Many small trucking companies still use ledgers, spreadsheets and file drawers when managing their financials. If your company falls into that category, there are easy ways to do accounting without all the paperwork. Online accounting software allows you to update and track your financials in real-time for as little as $10 a month.
There are many accounting software products on the market today that are aimed at small businesses. There are even software platforms with technology tailored for trucking companies. Popular software products like QuickBooks and Xero are cloud-based, meaning you can access your accounting data at any time from a smartphone, laptop computer or tablet. Many of these products include phone apps that you can download from Google Play or Apple’s App Store.
The advantage of using general accounting software like QuickBooks, Xero or FreshBooks is that the accounting functions are more advanced and user-friendly. The advantage of using accounting software designed for trucking companies is the ability to perform fleet-specific functions like load tracking, settlements and IFTA tax reporting.
What follows is a directory of industry-leading accounting software applications as well as five leading software products specifically for trucking companies:
Intuit-owned QuickBooks is the U.S. market leader in accounting software. The cloud-based version of QuickBooks was redesigned in 2013 to make it easier to use on a smartphone or tablet. QuickBooks can sync your finances and account information across all your devices, including the iPad, iPhone and Android. The app provides real-time payables, receivables, and cash flow, and prepares your data for tax time. The QuickBooks dashboard’s color-coded approach makes it easy to track open invoices, overdue bills and your overall cash balance. QuickBooks also allows you to personalize and send your invoices from anywhere at any time, and it deposits money into your bank account when you get paid.
With QuickBooks, you can expand your mobile reach through integration with other Intuit products, as well as more than 90 third-party business apps.
Pricing: QuickBooks allows a free, month-long trial period to try the software. Subscriptions start at $10 per month for small businesses, or $5 per month for an individual contractor. The most popular package, QuickBooks Essentials, costs $21 per month. The premium QuickBooks Plus product includes inventory tracking and tax preparation, and costs $28 per month.
User Feedback: QuickBooks Accounting+Invoice has more than a million installs on the Google Play Store. More than 16,000 users have reviewed the app, giving it an average rating of 4.3 out of five stars. QuickBooks is available to download on Google Play and iTunes.
New Zealand-based Xero is aiming to replace QuickBooks as the top accounting software for U.S. businesses. Unlike QuickBooks, Xero was developed with mobile devices in mind. The Xero Touch application works with iPhone, iPad & Android. Xero offers real-time tracking of accounting transactions and customizable invoices that customers can pay digitally. The software’s account reconciling feature is easy to use and allows you to perform what was once a time-consuming task within minutes. Xero also integrates with more than 300 third-party business apps. That flexibility lets you consolidate your company’s accounting with project management and client relationship data.
Pricing: Like QuickBooks, Xero offers a free, one-month trial. The software’s Starter package is $27.50 per month with a limited amount of invoicing, billing and bank transaction reconciling. The standard package allows unlimited transactions and costs $55 per month. The premium package offers payroll for as many as 200 employees and costs $70 per month.
User Feedback: Xero Accounting has more than 100,000 installs on Google Play. The app has been reviewed by more than 1,700 users, who give it an average rating of 3.6 stars. Xero can be downloaded from Google Play and iTunes.
One of the advantages FreshBooks presents is that it can show exactly when a client has viewed your digital invoice. This capability eliminates the common customer excuse about “not receiving the invoice.” Like other online accounting software, FreshBooks allows you to customize invoices and lets your customers pay digitally. With the mobile app, you can record billable hours on your device or smart phone. You can also snap a photo of a receipt with your phone, and it will be added to your company’s expenses. FreshBooks is available on iOS and Android devices.
Pricing: FreshBooks offers a free, 30-day trial period. Pricing starts at $15 per month with a package that accommodates as many as five customers and unlimited invoices. FreshBooks’ Plus package is $25 per month and allows billing for up to 50 clients. The Premium package is $50 per month and lets you bill as many as 500 clients.
User Feedback: The FreshBooks Classic accounting app has been installed by more than 100,000 users on Google Play. The app has received more than 1,700 reviews, with an overall rating of 4.2 out of five stars. You can download FreshBooks from Google Play or iTunes.
Accounting Software for Trucking Companies
The software provided by ProTransport was designed with over-the-road and less-than-truckload companies in mind. In addition to accounting functions, the software helps manage dispatch, tracks vehicles and equipment, and features updates of the most recent Department of Transportation regulatory requirements.
Pricing: ProTransport does not share pricing information on its website, but does offer a free demonstration of its software.
This online trucking management software helps coordinate the business side of operating a truck company. TruckingOffice products cover accounting and cash flow, as well as maintain records for IFTA taxes, maintenance expenses and more. The technology is cloud-based and allows you to create as many user accounts as your company needs.
Pricing: TruckingOffice offers a free, 30-day trial of its software. The “Basic” package, geared toward full truckload companies, costs as little as $20 per month for a company with one to two trucks. The “Pro” software, offering more flexible workflow for truckload and less-than-truckload companies, costs as little as $30 per month.
RigBooks comes in four different packages geared toward companies that operate between one and five trucks. The basic package covers profits and costs without specifics on loads, customers or vendors. RigBook’s more sophisticated, “Small Fleet” software allows companies to perform invoicing, track loads, prepare IFTA taxes and coordinate multiple trucks. RigBooks is online software, meaning it can be used on a computer, tablet or smartphone.
Pricing: RigBooks does not share pricing information on its website, but it does offer a free, 30-day trial.
What makes TruckBytes unique from competitors is that its basic platform is free. This allows owner/operators or fleet managers to perform accounting functions, manage customers and verify carrier settlements at no expense. The software can be accessed from an online connection, including mobile devices. TruckBytes does charge for its IFTA Fuel Tax service software.
Pricing: TruckBytes’ standard software is free to use. Upgrading to the package that includes IFTA services and analysis of each truck’s performance costs as little as $15 a month, per truck.
McLeod Software’s LoadMaster Dispatch product is a fully integrated dispatch system that combines accounting with dispatch operations management. Customers can tailor LoadMaster to their unique business needs, taking advantage of capabilities that include freight billing, safety compliance, payroll, fuel tax reporting and more.
Pricing: McLeod Software does not share pricing information on its website.