Prepayment Freight Audit Service Delivers Savings and Quick Resolution with Minimal Shipper Involvement 

Acuitive’s prepayment freight bill audit module, is a highly transparent, granular and automated prepayment process that audits 100% of all freight bills, prompts carrier self-correction prior to payment, and reduces the time and cost of administration for shippers. Actual savings captured by the auditing process are reported on a monthly basis.

Data generated from the prepayment audit module also provides shippers and carriers with performance metrics and insights into transportation processes that otherwise would not exist, especially during periods of highly volatile rates and surcharges.

Read this case study on how Acuitive helped a top 30 importer streamline a highly-manual and disjointed ocean freight audit process.  

Acuitive’s freight audit services benefit both the carrier and the shipper, because Acuitive is totally impartial, our audit process treats over- and under-payments equally. Because we are not compensated to find only overages, we are able to take a dispassionate approach in addressing invoice discrepancy resolution for all invoices. Historically, the discrepancies the Audit Management module identifies break down as 60% over-charging and 40% under-billing.

This means carriers are happy to work with us – and with you – in this way, benefitting everyone. The prepayment freight audit module receives data inputs from stakeholder carriers, 3PL’s and forwarders, then standardizes the information into EDI format (856 and 310), and conducts the audit in a step-by-step process.

  1. First, we validate that the ASN (856) and the Invoice (310) agree and are structurally correct. Any discrepancies between the invoice and the agreed terms are identified and isolated. The issuers are contacted by the Acuitive team to make any adjustments and resubmit the bill for audit.
  2. 100% of all invoices are then audited. If there is an issue, the invoice is returned to the issuer who works directly with the Acuitive team to resolve the issue, before we pass the corrected, audited invoice to the client for payment. Typically, this is done with minimal shipper involvement (as low as 0.25% of total invoices). A personalized dashboard, created by Acuitive, gives an at-a-glance view of all discrepancies, promoting quick carrier feedback and an integrated approach to dispute resolution by all parties.
  3. Our system can then allocate costs down to the PO, Item/SKU levels and by CBM; we can additionally allocate the costs by department, division, BL Destination or DC code.
  4. The system can then automatically schedule a payment based upon your payment terms with each individual carrier. No payments are scheduled or made until all parties agree on a resolution of any discrepant invoices.
  5. Next, our module generateds an EDi 810/Approval to Pay on receipt of EDI 310 (Invoice), communicating progress to all parties. The system’s ability to automatically cost allocate, apply GL Codes, schedule payments and reconcile payments can allow your AP department to automate a very costly manual freight audit process.
  6. Finally, Acuitive’s EDI 820 integration completes the communication loop to inform all parties that freight payment has been issued. The 820 could include payer and payee identification, bank and account IDs, check numbers, invoice numbers(s), billed and paid amounts, allowing the carriers to reconcile payments they receive against invoices issued through the Acuitive Web portal.

The Acuitive system’s ability to automatically cost allocate, apply GL Codes and schedule payments can allow your AP department to automate a very costly, error prone manual process.

Features and Benefits of Prepayment Freight Audit Module

    • The freight audit process is automated, scalable and resistant to human error.
    • The Audit module automatically matches the carrier invoices (EDI 310) to the corresponding container manifest (EDI 856) to validate the invoice, container numbers, sizes, rates, and commodities.
    • An automatic rating and approval process means human interaction is the exception, rather than the rule.
    • Automatic screening and detection of duplicate and missing invoices.
    • Automatic consolidation of multiple bills per ocean container, to handle pro rata invoicing.
    • Equipment substitutions are validated and accounted for.
    • The Acuitive team personally reviews all discrepant invoices to determine the issue/cause, so the burden on the carrier to research the source of discrepancies is minimized.
    • Acuitive’s audit process promotes high carrier participation/satisfaction because it offers transparency, fairness, and prepayment issue resolution.
    • Cost allocations and payment scheduling.
    • Custom approved-to-pay data integration (to you, your broker, or your outside freight payer, as applicable), based on each customer’s requirements.
    • MQC compliance reporting.
    • Management of credit terms and payment scheduling based on shipper business rules.
    • Indirect savings (fewer people needed for auditing). At one shipper, a single administrative person now manages more than $400m in annual audits.
    • Most of the world’s major carriers and 3PLs are already integrated. For a complete list of Acuitive’s partner carriers, 3PLs and Strategic partners please click the following link:See Partners

Acuitive averages $1.4m in discovered discrepancies per month. For one customer this was 18% of total invoicing.