to the last decimal. Geo data – including countries, cities and postcodes – undergo normalisation to enhance reporting consistency. The data is further enriched with financial information, facilitating a flawless electronic interface to the customer's ERP.  This commitment to clean data principles aligns with Freight Audit's dedication to compliance and transparency.

Implementing business rules

Various business rules can be seamlessly implemented, to enhance accuracy and efficiency. 
As already described, automated algorithms meticulously validate invoice items or invoice costs, ensuring they align with pre-agreed terms. The system normalises data entries for consistency. Weight units undergo automated checks to maintain uniformity. The platform facilitates a structured process for carriers to seek approval for additional surcharges, streamlining the workflow. Accruals are generated automatically, summarising expected costs for future payments. Invoice matching is automated, cross-referencing invoice details with agreed-upon terms. In essence, a digital and automated freight audit solution optimises and accelerates these processes, applying these business rules automatically and ensuring a precise and more transparent audit experience.

Enabling dispute management

In the event of disagreements over costs, an online dispute management tool comes into play. 
Carriers can easily raise disputes, proposing alternative costs and initiating a transparent communication channel with shippers. The tool logs all dispute-related timestamps, offering a robust foundation for reporting. The audit status, categorised for example as ‘in process’, ‘denied’ or ‘approved’, provides clear visibility into the audit workflow.

Full payment visibility

Another distinctive feature of a digital freight audit solution is its provision for payment visibility. Upon invoice approval, an automatic accounts payable file is sent to the customer, triggering a series of status updates—ranging from ‘funding requested’ to ‘paid’. This not only grants carriers insight into payment status, but also relieves shippers from incessant inquiries, as all necessary information is readily available in the portal.

The importance of reporting and analytics

The power of a unified platform truly comes to life in the arena of reporting and business intelligence. Integrated solutions offer default reports and customisable dashboards catering to diverse needs, be it finance, logistics or key performance indicators. The premium package extends the capability to create bespoke reports, leveraging the wealth of data linked to the Transportation Management Platform. From freight spend reports to dynamic currency representation, the analytics suite empowers users to quickly gain actionable insights.

Mastering freight audit is not just a matter of compliance – it's a strategic move towards operational excellence and financial control. The integration of processes, commitment to clean data principles, and the power of automated validation and dispute management 
collectively contribute to a seamless freight audit experience. With automated, digital solutions, businesses gain more than just automation; they secure control over their spending, ensuring all outgoings are spent wisely. Additionally, implementing an automated audit process acts like a watchful guard. Every invoice from carriers is checked thoroughly, ensuring no unexpected or unjustified costs sneak through. This not only saves money, but also builds trust with carriers and stakeholders. In simple terms, digital freight audit goes beyond fixing errors. It gives businesses a clear view of their expenses, prevents unnecessary costs, and strengthens trust with partners.


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