5 Post & Pre-Audit Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Provider

The average small business spends about $338 every month with the United States Postal Service, which can add up to more than $4,000 a year. And of course, as the business gets larger so do its shipping needs.

When it comes to LTL, a standard medium-sized business will ship anywhere from 500 less-than-truckload and 2,000 parcel shipments every month. With so many shipments coming and going, it makes dollars and sense to keep an eye on your shipping carriers and the invoices, which is easier said than done. 

Even the largest and most resourceful businesses lack the time and ability to efficiently audit their carriers. Fortunately, there are a number of organizations that offer regular post- and pre-audits for shipments. 

However, finding the best post and pre-audit service provider can be a challenge — especially when you don’t know the questions to ask. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top post and pre-audit questions you should ask before hiring a provider. 

Does the Provider Offer International Audit Coverage? 

There are significant logistics and shipping differences that exist between the United States, Asian markets, and Europe. Because of these unique idiosyncrasies, It’s imperative your service provider has the experience and capability to audit shipments to and from these various areas. 

Even if you do not currently ship cargo or freight to this area, it can be extremely beneficial to have a service provider who has the functionality and experience of auditing shipments. And if your business is already a global player, you understand the importance of your provider being able to provide global audit coverage. 

What Auditable Points Does the Provider Look for? 

When it comes to auditable points, there are a vast array of variables that should be considered to perform a viable parcel or freight audit. For instance, surcharges can have a significant impact on your business that exceeds initial shipping costs. 

And the majority of businesses struggle to manage and keep surcharges under control. In fact, there are a number of fees that can be and are often tacked onto your invoice once the package leaves your facility. 

Because of this, your audit service provider should have a system in place to review all of the following data points: 

  • A comprehensive audit of all domestic and international shipments, inbound, outbound, and inbound parcel, freight, logistics, and processing charges. 
  • Holistic rail, air, ocean, tank, barge, truck, bulk, full-truckload, less-than-truckload (LTL) as well as a review of small packages. 
  • Review and confirm freight invoice, freight bill, contract terms, rate sheets, and other key documentation,
  • Line-by-line reconciliation of freight costs, freight payment, carrier invoices, and more for errors or miss billings.
  • Validation of all freight bills against bill of lading, as available
  • Confirmation of rates, payment process, payment terms, payment ownership, currency, accessorials, service levels, discounts, classifications, commodities, class, tariff reference points, weights, mileage, fuel surcharges, incentives, rebates, rolling averages, etc.
  • The freight audit should include recovery of overbillings, duplicate invoices, duplicate payments, billing errors, duplicate billings, and more.

What Is the Typical Recovery Percentage from Your Freight Audit Services?

The freight cost recovery percentage can vary significantly with every freight bill audit. The results can range based on the characteristics of the product being shipped, the carrier being used, and the mode of transportation. 

Certain freight bill audits may generate 1% recovered savings, while other freight audit services can produce up to 10% deduction in the freight cost. In either case, it’s important you have this conversation with the provider to set your expectations. 

Other Than Recovery, What Other Services Does the Provider Offer? 

While cost recovery is important, it shouldn’t be the only value you gain from your audit provider. Instead, you should gain insightful intelligence to transform processes and improve your bottom line. A few key services you should expect from your freight bill or parcel audit provider include:

  • Fuel surcharge reduction
  • Claim filing statute improvements
  • Cost avoidances
  • Recommendations for least-cost carrier
  • Removal and reduction of peak season surcharges
  • Reduction and removal of various accessorial charges
  • Removal and reduction of currency adjustment fees
  • Improved shipping rates
  • Identification of rogue carriers
  • Improved shipper contractual rights

What Types of Reports Can the Audit Provider Offer?

Even with freight auditing, there is very little actionability without concise, clear, and meaningful reporting features. Actionable reports mean that you’ll know what needs to happen to lower total costs and improve your operation. 

And these reports should be easy-to-access and easy to understand. Simply put, it’s important to choose a freight auditing solution that specializes in mining and interpreting data. 

When you do, you’ll have access to on-demand, customizable reports that can reveal valuable insight into an array of areas, such as cost per mile, total spend, and more. This intelligence can then be used to help:

  • Improve service, 
  • Reduce costs, 
  • Decrease costly zones, and 
  • Drive better outcomes. 

Contact TransAudit Today

At Trans Audit, we are the world’s most successful and largest global parcel and freight audit specialists. We have performed contract reviews and post-payment audits for hundreds of the most well-established corporations in the world. 

We bring more than 40 years of experience, world-class technology, and highly-trained audit specialists. We boast a presence in China, Singapore, Europe, and several locations throughout the United States. And we offer global audit capabilities for every mode of transportation. 

Contact us today for the best post-audit solutions.

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