One of the most common questions we get is “Where do I start?” This article will discuss the program flow and how to get started with The Truckers Helper. It will also explain how the data inter-relates and why some of the steps in our process are necessary.
In order to do it’s job effectively any software that’s designed to meet the needs of a trucking company has to serve two purposes. The first of these is to provide you with the information and reports you need to run your business. The second is to insure that, in the event of an audit, by any government entity (IFTA, SAFETY COMPLIANCE or IRS) that you have the records and information to survive that audit with a minimum of work or effort on your part. The Truckers Helper has been designed to fill both of these needs. So while some data may seem like it’s more than you really care to track, in the event of an audit, this information is going to be required by the auditor and it’s presense in your data will impress the auditor and establish the clear audit trail he is looking for. Now let’s talk about how the program works.
The first step is to get the program setup completed.
REGISTRATION - is accomplished when the program first opens up. This is the information you entered in the HEADER INFO box that appears. This information is used for you header on invoices, reports, etc. Your billing terms are also entered here.
SETUP TRUCKS - here you will enter the basic information on the trucks your company uses. The truck number and the intervals for periodic maintenance are required entries. The remaining information to the actual performance of maintenance are optional. If you choose to use the optional maintenance portion of the program, it will provide you with maintenance reminders when periodic maintenance and safety inspections are due as well as a complete maintenance record for the truck. This information is used throughout the program to verify that truck assignments are correct. You will enter company and leased trucks here.
OPTIONAL - TRUCK INFO - this section allows you to enter additional information on the truck including your loan and liabilty account information. If you enter this information here the program will automatically setup a liability and asset account for you in the accounting section.
OPTIONAL - a similar section is provided for TRAILERS where you can track trailer maintenance, setup reminders, etc.
SETUP DRIVERS - here you will enter your driver information. The drivers name and address are required. The other information on the page is optional, but again entering this information will provide you with the ability to get reminders when a drivers license or medical are coming due, setup date reminders for special events affecting the driver, and keep other pertinent HR information. This information is used by the LOG MASTER and Payroll and any other place where the drivers name is presented.
SETUP OWNER/OPERATORS - Owner/Operators are setup in exactly the same manner as company drivers. From the programs point of view the only difference between a company driver and and o/o is that you withhold taxes for one and do not for the other. This is handled in the next section.
SETUP PAYROLL - here you will tell the program how you want to pay your drivers and Owner/Operators. You will also setup any regular deductions that need to be made and assign the driver to a truck. For company drivers taxes are also setup in this section. The program provides the ability to make permanent truck assignments or to set the drivers up for slip-seating. This information is used in payroll and throughout the program when an association needs to be made between the truck and the driver.
OPEN ACCOUNTS - while this step is on the Accounting Flow rather than the Setup Flow, it is really the final step in setting up your program. Here you will go to the accounting section and actually open your cash and charge accounts. While the program comes with a complete list of trucking specific accounts it also has the ability to allow you to setup your own accounts.
NEXT you will move to managing your loads and the day to day affairs of your business.