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FAQs for Customer Agencies

 
  1.  What is PayPort Express
    This is a web-based application that automates invoicing and payments. This solution, provided by GSA in partnership with Citi and Syncada from Visa, automates the entire audit, approval and payment processes related specifically to freight invoices.

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  2.  How does PayPort Express fit within GSA's Transportation Program?
    PayPort Express provides agencies with the following core services: 
    • Bills of Lading (BOL) from the customer; 
    • Invoices from TSPs on behalf of the customer; 
    • Payment to TSPs for the invoices approved by the customer;
    • Single, monthly bill for TSP invoices; 
    • Payments from customers for shipments invoiced; and 
    • Reporting and business intelligence for payment transactions.

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  3.  How will PayPort Express help my organization?
     Simply put, it can improve financial visibility, lower processing costs, and increase control over cash flows. It will also serve to strengthen  your supplier relationships as it reduces margins of error on invoicing and related payments, and provides transparency to all parties of the transaction.

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  4.  What operational improvements will this program have on existing programs?
    With this solution you can automate the audit, approval and payment processes and simplify your overall transportation invoicing and payment structure. For example: 
    • Complex audits are performed automatically based on agency specific audit rules, speeding the process and saving hours of manual work; 
    • Audits are accompanied by a full audit trail of actions, taken to further help enforce corporate policies and comply with regulatory requirements; 
    • Automated payments can be initiated, including a Web-based review, negotiation and approval; and
    • Once a month, you will receive an invoice of all your expenses, regardless of the carrier or mode of transportation, enabling you to make one single payment. This provides you with enhanced visibility into expenses for more control over transportation spend, while also reducing the risk of late and post-audit fees.

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  5.  What financial benefits will my agency realize by implementing PayPort Express?
    Overall reduction in transportation-related expenses and resources allocated currently to manual or less effective processes around invoicing, auditing and payments for these expenses. Specifically this solution will: 
    • Eliminate hard costs ranging from postage and check stock, to bank fees and late charges, among others; 
    • Automate transaction fees, lower electronic processes compared to manual processing, saving you as much as $5 per invoice 
    • Reduce the risk of late and post-audit fees; and
    • Add the incentive of Early Payment Discounting, in the form of a rebate of a base point of .01 percent (The standard payment terms for Phase 1 PayPort Express are a 30-day billing cycle with 15 days to pay the amount due. If the payment is made faster than 15 days, Citi will offer a discount of one (1) basis point per day. As an example, if the agency selects a 30-day billing cycle, with seven (7) days to pay, Citi will discount the amount owed by the agency by seven bps). 
    • (*See page 16 of the Aberdeen Group Study: May 2011 Transportation Contract, Tender and Spend Management (attached) makes cost per freight invoice statements for Best-in-Class, Industry Average and Laggards, resulting in the ability to pay a freight invoice in 9.2 days which is two-three (2-3) days (or 11-12 days) quicker.Depending on how you want to leverage that information, based on your fees you could present a savings well beyond the best-in-class numbers included in the Aberdeen study.)

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  6.  How does PayPort Express support my agency’s cost saving initiatives?
    Some of GSA's cost saving initiatives include: streamlining invoice to pay process, efficient collection of expenses, improved customer service and improved reporting and business intelligence. This solution supports all of these by: 
    • Reducing expenses with less manual processing; 
    • Ensuring that invoices meet all payment criteria before entering the system; 
    • Standardizing electronic file and data formats to allow for information to be integrated seamlessly into financial systems; 
    • Delivering deep supply chain intelligence with robust reporting; 
    • Improving your ability to manage working capital through control over your financial processes; and
    • Simplifying post-payment audit interaction.

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  7.  Are there costs associated with implementing or running PayPort Express and what is involved with implementing?
    This web-based application has a simple cost-effective implementation and integration. It will be implemented by Citi-Syncada utilizing disciplined processes, 60-90 days typical with engaged and dedicated project management. By implementing this solution for invoice and payables processing, you will benefit by an average cost savings of $5 per invoice by consolidating five manual processes into one electronic process. The five manual processes are: 
    • Complete invoice data and image capture; 
    • Electronic workflow and approval process for all invoices; 
    • Automated audit and G/L assignment process; 
    • Electronic payment process; and
    • End-to-end financial reconciliation at the transactional level Typical Savings = five-seven percent (5-7%) Implementing = Days.

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  8.  What changes can I expect to my existing audit and payment processes if I implement PayPort Express?
     The process is totally automated. Here's how it works: 
    • The carrier sends invoices to Citi via the Syncada system; 
    • BOLs are submitted electronically or created manually; 
    • The system performs audit and matches BOL pricing to carrier invoice; 
    • If pricing matches, payment is automatic; 
    • If pricing does not match, it goes into the system’s Web-based interface as an exception, you and the shipper negotiate the terms and come to agreement; 
    • The carrier is paid daily via ACH for all approved invoices; 
    • Your invoices are aggregated into one monthly invoice; and
    • Both you and your carriers can run reports on all orders and invoice information.

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  9.  How will this benefit my carriers? How will they participate in the program?
     The automated approval process speeds invoice payment to carriers, along with reducing the risk of short pays since invoice discrepancies are negotiated online prior to payment approval. Carriers receive immediate payment upon invoice approval, greatly reducing DSO to as little as four days after approval. Streamlined processes: reduce costs associated with billing errors, collections, late payments and account reconciliation. And, because of the detailed data and automatic posts, there is also greater visibility into cash positions that can also help recover under-billed or unbilled.

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  10.  Is there a Federal contract vehicle that my agency can use to sign up?
     To join the program, please refer to the Getting Started section of the For Customer Agencies web page and email a copy to Maria Gutierrez.

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CONTACTS

Maria Gutierrez
(415) 522-2846

Transportation Programs


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