Parcel Audit & Payment Best Practice

Best Practices in Parcel Audit & Payment

Like many other groups within the organization, transportation and Learn how to: logistics are feeling the pressure to get more done in an increasingly complicated environment, while simultaneously finding new ways to control expenses and manage the movement of goods more efficiently.

A great opportunity for expense control and process improvement lies within the auditing and paying of Parcel bills. Well-designed, implemented and maintained systems and processes for managing Parcel bills produce significant benefits far beyond successful rate reporting and analysis audits and on-i me payments. They also provide the most accurate and in-depth data for required reporting and advanced analytical use.

Provided in this paper is a collection of best practices for the design and use of a Parcel audit and payment system. These apply whether you have an outsourced provider or process internally through a TMS/ERP or other type of system. Unfortunately, the use of these best practices is not widespread, as evidenced by some startling facts in a 2013 American Shipper report. In a survey of American shippers, almost half of $1B plus companies reported plans to implement a new solution within the next five years, while almost one third of medium-sized companies ($100M-$1B) did as well.

Many of these companies also reported their specidic intentions to outsource the Parcel audit and payment process. This is the result of two trends occurring with in-house solutions. Like many types of systems that are not best of breed, TMS/ERP systems can rarely handle the complexity that companies are requiring of them. These types of Parcel audit & payment systems were quite possibly insufficient from the moment of implementation, or companies have outgrown the capabilities that once met their needs.

Secondly, few companies with in-house systems are dedicating the resources necessary to keep up with their evolving operations. Too often, the longer an in-house audit/ payment system is in place, the more it atrophies, and the more companies are realizing that a third-party – one who is committed to the care and growth of their system – can provide up-to-date solutions, ongoing development resources, and scalability. Getting to best practices may require devolving additional resources to system improvement or may necessitate the implementation of an entirely new solution.

However you get there, your new practices will mimic those of North America’s leading shipping organizations and propel your logistics organization to a new level of efficiency and performance.

Best practices include:

  1. Maximizing the use of electronic invoicing
  2. Investing in a highly developed and integrated match pay system
  3.  Actively managing your Parcel rai ng system
  4. Use of advanced duplicate protection controls
  5. Taking full advantage of payment terms
  6. Maximizing the value of the data

Maximize the Use of Electronic Invoicing

We have yet to meet a logistics group that doesn’t have a long wish list of IT projects.

But the initiative to move carriers to transmission of invoices and related documentation via EDI or other form of electronic invoicing is a project that should make the top of that list. Its effects are far-reaching and will quickly show a payback. In addition to achieving immediate process improvements, automated invoice receipt also sets the stage for improved outcomes throughout the rest of the process and beyond.

The benefits of electronic invoice receipt are many, including:

  • Elimination of data entry (and the risk of input mistakes)
  • Elimination of paper documents and fi ling
  • Timeliness of invoice receipt (eliminating mail and processing i me)
  • More accurate and thorough audits
  • Fewer Parcel bill exceptions which require manual review
  • More efficient, detailed and accurate cost allocations
  • Greater amount of data available for reporting and analytics