If you’re the kind of person that likes to prepare, here’s a gentle reminder — you don’t have to wait until April to get your finances in order. If anyone should start getting their accounting in order ahead of time, truckers are among the top of that list.
If you’re looking to get your finances in order to be ready for tax time, we’ve got some tips for you.
Accounting Tips Every Trucker Should Know
Understanding the basics of accounting can carry your trucking business a long way. Fleet size, and years of experience aside, here are the need-to-know money pointers to keep your business in order.
- Prioritize Document Organization: It doesn’t matter if you have decades of experience under your belt, or you have a group of dedicated team members on your side, if you aren’t organized tax season could be a real headache. Establish a clear system for filing and storing records. This could be paper-based or an electronic system. Keep every receipt and make copies for good measure.
- Stay on Top of Expenses: You may not always be able to get a receipt for different expenses. We recommend keeping a notebook in your truck or creating a document on your phone, laptop, etc. where you track the date, location, amount and reason for each expense. These expenses could be things like washing your truck at a coin-operated facility.
- Don’t Toss Your Records: Just because April 15 has come and gone doesn’t mean your records can go to the trash. You must keep all records from your tax return for three years from the date which you filed the return. You should also keep all IRS quarterly estimated tax payments, monthly profit, and loss statements, insurance documentation, maintenance records, warranty information, business credit card statements and canceled checks.
- Look into Accounting Software: Maybe you’re just starting out, or you don’t have a CPA to monitor your financial movements. As long as you have a hold on some basic accounting terms and financial statements, you could use a basic accounting software program. Ask around among other truckers and owner-operators in the community and see what fellow truckers are using. Be sure to check for free-trials or referral discount codes, too.
- Manage Cash Flow: Cash is king, and knowing your cost per mile and company’s profit and loss means nothing if you don’t have a reliable cash flow. Waiting between 30 and 90 days to get paid can tank a business before it even takes off! FreeFreightSearch.com is the first and only load board that is fully integrated with a freight bill factoring company. We offer members exclusive time and money saving benefits from Interstate Capital. Freight factoring can help regulate cash flow and make sure you’re paid the same day loads are delivered.
We hope you’ll keep these tips in mind moving forward so that you can take care of your finances and keep your focus on the road. Be sure to take a look at our blog for other helpful posts. You can sign up for the world’s largest FREE load board here and start enjoying the benefits immediately.