What delays my invoicing process? What stops me from getting paid? In an economic situation like the one we find ourselves in now, making sure that we have enough cash to pay for fuel and expenses is the bare minimum of what an owner-operator needs. But we at TruckingOffice trucking software don’t want the bare minimum. We want owner-operators to succeed. We want owner-operator invoices to be paid.
What are the major problems in the billing process?
- Consistent, timely billing.
- Correct data on the invoice.
- Constant monitoring of the cash flow.
Consistent, Timely Billing
Back in the bad old days, billing required a calculator, a typewriter, envelopes, and stamps and maybe a day off the road dedicated to accounting chores. Mileage logs, fuel purchase records, tolls, lumpers fees, signed bill of lading – all the extra expenses that were billed had to be put together before the invoice could be typed up and mailed. By hand. (I know, a bunch of you don’t even know what a typewriter is. That’s ok. We don’t know what a TikTok is.)
But in the 21st century, there is no reason to take time off the road to send an invoice. Computers and smartphones allow all the record-keeping to be done as it happens. Buy fuel? Add it to the trucking software program right away. Got a signed bill of lading? Take a pic of it and add it as an attachment to the invoice while your trailer is being unloaded. Your invoice to the shipper could be delivered via email before you leave the dock.
The Key to Consistent Billing
The key to consistent billing starts long before the invoice. A good dispatch software that provides a truck-safe routing that starts the invoice process eliminates snafus. Knowing the mileage this route will take gives an owner-operator the information to make a bid for a load that won’t end up costing the trucker money.
Keeping track of expenses in the moment instead of trying to remember or trying to keep track of little pieces of paper means a trucker will have a reliable and complete record for the invoice. Sure, paying tolls with Easy Pass or fuel with a fuel card is efficient. Those are easy expenses to find and you might remember them. But entering them quickly into your trucking software eliminates relying on a mind that has a lot to remember.
So make a habit of entering data quickly, if not immediately. At every stop, for whatever reason, enter any expenses into TruckingOffice PRO. Our software will let you enter your expenses quickly and easily. In fact, the only faster way is to… wait. We can’t think of a faster way.
Send Out the Invoice Right Away
“It’s more efficient to bill several loads at one time.” Especially if you’re handling LTL loads, why shouldn’t you wait to bill multiple shippers at one time? Make some better use of those HOS-mandated rests. Why waste your time that you could be driving by sending out an invoice?
Efficiency isn’t always the best choice. Effectiveness is far more important than efficiency. In the trucking world, effective is getting paid quickly. Trying to be efficient actually costs money when we delay sending an owner-operator invoices.
Correct Data on Invoices
You’d think that this would be obvious, but too often, truckers find out that the delivery details are wrong. Wrong addresses, wrong delivery times… Every trucker knows what that’s like.
The same applies to your owner-operator invoices. Make sure that your business name and payment methods are clearly written on your invoice. This is why TruckingOffice PRO automatically generates your invoices with all the data your customers need to pay you promptly. Any accounting software will do this for you. But not any accounting software can track miles per load rather than miles per trip. If you’re running LTL, that’s an important difference. A trucking software package that can’t handle LTL shipping is not going to help you as an owner-operator.
Constant Monitoring of Cash Flow
Cash flow is like blood. If the blood isn’t moving, there’s a problem. A big problem.
Cash flow makes it possible to run a business. We need money to pay for the fuel and other expenses. If our pockets are empty, then how can we make the deliveries?
That’s why factoring services exist. They loan us the cash against the payment from the shipper. With TruckingOffice PRO, you can change the payment method to a Remit To to the factoring service.
We’re not knocking factoring services. But that service doesn’t come for free. That’s money out of my pocket.
So managing cash flow means becomes a critical task for any business. Payroll, taxes, insurance – the big expenses must be paid when they’re due, regardless of our current bank balance. For the money to be there, the owner-operator invoices must be paid.
Knowing that you have the cash on hand to pay those bills relieves a lot of stress and anxiety.
That’s why looking at a snapshot of your financial status on a regular basis and knowing how and where your cash is important. TruckingOffice PRO is a complete accounting system built for truckers, with trucking invoicing in mind, as well as computing IRP and IFTA.
Late Pays Cost You Money
Monitoring your cash flow includes tracking late or unpaid invoices. We hauled the loads. We deserve to be paid on time. If we don’t get paid in a timely way, it starts a domino effect in our business.
Tracking late pays on a regular basis – not just when we think about it – allows you to contact the shipper to find out why the invoice isn’t being paid. When it’s a small, easily solved problem, why wouldn’t we want it taken care of right away? And if it’s complicated, getting started on the solution as soon as possible speeds up getting paid.
Are Your Owner-Operator Invoices Getting Paid On Time?
Any number of things will stop your customer from paying promptly. You need to eliminate all the ones that you control. That’s why TruckingOffice PRO is the most important purchase you’ll make for your trucking business, after your rig. You became a trucker to make money to support yourself and your family. If you’re not getting paid or getting paid enough, why bother being a trucker?
We have so much confidence in our TruckingOffice trucking software program that we’ll give you a free trial. Sign up now for not just a tour but access to the complete trucking software program.