How to automate your freight audit process


Prevent unnecessary costs and save as much as 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 characterized by time-consuming and labour-intensive practices, prone to human error. Embracing an automated, digital solution can optimize the freight audit process, transforming it into a streamlined and efficient operation. 

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

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

The power of an integrated solution

Choosing the right freight audit solution is crucial, and an integrated system is the ideal choice for auditing, especially when a substantial volume of shipments is expected each month. This system efficiently streamlines both logistics and auditing processes within a unified platform. It starts 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 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 from executed shipments lands in the Freight Audit system, the audit process starts. This involves rigorous data validation using automated algorithms, ensuring a high level of accuracy. Geographic data – including country, city and ZIP or postal codes – undergo normalization to ensure reporting consistency. The data is further enriched with financial information, facilitating an electronic interface with the customer's ERP.  This commitment to clean data principles aligns with Freight Audit's dedication to compliance and transparency.

Implementing business rules

Freight Audit customers can implement all kinds of business rules to enhance accuracy and efficiency. 
Automated algorithms meticulously validate invoice items or invoice costs, ensuring they align with pre-agreed terms. The system normalizes 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, summarizing 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 optimizes 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 a disagreement over charges, Freight Audit features an online dispute management tool. 
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, categorized 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 automatically generated accounts payable file is sent to the customer, triggering a series of status updates—ranging from ‘funding requested’ to ‘paid’. Since all necessary payment information is available in the portal, carriers have insight into current payment statuses, while shippers don't have to field repeated inquiries for updates.

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 customizable 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 coming from Transporeon's Transportation Management Platform. From freight spend reports to dynamic currency representation, the analytics suite gives users to ability to 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 painless freight audit experience. With automated, digital solutions, businesses gain more than just automation; they get control over their spending, ensuring they are spending wisely. Additionally, implementing an automated audit process acts like a vigilant second set of eyes. Invoices from carriers are checked thoroughly, ensuring no unexpected or unjustified costs sneak through. This saves money, and 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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