Updated: Apr 27
There are many benefits that come with using a bookkeeping service for your business. Using an industry-specific bookkeeping service can be even more beneficial. In this article, we will discuss important things to check for while you search for a truckers bookkeeping service.
Scan and Archive Receipts/Files
The first thing you should look for is a bookkeeping service that will scan and archive all of your receipts and files. This way you don’t have to keep track of physical receipt copies. The bookkeeper should be able to archive all of your important paperwork in their database. Providing your documents should be as easy as sending in pictures, scanning and emailing them, or mailing them in.
ATBS just recently launched the new ATBS Mobile App, which makes working with us even easier! With this app, you’ll be able to scan or import receipts, settlements, and other documents with just a few taps.
The bookkeeper will then be able to use the receipts to keep accurate monthly profit and loss statements for your business. If you ever need any of these files back, a good bookkeeper will be able to easily find and send back the receipts or files that you need at any time.
Secure Online Portal
The next thing you should look for in a bookkeeping service is a secure online portal where you can view your digitized documents and review your profit and loss statements anytime. With a secure online portal, you don’t have to go into an office or call your bookkeeper to access your information. This is especially convenient for truckers who are on the road and aren’t always able to go in and talk to their local CPA.
With a secure portal, you can log in to your personal account at any time and know that your information is safely password-protected. When you log in to the portal to review your data, you should also look for a bookkeeper that will allow you to call and ask questions without charging extra fees.
Another thing you should look for when deciding on a truckers bookkeeping service is a company that has industry-specific benchmarking. Ideally, you’ll want to look for a company that works with other truckers so you can compare your numbers to the rest of the trucking industry.
Comparing your data to other owner-operators allows you to see the areas where your business is performing better than average, as well as the areas where you can improve. A good bookkeeper will be able to use this information to help you figure out where to make adjustments in your business to both earn and keep more income.
Looking for a bookkeeper that does tax reconciliation will also be beneficial for your trucking business. A bookkeeper that includes this service will analyze and categorize your revenue and expenses rather than just blindly inputting the data. With tax reconciliation, you will be sure everything has been properly captured and accurately categorized in your profit and loss statement, and if something is missing, your bookkeeper should notify you about any discrepancies.
For example, if you utilize a bookkeeper who offers tax reconciliation services as well as industry benchmarking data, they can help you spot expenses you may have forgotten to send. If the average owner-operator is spending 30% of their revenue on fuel each month, and you only show 10% of revenue spent on fuel in a particular month, your bookkeeper should be able to alert you to the discrepancy. From there you can figure out if you have unsent fuel expenses that need to be reconciled, or if you simply spent very little on fuel on that month.
Tax Preparation and Bookkeeping - Together
Lastly, you want to look for a bookkeeper that will also do your taxes. As an owner-operator, you have to pay quarterly tax estimates based on your monthly profits. If your bookkeeper also does your taxes, they are able to use your P&L statements throughout the year to let you know exactly how much your estimated tax payments should be. Paying quarterly tax estimates ensures you don’t pay additional interest fees or penalties to the IRS during tax season, and you should always seek out a company who will help you calculate those estimates so you don’t pay more than you should to the IRS.
Also, having a bookkeeper who also files taxes makes it easier to file your tax return. Your bookkeeper understands your business and has been keeping track of your revenue and expenses all year - this reduces the chance of errors during tax season since your tax preparer won’t be scrambling to do your bookkeeping all at once. If your bookkeeper and tax preparer work together, they can find the most legal deductions you are entitled to, so you don’t pay more in taxes than you have to. This option is a lot more efficient and more accurate than giving your documents to a tax preparer who doesn’t know your business.
What truckers bookkeeping service should I hire?
Proper bookkeeping will help keep you and your business on the road. Using these guidelines while you begin your search for a bookkeeping service will help you make an informed decision that will benefit you in the long run.
At ATBS, we have helped over 150,000 owner-operators over the past 20 years. We offer a variety of services including accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation, which checks off all of the requirements above. We also offer unlimited business consulting for our RumbleStrip Professional clients. A dedicated business consultant will help you keep your business “between the lines” just like rumblestrips on the highway keep your truck between the lines. If you’d like to learn more about ATBS services or want to get started today, give us a call at 866-920-2827.