A Hidden Shipping Time-Waster: G/L Coding

by | Jul 15, 2020

3 min read


There’s a lot of time that goes into your shipping, like fulfillment, packaging, preparing labels, and getting packages out the door. Your company probably spends a lot of effort to get these steps right.

But there’s another shipping task that doesn’t get as much attention and is just as daunting as the actual shipping: Coding your shipments to your general ledger (or any internal reporting system).

If you’re in an accounting role, you know you spend hours on this mind-numbing task, but the rest of your team might not realize what a burden it places on the whole company.


Problems with general ledger coding

You’re probably spending several hours a week manually coding packages, determining the costs to allocate to various departments, or how much to bill clients.

This becomes an even bigger problem because carrier invoices aren’t consistently laid out and are often a maze of surcharges and fees that’s tough to untangle. You might be trading a lot of emails with shipping managers, trying to understand what’s really going on with an invoice.

G/L coding is a highly manual process for most organizations, and like any other process done by hand, it has pitfalls.

  1. It’s a time suck. G/L coding just plain takes up a bunch of your day – time that could be put to better use on tasks that actually add value to your business.
  2. It’s prone to errors. Switching between screens or between paper documents and accounting software leaves a lot of room for coding mistakes. Missing data and mis-entered information on invoices cause you to have to manually research and correct these issues before you can even code them to your G/L correctly.
  3. It’s delayed. Waiting on and then manually coding shipping invoices means you’re often looking at your shipping costs from days or weeks ago. This means you can’t easily correct any operational issues quickly.

Benefits of a general ledger coding service

The automation of the coding process significantly reduces the time spent coding packages and the risk of errors that’s associated with any manual process. A general ledger coding service can streamline the process and give you valuable data at the same time.

  • It’s faster. When your shipping data and your G/L are matched automatically, you’re going to have more time for the other things on your to-do list.
  • It’s more accurate. Manual coding mistakes won’t be an issue, and if something has been entered incorrectly on the invoice and it doesn’t match up, an automated system will flag it so you can find the issue.
  • It tells you how operations are going and how costs are trending. Your general ledger holds a lot of valuable information. For instance, if shipping costs at a specific warehouse are rising, you’ll be able to see that trend much faster, dive into what might be causing the increase and find a solution before it becomes an issue.


General ledger coding isn’t all about accounting

A general ledger coding service isn’t just about keeping a monotonous task off your plate in accounting – though it will certainly check off that box. It’s about creating time for tasks that add value to your bottom line and bringing you data that can change your business for the better. Your whole team will benefit from automating a process that’s dragging your company down.

Topics: Accounting & Finance, Carrier Invoice Auditing

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