Automated Invoicing: Your Finance Team’s Best Friend

Jan 9, 2020 | Insights

Automated invoicing has now been re-imagined and re-launched on Road XS.  Community transport and transport providers have such an array of different finance models we have had to develop innovative and forward thinking modules, workflows and reporting that can cater for any situation.  We faced the difficult prospect of something that worked for one provider that wouldn’t work for another which would not do.  It needed serious thinking for a serious solution.  Finance is the backbone to any transport service and at Road XS our focus is on keeping transport services sustainable today and for the future.  We help transport providers by removing the complex and time-consuming tasks such as manual finance reporting, driver allocation and data capture so that you can work closer with your passengers, drivers and clients to provide a better, personalised and friendlier service.

The interesting paradox with finance is that what looks so simple as an outcome (i.e. an invoice and a report), is actually a collection of carefully crafted processes and steps to achieve a consistent, reliable and transparent outcome.   Our automated invoicing platform empowers finance teams by automating the collection of fees and generating all the required invoices automatically.  Each journey can be viewed and linked to it’s corresponding invoice.  With different finance reports for different requirements and a new detailed journey analysis report, everything has become a click of a button versus days of manual, painstaking manual work.

Here’s how we did it.


Tackling Varied and Complex Finance Models

Unless you have run a transport service you might be thinking what’s the big deal?  For transport providers automated invoicing is a game changer.  Picture this ‘simple’  two passenger journey scenario.

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Each month, journeys are happening for different clients, passengers and contracts.  A common scenario is that you will have different passengers on the same journey but classified under different service types and fees.  For example, passenger 1 might be paying a £3 admin fee and passenger 2 might be paying a £3.50 admin fee.  The difference comes from which client the journey is being provided for such as whether it might be classed as a health journey, social inclusion journey, or a local authority journey (you get the idea).

Equally, one passenger might have to pay the driver cash there and then whereas the other passenger might have their journey invoiced to a local authority at a later date.  On the same journey, the driver also needs to know their mileage fees and which admin fees they will be collecting from which passenger at the end of the journey.  He might also wish to manually record and claim for his mileage at a later date.  Equally, he needs to know if it’s the transport provider paying his mileage or the contractor.

Also, both passengers might also qualify for concessions on their trip at different times of day.  That has to be factored in also and removed from the total value of their journey on the invoice generated.  The transport provider may also wish to charge a minimum mileage fee too which needs to be accounted for on a financial level but not at a mileage level.

This gives you a little insight into how complex transport services finances are.  All that variety from just one journey with two passengers.  Now scale that one journey up to 2,000 or 10,000 journeys a month and factor in additional passengers for car sharing and you can see how finance teams stress levels can go through the roof.  Road XS automates that entire process and scenarios based on the journey data collected and entered at the journey creation point.

The scale of the financial aspects to transport services first hit us when we witnessed piles and piles of paper on the corner of a desk.  After asking what it was for, we were informed that those were all the driver sheets for the month and it all needed manually checking so they could invoice their client for contract work and pay the drivers.  They had to do this to ensure the financials were all correct and the mileage for each journey before they then manually invoiced their client / contract for providing the journeys that month (such as the local authority).

We asked how long it took to do each month and the answer was someone sat there for 2-3 days checking everything.  The outcome of that process each month was a collection of verified driver sheets and an invoice which outlined the total journeys and the total amount due from the authority.  The local authority would then check the sheets and pay or then query the invoice involving even more manual work.  Not only that, each of the driver sheets had within them different types of journeys for their contracts.  Some were for private clients, others for hospitals, you name it – random and unorganised.  It was not the drivers nor the transport providers fault.  The best method at the time was to indeed manually check everything but it was time-consuming and tiring.

invoice reports

How Can You Use Our Automated Invoicing?

As you have just seen, the finanacial variables are complex for most transport services.  In using Road XS, we remove the manual work required to generate the invoices and the related data.  If you want to manipulate the data, you can even export the data into CSV format so that you can produce your own reports as required in Excel which provides you even greater flexability if you wish to present the information differently.

The variety of reporting in Road XS means you can quickly and easily establish what’s happening with your transport service finances.

Here’s what we provide in Road XS:

Automated Invoice Generation

Each month (or you can choose quarterly or biannually), Road XS will generate an automatic invoice based on your choice of use case.  You can generate multiple use cases depending on your requirements.  For example, you may choose to automatically generate a driver admin fees invoice to collect outstanding admin fees.  You might also wish to generate an automated client invoice so that you can see what to invoice the contractor you’re delivering your services to.  You may have to pay driver mileage back, so you choose to generate a driver mileage remittance invoice so that you know how much each drivers mileage was for a contract.

Road XS will automatically produce an invoice in PDF which can be sent to the people who need them, and also offers the option to send a breakdown invoice too.  In the admin side the journeys within the automated invoicing also link into the direct journey represented on the invoice.  This provides complete transparence for each and every journey and mile.

Enter the solution story here ie that we provide driver admin fees, remittance mileage, journey analysis and contract reporting will interchangeable.

Financial Reporting and Data

We have developed some insightful reports to assist finance teams.  This includes the journey analaysis report which allows you to dig deep on what’s happening in your journeys at any time in a month and over the years.  This report includes information such as the journey type, the drivers, the fees per trip, the passenger mileage, the fare paid by the passenger and more.

We also include the driver mileage remittance report.  This report shows you any mileage you might owe to the driver.  Let’s imagine that you are running a contract and are paid by your client.  This report helps you pay back the mileage completed to the driver from the information entered in Road XS.  You can either take the mileage figure from the estimated mileage or from the manual mileage entered by the driver in the driver portal.

Within Road XS there is also an driver admin fees due report.  This report allows you to see any admin fees which are due by a driver.  It means you can collect real-time stats on the fees owed to you and provides you a spring board to follow up with drivers about it with full transparency.

One of the reports which takes a lot of time to generate manually is the client report.  This is the report which has to be checked and checked again usually, but in Road XS this is all now generated manually based on your client or payment source.  We collect all the journeys completed for the client and produce the report to supplement the invoice you send.  This means that you and your client have full transparency surrounding your journeys completed.

Verifying Information As You Go

What about human error you might ask? Well, to capture potential manual entry errors (we’re all human it happens to us all!), we have also built in a verification process which provides a checklist to ensure each all of the journey data is collected and can be easily edited to ensure the right data is collected.  Not only that, you can customise what shows on the invoice too including your own logo and branding.

Based on the feedback from the Road XS community and users, our automated invoicing platform gets even better over time providing greater value each month.

Road XS is redefining the work needed to be done by transport teams.  We save you time and energy so you can focus on building a personalised and friendly transport service and assist you in keeping you sustainable for the longterm.

To find out more about what we do for transport providers, feel free to contact us.

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