Bookkeeping Tips for Truckers: The Basic
The recording of all the financial transactions including sales, receipts, purchases and all other types of payments is called bookkeeping. Bookkeeping is the other name of performing accounting operations of a business. For truck drivers, bookkeeping is one of the most important parts of their job profile. Most of them really don’t like to do this kind of paperwork, but it is the most essential part of the work for them. Regular and proper bookkeeping can save a trucker some nice chunk of money in taxes. Therefore, a trucker needs to be very careful and organized so as to collect and manage each and every receipt. Here are some basic tips of bookkeeping for the driver that can help him be a successful trucker.Read More
Open a Separate Account for Business
This is the first and most important part of bookkeeping. By opening a separate checking account, you can make your life so easy. You are able to deposit all your payments here and also pay all the expenses from this account simultaenously. This helps a trucker maintain a separate record for all the transactions related to the business. This will also help at the end of every quarter, when you need to make the tax payments. You don’t need to go through multiple accounts to search any transaction in the time of audit as you can retrieve every piece of information from here.
Maintain Separate Credit Card for Business
Always maintain a separate credit card for your business. Just go for the one which has zero to minimum annual fees and a nice reward program. By maintaining a separate credit card, you can simply maintain all the payment history and use it whenever required. Make sure you pay the full amount at the end of the month to make the most of the reward program. Almost all credit cards categorize the expenses like gasoline, fuel, food and truck maintenance etc. This is another way to keep all your records.
Save All Receipts and Maintain Daily Records
You have to save every single receipt no matter how small the amount is. Transportation accounting software will help you save a lot at the time of paying your taxes. Maintain a box in your truck just for keeping receipts or in case of e-receipts, maintain a separate folder in your computer or laptop. This will help you in your monthly statement and quarterly estimation of taxes. Most of the time a scanned receipt can also work fine, but keep the originals as well for your record.
Maintaining daily records provide you a very clear picture of your business in terms of profit or loss. Once you start doing this regularly, you will see it is not hard to keep your records organized.
“Accounting does not make corporate earnings or balance sheets more volatile. Accounting just increases the transparency of volatility in earnings.”
Maintain Travel Log and Save All Your Logbooks
You have to maintain a travel log for each of the trips made, so that you don’t miss out on any of the expenses that occur during the trip. You can use electronic log records or your handwritten logbook for this purpose. If you are using an electronic logging device, make sure you have access to the history of the device. This will come very handy when you are doing your taxes and helps you save a lot of time, effort and money.
Handle Your Checks Carefully
This is very important that you pay special attention while dealing with your business checks. Because they are as good as cash, they can be easily misused. Always keep track of your checks and keep verifying with your bank from time to time. This will help you save yourself from any frauds.
Always Maintain a Handbook
There are many small expenses that occur during your trip where it is not possible to get the receipt. This handbook becomes really important in those scenarios. Suppose you go for a car wash or grab a snack, such kinds of expenses can also be deducted from your taxes. To keep a record of all these little expenses, you have to have a notebook in your truck all the time. Sometimes you have to use your personal vehicle for business purposes, then you can note down the mileage used for business purposes. You must make sure to write down the date, time, location, the amount you spend and for what purpose. That will be very helpful to you while filing your tax return.
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In addition to all these steps, you must save all your records, receipts and every single detail about the expenses that occured during your tax period. It is mandatory to save the records of the previous three years from your tax return filing date. You also have to save all the records of profit and loss, your bank statement, your quarterly tax payment, your truck documents and truck’s insurance.
There are a lot of accountants and trucking company accounting service providers that can do this for you, but if you don’t want to use the help of a professional, you can easily do it by yourself. Just purchase a few plastic folders and maintain all the receipts date wise. At the end of every month just staple them all together. In this way, they stay organized and you are able to send the scanned copies to your tax guy after a quarter’s end. Most of the time you don’t need the physical copies of your receipts, but it is advisable to save them for a few years. There are also various user-friendly software programs available in the market which can make things easier for you.