After your IFTA filing is done, then what? Do you just wait till October to deal with it again?
You can – if you use TruckingOffice TMS. But don’t stop there.
Any business has to deal with the finances. After all, we don’t drive for free. When you’re looking at a program to manage your IFTA filing, you might not be thinking about your dispatches, invoices or routes, but why aren’t you?
The core of any trucking business is how you as an owner-operator or fleet manager transport freight from one location to another. That process includes may expenses that you need to track – for billing, for taxes, for proof that you’re making more money than you’re spending.
TruckingOffice was first designed with two thoughts in mind: managing dispatches and invoices, and to take care of IFTA. We believe we’re the best option for owner-operators who are running a small company and medium-sized freight companies because that’s what we’ve done. We’ve been there and we know the issues that these companies face. You don’t want a giant software system with options you’ll never need and a price tag you can’t afford. When you enter your dispatch into the TruckingOffice trucking management system, you start a process that takes care of the routing and the invoices, including a report that will show who hasn’t paid you on time.
Small trucking firms can’t afford to miss out on the unpaid bills, but those are easy to lose track of without a complete system that’s going to keep you informed about your financial status. No more worrying about cash flow when you’ve got your eyes on all the checks coming in.
The key to success in trucking (excuse the pun there) isn’t just making sure you’re getting the best loads from the brokers. It’s about building a long-term relationship with your best clients and perhaps a regular lane for them. Some truckers are happy to only work with brokers, but finding at least one shipper near your home can be one way to be sure you’ll be home!
Developing a local shipper requires some effort – starting with keeping records of who you’ve hauled for in the past. Those records might not seem very important once the invoice is paid off and you’ve filed them away in a box in the closet. But we know that a good reputation makes a big difference. Brokers will give you the best they have to offer. What about the loads they never get? The ones that a shipper knows exactly who they want because they know, like, and trust the trucker.
Keep track of your customers and reach out. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn – your social media options are also theirs. Take pictures and share them on your social media of your experiences on their docks – make sure they get to know your name, even if you don’t have time to talk.
TruckingOffice tracks your customers for you. You won’t have to worry about forgetting them because the paperwork is filed.
Your rig is your biggest investment as a trucker. Even if you buy used, there’s nothing that compares with the expense of your equipment. Keep it in good shape and it will last a long time and pay you back.
But there’s no one way to track your the maintenance on your rig. Tires and brakes and oil aren’t tracked by time, they’re tracked by miles. You just can’t put a date on a calendar and expect it to be accurate.
So why doesn’t your system that’s tracking your dispatches and producing your IFTA reports track your maintenance? It should.
Make your maintenance easier with a software solution that not only warns you of when you need to service your rig, but also maintains your records. If you’re ever audited, it will be the smoothest you can imagine because your system will provide all the proof that you’re taking care of your business equipment.
Because you’re aware of your rig’s maintenance, you’ll reduce the chances of the roadside emergency. Compare how much a tire costs to one the road from an emergency service vehicle. You won’t get much choice or any discounts for tires that way. Keep track of your rig’s maintenance and keep your money in your pocket.
You’ve got all this data – how do you get it out?
Trucking Business Reports
When you don’t have to think about IFTA… When you need to know where you’re making money and where you’re losing money, you need to look at the data your business has created. You know it’s in there, but how do you get it out?
Does your trucking management software tell you what your business profits are? Do you get a profit and loss statement? If you’re bank, the P&L is pretty valuable. For a trucker? Not so much. We need very specific reports that take all our expenses – not just the ones on the road – into account. Then the numbers need to be adjusted per mile, not per load. Sure, it’s good to know how much you made on a load, but sometimes we take loads for dirt cheap just to get home.
Think of this as a math problem: You take one load for a thousand miles for $3.00 per mile, but can’t get a load back home for more than $90 per mile. Are you making money by taking that cheap load? Should you skip it?
The right trucking business reports will tell you the truth. The Company Overview Report will give you the deep dive into your business to show you what you need to know – such as the rock bottom price you can take for a load without taking a loss. Or you can consider the pair of loads together – add them together for the total income and total expenses. You must know your revenue and expenses per mile.
Keeping Up With Cash Flow Tracking After Filing Your IFTA
No matter how long you’ve been in trucking, you’ve learned the hard way that cash flow issues can happen without warning. It often happens right after your IFTA reporting and payments. Fuel use taxes take a big chunk out of your profits, right? But, there is life after IFTA. And, there’s more to being a trucker than worrying about fuel use every minute of the day.
Of course, unexpected expenses occur. But, if you have a solid business plan and up-to-date, accurate data, these episodes won’t be quite as disastrous. With our TMS, you’ll know how much you’re spending on each load, how much you’ll make, and how these figures affect your operating capital.
You can avoid getting caught off-guard only to watch your stash disappear suddenly. Here are a few ways a TMS system helps you keep up with cash flow after filing IFTA:
- Track expenses while you’re on the road.
- Create and send invoices right from the cab of your truck.
- Manage ongoing expenses such as vehicle payments, insurance, etc.
- Generate business reports to determine where you can cut costs.
- Maintain IFTA compliance to avoid fines and penalties.
I’m not telling you anything new – you know all this. But unless you’ve got a full trucking management software solution, you’re at a disadvantage. You need one software to do it all after the IFTA filing is done.
Everything we’ve talked about and more to manage your trucking business. If you’re an owner-operator, it won’t’ take you long to discover the power of TruckingOffice. The free trial will let you check out every aspect of our TMS. Don’t wait – try it now!