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Trucking accounting software combines back-office bookkeeping functionality with industry-specific features necessary for fleet management. In particular, the accounting services cover invoice processing, receipt generation, and general expense management. With software, trucking companies can also balance accounts payables and receivables in a general ledger to ensure their financial statements add up.
Sometimes part of larger transportation management software (TMS), standalone trucking accounting systems are often more practical solutions for small fleets of Qualified Motor Vehicles (QMV). However, these business accounting systems are capable of fulfilling the specific needs of independent owner-operators, carriers, and fleets of all sizes.
Business owners utilizing a trucking accounting software can streamline back-office operations and enjoy many more benefits:
In order for your fleet to make money, you need to get paid on time and in full. Yet many clients drag their feet and draw out the billing process as long as possible. With accounting software, you can ensure accuracy when sending itemized invoices to your customers showing exactly what they owe and why. The clearer you are about mileage and fuel purchases, the harder it will be for customers to debate the cost.
Trucking accounting software also provides tools for expense reporting. Whatever costs your fleet encounters, you can keep track for potential reimbursement or repayment. By paying close attention to your profit and loss statements, you can find better ways to make money. For example, you may realize certain routes or loads are not as profitable as they should be and make adjustments to increase your bottom line.
Filing International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) reports for interstate or international trucking jobs can take time. To start, you first need to create the necessary fuel and mileage reports for your fleet. Throughout the entire process you need to track receipts, manage mileage logs, match fuel to taxes in each state or province. Streamline your IFTA reporting by using software to automate the process each fiscal quarter so you can focus on other elements of fleet management.
Tax reporting gets more difficult if you have to figure out importing rules. Fortunately, trucking accounting software can automate most of your tax filing based on your relevant financial data and base jurisdiction. By maintaining a general ledger, you can keep an eye on all your profit and loss reports in real-time to avoid expensive surprises during tax time. And mobile apps on iOS and Android devices can make it easier for you and drivers alike to hold onto receipts on-the-go. No more digging for lost stacks of loose receipts in a truck cab or lock box!
Paying trucking staff is not always easy. While in-office personnel can be paid in-person on a regular schedule, truckers might be on the road when payday rolls around. Manage your payroll with trucking accounting software to address the often complex process of paying drivers. For instance, you can implement direct deposit so your drivers get paid on time no matter where they are.
Truck driver pay errors happen all the time, especially when you’re trying to balance different pay scales based on mileage and loads. Not to mention plenty of drivers can forget to include important reimbursement details on their trip reports. Too many mistakes can lead to high turnover and staff shortages. Optimize your payroll with trucking accounting software which can account for mile-by-mile expenses, loads, and other driver settlements.
QuickBooks Online is a popular accounting software for all types of businesses, even with trucking companies, thanks to its low pricing and easy-to-use features for building financial reports and balance sheets. There is a separate Trucking module, available at an additional cost, which includes tools for owner-operators and carriers. However, without this extra module, QuickBooks lacks the industry-specific functionality of standalone trucking accounting solutions.
Along with QuickBooks, transportation management systems (TMS) are a popular alternative for standalone software. TMS helps transportation companies take care of all their accounting needs, including invoice reconciliation and other general accounting tasks in addition to freight billing and auditing. Unlike trucking-specific software packages, TMS addresses the needs of the entire transportation industry, not just trucking, by offering customized functionality to help the supply chain move across land, sea, and sky.
In some circumstances, it may be better for your trucking business to invest in separate software for your TMS, trucking, and accounting systems. This will come down to what best fits your budget and operating needs.
Price differences will depend on the size of your fleet as well. You can save considerably more on software just by operating a small fleet, though some plans offer discounts for enterprise-level trucking operations. Others require a minimum number of qualified motor vehicles (QMV) per fleet. In general, SaaS prices range from $19 per month up to $235 per month. Some plans charge per user or include a set amount, anywhere from one to 25, limiting who can use the system at any given time. There may be separate types of user accounts to differentiate between back-end workers and drivers on the road.