Keep More Money in Your Pocket with Accounting Controls for Truckers

Jun 14, 2022 | Controller Services, Trucking

Accounting controls find their way into every industry. As a sole proprietor or business owner, you may have accounting sneak its way into your repertoire over time. The challenge is balancing the cost savings of being your own accountant against the ability to spot potentials for error and ultimately financial loss. Ultimately, accounting controls make accounting for the trucking industry easier, more reliable, and save you money in the long term. Learn more

Controls are found in vast supply in the trucking industry.  Starting with the most noticeable, the Department of Transportation.  Walking up to your truck, the DOT number is displayed  front and center.  This DOT number doesn’t really control anything on the truck, but the number alone taps into a database that controls everything regarding the truck including:

  • Road worthiness
  • truck inspections
  • truck violations
  • company ratings
  • and the list goes on and on.

When a company violates the DOT controls, the company receives a negative rating which dogs the company for three years.  The driver, too, has a big part to play in all the above, so when a driver violates the rules, the company – at no fault of their own – can get that same black eye.

When it comes to the book office – with the accounting department under that umbrella – it is often thought of having no controls because the DOT can’t put you out of service for poor accounting controls.  A trucking company and an outsourced accounting company may seem like strange bedfellows, but when one looks at the world of controls, are we really?

The accounting world does not have a Department of Accounting at the federal level but even though the government would like to…the private sector has done a good job regulating itself through various levels – the Financial Standards Accounting Board (FASB) for one produces what is called GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principal).  But this governance does not provide the accounting controls, let alone the accounting controls needed in the accounting department of the trucking industry.

There’s no getting around it: Accounting controls are essential to the modern trucking industry. 

My uncle entered the world of outsourced accounting, and the old sage trucker and trucking company owner told me at the very beginning of his journey that accounting is a matter of cash coming in one pocket, moved to the other pocket and then removed from that pocket for expenses.  Some 24 years later, he has a different opinion.

Accounting controls reduce errors, minimize fraud and assure that accounting procedures are completed in the most efficient manner.

Trucking accounting controls cover the areas of

  • invoicing
  • bill receipts along with order processing
  • shipping and receiving

Controls exist in the computerized accounting software, but still required a set of rules and procedures (we call them processes) to assure they are working within the guidelines of GAAP.

Advanced preparation to operate these accounting controls of the trucking accounting department is required of any staff member.  The staff member must have a general, and sometimes thorough, knowledge of accounting for sales, payables, payroll, fixed assets and the production and presentation of every element of the financial statements.

We have a ‘process’ for all our outsourced accounting functions and activities.  We review them frequently.

When we come across a procedure that needs some consistency in input and deliverance, we meet as a team to create the new process.

We report monthly on our adherence to these processes, and call them our Key Performance Indicators (KPI).

We are similar to the trucking industry in that we prioritize training staff on company policies, processes, what to do and not to do in certain situations, and what constitutes a good employee (driver). Our outsourced accounting department does the same its employees.

So, we are not strange bedfellows, the deference only exists in our name and focus.  Your company has professional drivers, we have professional accountants and bookkeepers.