GL Coding: A Guide to Automation

Bryan Van Suchtelen

July 11, 2023


At Lojistic, we consider GL coding to be a soft cost savings. We offer it to all of our clients for free. But before we get into that, let's clarify what GL coding is.

What is a GL Code?

A GL Code, or general ledger code, is a unique identifier used in accounting to classify and record all business transactions within an organization's general ledger. This code helps in categorizing transactions into ledger accounts such as revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, or equity. For instance, all transactions related to sales revenue might be assigned one GL account code, while all transactions related to office supplies expense might be assigned another.

To illustrate this with a shipping industry example, consider a logistics company that has numerous shipping-related expenses. Each type of expense, such as freight charges, customs fees, or fuel surcharges, could be assigned a unique GL code. This way, when transactions occur, they are recorded under their respective GL codes in the general ledger. This makes it easier to track, analyze, and manage these shipping costs over time. It also allows the company to generate more precise financial reports and have a more detailed understanding of their expenditure distribution, enabling them to identify potential areas of cost savings or efficiency improvements.

Incorporating AP automation software into your accounting system can further streamline GL coding and other tasks, reducing the chances of errors, improving the speed of financial data entry, and providing an overall more efficient workflow for managing your company's financial transactions.

What is a General Ledger (GL)?

The general ledger, often referred to as the GL, serves as the core of a company's financial statements. It is a master document that records all the transactions and business activities that impact the balance sheet and the company's accounts

Transactions are posted to the general ledger from the original invoice as well as accounting documents such as receipts and cash disbursement vouchers. Each entry in the general ledger corresponds to a specific ledger account, such as revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, or equity. These accounts are each given a unique GL code to distinguish them and to ensure that financial transactions are classified correctly. 

By maintaining an accurate general ledger, businesses ensure integrity in their financial reporting, paving the way for sound financial management and strategic decisions.

Automating GL Coding for Businesses

Traditionally, GL coding is a manual process, handled by the accounting department. Each financial transaction, such as a shipment, needs to be identified and assigned a specific GL code based on its nature. This can be a significant time commitment, often requiring dedicated employee hours each week.

However, this process can be significantly streamlined through automation. Using intelligent software solutions, businesses can automate the assignment of GL codes based on pre-established business rules. This automation accelerates the coding process, reduces the risk of human errors, and ensures more accurate financial transaction records. 

For instance, a shipping company can use automated GL coding to swiftly categorize various types of shipping expenses, saving hours of manual financial data entry. Similarly, a retail business could automate its GL coding for sales transactions, quickly segregating them based on product categories or geographical locations.

Furthermore, any transaction that doesn't align with the set general ledger codes and cost allocation criteria is flagged for review, providing an opportunity for timely intervention and correction. This reduces the need for time-consuming manual audits and error rectification later on.

Ultimately, by automating GL coding, businesses can free up valuable time, allowing staff to focus on more strategic tasks. This not only improves efficiency and productivity but also contributes to better financial management and data-driven decision-making.

Utilizing GL Coding with Lojistic

  • Security and Fraud Protection: Like a credit card, a shipper account number can be misused. Lojistic ensures all shipments charged to your account number are authorized, offering a built-in layer of fraud protection. Any shipment not aligning with your GL account codes and cost allocation rules is flagged for review.
  • Automated GL Coding: Lojistic can automate the process of GL coding for organizations that already use it. We give back valuable time to your accounting team, translating into significant cost savings.
  • GL Coding Setup and Support: For companies new to GL coding, Lojistic can assist in setting up general ledger account coding rules. This enables more efficient tracking of shipments to specific departments, business units, or cost centers.
  • Versatile Handling: Whether you want to manage the process internally or prefer to outsource it to us, Lojistic offers flexible solutions to suit your business needs.
  • GL Coding at No Extra Costs: As part of our audit and refund recovery services, we offer GL coding at no extra charge. We efficiently manage coding for hundreds of our clients, primarily through automation, leading to optimized accounts payable and financial data management.
  • Significant Time and Cost Savings: With Lojistic, clients have seen major reductions in time and money spent on managing shipments, earning us high praise from their accounting departments.

Intrigued by these benefits? Create an account with Lojistic and experience firsthand how we can streamline and safeguard your shipping processes while saving you valuable time and money.



Bryan Van Suchtelen

Bryan Van Suchtelen

Corporate Director of Parcel Rate Services

With more than 34 years of parcel experience, Bryan Van Suchtelen is the Corporate Director of Parcel Rate Services at Lojistic, one of the nation’s top logistics and transportation cost management companies.

Prior to joining Lojistic in 2015, Bryan enjoyed a 26-year career with UPS where his roles included Pricing, Field Sales and Director-level Sales Management of some of UPS’s largest customers.

At Lojistic, Bryan leverages his wealth of experience/expertise to identify and execute supply chain cost management solutions for parcel shippers of all sizes. Bryan has helped his customers reduce their shipping spend by tens of millions of dollars.
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