Money Talks – Here’s a Way to Listen

Posted by Stacey Papp

Have you ever cleaned out a car, rooted through a winter coat pocket or lifted the couch cushions up, only to find cold, hard cash? It’s a pretty awesome feeling, especially if you really luck out and find quarters, dollars or – the Holy Grail – any bill larger than a five.

Conversely, sometimes we fall victim to the opposite occurrence: losing money. There’s nothing worse than hurriedly jamming your change into a pocket as you leave a store and later realizing some fell out … somewhere.  

These are examples of finding or losing money physically, which makes it much easier to know when it happens and react appropriately – you either triumphantly wave your newly discovered crumpled dollar in the air, or grit your teeth and mutter certain choice words under your breath when you realize you’re missing a bill.

But what about money that exists more on paper than it does in piles of cash? 

When you’re running or managing a business and its finances, unless you’re Scrooge McDuck, we’re betting you don’t have an actual Money Bin to keep revenue safe and pay bills from – so without actual physical money coming and going, sometimes it can be hard to see how much money you’re spending on a day-to-day basis and where you could be more efficient. 

Especially when visibility on this money exists within recordkeeping books or spreadsheets that need to be balanced, a business might be flying blind until someone sits down and takes a good long look at things – and that’s not really something anyone has time for on the average day; it’s usually only budgeted to happen monthly or quarterly.

There’s a quick fix, though. 

Field service management software keeps all this information digitally – in the cloud, meaning it’s accessible from anywhere at any time. This also means that you can pull this info up any time you feel like it and run a report to figure out what you’re spending on, say, fuel, in a given day or week, without waiting for that monthly or quarterly budget balance. 

Meanwhile, GPS vehicle tracking software keeps tabs on stuff like idle time, fuel use, engine ‘on’ hours, stop and start times of jobs, maintenance needs, speeding – basically, if it has to do with your vehicles or your drivers and field techs, you can track it. 

So by combining the capabilities of these two tools, you get something that tracks your expenses – including things that like speeding, which increases both daily expenses, in the form of extra fuel consumed, as well as future expenses, in the form of potential speeding tickets or even accidents – as well as something that lets you sort through these expenses with a few clicks. 

This means you can actually track spending in real time – you don’t need to be surprised at the end of a month or quarter when the books get balanced and suddenly you see that fuel costs have skyrocketed or OT hours are way up. Instead, you can keep tabs on this as it happens, and quickly problem-solve: Are these expenses legit, or are they unnecessary? Are costs up because there is an all-hands-on-deck job that means more trucks on the road and more people working late, or because people are speeding or padding timesheets? Being able to see this stuff in real time means you are better able to contextualize it and figure out whether it’s justified or not.

And while you’re still welcome to lift up the couch cushions and look for stray pennies, you no longer need to wonder what your business expenses look like and whether you’re bleeding money from somewhere – GPS fleet tracking and fleet management software makes it easy to correct inefficiencies before they cost big.

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