A Guide to Bookkeeping for Trucking Owner Operators

Bookkeeping incorporates the processes involved in maintaining the financial records of a trucking business’s daily transactions using a general ledger. As such, it is imperative that you prioritize the management of your accounts and invest in premium trucking accounting software. Set your business up for success by choosing the best accounting software for trucking companies. TruckingOffice is a TMS service that helps owners and operators track their miles, manage their expenses, pay attention to their profits and stay on top of fleet maintenance. However, they’re best used in tandem with QuickBooks for more comprehensive accounting and tax services. Keeping up with your IFTA data is one of the most important parts of running a trucking business and one of our top trucking bookkeeping tips.

  • For owner-operators, bookkeeping is an essential aspect of running a trucking business.
  • ATBS is the largest tax, consulting and bookkeeping firm in the transportation industry, with over 20 years of experience working with owner-operators and independent contractors.
  • Proper planning and scheduling is key since staying on top of records on a weekly or monthly basis will provide a clear overview of an organization’s financial health.
  • One of your most powerful trucking bookkeeping resources comes in the form of a tiny slip of paper—receipts!
  • That limits your ability to make informed decisions, operate effectively and position your company for future growth.

Online bookkeeping services might be the exact solution you need to save both time and money. The service you decide to use depends on the needs of your business and may include extra features such as payroll or tax documents. Trucking accounting software has unique features, such as the ability to dispatch drivers and track load status.

Income Tracking

Every business has specific metrics that can be used to measure its health and performance, and for trucking, one significant metric is the average cost-per-mile. Determining the cost per mile is pretty straightforward; thus, business owners need to calculate the number of miles traveled in a month and divide it by fixed and variable costs. Owners looking for a quicker alternative can employ software in calculating their average cost per mile. Business accounts also foster a certain level of privacy, as business owners need not divulge information about themselves when making a transaction. Most financial institutions offer customers the option of requesting a transaction statement, which is very accurate and explicitly shows a business’s financial records over time. Taking records of specific cash outflows and transactions is another good tip in bookkeeping.

If you find it difficult to find time to update your books daily, at least aim to update them weekly. You’ll also have an easier time tracking and documenting your spending, as most accounting software can integrate with your bank account. When you’re always on the road, keeping your financial records organized can be hard.

The Power of an Online Accountant and Bookkeeping ServicesThe Power of an Online Accountant and Bookkeeping Services

Getting professional bookkeeping and tax support from an outsourced bookkeeping company like Bench can help you avoid all three. Finally, affordable pricing plans are an essential consideration, as many trucking companies have limited budgets. Accounting software is supposed to make managing your business’ finances easier, not harder. However, if you use a user-unfriendly platform, your business will waste time instead of saving it. Always ensure that you adjust your monthly budget to reflect the expenses of your software as well.

Make sure you research any and all deductibles your owner operator trucking business could be eligible for. For self-employed truck drivers, all of your business expenses are likely deductible—even your vehicle expenses like fuel, tolls, and parking. Q7 is a fleet management software that also acts as full double-entry accounting software.

Understand Your Business Entity Type and Tax Classification

Are you looking for ways to expand your business or cover operating expenses? That’s another reason paying for tax services is essential for the transportation business. The the advantages of a flexible budget accrual basis of accounting requires that you recognize revenues when you earn them and expenses when you incur them, regardless of when funds enter or leave your accounts.

You’ll also have access to an intuitive app that helps you understand your financial position and cash flow at a glance and monitor trends in real time. According to the National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC), only 15 per cent of newly formed trucking companies make it to their second year of operation. Common pitfalls include mismanaged data, lack of team support, and cash flow problems. For example, trucking companies must pay the Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax or Form 2290. You’ll also have to pay income taxes, employment taxes and a fuel tax to the International Fuel Tax Association or IFTA. This will give you the chance to try it out before you commit to it, which can make it possible for you to ensure your trucking accounting software is easy to use.

Best Trucking Accounting Software

You can use this accounting information to gauge your company’s performance and make decisions about your budget, workflow, investments, and potential growth. Regardless of the industry, specialized accounting software should include general bookkeeping features like A/P, A/R, and bank account reconciliation. While these platforms might not be loaded with cutting-edge features, they incorporate crucial elements that make bookkeeping easier. Businesses with a more extensive fleet can employ TMS for better control over operation management. Determining this information is advantageous regarding effective decision-making. On the one hand, owner-operators can put a valid price on their services to ensure profitability.

It takes more work, but it also documents your profitability more accurately. Because working in the trucking industry involves taking on significant risk, you’re often better off taking the time to form a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. Many business owners learn too late that mingling your personal and business funds makes it hard to identify which transactions belong in which category.

With an S-corp, you’ll have to run payroll to pay yourself just as you pay any employee. However, any income remaining after payroll and expenses can be withdrawn with no payroll tax. Nick Gallo is a Certified Public Accountant and content marketer for the financial industry. He has been an auditor of international companies and a tax strategist for real estate investors. He now writes articles on personal and corporate finance, accounting and tax matters, and entrepreneurship.

Due to the innate nature of travel in the trucking business, keeping track of all your accounts, receipts and miles can be challenging. Axon claims to be an all-in-one accounting software for trucking companies with mid-size and larger fleets that will help increase productivity. So if your accounting department is overwhelmed by the workload, Axon may be able to help. The software is also programmed to update the entire system accordingly every time you enter in new data. These are six of the best accounting software for a trucking company in the industry to make managing your finances easier and more efficient.

It ensures your funds go to the areas where you used your fuel instead of the ones where you purchased it. As a result, you probably shouldn’t try to manage your trucking business’s accounting function without help. It may be worth handling some lower-level aspects, but you’re better off outsourcing the more complex and time-consuming parts. Bookkeeping tasks provide the records necessary to understand a business’s finances as well as recognize any monetary issues that may need to be addressed. Proper planning and scheduling is key since staying on top of records on a weekly or monthly basis will provide a clear overview of an organization’s financial health.

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