Are you prepared for an IFTA Audit?
When it comes an audit, the best defense is a great offense. And the best offense is knowledge.
Knowing what will happen in an audit and being prepared with sufficient record-keeping will keep you ready for an audit at any time.
We have interviewed Adam Galante, our Vice President of Operations, to talk about electronic record-keeping requirements for an IFTA audit.
Tracking system requirements for an IFTA Audit
What are the requirements for the different tracking systems available to carriers?
When using a GPS tracking system, there are several data points you want to be sure are recording accurately.
The required data sets for an IFTA audit are:
- date and times
- the odometer or the ECM reading or hubometer reading
- longitude and latitude readings for each ping
In addition, carriers need to ensure the readings are made in a sufficient manner, at correct intervals, and readings must be recorded to the fourth decimal point.
What is a sufficient interval for recording GPS data?
The GPS needs to ping at intervals of less than five minutes. Be sure the tracking system you are using is set to this interval.
Also, consider various factors about the routes drivers take, by asking questions like:
- what is the distance the driver will be traveling?
- is it a short or long route? Are there a lot of hills or is it mostly flat?
- how often are drivers crossing state lines?
- is the GPS tracking system proper geofencing around the different states?
Note: Geofencing needs to map the entire state all the way around.
What would be considered inadequate or insufficient data recording?
An IFTA auditor will look for several factors when evaluating electronic record-keeping from the GPS tracking system.
IFTA auditors will check:
- if the GPS is meeting the interval of less than 5 minutes for every ping
- if the GPS tracking system is using proper
- For example, if the geofencing isn’t mapping the entire state all the way around, your data will be inadequate.
- if the odometer readings put into the GPS match the odometer on the vehicle
- if longitude and latitude lines aren’t recorded to the fourth decimal point
If you want CNS to perform a mock IFTA audit, we can tell you if you are in compliance.
What should carriers look for when purchasing a compliant tracking system?
Make sure the tracking systems can record the sufficient data points, as mentioned above.
In addition, GPS tracking systems should be able to:
- set recording intervals to under 5 minutes – this is very important!
- record time stamps for each state crossing
- record longitude and latitude for every ping to the fourth decimal point
- know how the provider is accumulating their unknown miles and providing that information to you.
What are the most common reoccurring problems in processing fuel taxes?
When auditors process fuel taxes, they often come across these five error points:
- bad GPS data
- insufficient GPS information coming through
- GPS pings are not set to the correct intervals of less than five minutes
- broken GPS hardware
- once it’s broken the data normally can’t be retrieved
- poor fuel tax reporting
- faded, unorganized fuel receipts or fuel purchase pre-authorization slips that cannot be read.
If you can resolve these fives common fuel tax issues, you will be well-prepared for an IFTA audit!
Read our previous blog post for more tips on Surviving an IFTA Audit.
IFTA Fuel Tax Service
Keep your electronic record-keeping accurate with CNS Fuel Tax Service
The fuel tax service at CNS stands out because it offers carriers these benefits:
- secure data storage with a portal login
- experts familiar with IFTA audits and GPS tracking systems
- affordable pricing that will work for any business
The thought of an audit should not scare you if you are prepared. Use your electronic record-keeping as a resource to keep you prepared for any inspection or audit situation. When your records are accurate and secure, your business will be too!