February 22, 2022
Rigbooks Review: Features and Pricing
Rigbooks is a cloud-based trucking management system (TMS) that helps you manage and track orders, trips, expenses, and fuel mileage, as well as send invoices and prepare International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) taxes. Its main features include detailed load tracking, fleet maintenance, billing and invoicing, and document management. Rigbooks’ Basic Entry plan starts at $19 per month. You can try it for free for 30 days before buying the product. What We Recommend Rigbooks For Rigbooks is ideal for trucking companies that operate up to five trucks. It’s used by truckers to understand which of their loads are the most profitable based on cost per mile, which is often a struggle with other accounting software. If you’re a fleet manager or driver who clocks thousands of miles and needs to keep a tally of travel reasons, dates, odometer readings, and other data needed for tax deductions, then Rigbooks is a great choice for you. Rigbooks Is Best For Small trucking companies that need affordable load tracking: With Rigbooks, you can track cost per mile, profit per mile, and average miles (to help you understand which loads are the most profitable) for as low as $19 per month. Because of this, Rigbooks earned a spot in our best trucking accounting software guide. Truckers that need an easy-to-use TMS: Rigbooks has the simplest and easiest-to-use interface among the trucking accounting software we’ve reviewed, making it an ideal choice for truckers who don’t have much bookkeeping experience. Trucking companies that need easy IFTA calculation: Rigbooks imports mileage entries and the latest fuel tax rates automatically for all jurisdictions for easy IFTA reporting. Rigbooks Is Not Right For Large trucking companies with many trucks: Rigbooks can be expensive for large companies with many trucks. Its most expensive plan, which costs $149 per month, supports up to five trucks only. Adding trucks to each plan is an additional charge. A cheaper alternative is , which supports more than eight trucks for only $79 per month. Trucking businesses that need a complete bookkeeping and trucking management solution: While Rigbooks provides billing and invoicing, it doesn’t have the core features of a bookkeeping program, like the ability to reconcile bank accounts, track assets and liabilities, and print a balance sheet. If you need a complete bookkeeping solution without giving up specialized trucking features, you can integrate with for a powerful accounting and trucking management solution combined. QuickBooks Online, when integrated with TruckingOffice, is our choice for the best trucking accounting software. Owner-operators that book loads directly from carriers: Unlike Rigbooks, has a dedicated portal that allows your carriers to access available loads, amounts you owe to them, and shipments you have dispatched with them. If you think general bookkeeping software may meet your trucking accounting needs, check out our article on the best small business accounting software. Rigbooks Pros and Cons Rigbooks Pricing Rigbooks is available in four packages with prices that start at $19 per month for a single truck. All plans include Rigbooks’ core features, such as expense tracking, mileage tracking, and IFTA reporting. If you need additional functionality like customer invoicing, you’ll need to upgrade to the Independent plan. Users that need driver record management should subscribe to Small Fleet. You can try Rigbooks for free for 30 days to decide if it’s a good fit for you before buying it. Rigbooks Features Rigbooks offers plenty of features that help owner-operators and fleet managers track different aspects of their trucking business, including orders, expenses, trips, fuel purchases, and maintenance. Below is a list of some of Rigbooks’ most notable features. Dashboard Rigbooks has a very simple and neat interface that’s extremely easy to navigate. The dashboard provides quick links to all the features you may need, as well as shortcuts for instantly adding new transactions like trips, trucks, revenues, expenses, and fuel purchases. There’s a function checklist at the top that lets you see your progress. The left-hand navigation menu is well organized, and the + buttons next to each menu make it easy to initiate a transaction. The forms are very comprehensive and can be completed in a few seconds, as long as you have the required details ready for input. Order Tracking The order management module helps you track all your loads and track the progress of each shipment. You can monitor loads based on status, and each status has a separate tab for easy tracking. Orders in Rigbooks are tracked based on the following statuses: Entered: Loads that are waiting for confirmation on rates Confirmed: Loads that are confirmed and are ready to dispatch Dispatched: Loads that are dispatched but not yet in transit In-Transit: Loads that are being delivered to the recipient Delivered: Loads that are successfully delivered to the receiver but not yet invoiced Completed: Loads that are invoiced Canceled: Loads canceled by the shipper or receiver To add a new order in Rigbooks, you can click on the Add Order button on the Orders screen or tap the + button next to Orders in the left navigation menu. The Add an Order screen will appear, asking for details such as order number, order status, frequency, and contracting parties. Expense Tracking You can use Rigbooks to track fixed and variable tracking costs. Fixed costs are expenses that are incurred whether you’re driving or not. Examples of fixed costs include equipment loan payments, permit costs, and accountant costs. Variable costs like fuel, maintenance, and tire repairs change depending on how many miles you drive. You can track expense totals on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. To record a new expense, click on the Add Expense button on the upper right-hand part of the Expense screen, or select the + button next to the Expenses menu on the left navigation menu. Expense details, like cost, description, and category, are needed to complete the Add New Expense form. Notice that Rigbooks doesn’t track the checking or credit card account used when recording an expense. This means that you won’t be able to compare your bank or credit card statement to your expense records easily to verify you’ve captured all expenses. While this makes for an easy-to-use system, it provides room for errors when receipts are lost. We recommend a double-entry accounting system like to avoid omitting expenses unintentionally. Invoicing Rigbooks has a very simple invoicing feature, which helps you collect payments from customers. You can create an invoice from existing trip records, including partial payments and private notes. With Rigbooks, you have the option to enter a customer to bill for the load, as well as a third-party company like a factoring company, through the Contracting Parties section in the invoice form. On the downside, Rigbooks isn’t as comprehensive as QuickBooks Online in terms of invoicing. For instance, you can’t set up recurring invoices, and it can’t calculate sales tax automatically to apply to an invoice like QuickBooks Online. Note that the invoicing feature is only available in the Independent and Small Fleet plans. Fuel Purchase Recording Fuel purchases often account for a large portion of a trucking business’ total expenses, making it extremely important to track. With Rigbooks, you can record the details of your fuel purchases for each truck to help you track oil and gasoline costs. It also helps you keep detailed records of truck mileage to simplify tax reimbursement. The Fuel Purchase form can be accessed from the Add Fuel Purchase button on the Your Fuel Purchases screen or the + button next to the Fuel menu on the left navigation bar. To complete the Add Fuel Purchase form, you need to provide fuel and mileage information. Document Management The document management module provides an easy way to store, organize, and manage drivers’ paperwork and expense receipts. This feature allows you to attach bill of lading (BOL) documents to your loads, and then generate an invoice in a few seconds. Rigbooks’ document management system is compatible with most mobile scanning applications, like Adobe Scan and Microsoft Office Lens. Fleet Maintenance Recording This feature helps you stay on top of your preventive maintenance (PM) needs. Rigbooks provides an easy way to record and organize your maintenance procedures and monitor maintenance records by category, such as oil change, service motor, and tire and wheels. Maintenance reports can be generated on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. Settlements Rigbooks lets you pay your drivers and agents by mile, load percent, or flat rate per trip. You can add and track the pay for all the trips associated with a settlement. The settlements in Rigbooks let you enter additional expenses that should be paid by the driver, reimbursements owed to the driver, and additional driver pay, which is commonly used for adjustments that aren’t connected to a trip. To access the Add New Settlement form in Rigbooks, click on the Settlement menu on the left navigation bar, and then click on the Add Settlement button on the Settlement screen. IFTA Reporting Just like other trucking software, Rigbooks is compatible with the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA). It helps you stay compliant with the IFTA by tracking mileage per jurisdiction. It makes reporting easy by providing detailed information on mileage and fuel purchases per jurisdiction. The IFTA reporting feature in Rigbooks shows the total miles traveled in all jurisdictions, total fuel consumed in all jurisdictions, and average miles per gallon. IFTA reports can be downloaded as a PDF or Excel file. Reports Rigbooks generate several reports, including profit and loss statements, expense reports, fuel mileage, maintenance reports, settlement reports, and trip reports. All the reports can be printed and downloaded in PDF or Excel format. Rigbooks Customer Support Rigbooks provides a toll-free hotline if you need customer support. You can also send an email with your query and wait for an answer from one of its agents. We tried sending an email, and it took about seven hours to get a response. One of the things we like best about Rigbooks is that it has a vast which you can access on the main menu bar of the website’s homepage easily. The resource center includes useful tips and information about the trucking business. For instance, it has some informative blogs about how to start a trucking business, the best places to buy fuel, and how to track miles for IFTA reporting. Rigbooks Alternatives Bottom Line Whether you’re an owner-operator or a small trucking fleet owner with no more than five trucks, can be a great choice. It has the tools you need to dispatch and track your loads, track fuel and other expenses, bill customers, and stay compliant with the IFTA. It’s very easy to use, and it has simple yet powerful cost-per-mile reporting that helps trucking companies understand the profitability of every load they dispatch.
February 18, 2022
Q7 Trucking Business Software Review: Features and Pricing
Q7, by Frontline Software Technology, is a trucking management solution that integrates fleet management and dispatch operations with accounting functions like accounts payable (A/P), accounts receivable (A/R), and banking. Q7 is available as a cloud-based or an on-premises solution. You’ll need to contact the provider directly to request pricing information. There’s no free trial, but you can request a free demo before buying the product. What We Recommend Q7 For Q7 is ideal for small to mid-sized trucking companies that need a full double-entry bookkeeping solution with specialized features for managing a fleet of trucks. Q7 can be used by most of the businesses in the transport industry. Its robust freight quotation system makes it a good choice for freight brokers who are tired of running quotes on multiple carrier sites just to compare rates. Q7 is our choice for the best standalone bookkeeping software with trucking-specific features. Trucking companies that need a full-fledged bookkeeping solution: Q7 combines fleet management and accounting in one place. Among all the trucking accounting software we reviewed, Q7 is the only full-fledged double-entry accounting solution that has specialized trucking features, making it our best overall pick for best trucking accounting software. Trucking companies that want an all-in-one solution: Q7 handles all trucking logistics (such as dispatch, fleet management, and accounting and mobile logistics) in one place so that you don’t have to log in and out of different modules. Desktop users: The software can be deployed with a site license to be used on your desktop computer so that you don’t have to worry about internet reliability or security issues. Q7 Is Not Right For Small freight brokers: While Q7 does have the features needed for freight brokers, it also has many unnecessary features which add to the cost. A much less expensive option for freight brokers is . Owner-operators: Owner-operators don’t need all the features of Q7 and can use to bill customers, pay vendors, and track expenses. For trucking features, Quickbooks can be integrated with . Small trucking companies needing affordable detailed load tracking: offers detailed tracking of cost per mile and profit per mile for as low as $19 per month. If you think general bookkeeping software might meet your trucking company’s needs, check out our review of the best small business accounting software. Q7 Pros and Cons Q7 Pricing Frontline Software Technology doesn’t provide the Q7 pricing information on its website, so you’ll need to contact them directly to request a customized quote. There’s no free trial available, so you’re all in when you sign up. However, you can request a free demo to gauge if it’s right for you before buying the product. Q7 Features Q7 combines accounting and fleet management features to help you streamline the different aspects of your trucking business. Here’s a list of some of Q7’s accounting and trucking management features. Accounting Accounting is built into all transactions, which promotes accuracy and transparency. For example, invoices are automatically created when a booking is made. When over-the-road costs are entered in the fleet management module, they’re recorded in Accounting automatically. Anytime you enter driver deductions for individual purchases, they’ll show up when processing pay settlements. Q7 includes the following important accounting features: A/P: The A/P function allows you to create purchase orders, pay bills, and project cash flow. You can also track unpaid vendor invoices and handle recurring expenses such as loan payments. A/R: The A/R function tracks customer invoices, payments, and account adjustments. Invoicing is tied to dispatch to ensure that loads are only invoiced when complete. Invoices can be customized with your company logo and can be exported as a PDF or spreadsheet for upload to other systems. You also can create freight settlements, which are ideal for high load volumes. Banking: Q7 lets you write and void checks, create deposits, transfer funds, and reconcile bank accounts. The banking program displays all check and deposit transactions in an organized grid so that you can view the details of each transaction easily at any time. General Ledger: Q7 comes with a complete general ledger that you can customize to fit your business. The general ledger generates reports on balance sheets, trial balance, and corporate income statements with year-to-date comparisons and department reports. Inventory Management: You can track part activity, such as cost, usage, on-hand levels, and suppliers. The system automatically adjusts shop inventory as repair orders and purchases are processed. Financial Scoreboard: The Financial Scoreboard offers a bird’s-eye view of all accounting, and you can customize the look and content of any report or create a new one from scratch. Profitability reports specific to the trucking industry are included, and you can use a live reporting tool to catch any accounting mistakes. Payroll Q7 comes with a detailed employee profile that lets you track your employees’ name and contact details, applicable taxes and deductions, and other employee information. You can create a custom profile for each employee and manage company driver line haul methods and rates with ease. The system supports all forms of taxable wages, nontaxable reimbursements, deductions, and every type of pay method: hourly, salary, by mile, percent of revenue, and flat pay. You can even create automatic triggers for load-specific types of pay like detention and extra stop pay. Tax-exempt deductions are supported fully as well as an automatic calculation of employer contributions. The Settlement program doesn’t just pay settlements for drivers and carriers, but it also serves as a batch payroll processing center. You can use the optional direct deposit feature or customizable payroll checks to pay your employees. Essential payroll reporting is readily available, and all payroll reports are built-in and fully customizable. The Payroll Journal is used for a summary of one or more pay periods, while the Payroll Tax Audit and 941 Summary is used for tax liability reporting. You can also view your unemployment tax liabilities and employer contributions. At the end of the year, printing complete W-2s for your employees is easy. Order Management Using a single-entry system, Q7 lets you enter orders manually easily or through load tenders using the optional Electronic Data Interchange (EDI component). Charges can be billed by piece or volume, weight, or by the mile traveled by the trucker. The system calculates customer charges automatically, including fuel surcharges. You can create and send quotations and convert them into live orders once approved. Dispatch Management Q7 Trucking Dispatch Software is the control center for planning and dispatch activities. It’s fully customizable and supports truckload, brokerage, and less-than-truckload (LTL) dispatch, which are described below: Truckload dispatch: Q7 maintains and displays the current position of tractors, trailers, carriers, and drivers. You can post check calls manually or via GPS systems, and view approaching or expired safety dates. Brokerage dispatch: The user-friendly dispatch console displays the status of load progress and provides access to both customer and carrier contact information. You can send carrier confirmations that detail load specifics, including pickup times, delivery times, and directions. LTL dispatch: Advance load planning features allow you to match loads to trucks quickly, preassign loads, and manage driver schedules. You can also drop manifested loads to a shop or warehouse, consolidate docked loads for outbound resources, and reassign individual load stops to other resources. Document Management With Q7 Document Management, you can scan, import, and save any type of documents, such as proof of delivery or delivery receipts. You also have the option to assign your own references and other user-defined data to each of the documents. When you pair this feature with the Q7 Email interface, you can attach all documents for the load against the invoice and send them to your customers in one PDF. This feature is available for an additional fee. Fleet Maintenance The Fleet Maintenance feature allows you to track services and equipment in Q7 so that you can avoid costly emergency repairs. By first creating a customizable list of equipment services, you can create groups of service or maintenance for efficiency. You can then build default schedules for each type of service. Over-the-road (or long haul) costs and in-house service sales are tracked in accounting. Services are added to equipment profiles for specific tracking. You can schedule service based on a period of time or based on the number of miles driven between services. Q7 also allows you to set a customized advance warning so that you’ll know when a piece of equipment is due for routine servicing. Fuel and Mileage Q7 fuel and mileage tools are thorough and easy to use. You can combine mileage and fuel purchase data for complete fuel tax reports. You can create driver deductions for individual purchases on the spot, which appear automatically when processing pay settlements. Fees, repairs, cash advances, and other purchases can also be included in the entry. Tax miles can be entered by hand or calculated using the optional Mileage interface which tallies miles per load. Q7 also interfaces with leading trucking mileage programs like Rand McNally and ProMiles. All fuel purchase, state mileage, and IFTA tax reports are included, and they’re completely customizable. Management Reporting The Q7 management reporting feature provides complete control over your operation. The reports calculate detailed data, such as generated revenue and profit based on drivers and equipment. You can also evaluate profit per mile, carrier cost, fuel, and repairs. View your general ledger accounts and use the Real-Time Reports dashboard for live custom reporting. Any custom report can be created by connecting directly to your underlying data. Mobile Logistics Q7 interfaces with leading electronic logging devices (ELDs) from providers such as Samsara, Omnitracs, and SkyBitz. ELDs are intended to be a substitute for driver logbooks. Q7’s integrated communications console allows you to send communication to and from the mobile device. Pay Settlement The Pay Settlement software lets you funnel information from other areas of Q7 to create detailed pay settlements and reports for drivers and carriers. It supports all driver pay and deduction methods, whether that’s percentage of revenue, hourly or flat rate, tonnage, mileage, or pieces. You can also include weekly deductions and reimbursements such as health insurance or per diem and payroll tax details. Provide your drivers with settlement sheets that summarize pay, deductions, and reimbursements. Safety Console The Safety Console allows you to ensure proper safety compliance for your fleet. You can manage key safety dates to avoid costly violations and keep track of safety-related expiration dates for all types of resources like licenses and registration, inspection, and maintenance. Safety flags are visible to dispatchers at all times, and you can set a color code that’s based on how far away an expiration date is. The System Health Monitor alerts you with a count of drivers or equipment with expiring safety dates. When safety alerts appear, you have the option to run the report as a formal safety notice or give the report to the driver or carrier. Q7 Customer Support & Ease of Use Q7 includes training and support in the software price, and you can contact them via the online support form. There’s also a knowledge base of articles that tackle various topics and provide tips and tricks for using the software, so you can be sure that you’ll be able to get answers to any questions you might have. It’s recommended that you complete at least four to six hours of training to become familiar with the different software features and how they connect to each other. Q7 is custom-built, unified software that has the same appearance and functionality throughout. The software can also be customized to meet your company’s specific requirements. Q7 Alternatives Bottom Line is a fully integrated trucking business platform that has everything a trucking company could need. From dispatch operations to fleet management tools, day-to-day operations become easier to manage with this software. Q7 also has a full suite of accounting tools, including payroll, general ledger, A/R, and A/P. You can opt for a site license or cloud-based setup, and the price includes both training and technical support. If you have a fleet of trucks and you can devote your time to learning the software, then Q7 is right for you.
February 17, 2022
Tailwind TMS Trucking Review: Features and Pricing
Tailwind TMS is a cloud-based transportation management system with integrated basic accounting functions such as accounts payable (A/P) and accounts receivable (A/R). It’s designed to help trucking companies and freight brokerages manage their operations, customers, dispatch processes, and accounting workflows. Tailwind TMS offers three subscription levels, with prices that start at $117 per user per month. All plans come with a free trial. What We Recommend Tailwind TMS For Tailwind TMS is a great choice for small to medium-sized trucking and freight brokerage companies that need help with managing and dispatching orders, performing basic accounting tasks, and tracking shipments. This software is ideal for trucking companies that need a comprehensive trucking management system with strong invoicing and billing features. Tailwind TMS Is Best For Freight brokers that need an affordable TMS solution: Tailwind is great for freight brokers because of its reasonable price, which is displayed upfront on the provider’s website. For as low as $117 per user per month, you can access a wide range of useful features, such as dispatch management, load tracking, and customer quote generation. Tailwind TMS is our choice for the best trucking accounting software for businesses needing strong invoicing and bill-payment software with built-in trucking features. Logistics companies with trucking assets and broker loads: The carrier management feature lets you manage and track dispatch information, including available loads, shipments that have been dispatched, and current and past-due payables. QuickBooks users wanting a trucking integration: Tailwind TMS provides trucking company features as an addition to QuickBooks accounting. Setting it up and syncing your data is relatively seamless, and Tailwind TMS can assist you with any issues. integrates with any plan and integrates with the Enterprise and Unlimited plans. Large trucking companies managing 20 to 100 trucks: Tailwind TMS’s Unlimited package allows you to track an unlimited number of shipments per month. Tailwind TMS Is Not Right For Trucking companies that need a complete bookkeeping system: While Tailwind TMS can perform basic A/R and A/P tasks, it isn’t possible to reconcile bank accounts or perform full double-entry accounting. If you need a complete bookkeeping solution, we recommend . If you want a complete bookkeeping solution, you can integrate Tailwind TMS with QuickBooks Online to create a powerful package. Trucking companies dealing with internet connectivity issues: Tailwind is completely cloud-based, which means it needs an internet connection to run. If you’re having problems with internet connection and speed, you might want to try Q7, which has both a cloud-based and desktop-based version. Small trucking companies that need easy and affordable IFTA tracking: If you’re mainly looking for an affordable way to maintain International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) compliance, is an excellent option that also provides inexpensive management software. If you think general bookkeeping software may meet your trucking accounting needs, check out our article on the best small business accounting software. Tailwind TMS Pros and Cons Tailwind TMS Trucking Pricing Tailwind TMS is available in three packages with prices that start at $117 per user per month when billed monthly. If you opt to be billed annually, you’ll get a discount on any plan and $399 off any optional assisted-onboarding package. All plans include basic features such as driver/carrier settlements, a complete quote and order system, and equipment maintenance tracking. Advanced features, like a self-service portal for customers and carriers and unlimited load tracking, are available in the top-tier plans. All plans have a free trial with no credit card required. Tailwind TMS Features Tailwind TMS has many attractive features for freight brokers and trucking companies. These include basic accounting functions, such as A/R and A/P, self-service client and carrier portals, dispatch and shipping tracking management, and a mobile app that helps to provide proof of delivery. A/P The A/P module allows you to keep track of the money owed to different personnel involved in your trucking business, such as external vendors, owner-operators, and employees. This module includes the following sections: Payables: This section contains a historical record of all things related to your A/P or bills. Incoming Bill Wizard: The Incoming Bill Wizard lets you create a new bill or associate an invoice you received with a preexisting bill: Bill Posting: Once an order is completed, all associated expenses will sit in the Bill Posting module waiting for you to post the bill. Vendor Pay: When a bill is posted, it’ll disappear from the Bill Posting list and move to the Vendor Pay List, waiting to be paid. Personnel Pay Wizard: This feature lets you manage your payroll. Owner Operator Pay Wizard: Bills owed to owner-operators are paid using the Owner Operator Pay Wizard. Check Clearing: This module allows you to keep track of outgoing payments that have been processed so that you’re aware of any outstanding checks. When you open the module, you’ll see a list of checks that haven’t yet cleared your account, which allows you to select the ones that have been paid and click “process” to clear them. A/R The A/R module helps you track the money you received from your customers. The following sections are included in the A/R module. Receivables: This section provides you with direct access to historical records of all your A/R or invoices. Invoicing: This section displays the list of your invoices. It lets you search through invoices by name, batch invoices created, approved status, and customer reference number. Invoicing Payment Wizard: This tool allows you to receive payments from your vendors. To proceed, you need to fill in the required fields, such as customer, check number, invoice date, and amount. Deposits: The Deposits module lets you track which invoices have been paid, but it isn’t possible to clear the deposits in the same way as checks. Order Management Tailwind TMS has a function that allows you to create orders for your customers, representing where the load is picked up and delivered to. It also allows you to charge customers basic freight charges or fuel surcharges. You can also track sales commissions, carrier partner pay, and company driver pay by the mile, by the hour, or by owner-operator revenue splitting. Tailwind TMS’s design allows for a wide variety of approaches to moving cargo. Whether you have a customer that needs multiple shipments delivered simultaneously, needs to swap carriers mid-route, or has any other variation, the software can assist you with keeping everything on track. You and your customers will receive email notifications alerting you when a load has been picked up or delivered. You can also copy an existing order for customers that always want the same shipment delivered so that you don’t have to enter the same information repeatedly. To create a new order in Tailwind TMS, go to the Orders list and then click on the Create button. The Order Creation table shows up, asking you to select the customer you’re creating the order for. You’ll also need to provide shipment details and revenue lines. Compliance Small to midsized shipping companies often don’t have enough staff to stay on top of all of their personnel and equipment compliance issues. Tailwind TMS allows you to store compliance details in specific records. When you set up your company drivers or owner-operator drivers, you can track compliance details such as Hazmat certificates, the expiration of medical exams, and the last time you did an annual driver record review. It also tracks commercial driver’s licenses and the related expiration dates. You also can track all compliances on equipment records like safety inspections or IFTA renewal dates. You can even keep comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules for the servicing of your vehicles. The software will remind you automatically when a compliance item is due, helping you to avoid costly violations. Customer and Carrier Self-service Portals The Enterprise and Unlimited subscription plans allow you to set up a self-service portal for your customers and carriers. The Customer portal grants your customers access to information about their accounts, shipments, and invoices. They can also use the portal to request quotes or even place orders directly, which saves you time. The Carrier portal is a tool that allows your carriers to have limited visibility into the parts of your Tailwind TMS database that directly relate to your business with them: available loads, shipments you have dispatched, and information regarding current and past-due payables. This allows for quicker and more efficient communication between you and your carriers. Customer Relationship Management Tailwind TMS can act as a customer relationship management (CRM) platform for your business. It allows you to track your customers, keep comprehensive credit information, and make notes as to when sales calls were made. You can generate a customized report that summarizes this data for review. Dispatch and Shipment Tracking Management Tailwind TMS helps you manage orders, invoicing, and receivables. You can capture and manage shipper and shipment details (such as appointment times and pick-up and delivery windows) quickly and easily. You can also pull information from orders to create dispatches (or create a standalone dispatch) and choose a carrier partner to move the load. Once a dispatch is created, you can send a trip manifest to your driver’s cellphone. If you’re using a carrier partner, you can send an electronic load confirmation to them with pickup city, delivery city, and rate details. Tailwind lets you track the status of a dispatch and make changes on the fly if needed. The Dispatches List makes it easy for you to track all the dispatches in your system. Reporting Preconfigured reports allow you to quickly see the overall health of your business and which customers are most profitable. There are more than 40 built-in reports which give you the ability to measure key performance indicators (KPIs) easily. These include a variety of administrative, sales, operations, and equipment reports. There is also an option to use advanced search to apply multiple filter parameters, which gives you the flexibility to pull the reports you need. Here are some examples of available reports: Administrative: A/R Aging Summary, A/P Aging Summary, Trial Balance, Transaction List by Customer, and Expense Item Summary Sales: Revenue by Sales Rep Detail, Profit by Account Rep Detail, Profit by Invoice, Number Loads Per Account Rep, and Number Loads by Sales Rep Operations: Profit by Customer Detail, Profit by Trip, Quote to Order Percent, Driver Miles, and Bill of Lading Details Equipment: Miles Per Truck Detail, Shipment Delivery Dates, Fuel Per Mile, Fuel Purchased by State, and Revenue Per Mile Tailwind POD Complete Mobile App (4.5 on Google Play and 3.3. on App Store) The Tailwind POD Complete mobile app is a great tool for drivers, as it allows them to capture a signed bill of lading with their mobile phone at the point of delivery (POD). The app is available for both iPhones and Androids and is included for free with a Pro or Enterprise subscription. Tailwind TMS Customer Support Tailwind TMS has a team of customer support agents available to help you find solutions for your operations and workflows. You can contact the company by phone, email, or via Tailwind TMS’s in-app chat, which can be accessed at the bottom right corner of any screen. Its Customer Success and Support Center has articles available on virtually every topic, from settings and configuration to administration. Tailwind TMS also offers on-demand video training, both general and role-based, as well as customer support packages to set up your staff and your Tailwind TMS account. Tailwind TMS’s customer support packages are summarized below: Quick Start: Quick Start comes free with any subscription plan and includes several items like an implementation checklist and access to live online training. Weekly implementation calls are intended to prepare your business to go live, and training and orientation time is available until you use all of the time that comes with the package. Sure Start ($399): This includes everything with Quick Start, plus a one-hour one-on-one training session for your Tailwind TMS administrator, a one-hour company-specific orientation session, a configuration of Tailwind POD Complete mobile app, and logo-branded documents. Business Accelerator ($999): This includes everything with Sure Start, plus a documented step-by-step implementation plan, weekly implementation review calls for up to six months, and the QuickBooks configuration package. QuickBooks Configuration ($199): This includes mapping and configuration of all accounts, tax types, and services between QuickBooks and Tailwind—and the initial sync. Tailwind TMS Ease of Use Tailwind TMS is a comprehensive package with several different modules and integrations available. That could be overwhelming, but because the information is laid out in a user-friendly way, it doesn’t take too long to feel comfortable navigating the software. The extensive support resources and available implementation plans also make it easy for companies to customize the software to suit their needs. The Dispatcher Dashboard is clean and uncluttered, with intuitive navigation and shortcuts that make it easy to perform common tasks like creating an order or dispatching a load. Left navigation bar: Use this section to navigate to different areas of the software, such as quotes, orders, shipments, and equipment status. Search bar: At the top of the screen, there are two search bars that allow you to look up orders and dispatches by their number. Create a customer: You can set up a customer and add them to the database here. Create a quote: If a customer has requested a quote, you can add it here easily. Create an order: Attach all of the load details to the order in this section. Dispatch a load: This is where you can enter the information to dispatch a load. Help: Tailwind TMS support is readily available to assist you by phone, email, and in-app chat. You can also search the support center and videos for answers to your questions. On-demand training is also available. Tailwind TMS Alternatives Bottom Line Whether you’re running a small trucking company, a brokerage operation, or a combination of both, gives you the tools to help you find and dispatch loads, invoice customers, and pay carriers, owner-operators, and drivers. Its features provide an all-in-one transportation management software solution, and its extensive customer support makes it a great fit for small and midsized freight brokers and trucking companies. It’s not as comprehensive as Q7 and QuickBooks Online, but it has enough features to help you effectively manage your trucking business.
February 10, 2022
Sage Business Cloud Accounting vs QuickBooks Online: Pricing, Features & What’s Best
Sage Business Cloud Accounting and QuickBooks Online both offer cloud-based accounting software solutions to businesses. Both have invoicing, expense tracking, banking, and reporting features. The main difference is that Sage Business Cloud Accounting isn’t as comprehensive as QuickBooks Online, especially in inventory accounting and time tracking. However, Sage Business Cloud Accounting’s most popular plan is $25 per month while QuickBooks Online’s regular price is $85. When to Use Sage Business Cloud Accounting Sage Business Cloud Accounting (originally called Sage One) is a cloud-based alternative to QuickBooks that was designed specifically with small businesses and freelancers in mind. It’s an affordable and effective accounting solution that offers solid features. Sage Business Cloud Accounting could work well for those looking for a less expensive alternative to QuickBooks. Sage Business Cloud Accounting Is Better for Simple bookkeeping: Sage Business Cloud Accounting offers a relatively straightforward accounting system, making it much simpler than Quickbooks Online. We recommend Sage Business Cloud Accounting if your needs are limited to tracking expenses, issuing invoices, and printing a profit or loss statement. Companies looking for an affordable QuickBooks alternative: Sage Business Cloud Accounting is more affordable than QuickBooks Online. Sage’s highest plan is only $25, while QuickBooks lowest-priced plan is $30. Mobile app accounting: You can do basic accounting tasks in Sage Business Cloud Accounting’s mobile app. Users can capture receipts, receive payments, and manage invoices. When to Use QuickBooks Online QuickBooks is our pick for overall best small business accounting software because of its flexible features. With its affordable pricing, intuitive user interface, and customizable features, it makes staying on top of your finances much less daunting. It’s also well suited to a wide range of business types and sizes and scalable so that it can grow with your business. QuickBooks Online Is Better for Tracking time, billing customers, and assigning project costs: If you want to accurately bill customers for billable hours, QuickBooks Online can help you track hours worked and bill them to customer invoices. Moreover, you can also track time and assign them to projects. Inventory tracking: QuickBooks Online offers great inventory tracking and accounting features for retailers. It computes the cost of goods sold, tracks inventory levels, and determines the cost of ending inventory. Seeking assistance from an independent bookkeeper: In QuickBooks Online, you can access CPAs and bookkeepers to assist you in keeping the books organized. You can hire a QuickBooks ProAdvisor to assist in bookkeeping or provide guidance in DIY bookkeeping. When to Use an Alternative Though Sage Business Cloud Accounting and QuickBooks Online offer many great features, these two software options aren’t the best choices for the following uses: Manufacturing concern: Both Sage Business Cloud Accounting and QuickBooks Online fall short in manufacturing entities. In a manufacturing concern, the accounting system needs to be streamlined in a way that it can compute the journey of products from raw materials assembly to finished goods post-processing. We instead recommend because of its comprehensive inventory tracking for manufacturing companies. Tracking multiple fixed assets: If you manage a significant number of fixed assets, using Sage or QuickBooks Online can be tedious. Neither of these software services has fixed asset management that computes depreciation and tracks fixed asset details automatically. is an accounting software service that offers a dedicated fixed asset manager. Multiple companies: If you need to manage several companies and consolidate them, QuickBooks Online and Sage Business Cloud Accounting aren't your best option. A subscription to either product can only be used to keep the books of one company. We instead recommend checking our list of the best multi-company accounting software. Fit Small Business Case Study To help us fully understand the capabilities of Sage Business Cloud Accounting and QuickBooks Online, we compared the two accounting software programs using our internally developed case study. We devised 11 key areas that should be present in small business accounting software. If you’d like to read our in-depth analysis for each software, you can check out our Sage Business Cloud Accounting review and QuickBooks Online review. In our case study, we found out that Sage Business Cloud Accounting is below or on par with QuickBooks Online in all key areas. Even though Sage doesn’t outperform QuickBooks Online in any key area, we still recognize Sage Business Cloud’s usability and applicability in small business accounting due to its very low price. However, QuickBooks Online is a go-to choice and a safe pick for small business owners who aren’t well-versed in accounting software products and can afford the price. Sage Business Cloud Accounting vs QuickBooks Online at a Glance Sage Business Cloud Accounting vs QuickBooks Online: Pricing While Sage Business Cloud Accounting offers a choice of two subscription plans, QuickBooks has five different subscription plans to choose from. Sage plans are priced from $10 to $25 per month, and prices for QuickBooks plans range from $30 to $200 per month (nondiscount) pricing. Sage Business Cloud Accounting Pricing Sage Business Cloud Accounting currently offers two pricing plans: Accounting Start and Accounting. While Accounting Start is quite limited in its features, the larger plan has many more features and is still competitively priced. The plan is billed monthly and you can cancel your subscription at any time. If you’d like to try the software first, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial with no credit card required. Accounting Start: $10 per month for one user Accounting: $25 per month for unlimited users QuickBooks Online Pricing QuickBooks Online is available in five subscription plans that range in price from $30 to $200 per month. At $85 per month, Plus is their most popular plan for small businesses. For an additional fee, you can add integrated payroll. A free 30-day trial is also available. Simple Start: $30 per month for one user Essentials: $55 per month for up to three users Plus: $85 per month for up to five users Advanced: $200 per month for up to 25 users Takeaway: Sage Business Cloud Accounting is a clear winner here because its highest plan is only $25 per month for unlimited users, while the price equivalent in QuickBooks Online is the most basic plan for one user. However, QuickBooks Online is well worth the extra money if you need a feature not available in Sage or you want assistance through QuickBooks’ huge network of ProAdvisors. Sage Business Cloud Accounting vs QuickBooks Online: Features Sage Business Cloud Accounting and QuickBooks Online both offer accounting solutions for small businesses. However, QuickBooks Online is an all-around accounting program, while Sage Business Cloud Accounting caters more to simple and straightforward bookkeeping with no inventory or time tracking. Sage Business Cloud Accounting Features Table QuickBooks Online Features Table Takeaway: While Sage Business Cloud Accounting gives QuickBooks a run for its money when it comes to features like bank reconciliation and invoice customization, there are still a few areas where the software could improve. Small businesses that require time tracking, inventory accounting, project management, and integrated payroll won’t find these features with Sage Business Cloud Accounting. Our overall winner for features is clearly QuickBooks Online. Sage Business Cloud Accounting vs QuickBooks Online: General Features Both Sage Business Cloud Accounting and QuickBooks Online follow a long series of setup steps that take a long time. However, while time-consuming, setting them up isn’t hard. The major difference is that you can’t import beginning balances and the chart of accounts on Sage Business Cloud Accounting. If you’re transferring from an accounting program to Sage, you’ll have to manually input specific accounts not present in the default list generated upon setup. In QuickBooks, you can import the chart of accounts but not beginning balances. You’ll have to create a journal entry first to enter beginning balances in the ledger. Takeaway: Sage Business Cloud Accounting and QuickBooks Online are similar in terms of setting up the accounting software, but Sage will take a longer time to set up since it cannot import the chart of accounts like QuickBooks Online. For ease of setup, we recommend as an alternative. Sage Business Cloud Accounting vs QuickBooks Online: Banking and Cash Management Creating bank feeds in Sage Business Cloud and QuickBooks Online is easy (including importing bank transactions). Moreover, both of these products allow the reconciliation of bank accounts even if you don’t connect your bank or credit card to the software. In terms of ease of use during bank reconciliation, QuickBooks Online offers a more intuitive and easy-to-understand interface than Sage Business Cloud Accounting. However, the process of reconciling is the same for both software products: Takeaway: We prefer QuickBooks Online if you need to process a lot of bank transactions in the books. QuickBooks Online is more comfortable to use for voluminous transactions, while Sage Business Cloud Accounting is flexible enough to handle lesser bank transactions. Sage Business Cloud Accounting vs QuickBooks Online: Ease of Use Both Sage Business Cloud Accounting and QuickBooks Online have an excellent user interface. Both are easy to use and navigate around. Moreover, Sage Business Cloud is far better than Sage’s desktop product, Sage 50cloud. Sage Business Cloud Accounting Ease of Use Sage Business Cloud Accounting is easy to use even for non-accountants. However, we see some process flow flaws that might affect productivity in encoding transactions. For example, users cannot record expense payments unless they create a bill first. We find this counterproductive and inefficient. Moreover, Sage Business Cloud doesn’t record the cost of goods sold after every sales invoice. Though you can still record COGS manually, that’s very inefficient given that Sage has all the information necessary to make the calculation for you. Other accounting software products, including QuickBooks Online, account for COGS in every invoice automatically. QuickBooks Online Ease of Use QuickBooks Online offers a slightly more complicated interface design than Sage Business Cloud but we think that this is only minimal. While it may be overwhelming at first use, things get easier faster than expected if you continually use QuickBooks Online. In terms of process flow, we don’t see any major process flaws that significantly impact the bookkeeping process. Takeaway: QuickBooks Online is our choice here if you process a lot of transactions every day, especially inventory. However, Sage Business Cloud Accounting can be an affordable alternative if you don’t account for inventory or track time. Sage Business Cloud Accounting vs QuickBooks Online: Integrations While there are many more integrations available for QuickBooks, Sage Business Cloud Accounting does offer an extensive list as well. In both cases, these applications will enhance your company’s efficiency and productivity. Sage Business Cloud Accounting Integrations Perhaps one of the largest benefits to using Sage Business Cloud Accounting is the access to other Sage applications as well as access to the robust Sage Marketplace, which includes more than 100 apps in a variety of categories designed to increase the functionality of your core application. Here are a few available integrations for Sage Business Cloud Accounting: Customer management: SalesSeek and HarmonyPSA Time tracking: BigTime Time and Billing Manage expenses: Itemize, Expensify, ExpensePoint, and ExpenseIn Payment management: Entryless and Stripe QuickBooks Integrations QuickBooks Online has more than 450 apps available, which includes both in-app integrations and also third-party apps that will integrate with the software. Whether it’s point-of-sale, e-commerce, or inventory management, you can sync other business apps with QuickBooks. Here are a few available integrations for QuickBooks Online: Customer management: HubSpot, Insightly CRM, Aero Workflow, and Capsule CRM Time tracking: QuickBooks Time (in-app), Time Tracker by eBillity, and Hour Timesheet Manage expenses: Expensify, Transaction Pro, Veryfi, and Dext Prepare Process payroll: QuickBooks Payroll (in-app) and RUN powered by ADP, Gusto Payment management: QuickBooks Payments (in-app), Freedom Merchants, Melio, Veem, and Chaser Takeaway: QuickBooks has more integrations available than Sage Business Cloud Accounting, but both provide the primary integrations you’ll need to manage your business. Sage Business Cloud Accounting vs QuickBooks Online: Mobile App Both Sage Business Cloud Accounting’s and QuickBooks Online’s mobile apps deliver the same features and perform as intended. Though their apps aren’t as good as , they can still work for very basic tasks, especially if you need to immediately upload receipts and receive payments through your smartphone. Takeaway: Both providers have mediocre apps that can be flexible enough based on your needs. However, our winner for the best mobile app is . Sage Business Cloud Accounting vs QuickBooks Online: Assisted Bookkeeping Options Assisted bookkeeping is an option for small business owners who want help with account set-up and ensuring that transactions are properly categorized as well as reviewing reports and preparing their books for month-end close. While Sage Business Cloud Accounting lacks in this department, QuickBooks offers its service, which, for a fee, will match you with a dedicated virtual bookkeeper. Sage Business Cloud Accounting Assisted Bookkeeping Sage Business Cloud Accounting doesn’t have its own online bookkeeping service that supports the software like QuickBooks does. You can likely find a local bookkeeper to assist you, but it won’t be as easy as with QuickBooks Online. It’s important to search for a bookkeeper who has experience with Sage products to ensure that they are a good fit for your business. You may also be able to find someone to work with virtually. In either case, it’s recommended that you verify their experience with Sage Business Cloud Accounting versus Sage 50 because the programs are significantly different. QuickBooks Live QuickBooks Live allows small business owners to outsource their bookkeeping tasks, which can include categorizing transactions, reconciling bank accounts, reviewing your financials, and closing your books. When you sign up, you’ll be matched with your own dedicated bookkeeper who is backed by a support team. You’ll be able to schedule live video chats in which you can go over financial reports, troubleshoot issues, and request guidance on how to perform certain tasks. You’ll also be able to review your bookkeeper’s progress in real-time. Prices range from $200 to $600 per month, depending on your company’s volume of expenses. It’s also easy to find an independent QuickBooks ProAdvisor to help you with QuickBooks Online. Takeaway: When it comes to assisted bookkeeping services, QuickBooks is the clear winner. With QuickBooks Live, you can rely on the support of an experienced and knowledgeable finance professional who’ll assist you with staying on top of your finances. For other great options, see our choices for the best online bookkeeping services. Sage Business Cloud Accounting vs QuickBooks Online: Customer Support If you’re a small business owner who wants to leverage the power of your accounting software to help you manage your business, the availability of customer support options should be a major consideration. Sage Business Cloud Accounting Customer Support. Sage Business Cloud Accounting doesn’t offer phone or email support, so you can only contact them through a live chat person or a chatbot. The company’s website also hosts a knowledge base, a blog, how-to videos, and training courses through Sage University. QuickBooks Customer Support QuickBooks offers a variety of customer support options depending on your level of urgency. They offer in-software help via live AI chat, a help center, videos, a resource center, and a blog. Although you’re not able to call them directly, you can make a request from within QuickBooks for them to call you back. The only feature not available is email support. Takeaway: QuickBooks Online is slightly better than Sage Business Cloud Accounting in terms of customer support because QuickBooks Online has phone support. However, it could’ve been better if users could call customer support directly. If you can’t sacrifice customer support, we recommend because it has all the customer support options offered in QuickBooks Online and Sage combined. Bottom Line While both and are solid options, if your business involves significant levels of inventory or time tracking and can afford it, we strongly recommend choosing QuickBooks Online over Sage Business Cloud Accounting. However, Sage Business Cloud Accounting is good for simple bookkeeping.
February 9, 2022
Inventory Aging Report and Why It Matters
An inventory aging report, also called an aged inventory report or stock aging report, provides key metrics on how quickly your inventory moves. It’s essentially a list of the items on hand grouped by the length of time in inventory. An essential task of a bookkeeper is to identify slow-moving or obsolete inventory that needs revalued in order to correctly calculate your cost of goods sold and using the aged inventory report is the easiest way to do it. It can also help reduce your cost of storing inventory by providing information on what inventory to buy. Depending on your accounting software, you can either generate a report automatically or retrieve the data and compile the report manually. Sample Inventory Aging Report The sample inventory aging report shown below reveals key financial data that can be used to evaluate the overall financial health of your business. Below is an example of an inventory aging report generated in : The above report includes each product listed on the left and the number of units in inventory grouped in 30-day increments. According to this report, all inventory items have been sitting in inventory for less than 30 days as of 12/5/15 as indicated by the first column. How to Read the Inventory Aging Report An inventory aging report may look similar to the more commonly used accounts receivable (A/R) aging report, with columns for aging “buckets,” such as one to 30 days or 30 to 60 days. It might include details such as the style or item number, warehouse, quantity, pending transactions, and available to sell. When you view the report, examine each age bucket and how much it contributes to your total stock on hand. Ideally, you want to have most of your stock in the first two buckets, or below six months. This means you have more fresh stock than aged stock, and most of your stock is selling at full price or higher margins. In the sample report above, you’ll see that all of the stock is in the 0 to 30 days age buckets. You can also look at the buckets at a higher age, see how much they’re contributing to your stock mix, and use this knowledge to manage your aging inventory. How to Use the Inventory Aging Report Used effectively, an inventory aging report can be an important indicator of your company’s financial health. It can help you to anticipate potential cash flow issues and reduce financial risk. Instead of focusing on quantities available, the inventory aging report helps you to focus on dollars invested, your return on that investment, and the opportunity cost of holding too much inventory. Generating an Inventory Aging Report Starting with the Platinum Edition 2021, you can now access two inventory reports that show the value of inventory items in stock, categorized based on their aging since purchase or acquisition. These reports, called Inventory Aging Summary and Inventory Aging Detail, provide information such as age, acquisition value, quantity, and average days in stock of each inventory or assembly item. While the inventory aging report isn’t common in accounting software for small businesses, it’s often found in accounting software that’s ideal for mid- to large-sized companies. For example, and allow you to generate an inventory aging report. Below is a sample inventory aging report generated in IBM: The above report generated using IBM software includes the product line, product description, and product class on the left. In contrast to the report generated in Odoo, this report categorizes inventory items into four main groups: age less than one month, age more than one month, age more than two months, and inventory age unknown. “Unknown” generally means that the receipt date was never recorded, so the age of the inventory cannot be calculated for those items. Additional software that will generate the statement automatically include: : Starting at $180 per user, per month : Starting at $212 per user, per month : Quote provided upon request Why Inventory Aging Matters Staying on top of the age of products sitting in inventory is important. Inventory is one of the largest―if not the largest―assets you’ll have on your books. Therefore, it’s important to keep tabs on how much inventory is sitting on the shelf and for how long. This will give you insight into what products customers are buying so that you don’t invest a lot of money into products that will never sell. The inventory aging report provides businesses with insights, such as: Identifying slow-moving items Highlighting nonmoving items Understanding the length of time your products sit in inventory Quantifying the cost of maintaining inventory for long periods of time Having access to this kind of information allows you to make informed decisions when it comes to what and how many products to purchase. Ways to Improve Your Inventory Aging Report There are many ways you can decrease the age of your inventory, but they all start with improving your inventory turnover ratio. If you can reduce the amount of time it takes for an inventory item to turn into a sale, your inventory aging report will improve. For this to happen, your inventory and purchasing departments must work together. The inventory department needs to review the inventory aging report to determine which items aren’t moving. After these items have been identified, you need to investigate further to see why the products haven’t sold. It could be that you’re ordering too much inventory, so you have excess on the shelf. If so, reduce your order for those products, and communicate to sales to make sure you order products that move quickly so you can meet customer demand. Key Takeaways of the Inventory Aging Report There are several key takeaways of the inventory aging report. First, it identifies slow-moving products and products that don’t move at all. Second, it gives the purchasing department the data they need to make better decisions when ordering products. Third, it gives you key insight into the additional inventory costs you pay for products that don’t sell quickly. Identifies slow-moving and nonmoving products: The inventory aging report highlights products that are either slow to move or aren’t moving out of inventory altogether and helps you determine why certain products sit in inventory longer than others. This data helps determine what products you order in the future. Improves the decision-making on inventory purchases: Having access to what products aren’t moving out of inventory allows the purchasing department to place orders for products that do sell quickly and reduces or eliminates slow-moving products. Gives insight into additional costs: The longer products sit in inventory, the more it costs to keep them in a “saleable” condition. Storing products for a long time can become costly, plus non-moving products limit the space available for fast-selling products. Bottom Line Now that you’re more familiar with what an inventory aging report is and why it's important, you should take the necessary steps to generate one for your business. It’ll be useful for monitoring your company’s financial health and allowing you to make informed decisions about what inventory to purchase in the future.
February 8, 2022
Units of Production Depreciation: How to Calculate & Formula
Units of production is a popular depreciation method that allows businesses to allocate the cost of a fixed asset based upon its use. Common in manufacturing, the units of production rate is calculated by dividing the equipment’s cost by its expected lifetime production. Multiplying this rate by the asset’s output for the year gives you the depreciation expense for that year. You cannot use units of production depreciation to calculate your tax deduction. However, it’s one of the four methods of depreciation allowed for Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Units of production are especially appropriate for manufacturers whose usage of machinery varies by year because it matches the cost of the machinery to the revenue that it creates. It also reflects the wear and tear on machinery more accurately. How to Calculate Units of Production Depreciation To calculate units of production depreciation, you need to divide the cost of the asset―less its salvage value―by the total units you expect the asset to produce over its useful life. Then, you’ll multiply this rate by the actual units produced during the year. The units of production depreciation formula is: To calculate the unit production rate, you must know the original cost of the asset as well as its expected salvage value and how many units the asset is expected to produce in its lifetime. 1. Calculate the Units of Production Rate As shown above, to calculate your units of production rate, you’ll need the cost of the asset, the salvage value of the asset, and the estimated number of units you expect it’ll produce over its useful life. The key information you’ll need to calculate the units of production rate is: Cost basis of the asset: The cost basis of a fixed asset is the total amount paid to get the asset up and running for use in your business. This typically includes the purchase price, sales tax, installation charges, shipping or delivery fees, and other costs. Salvage value of the asset: This is the estimated value of the asset at the end of its useful life. You must forecast this value at the time the asset is placed in service. In many cases, the estimated salvage value of a piece of machinery may be little more than its value as scrap metal. Estimated number of units to be produced: You need to estimate the number of units the machine will be able to produce over its entire life. If you forecast too few units, you’ll assign too high of a cost to units produced early in the machine's life, and no cost to the units produced at the end of the life. In contrast, if you forecast too many units, you assign too low a depreciation cost per unit and won’t fully depreciate the asset before it reaches the end of its useful life. Once you have this material, you’re ready to perform the calculation. It’s simply a matter of filling in part 1 of the formula above. 2. Calculate the Depreciation Expense The second step in calculating units of production depreciation is to determine the number of units the machine produced during the current year and multiply this by the units of production rate you computed in the previous step. As discussed in the next step, your annual depreciation cannot cause your accumulated depreciation to exceed your net cost of the asset. 3. Calculate Accumulated Depreciation Accumulated depreciation is the sum of depreciation expenses over the current and all prior years. The adjusted basis of your machine is the difference between the asset’s net cost and the total accumulated depreciation. Total accumulated depreciation isn’t allowed to exceed the machine’s net cost, and it should equal the net cost of the machine. Any units manufactured in excess of this amount won’t be assigned any depreciation expense, because the machine is fully depreciated, meaning it has no remaining adjusted basis. 4. Record Depreciation Expense To record depreciation, you must make a journal entry debiting Depreciation Expense and crediting Accumulated Depreciation. You can record this journal entry easily in , which we ranked as the best overall small business accounting software. Here is a sample journal entry recording $645 of depreciation expense: When to Use Units of Production Depreciation Units of production depreciation work well for businesses that use machinery or equipment to make a product. It can provide a more accurate picture of profits and losses by spreading the cost of such assets over the years based on usage. This is helpful for manufacturers since production fluctuates with consumer demand. The IRS doesn’t allow units of production depreciation for tax purposes, so it’s primarily used for internal bookkeeping. At tax time, you’ll likely be using the MACRS depreciation method. You’ll also want to make sure you’ve looked into Bonus Depreciation and Section 179 depreciation, which let qualifying businesses deduct the entire cost of many assets in the year of purchase. Pros & Cons of Units of Production Depreciation Units of production depreciation can work very well for manufacturing firms that use assets to produce output. The depreciation charges reflect actual wear and tear on such equipment and match revenues and expenses. However, this method can’t be used by all businesses or for tax purposes. Tracking usage can also be a headache. Units of Production Depreciation Calculation for Multiple Years In this example, we'll show how to calculate the units of production depreciation for several years on a machine purchased in 2022. Let's assume the following information: Cost of machine: $40,000 Residual value: $2,000 Estimated number of units to be produced over the life of the machine: 200,000 Units produced in 2022: 10,000 Units produced in 2023: 13,400 Units produced in 2024: 16,000 Units produced in 2025: 19,500 1. Calculate the Units of Production Rate By using the same formula discussed above, the units of production rate should be: Units of Depreciation Rate = (40,000 - 2,000) / 200,000 = 0.19 per unit 2. Calculate the Depreciation for Each Year The same depreciate rate per unit is used for the entire life of the asset, so we can easily calculate depreciation for each year: 2022 depreciation = 10,000 units X 19 cents = $1,900 2023 depreciation = 13,400 units X 19 cents = $2,546 2024 depreciation = 16,000 units X 19 cents = $3,040 2025 depreciation = 19,500 units X 19 cents = $3,705 3. Track Accumulated Depreciation Accumulated depreciation after the four years of depreciation is the sum of all depreciation claimed, or $11,191. Be sure to track this amount each year and never let it exceed the original depreciable value of the asset, which was $38,000. Once accumulated depreciation reaches $38,000, the asset is fully depreciated and any additional units produced do not generate any depreciation expense. Bottom Line Units of production depreciation can be calculated in two steps. First, you divide the asset’s cost basis―less any salvage value―by the total number of units the asset is expected to produce over its estimated useful life. Then, you multiply this unit cost rate by the total number of units produced for the period.
February 7, 2022
Common Invoice Payment Terms and Tips on Setting Them
Most companies will set payment terms to ensure that they’re paid on time, the most popular terms being 30 days (or Net 30). It’s important part of accounts receivable management and an important bookkeeping task to make these terms transparent to customers, and they should be displayed on every invoice that’s issued. The Five Most Common Invoice Payment Terms Payment in advance: Deposit or payment made by a customer before work starts on a project. For example, a customer might make a 50% deposit to start work on the project with the balance due upon the completion of the project. Due upon receipt: A payment due upon receipt is a payment that customers must make immediately upon receiving the invoice for a transaction. Typically, businesses use payment due upon receipt to signify that payment is due by the following business day. Net 7, 10, 30, 60, 90: These terms refer to the number of days in which a payment is due. For example, Net 30 means that a buyer must settle their account within 30 days of the date listed on the invoice. 2% 10 Net 30: Customers will receive a two percent discount if the invoice is paid within 10 days, otherwise the full amount is due in 30 days. For example, an invoice for $1,000 could be settled for $980 if it’s paid within 10 days. Line of credit pay: Most common among larger corporations, line of credit pay gives the customer the ability to pay their invoices over a period of time, such as monthly or quarterly. Choose the Best Invoice Terms for Your Business Choosing the best payment terms for your business is essential, as it helps to regulate your cash flow and also impacts your customers’ payment habits. Below are a few things to consider before setting your terms: Cash Flow Considerations Although you have to keep customer expectations in mind when setting invoice payment terms for your business, your primary consideration should be your company’s cash flow needs. The best invoice payment terms are the ones that provide enough cash to keep your business running while carefully considering your clients’ needs. While using the “Due Upon Receipt” payment terms on your invoice can provide a quicker payment turnaround and more reliable cash flow, it can also be inconvenient for your clients. It could also potentially be off-putting to them and make you seem difficult to work with, resulting in even slower payment or a decreased likelihood of repeat business. Industry Considerations You’ll also want to consider industry standards when setting your invoice payment terms. While the most common term is Net 30, it’s also important to know the standard for your industry. For example, the most common payment term in the construction industry is Net 90, but in the landscaping industry, it’s Net 7. Making sure that your invoice payment terms align with industry expectations is a crucial way to ensure that you’re paid on time while keeping your customer happy. Client History If you have done business with the client before, you can base the invoice payment terms on your experience with them. Do they pay on time, or do they still owe on a previous invoice? Depending on the experience, you may want to set a shorter deadline for payment. However, if things are going well with the current terms―Net 30, for example―you may want to keep things as they are. Working with a new client always has some level of uncertainty. You may want to consider asking for payments at different phases of a project once a milestone has been reached or asking for a deposit upfront. This will help to demonstrate to your customer that prompt payment is important to your business. Size of the Invoice Always consider the invoice amount when determining the payment terms. The smaller an invoice is, the less time you want to spend chasing payment on it. If an invoice is for a small amount, requiring immediate payment or a Net 10 deadline may be most suitable. Larger invoices may merit a longer deadline so that your client has more time to come up with the funds. If you’re working on a large project with a new client, consider asking for an upfront deposit to reduce the risk of nonpayment. Early Payment Discounts Early payment discounts offer an incentive to customers to pay you before the invoice due date, ultimately saving them money. These discounts help you get paid sooner so you can meet your own financial obligations. Most invoices with Net 30 and longer terms are coupled with early payment discounts. For example, if a customer pays you within 10 days on a 30-day invoice, you might give them a 2% discount. On the invoice, this would be noted as 2% 10 Net 30. We selected as the overall best small business accounting software, partly because it makes it easy to offer early payment discounts to customers. When you add a new customer, you can select the payment terms for all of their invoices. Assigning payment terms will allow QuickBooks Online to send you an alert when invoices are coming due. If desired, you can send customers a reminder email to ensure invoices are paid on time. Here’s a snapshot of an invoice that was created in QuickBooks with early payment terms: Late Fees and Interest Consider adding late fees or interest charges to your invoice terms to enforce your payment expectation but be sure to indicate this clearly on the invoice. It’s customary to charge 1.5% to 2% of the invoice amount as a late fee for past-due invoices. You can follow up on delinquent invoices by sending a friendly payment reminder email to customers. Bottom Line There’s a lot at stake when choosing your invoice payment terms. They set the tone for your future relationship with customers and affect your business financially. You need to weigh the client’s payment history and the potential revenue the job will bring in when deciding what invoice terms to offer.
February 7, 2022
How Much Bookkeepers Charge
The average hourly rate for freelance bookkeepers ranges from $26.30 to $42.52 per hour. Depending on your geographic location, this amount will be more or less than the average national rate of $37 per hour. A freelance bookkeeper’s level of education and any certifications they have obtained, such as QuickBooks ProAdvisor, are also a factor in determining the hourly rate. Specializing in additional services like payroll or having expertise in a certain accounting application can also be a factor. In addition, the frequency and type of services needed can impact the hourly rate. Factors Influencing Freelance Bookkeeper Rates Six key factors will impact the hourly rate you’ll charge for your services. These factors include your geographic location, level of education, the certifications you hold, the amount of experience you have, the types of services you provide, and the frequency with which you provide service. 1. Geographic Location According to a survey published by Zip Recruiter, the average national rate for a self-employed bookkeeper is $37 per hour, but these rates vary from one state to the next. The hourly rate ranges from $26.30 in Louisiana to $42.52 in Massachusetts. Select a state from the drop-down menu below to show the average rate for bookkeepers in that state. Average Freelance Bookkeeper Hourly Rate By State Select State Massachusetts Washington Maryland New York Nebraska Virginia New Hampshire Colorado South Carolina Delaware Missouri California Kentucky Oklahoma Hawaii Vermont Arkansas Wyoming Illinois Michigan Connecticut Rhode Island Idaho West Virginia Alaska Maine Nevada North Dakota New Jersey Pennsylvania Montana Texas Arizona Indiana Minnesota South Dakota Tennessee Wisconsin Ohio Oregon Utah Georgia North Carolina Louisiana Kansas Iowa Alabama New Mexico Florida Mississippi *Data taken from Zip Recruiter survey based on millions of open self-employed bookkeeper jobs across the United States. 2. Level of Education Your level of education is important to consider when determining the best way to attract potential clients. Having a degree under your belt will give your customers confidence and the willingness to pay more. A bachelor’s degree isn’t necessary to be a bookkeeper. Ideally, you should consider an associate degree from a local community college, but many schools also offer bookkeeping certificates that can be earned in less time. 3. Bookkeeper Certifications There are three types of certifications for bookkeepers that we recommend: American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) certification, National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB) certification, and QuickBooks ProAdvisor certification. Thousands of bookkeepers have completed one or more of these programs successfully and, as a result, have increased their earning potential. American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers The is ideal for someone who doesn’t have any formal education in bookkeeping. Certification exam and materials are $610 for nonmembers and $515 for AIPB members. A one-year membership to AIPB is $45. Upon completion of all certification requirements, you’ll earn the designation of Certified Bookkeeper (CB), which you can include on your business cards and marketing materials. National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers The is ideal for those with an associate degree or bachelor’s degree in accounting. The certification exam is $449 for non-members and $369 for NACPB members. A one-year membership to NACPB is $200. Once all certification requirements have been met, you’ll earn the designation Certified Professional Bookkeeper (CPB), which you can include on your business cards and marketing materials. QuickBooks ProAdvisor Certification In addition to getting certified through the AIPB or NACPB, we also recommend that you get certified in QuickBooks. The QuickBooks ProAdvisor certification program is ideal for freelance bookkeepers because it allows you to get certified for free with no strings attached. Read our guide on how to become a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. It’s also arguably the most valuable bookkeeper certification, as the vast majority of small businesses in the US use QuickBooks. To learn more about the benefits included and how to get started with the AIPB or the NACPB certification, check out our bookkeeper certification guide. 4. Bookkeeper Experience While having a degree and/or bookkeeper certification will give you the knowledge that you need to get your foot in the door, having practical work experience is equally valuable. The more experience you have doing actual bookkeeping work, the more confident you’ll be in your skills, which will translate into higher billable rates. Consider Becoming an Industry Expert You can make your bookkeeping experience even more valuable by specializing in a particular industry, especially if that industry has unique requirements. For example, trucking, nonprofits, churches, and restaurants are only a few of the industries where industry-specific knowledge will make you more valuable. 5. Client Size Small clients often have simple bookkeeping needs and small revenue, so you may want to charge them less. For instance, you may charge an hourly rate of $40 to a large client that earns up to $2 million in revenue and around $30 for a very small client with an annual revenue of $300,000. 6. Type of Bookkeeping Services Provided In general, bookkeeping services include managing all aspects of accounts payable (A/P) and accounts receivable (A/R), reconciling bank and credit card accounts, and generating monthly financial reports. If you have the expertise, you could increase your billable rate by offering payroll in addition to bookkeeping services. Depending on the industry, you might be able to extend your services to include cost accounting for projects and jobs. Because this type of service requires a lot of industry-specific knowledge, you’ll be able to charge a higher rate than on typical bookkeeping engagements. Before bringing on a new customer, you should meet and assess their entire situation. Is there more you can do than just providing financial statements? As an industry expert, you might help them to recognize needs and opportunities. The assessment will consist of gathering information that’ll help you to determine the amount of time and level of complexity required to meet the client’s needs before you provide your quoted price to them. Remember, more specialized services can demand a higher rate of pay. 7. Accounting Software Used Another important factor for determining your rate is your expertise in various accounting software. Our article about the best small business accounting software reviews some of the top options on the market. In general, good cloud-based software makes accounting easier and reduces the hours, allowing you to charge more per hour. We recommend , which we ranked as the best overall small business accounting software. If you decide to become certified as a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, you’ll have the added benefit of a free subscription to QuickBooks Online Accountant. 8. Frequency of Service The frequency with which you’ll provide services to a client should also be considered when you’re trying to decide what to charge for your bookkeeping services. Some customers will be one-time customers, and others will require your services on a recurring basis: monthly, quarterly, or annually. Ideally, the clients whose books you review most often should have a lower rate than those that you see on a one-time or annual basis. Monthly and quarterly clients often require less work than those you see once a year because you review their books more often. Bookkeeping clients typically fall into one of the following four categories: One-time service: You may be hired to perform a specific task rather than ongoing services. Often this is for a new business that needs help with setting up their company file or training to use their accounting software. The rate you that charge for this service should be higher than the rate that you charge your recurring clients. Monthly service: Clients that fall into this group are typically bookkeeping and/or payroll clients that you’ll bill once a month. As discussed, monthly clients will be a lot less work than one-time or annual clients, so you should consider offering a discounted rate to these clients. Quarterly service: Clients for which you file quarterly payroll returns generally fall into this group. You’ll be familiar with these clients since you’ll see them every three months or so. This rate should be similar to what the monthly clients pay but adjusted for the type of work done (such as payroll and payroll tax filing). Annual service: The clients that you see once a year are typically those that bring you a shoebox of receipts so you can prepare their tax returns. Similar to one-time service clients, you’ll need to invest some time to get this client’s books in order, as they may lack any sort of organized system. The hourly rate that you charge should be similar to what you’re charging for a one-time service client. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) How much do freelance bookkeepers charge? Freelancer bookkeepers charge anywhere from $26.30 to $42.52 depending on several factors, such as location, experience, certification, and type of bookkeeping services provided. Which states have the highest freelance bookkeeping rates? The top three states with the highest freelance bookkeeping rates are Massachusetts, Washington, and Maryland, with average hourly rates of $42.52, $39.25, and $38.12, respectively. Bottom Line Many factors contribute to your decision about how much to bill your clients. Once you evaluate the average rate of pay for your geographic location, your level of education, and any certifications, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect in terms of an hourly rate. Your work experience is also key as are the types of bookkeeping services offered, your expertise with accounting software, and the frequency at which you’ll be providing services to your client.