The process of filing the international fuel tax agreement or IFTA tax report is not simple and can be very stressful. This process becomes even more difficult if some simple mistakes are made on a regular basis. These mistakes can cause some unwanted delays in filing your IFTA tax and if not corrected on time. These mistakes can be the reason for governmental audits.Read More
For most of the fleet operating companies, IFTA tax report filing is a huge administrative problem and they want it to be done with great accuracy and quickly. They spend a lot of time tracking the miles and fuel so as to avoid any type of unwanted audit in the end. Therefore, one needs to assemble a list of 9 most common IFTA reporting mistakes that need to be avoided very easily.
1. Tax return not filed
Filing your quarterly IFTA tax reports is mandatory. You must always submit your quarterly reports in a timely fashion. Some fleets only operate in a particular season. Suppose your fleet doesn’t work due to any reason in a particular quarter, you are still required to file your IFTA tax return.
Make it a compulsory habit to file your quarterly IFTA tax return no matter what. You can set up a reminder to your phone or choose any other way but you must not miss your IFTA tax return otherwise you are entitled to fines and you still have to file it. Therefore, why not file it on time for every quarter.
2. Inaccurate fuel calculations
It is very critical to record your fuel purchased and consumed very accurately. Sometimes, you are so busy with your fleet operations that you just want to use estimated values for your fuel calculations. But to get your tax credits, these fuel calculations need to be very accurate and also backed by the fuel receipts. Inaccuracy can lead to the financial audit.
I worked as a truck driver, carpenter’s assistant, doing whatever it took to keep bread on the table for the family.- Scott Glenn
3. Personal miles not recorded properly
Drivers need to record all the miles driven during each day but sometimes they avoid reporting their personal miles like trucks driven to get the fuel, food or the miles used to unload the goods. Your log book must have each and every mile starting right from the truck driving out of the base to deliver the goods and until it comes back to the base after delivering the goods. You have to mention each and every mile specifically in your ifta fuel tax rates reports otherwise there will be some discrepancy. And again, this results in the audit.
4. Late filing your IFTA report
IFTA reports need to be filed quarterly, therefore you have to be ready with all your numbers every quarter. Sometimes, you are so occupied with your other fleet related or business related issues that the deadline to file your IFTA reports is right on your face. It is very tedious to come up with all the fuel records and mileage calculations so fast.
This will be the cause of late filing of your IFTA reports. Late filing can generate a $50 fine or 10% of the tax whichever is higher. If you keep getting late with your IFTA tax report filing then you may have to face an audit. This means even more time is wasted for more paperwork.
5. GPS or odometer issues not reported
IFTA tax report solely based on accurately monitoring the fuel usage and miles. If your vehicle faced any GPS or odometer related issues during any trip, you must report it in your quarterly reports. Don’t forget it as it can impact your IFTA tax numbers.
6. MPG not calculated accurately
MPG or miles per gallon is very crucial for your IFTA tax calculations, it must be very accurate and transparent always. Most of the trucks have almost the same MPG for each quarter. It can slightly change due to some maintenance problems but all in all remains constant.
If your MPG has huge differences during a few quarters, then you must report the reasons for that otherwise you are inviting troubles like an audit for your company. Therefore, you should always double check before filing your IFTA reports that all the numbers are good to go.
Video Credit – Dan Klepper
7. Non compliant software usage
There are so many softwares in the market to offer you the desired IFTA solutions including the various GPSs. Each vendor claims that their software is IFTA compliant but actually is not the case. So it is very important on your behalf to double check the software compliance because if it is not IFTA compliant then you invite trouble and governmental audit is on your way. You cannot simply rely on the numbers provided by these non compliant softwares, therefore always use the correct software for your fleet operations.
8. Every single mile is not reported
Reporting each and every mile is very important for your accurate fuel tax reporting. You don’t want to leave any single mile unreported including the miles driven in the tail end of the reported quarter. You cannot report these miles in the following quarter therefore you must not miss on any of these miles.
A lot of time fleet companies believe they have enough time to file their IFTA tax report but by believing so they just avoid the IFTA calculations for a bit longer. IFTA calculations are difficult and time-consuming therefore you should not wait for the last moment to file your IFTA tax reports.
Route optimization is used to find out the most cost-effective routes. It helps in finding out the shortest possible routes. It also helps in planning the most optimal route by considering a few other factors. They includeRead More
- Number of turns
- Road traffic
- Nearest possible drivers
- The load-carrying capacity of the vehicle
- Road accidents
- Schedule of the driver
- Delivery time
All of this helps in efficiently delivering goods and services at the stops in the best possible manner.
It is tough for trucking organizations to plan delivery routes especially when they are operating on a large scale and managing numerous fleets. Finding the best route out of multiple routes present is a tedious task. You need to plan multiple routes for a single vehicle. This is an impossible task if done manually.
Human beings cannot make all the necessary calculations. If you still plan to do things manually you make compromises on a lot of factors. These include:
- Efficiency: It is very tough to plan the route you are supposed to take manually. This hampers the efficiency of the whole process.
- Accuracy: There are chances of manual errors while planning the routes.
- Flexibility: It is very tough to make a driver available the last movement in case of the absence of another driver if everything is done manually.
- Scalability: You need a lot of workforces to manage the smallest of trucking operations in case you are willing to do it manually.
- Robustness: If route planning is done manually, it becomes extremely tough for the organization to find the replacement of the workforce in case they leave.
“Truck drivers are the only ones that know the best places to stop on the road.”-Carole Eastman
This can only be done with the help of modern-day technology. There are various routing software for trucks available, that help in route optimization. This enhances the experience of the customer and provides them with great satisfaction.
Video Credit – CARFAX
They tend to repeat their purchases. Apart from this, there are several other benefits associated with the optimization of routes using the software. They are:
- Reduce fuel cost: The driver does not have to remember the paths as they are tracked using routing software. This reduces the chances of taking the wrong path. The shortest and best paths can be taken. This reduces the amount of fuel used in the vehicle.
- Reduced repairs cost: The vehicle spends less time on the road. This reduces the amount of damage caused and ultimately reduces the cost of repair.
- Reduced administrative cost: With the help of automation, the requirement of the workforce is reduced. This lowers the administrative cost.
- Increased number of deliveries: With the help of route optimization software, the number of daily deliveries is increased. Drivers are systematically allocated work. This makes quick and more deliveries possible.
- Increased drivers’ satisfaction: Route optimization makes it possible for the drivers to know the paths they are supposed to take. They need not remember these paths. It also helps in tracking the dangerous routes, these can be avoided. Accidents if any are also tracked. This ensures the safety of the drivers and ultimately increases their satisfaction.
- Faster deliveries: With the help of routing software, the best paths can be tracked. This leads to faster deliveries
- Reduced fuel tax: With the help of route optimization software the time spent by the vehicles on road is reduced. This reduces the amount of fuel spent and in turn reduces the fuel tax.
The route optimization software has become the need of the hour. Different organizations have different needs and accordingly need to pick the best routing software for themselves. This needs to be done with great care. Following are a few factors you must consider before selecting a route optimization software for your business:
- Real-time traffic consideration: It is pivotal for businesses to select a routing software that plans the routes on a real-time basis considering the traffic present. This makes it possible to select the quickest route.
- Accurate decoding: The route optimization software should be such that it can track the exact location where the deliveries are to be made.
- Historical data inspection: The route optimization software should be able to record the historical data regarding the driver, customer, and time. This makes it possible to know the drivers’ efficiency, customers’ preference, and satisfaction. It also helps in knowing the time when the deliveries were made. Shortcoming if any can be rectified by proper measures using this historical data.
- Order-vehicle constraints: The perfect route optimization software must provide recommendations regarding the type of vehicle to be used according to the nature of the goods or services that are to be transported.
- Adaptation to change: Your business grows and increases the scale of its operations over tie. It also changes the way it operates and works according to the latest trends. It is important to choose the truck routing software that easily molds and works in the changed surroundings.
- Report management: The routing software chosen must be able to integrate the reports of the entire business using a cloud-based format, on a real-time basis.
You should make sure to check the reviews and ratings of the route optimization software before purchasing it. The existing businesses using the software shall be consulted. Free trials must be asked for and accordingly, the best software must be chosen. It has become vital for businesses to undertake route optimization using present-day technology to stand firmly in front of their competitors. It enables it to grow and survive in the long run.
Fleet vehicles are owned by big businesses and companies. Vehicles like trucks, taxis, and vans come under this. An efficient fleet management system allows a company to keep a record of drivers and destinations. It helps a company to keep track of all vehicles and their maintenance costs. It provides help in vehicle insurance and proper licensing. The more efficient fleet management is, the more successful the company will be.Read More
Reasons to manage a fleet:
1. Provides business details: Managing a fleet makes it easy for a business to keep a record of all things which are important for a company. Information like employee documents, travel records, and total fuel consumed are kept recorded.
2. Helps in managing heavy vehicles: If a company’s fleet is well managed, then it can manage its heavy-duty vehicles efficiently. Company vehicles like vans, taxis, and trucks could be managed easily.
3. Makes room for fewer errors: If most of a company’s information is stored in databases, then it helps in causing no human errors. Various trucking maintenance software help in storing data from time to time after making a delivery.
4. No room for arguments or confusion: The good management of a system guarantees that there will be no clashes between the employees. As every worker knows his or her job, there will be no confusion and everyone will manage to do their work on time.
5. Helps in empowering the company. Good administration helps a company to work smoothly which in turn helps in increasing sales and earning profits.
How to ensure the smooth running of your fleet:
1. Keeping all records: A company should ensure all types of records are kept in its databases. Various records ranging from employee details and products sold must be stored by the business.
2. Checking timely maintenance: A company should ensure that all of its vehicles are in good condition. From time to time service of the vehicles must be done. Various fleet management softwares are available which provide timely reminders for the servicing and check-up of the vehicles.
3. Insuring the vehicles: It should also be taken care that all of a company’s vehicles are insured by a good insurance company. It must be ensured that all the premiums of the policies must be paid timely.
4. Maintaining good relationships with drivers: A fleet company should ensure that it keeps a track of all activities of the drivers and maintains good communication with them. This will ensure the drivers’ loyalty and they would put more effort into making deliveries on time.
5. Filing IFTA taxes on time: A business should take care to file its IFTA taxes on time. An IFTA form can be easily filled online and its payment can also be done online.
6. Using fleet management software: Many fleet management softwares are available online. They can be easily brought by a company. The truck repair software has both web or mobile apps which makes a driver’s job easier.
7. Using IFTA stickers: IFTA stickers are also provided to a company’s vehicles after proper registration. These help a vehicle to travel in any province and also show that full tax has been paid by a company.
8. Maintaining a proper license: A fleet company should make sure that it has renewed the licenses of all its vehicles, and if not then immediately it should renew the licenses after paying the penalties.
9. Filing an IFTA report timely: The company should also ensure that it files an IFTA tax report quarterly. This will help in effectively managing the business and drivers to travel easily.
Video Credit – Manuel Ochoa
Advantages of keeping the fleet running smoothly:
1. Helpful in creating intelligent vehicles: Combining the right technology will help the fleet companies in archiving fast and easy profits. Vehicles with fleet management software guide drivers and help them in timely delivery.
2. Improving cargo handling: Managing the fleet helps in handling the goods and products efficiently and makes a room for fewer breakages and less damage to the product. This in turn helps in increasing business.
“There is no situation like the open road, and seeing things completely afresh.” — James Salter
3. Bettering trade and communication: Managing a fleet company with care helps in providing better service. It helps in providing customer input which further assists in improving a business.
4. Helpful in routing and mapping: Effectively managing a fleet provides timely information that helps in selecting the best road, routes, and streets for delivery. This helps in saving time which further assists in making timely delivery.
5. Helpful in reducing expenses: Managing a company efficiently helps reduce unnecessary expenses with a cause because of nonpayment of dues or missing vehicle maintenance dates.
6. Helpful in making future decisions: A well-organized fleet company can make its future decisions with precision. This assists in making decisions about a delivery, shuffling the duties of drivers, and replacing a driver with others in times of crisis.
7. Increasing the supply chain: the more organized a company the more it will deliver its products and services on time. Timely delivery grantees full payment and customer satisfaction.
There are many reasons to manage a fleet company but mostly all businesses and companies should do so to ensure their success. In this competitive world, the company which provides the best services to its customers and manages to satisfy them fully will be able to incense its business and reach its full potential.
Managing a truck dispatch company can be a very complex affair. You have to manage load details, load type as well as is required to assign the right driver to the truck, generate invoices, and ensure driver trip settlement, etc. This can be very hectic if you decide to do it manually. There is a lot of software available in the market to do this particular job for you. You can keep track of all the trip-related details with trucking dispatch software. Trucking dispatch software is a single-step solution for most of the problems in the trucking business. Here are discussed a few of the benefits provided by the trucking dispatch software. Trucking dispatch software creates your full truck load (FTL) and less than truckload (LTL) dispatches in literally no time.Read More
It can smartly add many small loads to a single load with multiple stops or a full load to a single transit. This is very helpful in dealing with multiple clients.
Trucking dispatch software can dispatch load in just a few minutes by entering the shipment details, pickup and drop off locations, date, time and finally assigning the driver to the truck. The assigned driver will receive the notification right away with the details of the assigned load and truck. Therefore, it removes the need to manually assign the dispatch.
“There is more credit and satisfaction in being a first-rate truck driver than a tenth-rate executive” –B.C. Forbes
Trucking dispatch software not only finds you the best available route but also helps you calculate the total distance covered and provides you the correct ETA. Route planners by the software can add stops to your trip for example where to refuel, rest, or pick up the additional load. This will reduce the wastage of time and saves a ton of fuel.
Real Time Tracking and Sending Feedback
Dispatch Trucking Software app keeps sending the last location of the truck to the base and provides the real-time data to share with the clients. Therefore, the customers know exactly where their load is and the estimated time of arrival of the delivery. This will help the base to track the diver whether he is following the required route or wasting time on a different one. Customers are the most happy ones with the continuous updates regarding their delivery.
Video Credit – ROADS sg
Trucking dispatch software digitally assigned jobs, generate invoices, calculate the working hours of the drivers and printed bills of landings, etc. Therefore, it saves a lot of manual paperwork for the company. The trucking software compiles the trip sheet and generates a closing statement, hence speeding up the whole process. It also receives and sorts out the bill payments and trip expenses. So you don’t have to write any of these entries manually. Whenever you need it, the software can generate the desired statement for you.
The trucking dispatch software can help you make a customized URL for your company, where you can add different users for different sorts of work. Each of the users have accessibility to the specific work, related to their designation. It can create an account for each staff member. For example, a manager can have complete access while a driver can have only access to the dispatch oriented features.
Without the trucking office software, trucking companies have to do everything manually, which is very time consuming and sometimes not accurate enough for ensuring the client’s satisfaction. You have to rely on the information provided by the drivers. But with the integration of trucking dispatch software in your company, everything becomes very easy. Now the clients can track their shipment and have exact ETA for their delivery of goods. A customer always cares about the whereabouts of their shipment. Therefore this software helps the company in a big way to provide the best services to their clients. As you can see there are tremendous benefits of a trucking dispatch software. That’s why most trucking companies try to use the latest software available in the market, just to keep them self ahead of the competition.