We've added a new menu to the platform which will become the central point of navigation when switching between different products.
Currently, there are three products on the new menu:
- The Exchange
- Finance Manager (BETA)
- Help & Communication
Finance Manager is currently in BETA and we’re very excited that you’re taking it for a spin. It comes equipped with two features:
1) Accounts Payable (paying invoices)
2) Accounts Receivable (raising invoices)
With your collaboration, we can evolve the user experience and make our freight exchange platform one of the most modern and easy-to-use on the market.
IN THIS ARTICLE
- What is Finance Manager (FM)?
- What can Accounts Receivable (AR) do for me?
- How do I start using AR?
- How do I create a new invoice for a completed load?
- How do I edit an invoice?
- How do I raise a supplementary invoice or credit note?
- Can I contact my customer in AR?
- How do I keep track of payments owed to me?
- How do I see all my activity for a load?
- Where can I find all my customer records?
- How do I connect my accounting software to AR?
- What can the accounting software integration do for me?
What is Finance Manager (FM)?
Finance Manager (FM) is a smart application that makes basic accounting practices easier to complete for transactions on the Exchange. This means reducing paperwork, avoiding re-keying of data from other accounting software through easy integration (Xero/Sage/QuickBooks), and a simpler, user-friendly interface that quashes administrative errors and payment delays.
FM comprises Accounts Payable (AP) and Accounts Receivable (AR). AR comes standard with any Exchange subscription. AP is a paid-for feature that load posters will use.
In summary, AP is for members who are posting loads to the Exchange and handling invoices, and AR is for members transporting loads and raising invoices for the services provided.
What can Accounts Receivable (AR) do for me?
Make your accounting practices easier
AR exists to make the accounting practices of a freight transporter easier on the Exchange. We could see there was room for improvement in helping our members create professional invoices and have a more robust, easy-to-use solution built into the Exchange platform that reduced the issue of payment delays as a result of missing required paperwork for a completed load.
Tidy, strategic communications with your customer
We’ve made it easy to communicate with your customer for each invoice with a built-in messaging system. For example, if you’ve completed multiple loads with a single customer, you can start a conversation about one invoice in particular, and keep it separate from the rest to avoid confusion.
Switch bank details in one click
If you’re using a factoring service to finance your invoices, we’ve introduced a single-click solution that automatically swaps these bank details on the same invoice you’re looking at.
Keep records of all your accounting activity
Trace your steps whenever you need to with the ‘History’ tab. It provides you with a list of all your accounting activity within the AR solution.
Headache-free additional invoicing features
If you need to raise a supplementary invoice or raise a credit note, you can do this without worrying about your customer getting past invoices mixed up or lost. Each invoice raised on AR is linked to the ID of the completed load. This means that any updates like credit notes or supplementary invoices regarding a particular load will easily be updated and reflect on the payer’s side in AP.
No confusion, customer frustration or extra admin!
A single view of payments due
Use the ‘Awaiting Payment’ tab to see all the invoices you’ve raised, which are pending approval or have been approved by your customer. If you’ve received payment for an invoice, keeping your records tidy is easy by marking them as ‘paid’. This will also reflect on your customer’s side in AP so they know the transaction has been completed.
Easy integration with Xero, Sage or QuickBooks
If you’re already using Xero, Sage or QuickBooks for your business, we offer easy integration with AR. This means you can avoid duplicating invoices and rekeying data on both platforms when managing your accounting.
How do I start using AR?
Access to the Accounts receivable (AR) solution is found on the far left of the screen in the navy-blue bar. You should see the application icons for ‘Courier Exchange’ (the platform) and Finance Manager (AR and AP).
How to open AR:
Step 1) Hover your mouse over the CX Reveal Dock. Click on ‘Finance Manager’ and then ‘Accounts Receivable’.
How to prepare for invoicing:
Before you can start creating invoices on AR, you need to link your bank details to your profile so they can appear on your invoices. Your customer needs to see this so they know which bank account to pay into.
Step 1) At the top-right of the screen, click on the gear icon. This will take you to ‘Settings’.
Step 2) Click on the ‘Finance’ tab.
Step 3) Click on the ‘Bank Details’ tab. Enter your bank details for the account you want the payment to be made out to. When you’re done, click ‘Save’.
If you’re using a factoring provider to finance your invoices, enter their bank details in the ‘Invoice finance’ section and click ‘Save’ when done.
You can switch between these two bank accounts if you need to when creating an invoice.
How do I create a new invoice for a completed load?
Now that you’ve set up your bank details, you’re ready to create an invoice for a completed load on the Exchange.
Step 1) Navigate to the main page of AR.
Step 2) Click on the ‘Ready To Invoice’ tab.
Step 3) Find the ID of the load you’re invoicing for and click on it.
Step 4) The Order Details about the load and POD you submitted via the platform will automatically be included here. Click on ‘Create Invoice’ to begin.
Step 5) Complete the information in the ‘Items’ section. If you have additional items, you can click ‘Add Item’ to add more.
If you’re factoring this invoice, activate the button and you will see that the bank details at the bottom of your invoice will change according to the bank details you entered for factoring services in your settings.
Step 6) If you’d like to add a note for your customer, you can do so in the ‘Public Notes’ section.
You could use this section to add a personal touch like, “Pleasure doing business with you!”
Step 7) You can click ‘Save as Draft’ if you need to come back and edit it later.
Please keep in mind: Draft invoices won’t appear in the ‘Awaiting Payment’ tab or have an invoice number.
If you’re happy to raise the invoice, click ‘Save’. The invoice will appear in the ‘Awaiting Payment’ tab.
How do I edit an invoice?
Invoices can only be edited if your customer hasn’t approved them yet on their side in Accounts Payable (AP). If the ‘Edit’ button is still there, that means you can make your changes.
If the option to edit is no longer available, you have to raise a supplementary invoice.
For example, if you’ve forgotten to add an item like parking or congestion charges, you’d have to raise a supplementary invoice for this.
On the other hand, if you’ve added a charge that shouldn’t be on the invoice and your customer has already approved it for payment (you’ve overcharged the customer), you’ll need to raise a credit note.
How do I raise a supplementary invoice or credit note?
An invoice will be locked for further editing if it’s already been approved by your customer in their AP view. If you’ve forgotten an item that should be on your invoice, you’ll need to raise a supplementary invoice.
How to raise a supplementary invoice:
Step 1) Find the load you need to raise a supplementary invoice for in the ‘Awaiting Payment’ tab.
Step 2) Next to the green button that says, ‘Approved’ click on the three vertical dots to expand the menu. Select ‘Create Supplementary Invoice’.
Step 3) Complete the invoice as you normally would with the missing items and click ‘Save’ when done. You will see this new invoice appear and the total number of invoices at the top change accordingly.
Supplementary invoices will keep the same invoice number but have an added suffix such as ‘- A’.
If you’ve added an item on your approved invoice that shouldn’t be there, or an amount is incorrect, you’ll need to add a credit note for your customer.
How to raise a credit note:
Step 1) Find the approved invoice in the ‘Awaiting Payment’ tab.
Step 2) Click the 'Credit Note’ button.
Step 3) Adjust your items and click ‘Save’ when done.
Please keep in mind: Credit note amounts cannot exceed the total invoice amount.
Can I contact my customer in AR?
AR offers a built-in messenger so you can contact your customer directly about your invoices or PODs if you need to. Your messages will also reach your customer via email.
The great thing about this messenger is that it keeps your conversations organised per load ID, so if you’ve completed multiple loads for the same customer but have a query about one invoice, in particular, they’ll know which one you’re referring to and won’t confuse it with others.
Please keep in mind: your customer must be a member of the Exchange for you to message them.
If your customer replies via email and attaches a file, it will appear in the ‘Supporting Docs’ tab. If you need to add any additional files you can do so within this tab.
If any internal notes have been added to the load on the Exchange platform, these will reflect in the ‘Internal Notes’ tab. You can also add internal notes here if you want. They won’t be sent to your customer.
How do I keep track of payments owed to me?
The ‘Awaiting Payment’ tab shows you all the invoices you’ve raised which your customer either still has to approve or has already approved for payment.
Once you’ve received payment for an invoice, you can click the ‘Mark As Paid’ button. You can mark an invoice as paid even if your customer hasn't changed the status to "Approved" on their side in AP.
If you've received payment, we recommend marking it as paid. It helps you see the totals of the invoices and credit notes, alongside any outstanding amounts for the record.
How to mark an invoice as paid:
Step 1) Click on the ‘Mark As Paid’ button to begin.
Step 2) Enter the payment amount that’s in your bank account, select the date you received payment and the payment method.
Step 3) Saving this will update the record’s status to ‘Paid’, keeping your records tidy and easier to manage. Once a record has been marked as paid, it’ll be moved to the ‘Paid’ tab.
If you want to mark multiple invoices as paid, you can do so by selecting multiple records and clicking on ‘Mark As Paid’ in the bulk actions menu.
Please keep in mind: marking an invoice as paid means the entire outstanding total for the record will be acknowledged as paid by our system.
How to view all paid invoices:
Click on the ‘Paid’ tab to see a list of all your invoices marked as paid. If you’d like to tidy this area up by moving old invoices out to make space for new ones without permanently deleting them, you can archive them.
If you need to undo that action, you can unarchive the invoice easily.
How do I see all my activity for a load?
The ‘History’ tab will show you an audit trail of all activity on a record. These activities could be uploading a POD, raising an invoice or supplying a credit note.
It’s a great way to see if any documents are outstanding or to confirm that your customer has received all they need to approve the payment.
Here’s a screenshot example of what this tab looks like when there’s activity on a record:
Where can I find all my customer records?
In the ‘Customers’ tab, you’ll find a list of all your customers and the total amounts for the records marked as paid.
In addition to this, you can also view your customer’s information like bank details by clicking on ‘View customer details’ details in the more options menu.
If your accounting software is integrated, you will also be able to link your customers to the 'Customers' area in your accounting software too.
How do I connect my accounting software to AR?
AR offers integrations with popular accounting software like Xero, Sage and QuickBooks.
To integrate your accounting software with AR:
Step 1) Navigate to the 'Settings' area in AR.
Step 2) Click on the 'Integrations' tab.
Step 3) Choose the accounting software you'd like to connect with and click 'Login'.
Step 4) Log in with your credentials and grant access to the app for data sharing.
Step 5) You'll see a confirmation message prompting you to map the items in the lists provided.
Step 6) Click on 'Login' to continue. If you need to edit any of the items you've mapped, you can do so in the 'Settings' area of your AR integration.
Step 7) Click on the 'Customers' tab to start connecting your customers with your chosen accounting software. If their name doesn't appear when you search for them, that means you need to create that customer in your accounting software for the integration to work.
Step 8) You can start sending invoices and credit notes across to your accounting software.
You'll know the integration was successful by seeing the logo of your accounting software in the 'Settings' area of AR.
What can the accounting software integration do for me?
If you're currently using any of these for your business, you can connect it to our AR solution on the Exchange so you don't have to duplicate invoices or credit notes you've raised. Instead, you can send it straight across to your provider at the click of a button.
You're also able to map your customers to the customers in your accounting software.