EFS Fuel Card understands how fuel cards work. Managing a line of fleet vehicles is no easy task. From logistics to dispatch challenges, the last thing a fleet manager wants to worry about is the price of fuel. Most business software developed for fleet transportation has an automatic fuel surcharge to keep invoices and overhead calculations accurate. To make managing the moving parts of keeping all vehicles fueled and ready for service, many fleet managers depend on fuel cards.
Long distance and local trucking companies benefit from fuel cards because of the flexibility they offer for drivers. The point-of-sale information can also be used as a secondary route management check for dispatchers who are monitoring distance traveled and average fuel efficiency. Drivers are also able to quickly refuel at predetermined locations and avoid unnecessary delays related to account verification or driving off route looking for a specific fueling station. Drivers will not need to produce any special paperwork, identification documents, or other proof that they have authorization to refuel their vehicle. In fact, when drivers use fuel cards, they do not even have to keep track of their receipts. Multiple retailers across the country offer their own incentives for fleet management companies. Regardless of the rewards on the back end, the convenience for drivers is that they are able to stop virtually anywhere when it’s time to refuel.
Rewards and Benefits
Fleet management companies can take advantage of multiple rewards when they utilize fuel cards. Suppliers offer great rewards programs for businesses, especially transportation companies. They may offer cashback rewards, reduced diesel prices, and even zero percent interest for limited time periods. Associating with fleet fuel card providers offers a plethora of incentives. They also provide an easy way for transportation companies to build or increase their business credit rating. Having multiple fuel cards active on a fleet counts under one account, which reduces risk exposure. Fleet managers can determine which tier level a driver should be placed on for fuel card distribution. Or can issue a card at the beginning of each trip for new or contractual drivers.
One of the main advantages of implementing fuel cards into a fleet management plan is the cost savings. Multiple fuel cards can be consolidated into one convenient monthly invoice that makes it easy for the accounting group to reconcile. Alternatively, fuel card accounts can be separated when necessary. This option makes it easy to add fuel surcharges to invoices for specific clients. It also makes it very convenient to add fuel costs to databases and spreadsheets for business analysis purposes. Unexpected costs that creep up can easily impact the profit margin for a transportation company. Utilizing fuel cards helps keep the most important costs in check and increases accountability across the board.
Reporting and Records Management
Another benefit of using fuel cards is the ease with which local and federal records can be maintained. In addition to breaking down fuel costs per project, delivery, or client, accounting professionals are also required to report these costs in other areas. Tax reporting is one of the major headaches for fleet management companies. As a result of slipshod record keeping practices, many companies lose potential tax credits. Since diesel prices are subject to frequent change without notice, it can be difficult to track the local or state tax increases on fuel. These charges can be reported on business income tax returns and potentially result in credits or deductions. International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) reporting is a major requirement for fleet managers. Fuel cards make this reporting quite easy because all the records are available in one convenient year end statement.