Bookkeeping for truckers: 5 tips to help keep your books in order.

Truckers, as owner-operators, have a lot on their plates with the constantly evolving trucking industry. Between long-haul deliveries, managing their schedules, and maintaining their vehicles, there isn’t always much time to dedicate to bookkeeping. However, bookkeeping for truckers is just as important as it is for independent contractors in other industries. The bookkeeping process is very detailed, requiring your documents, receipts, and transactions to be organized. With proper bookkeeping, you can ensure your trucking company or trucking business complies with all of the rules and regulations for tax season.

There are ways to keep your finances and business expenses in order without doing it all in one sitting. By organizing bookkeeping and finances, truckers can avoid some tax-related issues and be aware of tax returns, IFTA, and other crucial financial information relevant to their small business. This article will discuss why bookkeeping is essential for trucking businesses, the top five bookkeeping tips to help keep your tricking books in order, and how bookkeeping services and an accounting system can help you stay on track.

What’s the process for truckers to manage their bookkeeping? 

Truck drivers must record their transactions, listing them as credits and debits. This form of bookkeeping is double-entry bookkeeping. Double-entry bookkeeping aims to maintain balanced books and accurately record all debits and credits to avoid unexpected problems.

Do truck drivers need bookkeepers?

Truck drivers may need bookkeepers depending on their specific circumstances and preferences. While some truck drivers may have the skills and time to manage their own bookkeeping, others may enjoy the benefits of consulting with a professional who specializes in bookkeeping for truckers and has access to innovative bookkeeping software. Truck drivers must keep records of documents throughout their travels, such as:

  • Expenses 
  • Maintenance records
  • Parking
  • Receipts
  • Repair records 
  • Working with a bookkeeper allows you to remain organized, identify your cash flow, streamline your business accounting, be mindful of IFTA reports, and maximize your tax deductions to help you save money. 

    5 Tips To Help Keep Truck Driver’s Books In Order

    As a trucker, the following tips can help you keep your books in order:

    1. Keep a logbook 
    2. Review your finances 
    3. Keep your business and personal accounts separate
    4. Save all of your receipts 
    5. Update your books regularly and often

    1. Keep a Logbook

    The first tip to keep your trucker finances in order is to keep a logbook. You can keep a digital or physical copy, whatever is more convenient. If you keep a digital logbook, ensure it’s backed up properly. Business owners, such as trucking owner-operators, can use a logbook to provide safe recordkeeping with spreadsheets with all their financial statements.

    A logbook contains the following information:

  • Carrier’s main office address 
  • Name of carrier
  • Total driving miles 
  • Total hours driven
  • Truck number
  • 2. Regularly Review Your Finances

    You can review your finances as often as possible if you do it regularly. As a trucker or trucking business, you must do this for several reasons:

  • You’ll likely have many financial documents and receipts to review. 
  • These records contain information about credits and debits, which will streamline your bookkeeping needs later.
  • When reviewing your finances, you want to ensure that your credits and debits balance each other. 
  • 3. Keep Your Business and Personal Accounts Separate

    The third tip to keep your finances in order is twofold: keeping your business and personal accounts separate. Not only does this simplify cash flow, but it will also make it easier to track business deductions and expenses. Paying off your business credit card expenses before they accrue interest also helps you build your credit.

    4. Save All of Your Receipts

    Fourth, you’ll want to save all of your receipts. Receipts showing your expenses will simplify tax season. You’ll likely have dozens or even hundreds of receipts as a truck driver. To avoid losing receipts, you’ll need an organization system:

  • When you collect your receipts, place them in a file or folder.
  • Group your receipts by their category or purpose, such as fuel, maintenance, parking, or tolls.
  • After you sort your receipts, write the number of receipts in each category.
  • Count your receipts in each category and write the total when the month ends.
  • The IRS may request additional documents three to seven years after filing taxes. There are ways you can avoid difficulties in finding receipts later:

  • You can choose how to store your receipts. You can keep copies for future tax purposes or the original receipts within your truck. 
  • Adding dates to your receipts is another way to keep them organized to prepare for further bookkeeping needs.
  • Saving digital copies is also useful if your physical receipts become damaged or illegible. You can make digital copies to have access to many receipts quickly.
  • Sometimes, you can’t receive physical copies of your receipts, which may complicate your bookkeeping. When this occurs, you can use receipt management apps to organize your digital copies further, sorting them by the purpose of the receipt and tagging them. 

    5. Update Your Books Regularly and Often

    The last tip to keep your records in order is to schedule a recurring time to update your books. You may update your books as often as you want, and it may prevent costly mistakes, such as overdrafts and underreporting.

    To make sure you’re updating your books frequently, establish a routine. You can utilize accounting software, QuickBooks Online, and spreadsheets to keep track of business expenses, accounts receivable, and other important financial information attached to your bank account. There’s a way to update your books consistently by doing a month-end close. This process involves reviewing and reconciling your transactions at the month’s end to ensure your records are balanced in real-time.

    Consult a Professional Bookkeeper 

    Above, we provided bookkeeping tips to help you save time while adhering to important deadlines. However, the best way to keep up with your accounting is to utilize bookkeeping services through an accounting professional. Bookkeeping is essential to any job, including truckers and trucking, and it’s essential to. After compiling your documents and records, you’ll need bookkeepers with experience and bookkeeping software to avoid issues.

    As a truck driver, you’ll want to work with experts to meet your industry’s specific bookkeeping needs and answer all of your specific questions relevant to your small business. Work with the bookkeeping professionals at 1-800Accountant for your tax needs as a truck driver.

    This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. 1-800Accountant assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.