We are now onto the next section of our current series involving all things transportation and freight accounting. This time we are covering a not so commonly used program by a lot of shippers: consolidated freight invoices program. We know this first hand at Cerasis because when we either bring on a new shipper who has previously executed all logistics management in house or has outsourced some or all freight management to a logistics service provider, when we show them the consolidated freight invoices program, a light bulb of process time and money saving pops in their head.
The simple truth is this, often a logistics or transportation manager, or the person who is responsible for coordinating transportation procurement is not as tuned into the freight accounting management. That function is typically reserved for another department often called finance, which is run by a controller, CFO, or a dedicated accountant. This means there is fragmented communications and understandings. This is often a detriment to overall improvement because without a common understanding of definitions, management, best practices, and how actions can affect results it’s hard as a company to bring all of the freight activity together and improve performance.
When a logistics manager can sit at the table and have a collaborative and fully aware conversation around all things freight, not just a freight rate or working with carriers, but all of that including how it affects the bottom line, then the real total costs savings of effective freight management is possible to achieve. Some companies try to do all that is required to manage freight in house, but more and more, as there is a lot to focus on these days operationally, many shippers are outsourcing to logistics service providers such as 3PLs. Some 3PLs offer consolidated freight invoices, but some don’t. If you think the below information is of value to you, then reach out for a consultation with Cerasis, or in the process of looking to outsource to a 3PL, make sure you ask if they offer this kind of service.
What is a Consolidated Freight Invoices Program?
Every envelope, package, truckload or less-than-truckload load sent to or from your company generates its own stack of paperwork. Multiply that by the number of vendors your company uses for all modes of shipments, and you begin to see how quickly accounts payable can become buried by a mountain of paperwork. Add to this the fact that each vendor has its own unique invoice format and billing cycle, and accurate reconciliation of shipping records and costs becomes even more complex. Every company that does business in the global marketplace faces these challenges. Now, there’s a simple way to streamline processing and payment for all transportation or freight invoices.
Consolidated Freight Invoices Gives You A Single-Invoice Service that Eliminates Accounts Payable Paperwork
A consolidated freight invoices service is the ideal companion for other freight accounting services working in conjunction with both a transportation management system and managed transportation services. These services combined virtually eliminates accounts payable paperwork. Whether you work with one carrier or 100, you’ll
receive just one weekly electronic invoice that consolidates all transportation vendor billing and freight invoices for the previous week.
Every shipment is detailed by vendor, cost center, invoice number and date, service level, weight, and cost – all in a clear, easy-to-read format. Instead of reviewing piles of invoices, each in a different format from a different vendor, accounts payable personnel can now simply issue a single check to Agistix to cover weekly costs for all transportation carriers.
In addition to the electronic invoice, you will also receive an itemized printout data file containing details on every transaction. This file can be used to facilitate internal analysis and streamline compliance with the most complex governmental regulations, including SarbanesOxley.
Features and Benefits of Consolidated Freight Invoice Services
A Secure, accurate online record
- Provides detailed data required for strategic reporting and metric measurement
- Accelerates document retrieval for reporting purposes
- Mitigates fraud and risk while enabling document retrieval and detailed reporting to comply with even the most complex regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley
- Reduces paperwork while also saving time and money on accounts payable processing.
- 24/7 on-demand access to your weekly freight invoice, containing all of your weekly freight shipments, no matter the mode, in your transportation management system
One weekly invoice consolidates all shipments
- Lists shipments by vendor, cost center, invoice number, date, service level, weight and cost
- Provides clear visibility with standardized, easy-to-audit formatting
- Typically the logistics service provider will then also perform both an automatic and manual audit
Automatic carry-over of cost centers
- Cost centers assigned in shipment processing are automatically carried over to billing details
Automation Features within a Transportation Management System
- Easily identify freight invoice variances with one click.
- Access supporting documents, such as re-weigh certificates, which are all housed in the cloud within our transportation management system.
- Request a freight invoice adjustment with one click
- View your adjustment request history
- View your freight invoice history by:
- Reference number
An efficient freight management program is a cost effective freight management program. That means understanding all the details involved in freight management, such as freight accounting, so you can drive more value to the bottom line. If you are feeling overwhelmed by all you have to do, we encourage you to sit down with one of our account executives for a consultation. We will listen to your needs and then propose that Cerasis puts together a custom plan through our technology and managed transportation services for you or even refer you to another 3PL. Our goal is to match you to the best provider for your needs, even if that is not us.