If you are a trucking payroll company owner or operator, you have to deal with much more than just the regular route running. This business needs you to learn how to keep your books perfectly. This is not an easy task but you are required to be efficient in it, otherwise you may end up paying too much taxes. This is also very important for your business profit point of view. Without proper bookkeeping, you may not get an absolutely correct idea whether your business is in profit or loss. Bookkeeping is a very time consuming task but here a few tips for you to make your job little easy.Read More
Save all the receipts
To save every single penny in your taxes, it becomes very important to save all the receipts no matter how low the bill is. You can use every valid receipt to your advantage while paying your taxes at the end of the year.
All the receipts of fuel purchase, truck accessories, truck lease payment receipt, office supply, travel expenses, food receipts are very important. The best way to save all the receipts is to have an envelope in your truck to keep all the daily receipts and a special folder in your computer to save all the e-receipts. This will come handy at the end of the year when you have to look for all the receipts to pay taxes.
“My advice is: if you’ve got to be miserable to write great music, then drive a truck.”- Chris Isaak
Separate account for your business
Whether you are operating a fleet of trucks or are a solo operator of a truck, it is of your best interest to open and maintain a separate bank account for your business. You have to conduct your daily expenses and deposits through this account to simplify the financial record maintenance. Even if you are a solo operator, you still have to pay yourself from this account. This will be great help for you to keep a track of all the expenses and the income.
At the time of the audit, you don’t need to go through multiple accounts.This is because just one separate business account will provide you all the information.
Go for the right accounting system
Most of the trucking companies use two kinds of accounting systems, it is either cash based or accrual based system. In a cash based system you register income when you receive payment and expenses when you pay for something. Owner operator accounting software is a very simple bookkeeping method for the truckers. Second is an accrual based system where a revenue or expense is recorded when a transaction occurs rather than when a payment is received or made.
Handle your business checks carefully
Business checks are as good as cash but can easily invite fraud or misuse. Therefore, it is very important to sign them clearly to discourage forgery. Usually most of the employees and partners are trustworthy but you can never be too complacent about anything.
Keep a separate credit card for your business expenses
Maintaining a separate credit card for your business is another way of recordkeeping. Through research you can get a credit card with a low interest rate. Make sure you pay it full at the end of the billing cycle to avoid any heavy interest payment.
Maintain and save your log books
Aside from your daily expenses receipts, you need to maintain a logbook or an electronic log record to note down every single expense as soon as it occurs to avoid forgetting anything. This usually consists of your meal expenses or truck wash etc. By maintaining a proper log book, you can be rest assured to have all your expenses records safe with you.
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Keep all your past records safe with you
You have to maintain all the records that you previously used to prepare your tax returns for the past three years. Along with this, you also have to save your IRS estimated quarterly payments, bank statements, profit loss records, insurance related receipts, maintenance records, credit card statements and all types of financial records whether related to income or expense. You need to keep all these records arranged on a yearly and monthly basis. It ensures that in case of an audit you have all the necessary documents available. This will save you a lot of time looking for a particular record or receipt.
This is another simple but effective tool for proper bookkeeping by just keeping a notebook and pen always at your disposal to record any expense that does not provide you proper receipt.
Fleet operating companies usually hired a professional to do bookkeeping for them, but if you are a sole owner operator then you can do it by yourself easily.
- Get an expanding folder, stapler, tape and a calculator to mark the file folder with labels of various expense categories.
- Start dropping the receipts in the corresponding pockets of the file folder.
- At the end of the month collect each category’s receipts, calculate the total, write on the register tape and staple everything together. Then you can drop it back in the pocket, so that these receipts don’t get tangled with the next month’s receipts.
In this way, you have all the necessary records organized and available to file your returns properly. Nowadays, there are numerous trucking bookkeeping software also available to help the truckers to maintain their record. You can use the software to help you do all your bookkeeping tasks.