6 Bookkeeping Tips for Truckers: The Basics

Nida Bohunr | October 20 2021

Bookkeeping is an essential first step towards staying organized in the trucking business. Apart from the daily tasks of running a trucking business, the back-office duties need your attention just as much. If neglected, the backlog becomes difficult to manage on your own. Truckers’ bookkeeping allows you to record all operations of your business effectively.


Professional trucking accounting services help you manage your operations by taking care of the following bookkeeping functions:

  • keeping records of income tax reports
  • warranties
  • maintenance schedules
  • monthly profitability

Getting your finances are tax-ready


Here are some essential tips for truckers’ bookkeeping so you know what the process entails:


1- Keep yourself and your account up to date

This is one of the basics for bookkeeping of any kind, but even more important for truckers’ bookkeeping. Organizing backlog is a time-consuming task and you’d be surprised how simple yet effective it is to make sure you’re managing your accounts promptly.

Try to maintain your books daily to avoid them amassing into a burdensome pile. Make it a rule of thumb to not leave your office until you have sorted out most of the records of the day.

If you don’t keep yourself updated, chances are you will miss important trucking accounting details or not know your current financial situation. It is critical for a trucking business that you know what goes on a day-to-day basis. This can also help with improvements in all-over profits and returns.

The more organized you are, the better your outcomes will be. If you ignore the tasks or leave it for another day, chances are you’ll forget what the payments were made for, and you might end up categorizing things incorrectly or miss out on deductions.


2- Keep your records audit-proof

Truckers’ bookkeeping entails you maintain audit-proof finances. This can be applied to IFTA, IRS, and the State Fuel Tax matters. Having a separate checking account for your business or personal expenses can help you soundly manage any tax-related issues.

Make sure to save receipts, while categorizing them carefully, especially with business-related transactions. To make bookkeeping easier, keep e-copies of these receipts by scanning or taking pictures of them. That way, there are fewer chances of losing important data.

Whether you decide to hire trucking bookkeeping services or choose to do it yourself, remember that it is best to keep track of every business expense as accurately as possible. Keep an envelope in your truck for collecting receipts or upload the scanned documents on a drive. Just remember this is important so you can deduct as many legitimate costs as possible.


3- Use a different debit/credit card for business

Trucking bookkeeping can be challenging if you’re using your personal credit or debit card for your business. It will not only become overwhelming but separating personal expenses from your business expenditure will prove to be super difficult later.

Instead, a useful tip when it comes to bookkeeping for truckers is to get a separate credit or debit card with a low rate of interest or one with minimal annual charges. The way to ensure you get continued benefits from your card company is by paying the entire balance in a single transaction every month. This reduces the chances of additional debt and helps you maintain good credit.

A business credit card can help make trucking bookkeeping a lot easier. Most of the accounting systems can interface with your bank and credit card accounts directly. This means you don’t have to go through the process of entering the information yourself because it is automatically done when the payment is made.

It also helps reduce any errors that you might make if you enter information manually. Having separate cards also keeps you updated on your company’s accounts.


4- Create a chart of accounts

If you are a self-employed truck driver, this bookkeeping tip is most relevant for you. As the sole owner of your business, you’re going to have to establish yourself and think of devising a chart of accounts.

You can get relevant information online about how to make a chart of accounts and customize it according to your business. However, keep in mind that this chart is more than monthly income vs. expense reports. Rather, you will be looking at the running costs of the truck, how much you make per mile, and whether you owe any taxes, etc.

This is proper trucking accounting so make sure you know what you’re getting into. But remember, a chart of accounts is usually produced at the end of the financial year and submitted to keep the company afloat. It goes hand in hand with trucking bookkeeping. Make sure that you give careful thought to indirect costs that affect the overall profit, expenses, and income elements of your accounts.

Use account numbers where possible on the chart for easy bookkeeping in the future, and organize expenses to reflect the owner’s preferences.


5- Handle checks with care

When you’re reviewing checks from your bank, especially the canceled ones, make sure they are issued for authorized expenses only, regardless of how trustworthy your business partner or partners may be. While signing a check, ensure that you use a clear and legible way to sign so there are fewer chances of forgery.

Having trust in your business partners is important but having all your bases covered will protect you in the future. In addition, for trucking accounting, make sure you’re keeping e-copies of these checks in your records.


6- Use the right service

Hiring a trucking bookkeeping service is a great investment given that you have done a thorough research and chosen a service provider that understands your business dynamics. A good trucking bookkeeping service will use top-rated trucking management software (TMS) and customize it according to your needs. They will ensure and leverage the right processes and TMS as per the scope of your business needs.

With the right trucking accounting partner, bookkeeping, payroll, tax filing, and other finance-related functions that are lengthy and complex become easier to manage.

See Also: 5 Ways a Bookkeeper Can Save You Money


The bottom line

You might decide to hire a trucking bookkeeping service provider or learn the ins and outs of trucking bookkeeping yourself. In any case, if you are new to the business or haven’t done truckers’ bookkeeping yourself, it is wise to take experts’ help. It goes without saying that your ultimate goal is to have your business successfully running with little to no hurdles regarding record-keeping while keeping track of your profits and simultaneously improving them over time.

Monily offers innovative and personalized solutions to all your bookkeeping hurdles. The finance experts at Monily offer quick online accounting solutions for truckers, including business consulting, tax preparation, payroll, and recordkeeping. We can help you find ways to streamline taxes and expenses so you can focus on providing exceptional customer service and trucking services!

Whether you’re a mid-sized trucking business or operate a full-fledged carrier company, we help you improve profits and take your business to the next level. Explore our complete range of financial management services for truckers, or book a free consultation!

Author Bio

A highly skilled accounting professional at Monily, having extensive and diverse experience of working in US healthcare and agriculture industry. Nida is a CA finalist with expertise in Bookkeeping, Auditing, Bank Liaison, Tax Preparation, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable.