Automating Accounting Processes in Cargowise to Improve Invoice to Cash Process
Accounting processes need to be accurate for your business. As you work with international supply chain partners, the data can get confused and account reconciliation can become an issue. It’s crucial to keep all of your information in one place for the right people to access.
While automation and artificial intelligence (AI) may seem daunting at first, implementing new technology can reduce the number of errors and time involved in your accounting processes.
There was a time when people kept track of every transaction on paper. Now, many freight forwarding companies manually enter documents into a platform like Cargowise to digitalize their data. Technology has become a way of life for logistics companies, making it possible to share data, track shipments and produce reports with a simple click.
However, technology continues to advance. Things are rapidly changing with new AI technology further improving the bookkeeping process. Implementing the right technology can reduce costs and allow companies to improve relationships.
With manual accounting, errors and miscommunications are more likely to occur.
Sometimes, transport partners will enter a batch of combined shipment costs instead of breaking down line items, leading to mismatching data that must be resolved. In other cases, incorrect amounts might be input for the accrued shipment cost or sent out in an invoice. Ultimately, these mistakes can lead to losses for your company or increased charges for your shippers. Inconsistent bookkeeping could cause a lack of trust in your company.
At the same time, manual bookkeeping tasks take away from the time you can spend with customers.
Data entry is a mundane task that doesn’t need human creativity, relationship building or insight. It takes a person longer to complete data entry than a software program—creating a longer cash cycle. Rather than spend time on meaningless data entry tasks, employees are free to use their time to check discrepancies, review overdue accounts, connect with vendors and support customers.
Expedock is an end-to-end accounting automation software with 100% Cargowise Certified-level accuracy. Here are a few of the key things Expedock can automate in Cargowise to make your processes more efficient.
Most companies have a scrambled batch of physical and digital data sources they need to get into Cargowise for their accounting processes. Expedock was created to help turn information in varying formats into one structured format for Cargowise accounting.
Data in PDF or XLS formats can be merged alongside structured data in a transport management system. This saves a lot of time spent on data entry since it creates a useable product for accounting automation.
You can simply upload documents into Expedock, and then the information will be extracted for the data points and line items needed. Expedock even classifies the documents (bill, invoice, packing list, etc.) and attaches them to the correct shipment in Cargowise.
Using AI technology, Expedock has a 99.97% accuracy rate without requiring a template setup.
With Expedock, you will be able to automatically check monthly statements against the corresponding accrual for each shipment. As long as no discrepancies are found, the invoice data is then automatically entered into the Payable Modules of Cargowise.
Once you have your data uploaded to Expedock and turned into structured data, you will be able to run the audit against your existing accounts. Expedock will look for the corresponding shipments to ensure the correct invoices are matched without discrepancies.
After training, Expedock can identify how line items should be matched with charge codes. The AI technology can look at the charge descriptions in the document and correlate the correct charge codes for Cargowise.
Matching line items to existing accrual numbers helps clarify the charges and align the invoices with the expected data. Using machine learning, the software is tailor-fit to your company and your charge codes. This simplifies the task of wading through paperwork to manually fill in line items with the appropriate charge codes and other important data points.
With all of your data in one place, it’s much easier to see what is due and what is past due. Through automation, Expedock makes it possible to fill in the necessary fields and sort the results. With a faster organization process in a single structured sheet, you will be able to clearly analyze your current state and make payouts where necessary.
For a freight forwarder, broker, shipper or consolidator, automated accounting practices offer many benefits. Here are some of the top reasons you should integrate software to automate your accounting.
When information is automatically added and reminders are automatically sent, there are fewer opportunities for incorrect entries. Automation ensures no one forgets to update an actual cost or handle an account that is closer to overdue than the others. Human error is even more likely to occur if your team feels overwhelmed with data entry and invoice auditing tasks.
Plus, AI technology can actually help catch human errors by pointing out discrepancies between invoices and accrual lines on Cargowise. Software users have found they can reduce errors and losses by using Expedock to instantly compare bills to the corresponding estimates.
When you automate tasks, you can spend your time on things that actually need your attention. Automating accounting processes reduces the amount of busywork you or your team will need to do in order to complete the invoice to cash process. Expedock provides labor savings of around 30% – 40%, while other AI/OCR software tends to only manage 10% – 20% savings.
This is a huge benefit for logistics companies who want to scale and need to free up their existing team for customer service tasks. For some companies, employees spend around 40% of their time on data entry that could be handled by Expedock. AI makes it possible to eliminate busywork tasks, like transposing invoice data from various sources into a singular platform.
Freight forwarding companies can prioritize accounts payable reconciliation by looking at the Days Past Due information included in the Expedock results. Along with the rest of the automatically extracted information, Expedock includes the Days Past Due for each invoice.
With clear information on the most overdue accounts, Expedock makes it easy to prioritize the accounts closest to accruing fees. This provides a clear plan of action to simplify the reconciliation process as much as possible.
With faster invoice input, companies can pay vendors for shipment costs before accruing unnecessary fees. Many companies would pay faster if their initial bookkeeping process was streamlined. With automated data entry and organized information, users can avoid increased costs that come with late payments.
Changing to Expedock saved one of our customers $100,000 in demurrage fees. They realized they could improve the process with automation and were able to reduce their payout times.
Expedock allows users to see accounting insights as soon as they are completed within the platform. This near-immediate accounting system means businesses are not waiting on updates to occur. As soon as invoices are integrated, the accounts are either verified or flagged for discrepancies.
Having real-time insight allows companies to make better cash flow decisions.
Companies that can save on fees and wasted employee time are able to recuperate those savings for a better bottom line. Some companies can even double down on those savings by increasing the amount of revenue-focused activities their team is able to participate in.
A huge benefit is in reducing the cost of transport by eliminating unnecessary fees typically due to oversight. With Expedock, it’s much easier to see what accounts are overdue and which ones are getting close to reaching their payout date. It’s also easier to see where typical fees and surcharges have been added so you can verify those costs with the vendor before blindly issuing a payment or charging that cost back to your customer.
When there are errors in your accounting or discrepancies in the payouts, your relationships and reputation can become damaged. Over time, vendors may feel as if they can’t trust you for an accurate assessment. Plus, companies can build stronger relationships with vendors when they are timely about payment.
With Expedock, you are able to streamline the payment process—getting vendors paid faster than you would with manual Cargowise accounting processes. Because invoices are audited against accrual estimates, you have a higher rate of accuracy and lower chance of overcharging your customers.
When teams are able to prioritize their time beyond data entry, they can focus on revenue-generating activities. Not only will automation save time, but it can also result in more time spent building relationships with customers and procuring loads.
Expedock offers powerful automated accounting solutions for sustainable growth. If you want to see how this AI-powered software can help your company with digitalization and data analysis, contact us! Our expert team is ready to provide you with a free consultation and demo.