This day in age any trucker that isn't using some kind of software to track their financial activity is doing themselves a great disservice. There are many inexpensive packages out there that can provide valuable reports and only require you to enter basic data such as sales and expenses. In addition, a brand new laptop that can run this software can be obtained for $400 and under. Setting up some kind of accounting software is an absolute must.
Choosing the right software involves deciding whether or not to use software designed specifically for the trucking industry or general small business accounting software that can be applied to the trucking industry. Below are a few pros and cons of the different options.
General Software - An advantage of using general accounting software is that you're buying high quality software. The ease of use and functionality of general account software packages like Quickbooks and PeachTree are normally better than that of trucking specific packages. However, trucking companies that go this route would need a separate method of managing fuel, dispatching and other trucking specific aspects of the business.
Trucking Specific Software - The advantage of trucking specific software is that they often include accounting software as well as the ability to track fuel, logs, compliance and other trucking specific metrics. This can simplify the management of the business. However, we have not yet found a single piece of software that offers good accounting features in addition to full service truck and fleet management. If and when we find something we will report on this. In the mean time we have found many of these offerings lack some accounting features.