6 Best Trucking Accounting Software Programs of 2018
While standard accounting software works well for businesses in most industries, there are some fields where specialized software may make bookkeeping much more streamlined. The trucking industry is a good example — solutions tailored for the logistics-heavy, multi-modal operations of trucking companies will handle the necessary accounting much more efficiently than most generic options.
What you should look for in trucking accounting software
Trucking accounting software should include all the elements any accounting software will have, such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, invoicing and profit and loss statements. Ideally the solution will also integrate payroll, but that element can be handled by a third-party service if necessary.
Trucking-specific elements that specialized software may handle are things like:
- Dispatch management (truckload dispatch, brokerage dispatch, LTL dispatch, order management)
- Fleet management (fleet maintenance, fuel and mileage tracking, safety assurance, management reporting)
- Specialized accounting (order management, freight billing, IFTA fuel tax, equipment revenue reporting, owner/operator settlements)
- Mobile logistics and interface (electronic on-board recorder interface, fuel card interface, mileage interface, shipment status notifications, electronic data Interchange, email integration)
How to choose the best trucking accounting software for you
Not all software is created equal; it’s important to evaluate your company’s needs before investing in a specialized solution. A central question is whether you need an all-inclusive solution that can handle dispatch and fleet management, accounting, data integration and payroll. Such options exist but are pricey and usually more appropriate for larger and more complex businesses.
Smaller businesses whose fleet management needs are less extensive may find it more convenient and affordable to use logistics management software that links up to standard accounting solutions like QuickBooks. This option requires less up-front investment, is usually easier for staff to learn, and allows you to maintain use of your existing accounting software.
The best trucking accounting software programs
Q7 by Frontline Software Technology
Q7 does it all — this major player in the trucking management and accounting space is all-inclusive, cloud-based and fully integrates with related tools. Accounting with trucking-specific parameters is only part of what this comprehensive solution does; it also handles all trucking logistics such as dispatch and fleet management. The accounting functions include payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable and a general ledger. Mobile logistics are incorporated, as are extensive integrations like electronic on-board recorder interface and fuel card interface. Q7 is not a mish-mash of various programs like some specialized accounting solutions, but is custom-built unified software that has the same appearance and ease of functionality throughout. Frontline provides training and technical support to all customers, and Q7 can be customized and enhanced to meet specific requirements.
Axon Trucking Software
Axon is another all-inclusive, fully integrated solution for trucking management and accounting, with payroll as an add-on. The accounting options include trucking-specific functions such as driver pay and owner/operator settlements; IFTA fuel tax software; equipment revenue reporting; ticket management software for oil field and aggregate haulers; EDI invoices; fuel card download; inventory control; and freight rate tables. Made up of modules that can be combined in various ways, Axon can be customized for a large variety of trucking types and can interface with an extensive array of systems. The company prides itself on real-time integration, which means that users must only enter any given information into the system once, after which it automatically populates into any applicable fields. For example, data on a fuel purchase integrates automatically with payables invoices, equipment and driver statements and IFTA fuel tax tracking — saving the user from having to input the same information several times for each of these areas. This function increases efficiency and reduces errors.
ProTransport is another all-inclusive solution, with the distinction that it can be customized for fleets of any size. As such, it may be the best comprehensive fleet-management and accounting solution for smaller operators for whom all the bells and whistles may be too extensive and costly. The system can handle safety, dispatch, accounting, reporting, driver communications and GPS tracking, and integrates with fuel cards, factoring, other accounting software, ELDs and IFTA. The trucking-specific elements of its accounting options include scheduled deductions, automated fuel data and toll importing, truck economy and MPG reports, tracking of invoiced loads and contractor and driver settlements.
While TruckingOffice bills itself as “trucking management software,” a large portion of its functions are geared toward accounting for trucking companies, making this just as much accounting software as it is a logistical management solution. The software manages accounting and dispatch records, such as driver pay, invoices, IFTA reporting, mileage reports, expense records and management reports. Other features include factoring, driver settlement management and fleet maintenance. The cloud-based system allows for an unlimited number of users. Packages of varying costs are pegged to the size of a fleet, with the option for a routing/mileage calculation add-on. A 30-day free trial allows you to try it on for size before committing.
TruckBytes is less comprehensive than most of the others mentioned here, and as such may be a better option for smaller operators. The software is free, which makes it easier for those without extensive resources to invest in accounting to start using an industry-specific solution. The software offers a full suite of accounting functions, including features relevant to trucking, such as tracking loads, payment verification and trip reports. An IFTA service is available as an add-on for a fee. Owner W. Joel Baker maintains a free resource for trucking companies called Learn To Truck, a blog full of tips and advice about the industry.
Quick Logistics Software
Quick Logistics Software (also called RAMA) manages the logistics of trucking and integrates with QuickBooks for accounting. Smaller trucking companies may find this relatively lightweight, simple and affordable offering a good solution. Users input logistics information into a straightforward dashboard and then link that info to QuickBooks Online to enable accounting. The software can handle load entry, shipment status tracking, carrier settlement, invoicing and carrier insurance tracking. This no-frills system is a great introduction to logistics management for trucking companies that have been doing most of these tasks manually and are already set up on QuickBooks Online for accounting services.
The bottom line
Choosing the right software for your business requires knowing what your business needs — a complex all-inclusive logistics and accounting management solution will be a good fit for some trucking companies but will be overkill for others. Smaller fleets may be satisfied with a simple data management system that integrates with standard accounting software.
Once you have an accurate sense of what types of systems will most benefit your business, choose among the best-in-class options presented here to streamline your logistics and accounting.