The Top 6 Things that Automated Auditing Technology Checks For

Invoice auditing that is worthwhile must be more than a quick glance and a sign off when it comes to processing large quantities of money. But, accountants and finance team personnel have a lot on their plates and invoice auditing doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Manual invoice auditing takes a toll on the time of accountants, money spent on efforts, and even then, does not guarantee an accurate invoice after the auditing session.

Shipping is a complex practice with many moving parts. Paperwork errors slip through the cracks, shipments are delayed, organization or supplier/company relationships become fragile, and invoices are quickly paid without being reviewed. These issues are not unique. In fact, many large companies are starting to realize that the implementation of digital accounting and auditing tools will help take the pressure off and allow them to focus on issues that need the care and attention of humans.

Automated invoice auditing is the golden ticket for freight and logistics companies (or really any companies) who handle hundreds to thousands of supplier invoices each month. Automated invoicing technology not only accurately audits invoices and can save companies thousands of dollars in accidental over charges, but also frees up your team to spend their energy on more important tasks.

Below are the top six things automated freight invoice auditing technology checks for. How much could your company save if these questions were asked for each individual supplier invoice? 

  1. Was the proper classification applied and charged? The National Motor Freight Association (NMFA) publishes an annual classification guide, which groups all commodities into one of eight classes, ranging from 50 to 500. Such classes have different freight rates and are based on four different factors including density, storability, handling, and liability.
  1. Did the logistics company add accessorial fees? If you were charged accessorial fees, were you at fault? If you were at fault, are there steps you could take in the future to prevent such fees? Were you charged for fees you had negotiated away previously? 
  1. Are there duplicate invoices? You might be surprised to discover that duplicate invoices and the double charging of shipments is a common error that can be sniffed out during freight invoice auditing. In most cases, this is accidentally done by the carrier for reasons including a lack of control in accounts payable, or having multiple means for accepting or paying invoices. While shady carriers do exist, it is better to give them the benefit of the doubt should this issue arise and assume it is simply an invoicing error on their end.
  1. Did the carrier apply your discounts? You may have previously made arrangements or deals with your carrier about potential discounts. If you have agreed with your carrier on discounts, be sure to check that they are appropriately applied. Further, if the carrier made a late delivery, this may reduce, if not negate, the cost of shipment. If there is a late or damaged delivery, be sure to note that immediately on the bill of lading.
  1. Was the mileage and zip code correct? The further a carrier has to carry a package, the higher the cost will typically be, especially if the carrier has to go off-route or the package needs to be transferred to different trucks. It is important to be sure your shipment was correctly labeled to avoid unnecessary travel and expenses of the shipment.
  1. Does the math add up? After verifying that charges are correctly applied, it is essential that you make sure the numbers add up. Calculation errors occur on both sides, so double-checking your work is a wise way of making sure that you are not paying more than you should be.

With OpenEnvoy, every supplier invoice is audited in a quick and accurate fashion with these six questions in mind. With real time automated auditing technology, companies are alerted of discrepancies between invoices and contracts and are guided through the steps of fixing presented errors, thus saving the time it would take to manually find discrepancies and go through the process of contacting suppliers, and the money of blindly paying for duplicate billings, excess charges, and instances of supplier fraud.

By investing in OpenEnvoy, you put another layer of control in your system and process to protect your company and its financial assets. Explore how OpenEnvoy can help your team reap the benefits of saving time and money through automating invoice auditing.  Checkout openenvoy.com and make sure to connect with an expert.

From ’Glorified Bookkeeper’ to Tech Leader: Meet Phonexa CFO Lilit Davtyan

When Lilit Davtyan joined digital marketing network Zero Parallel as the sixth hire, she recalls joking with a colleague that her position was that of a “glorified bookkeeper.” Then a fledgling startup, the company was only a few months old and had few accounts. But the business soon exploded, achieving $100 million in revenue within about two years, and Davtyan’s responsibilities grew along with it.

Fast forward about four years, and she’s CFO and Executive Vice President of Phonexa, a global performance marketing SaaS platform that was spun off from Zero Parallel’s original proprietary technology, and now oversees several verticals spanning telecommunications, insurance, lending, and more. She also created custom software that helps Phonexa’s clients process invoices and payments across its network, and sits at the core of the fast-growing company’s operations.

“People think of CFOs as people who can be classified as experts in finances and reporting, but I‘ve structured my role as the place that connects with all of the departments,” said Davtyan. “The key to a successful finance department in an organization is understanding all aspects of the business, which is why I consistently meet with HR, legal, marketing and technical departments – the information and realization I gather from such meetings are used in strategic discussions and planning that takes place at least weekly with our company founder and other C-level executives.”

In any given week, Davtyan will pivot from managing staff to setting strategy and all order of tasks in between: “What I love about my job is that every day is very different,” she added.

Working at a fast-paced technology company also calls for creative problem solving in addition to the modeling and forecasting that finance leaders execute. For Davtyan, who studied accounting and business taxation before landing a job at PricewaterhouseCoopers, early exposure to research and development sparked an interest in software.

“At PwC, I was specializing in research and development tax credits. What that means is you interview genius people in different companies– manufacturing, technology – and hear why they build what they do and what it takes to actually build it,” she recalled. “There’s so much work, so much talent, so much creativity involved in it. And it was fascinating to me.”

Not long after, Davtyan decided to take a leap of faith in leaving a Big 4 firm to join a small startup, which later developed into a group of 10 startups. The combination of accounting skills and innovation resonated: This is where Davtyan wound up working with a skilled developer to build a program for Phonexa’s clients that automates nearly the entire function of invoicing and payment solutions.

“People working in advertising, lead generation or other performance marketing fields understand the importance of having external sources to generate leads and making sure there are enough buyers lined up to purchase those leads, in real time. Depending on the size of the company, keeping track of such potentially large volumes of transactions can be cumbersome and prone to human error.  Which is why Phonexa’s Books360 platform was created and now helps its clients automate the process of invoicing and paying these stakeholders error-free.”

The future of finance and accounting roles may look a lot like Davtyan’s. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated adoption of finance tech as companies scrambled to manage changing business environments, all while largely relying on cloud-based software. Automation software, which can take time-consuming tasks out of common accounting functions like payments and supply chain transactions, is quickly becoming a must-have within finance teams.

It’s unlikely that one unified piece of software will take over finance functions anytime soon, in part because finance and accounting require such a high level of precision. You always need a “second pair of eyes,” she added.

“When it comes to accounting, there’s so much technology out there that does a really good job at one specific function. For example, the technology we built on the accounting side, it’s integrated with everything you can think of: Quickbooks, payment processors, etc.”

Finance teams shouldn’t be afraid to lean on automation as much as possible, Davtyan said: It doesn’t undermine expertise; it enhances it. 

“Accounting is never going to go away as far as expertise goes, because somebody still has to be there to read all of that info translated into taxes, audits, strategies, projections, and projects,” she added. “The manual work itself is going to go away.”

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