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How Fuel Cards Can Help You Monitor and Control Fuel Expenses

The right fuel card can save you money per gallon of diesel, streamline accounting, and give your fleet the security controls they need to minimize fraud. When selecting a card, look for one that provides Level-3 data capture, including date, time, location, driver, vehicle, odometer entry, and purchased product.

Real-time Tracking

One of the main advantages of fleet fuel cards is that they help trucking businesses monitor and control one of their largest expenses by tracking various information in real-time. The digital receipts include a driver ID, date, time, purchase location, and gallons purchased to identify potential misuse or fraud. A CFN fuel card also offers standard and customizable reports to help drivers and business owners better understand spending patterns, identify inefficiencies, and optimize the company’s budget.

Many fuel card programs also allow companies to set purchasing controls on individual cards to prevent unauthorized or unnecessary purchases. The company can also set the maximum tank fill amount and restrict which vehicles can make a purchase. This can help curb over-fueling and ensure that each vehicle is filled to the correct capacity, as every extra 100 pounds of cargo on a truck can lower fuel efficiency by 1%.

Additionally, most fuel cards have an easy-to-use app to find gas stations near a driver’s route, reducing their need to travel further than necessary to buy fuel. These apps are available for drivers and fleet managers and can save time and money by helping them avoid unnecessary stops and wasting fuel.

Customizable Reporting

When drivers use company-owned vehicles, it is important to ensure they are accountable for their spending. Keeping track of employee spending can help fleet managers save money in the long run. Using fuel cards allows for easy monitoring of all purchases made using the card. Managers can get purchase notifications, including each transaction’s date, time, and location. This helps to minimize the risk of fraud or overspending by drivers, resulting in savings for the organization. Fleet managers can also set controls based on daily transactions, fill volume, and more. Having a well-drafted driver fuel card policy compatible with the fleet’s working processes and schedule is also helpful.

The real-time tracking capabilities of fuel cards can significantly impact fleet efficiency. Managers can review each transaction, monitor spending trends, and easily take corrective action. Some cards even allow for recording additional information, such as GPS tracking data and IFTA reports. This streamlined reporting can save valuable time for both drivers and accounting departments. It can also help to prevent unnecessary expenses that may have been missed through traditional expense reporting methods.

Mobile Apps

Businesses relying heavily on vehicles and fleets can realize significant savings by managing fuel costs with a fleet fuel card. These cards help drivers and businesses save time and money by automating expense tracking, reducing the need for manual receipt collection, and simplifying record-keeping through one weekly invoice.

With the right card, companies can track and compare spending through customized reports categorized by fleet, vehicle, driver, route, and more. Look for features that allow you to set purchase limits by dollar amount, product type, and location to reduce fraud and overconsumption. Many cards also have a mobile app that gives drivers access to their accounts to monitor and control purchasing on the go.

This gives you greater insight into driving trends to identify areas of wasteful spending or breaks in standard operating procedures that need correction or elimination. This information can improve your company’s bottom line and make you more competitive. Automated expense tracking also greatly reduces the opportunity for human error.

Flexibility

Whether you’re an owner-operator or run a fleet of trucks, having a fuel card is a smart investment. They’re a convenient way to save on diesel, streamline back-office processes, and limit spending. The best cards offer several features that allow you to control and monitor driver and vehicle performance. They also make it easy to generate important documentation like IFTA reports and provide mileage data that can identify inefficient purchasing habits.

Manually tracking fuel expense data in spreadsheets requires a lot of time and creates multiple error opportunities. Fuel cards automate this process, providing streamlined accounting and more usable data. Plus, they help you respond to thefts, anomalous expenditures, and lost cards in real-time. In addition, they can be assigned to specific drivers or vehicles and can have PINs that can prevent misuse. You can even set a maximum daily purchase threshold. This flexibility means your team can keep their focus on the road and avoid costly mistakes.

Security

Fleet fuel cards help trucking companies manage their budget by ensuring company financial goals make all purchases. They provide more than automated expense tracking, allowing purchase controls to be set on various parameters, including dollar amount, product type, location, and more.

This helps to prevent overconsumption, unauthorized purchasing, and other types of fraud. It also helps reduce costs by reducing the need to track and approve expense reports or collect odometer readings.

With the right fuel card, all transaction data can be accessed in an online account, allowing managers to view spending details by vehicle, driver, date range, and even individual gas stations. Managers can quickly identify trends and make necessary adjustments.

For the ultimate level of security, many fuel cards can be engraved with each vehicle number and driver’s name to prevent unauthorized handling and misuse. Additionally, some cards can require a PIN to complete transactions. This provides an extra layer of protection that cash or most credit cards cannot offer.

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