An essential part of being a self-employed truck driver includes doing your own bookkeeping. But bookkeeping can be challenging when you’re constantly on the road. Thankfully, with the right tips, you can simplify and stay on top of the process.

This guide will run through bookkeeping for truck drivers, including:   

  • Explaining terminology
  • What to record
  • Opening a trucking account with Countingup

Explaining terminology

There are a lot of different terms when it comes to bookkeeping, and some of them may seem confusing. But knowing these terms is useful to understanding and keeping accurate records.  Plus, you may want to be able to discuss these things with a financial advisor in the future.

Assets

An asset is something that you own. For example, often self-employed truck drivers own their trucks. In this example, your truck is likely your most important asset. Not only that but your truck would also be known as a non-current asset (also known as a fixed asset). You can sell it, but it would affect your ability to run your business without it. You cannot sell it within the year unless you purchase a new one.

There are also current assets, which are things that you own that you can sell within the following year. If you sell these assets, you will be able to carry on working. For example, if you had an extra repair kit, you could sell it and still work because you have another. So, you would get that money while selling a non-fixed asset.

Liabilities

A liability is something that you owe another person or organisation. There are, again, current and non-current liabilities (also known as fixed liabilities). For example, if you took out a long-term loan from the bank to buy your truck, it is a fixed liability as long as you don’t have to pay it off within a year. You can continue to pay the same amount towards it every month.

On the other hand, if you took out a short-term loan to make repairs on your truck, then you would likely have to pay that off within the year. Therefore that would be a current liability.

Revenue

Your revenue is the amount of money you receive for your services. For example, when you are hired to take some cargo from one place to another, whatever you are paid for would be your revenue. The money comes into your business before your expenses are taken away from it.

Expenses

Your expenses are the costs that you must pay to provide your services or run your business. For example, if a tire burst on our truck during a journey, that is an unforeseen expense. You would then take that cost out of your revenue for the service. Another example could be paying road tax and fuel for the journey.

Equity

In bookkeeping, equity is the amount of money to be returned to the owner if the business sold off its assets and settled any debt. For example, if you decide to retire from truck driving, you may sell your truck and pay back the bank any debt you owe. Then, whatever is left of your business is yours. 

When starting a business, it’s common for owners to invest some of their own funds. By keeping track of equity, you can see whether that initial investment has paid off and how much it is worth to you today. In addition, it is a good way of measuring the business’ success, so it is often worth recording.

What to record

For a self-employed truck driver, you’ll need to record your financial transactions for bookkeeping. If you keep a record, you can track your activities’ assets, liabilities, revenue, and expenses. Having all of this information helps you provide an accurate representation of your business when it comes to tax reporting

Fuel

Every time you pay for more fuel, you should keep the receipt. You can hold onto these, then jot the amounts into a book later. Though you could lose the receipts, and it may become time-consuming. So you may want to use an accounting software smartphone app like Countingup. It has a receipt capture feature that reminds you to instantly record each one into your books. 

Truck

You should make a note of any expenses for your truck. For example, it’s likely to need an MOT, VED (vehicle excise duty), regular servicing, and possibly repairs. Make sure that you are keeping every record of all of these things. With Countingup, you can categorise your transactions so that you can see exactly how much your truck is costing.

Insurance

You need to ensure that you have the relevant insurance to be a self-employed truck driver. You may have more than one type of insurance, so you need to keep track of all of your payments. With Countingup, you can be notified when your invoices are going unpaid to ensure you always pay for the right insurance.

Food and drink

While you are working, you should also be recording the expenses of your food and drinks. These are costs that you must pay to continue to work. If you keep them all, you can mark them down on your books as a business expense. Having all of your costs in one place with Countingup means that taxes become less time-consuming for you.

Opening a business account 

Countingup is the current business account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. 

The app’s receipt capture tool allows you to take a photo on your phone of a paper receipt and it is then stored with your other financial records. Being a functioning current account, Countingup can also send you reminders to record your purchases.

Countingup also allows you to categorise your expenses. You can keep track by recording the reason for the expense, the date and the amount spent. Being able to categorise your expenses, means that you can see what has been spent on the type of expense each month. For example, you can categorise your fuel and food as different categories, being able to see where the most expenses come from.

With Countingup, you can sign up for a business account online in minutes. The account is linked to the app, so all your expenses are in the same place.

Find out more here and start your three-month free trial today. 

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