All That's Trucking

Are You Staying on Top of Your Fuel Invoices?

April 22, 2014

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Are you concerned about the accuracy of your fuel invoices? If you are, you have plenty of company, according to one recent survey.

In the wake of last year's allegations and continuing investigation of fleets being shortchanged fuel rebates by Pilot FLying J, FuelQuest recently surveyed more than 80 fleet-based businesses across North America regarding the invoicing problems facing the industry. Respondents included truckload, less than truckload, private carrier, and common carrier fleet businesses.

Nearly 40% of respondents suspect errors in their fuel invoices, and over 38% have plans to implement measures to combat invoicing errors this year. 

“Unaddressed, bulk fuel invoice error rates tend to hover around 25%, but we have seen some companies with rates as high as 55%. Accuracy is a challenge for both suppliers and buyers due to complex fuel and freight contracts as well as manual or sample-based reconciliation processes,” said Ryan Mossman, vice president and general manager of FuelQuest Fuel Services.

Of course, FuelQuest is not an uninterested observer in this issue; it markets a solution to reduce inaccurate invoices with invoice reconciliation software and services. But the results are still interesting. A few more highlights:

  • Of the fleet owners surveyed, over 24% stated there was a business impact from invoicing errors including overpayments, increased operational costs, and lost trust in suppliers.
  • 24% say that they have changed the way they manage and review their fuel invoices as a result of recent scandals such as the prosecution of Pilot Flying J for fuel rebate fraud.
  • Almost all fleets surveyed (99%) reported invoice discrepancies up to 25% of the time, with some reporting discrepancies up to 50% of the time.
  • Spot price comparison ranked as the No. 1 challenge for fleet owners (35%), closely followed by monitoring tax rule and rate changes (32%).

Shortly after the Pilot Flying J allegations broke last year, Washington Editor Oliver Patton wrote an article with tips on staying on top of your fuel-buying program, which you can read here.

And you can learn more about using technology to monitor fuel card transactions here.

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Author Bio

Deborah Lockridge

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All That's Trucking blog is just that – the editor's take on anything and everything related to trucking, with the help of guest posts from other HDT editors. Author Deborah Lockridge's career as an award-winning trucking journalist started in 1990.


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