This is a measure that helps ensure the accuracy of the information recorded and makes it possible to identify calculation or billing errors that hinder the entry of e-commerce revenue.

Therefore, we understand that this is a topic that deserves to be explored in detail. Keep reading this article and find out more about this management tool.

What is a freight audit?

Freight auditing is a process that focuses on identifying anomalies and inefficiencies at all stages of the logistics process, but mainly with regard to payment for services. This routine plays an essential role in ensuring that the amounts charged by the carriers are correct and that they correspond to the deliveries made.

The aim is to make this relationship more transparent and reinforce trust between the parties. In addition, it is possible to identify cases where errors were made and to troubleshoot this problem so that it does not occur again in the future.

Why is freight auditing so important?

At first, its focus is the collection of information about the progress of the process in accordance with the rules established in the contract. As the purpose of audits is to confirm that the standards established by the company are being followed, it is necessary to carefully consider:

  • pricing of freight services;
  • proof of delivery on time;
  • payment sent to the carrier.

In a perfect scenario, all stages of the shipment of goods are connected, from the closing of the order by the customer to the proof of delivery for later payment. However, even the most careful processes are subject to errors that are not immediately identified.

Therefore, the freight audit, when performed in an automated way, is an excellent opportunity to detect divergences and non-compliance with agreements, in addition to making the process much less costly and better structured.

How to do a freight audit?

Thinking about simplifying this process, we list some recommendations that can be useful both for those who will implement this process and for companies that want to modernize the audit model they already use. Discover the main steps in the following topics.

Collect relevant information

In practice, an audit seeks to compare the amounts charged with the respective estimates, as well as verify the correct execution of the work processes. Thus, it is necessary to collect the necessary information to enable this analysis.

For this, the manager must have access to the list of orders, the  tax documents issued and proof of delivery. In this way, you will be able to establish a connection between all the shipping steps and verify that they are correct. The ideal is to have a  management system in which data is available and can be consulted whenever necessary.

Identify divergences

When we talk about discrepancies in shipping, we refer to charges that are different from what was expected. For example, if the delivery quote recorded that the amount of freight charged would be X, if the tax documents show Y, it means that there is an error.

There is also the possibility that the payment will be made in duplicate, which requires actions to recover the overpaid amount. Therefore, the manager will analyze these cases and check if all the records are correct. From then on, negotiations will be adopted to regularize the situation and correct the amount paid, according to the situation.

Dispute any errors

In addition to identifying differences internally, carriers also play key roles in this activity. Therefore, if it is found that the customer has been charged more than they should, the carrier is responsible for their reimbursement.

Likewise, if the company paid a lower amount than it should, it is important to regularize the situation to ensure that all amounts owed are paid. This is an initiative that strengthens the relationship in this partnership and demonstrates transparency in the process.

The manager must also ensure that this process is included in the service provision contract, so that both parties are properly protected.

Determine the audit frequency

We understand that the logistics activity is complex and requires time for all your routines to be performed correctly. However, we must emphasize that the verification of amounts paid represents a source of savings that helps to minimize unnecessary expenses and reduce costs.

For this reason, evaluate the daily life of the area to determine the ideal frequency. Thus, you avoid the excessive accumulation of records that must be verified and do not overload the team. Another factor that must be considered is the deadlines imposed on third-party carriers so that the required information is available in a timely manner.

Define performance indicators

Establishing performance indicators is a measure that helps to support the strategic decision-making process. Therefore, its use facilitates the preparation of management reports that help to:

  • identify opportunities for improvement;
  • detect bottlenecks and problems in the operation;
  • propose innovative solutions;
  • direct the need for investments;
  • find areas that can reduce your spending.

With this data in hand, it is possible to suggest metrics that are used to establish an acceptable margin of error. This helps to focus efforts on the aspects that really impact the organization and to better direct the use of team time.

In addition, by having centralized and organized visibility on the performance of carriers, it is possible to establish better service levels and scope of action for your business.