Digital Bookkeeping & Reporting Tools Can Help Unleash Your Fleet's Potential
You've probably seen commercials for apps that can document everything digitally in your personal life. These tempting technologies might seem like science fiction when you go into the office each day, sifting through a mountain of paperwork to gather invoice data, technician status reports and similar details that go into your financial books.
Fleet managers must constantly keep their books balanced to ensure they have enough money to maintain trucks, pay drivers and keep operations afloat. It's time to get rid of time-consuming paper processes, alleviate the clerical burden on yourself and use digital tools to help improve your business. Using digital technologies to simplify your bookkeeping depends on your data access, and it begins with your drivers in the field.
Putting digital reporting functions in your drivers' hands
Invoices, work orders, inventory updates and similar reports often come directly from drivers. In most cases, this means your driver has grabbed a form, filled it out while sitting in the service van after a customer visit and turns it in at the office following his shift. Then you have to periodically gather all of these documents, sort through them and record key details across your accounting, inventory management and work order systems.
What if all your drivers had to do was open an app on a smartphone and enter data directly into your systems? This isn't a far-fetched dream anymore. Fleet management and vehicle location tracking systems often build work order documentation tools into their platforms, letting drivers document everything from invoices to part orders digitally, in the field, and in the same databases that you are accessing in the office.
Gathering reports based on day-to-day needs
Putting digital tools in the hands of your drivers is the first step toward simplifying bookkeeping, but you also need to find a way to get the right data, when you need it. Sifting through spreadsheets can be just as mind numbing as poring over paperwork.
This is where software-based reporting tools come into play. Being able to set parameters for reports and have the software deliver key data lets you, for example, gather all expense reports within a set time period. The ability to get simple, custom reports of work orders, expenses and invoices takes bookkeeping from a time-consuming chore to a more simplified auditing process in which you check the information within your digital systems to see if it matches what your bank accounts are telling you.
Create time to focus on your business
Fleet managers need to play an active role in their business' development, but it is easy to have financial details put such a strain on time that they don't have much left to spend elsewhere. Simplifying bookkeeping through digital tools that cover everything from driver documentation in the field to reporting back in the office doesn't just alleviate the clerical burden you are facing it also helps free you to focus on developing your business.
The streamlined reporting and internal auditing also gives you a clearer picture of your day-to-day financial situation, so you can make more intelligent decisions as you guide your business moving forward.
Eliminating the clerical burden of paper-based bookkeeping processes simultaneously creates time and gives you more information to use that time intelligently. This flexibility can create a return to the entrepreneurial spirit that led you to start your business in the first place, driving innovation and operational advances.
Every small business has a unique culture and feel. In many cases, this is defined by the personality and priorities of the owner. Spending less time dealing with the financial books frees you to put more energy into creating the business of your dreams.
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