To check your fleet operation’s overall efficiency and financial health, it is important to perform audits periodically. Audits can help you evaluate your current processes and procedures and determine if new ones need to be created or if existing ones need to be updated. These can also help ensure your fleet is complying with negotiated contracts, and regulatory agencies.
There are various types of audits you can perform at your operation, including:
- Invoices: Performing an audit on your invoices lets your operation verify they meet basic legal requirements such as including the word “invoice,” an invoice number, company purchase order number, and your company’s name and address. Additionally, invoices must be audited to ensure the vendor services provided were the services requested by the company at the agreed upon cost, with no mistakes, over billing or add-ons.
- Expense Reports: Check your employees’ expense reports to ensure the correct items are being expensed and that they are within the authorized spending limits. It’s also important to verify these expenses are processed and authorized by the correct company personnel.
- Fleet Records: Make sure you have all the necessary vehicle and driver records on file, including vehicle registrations, accident reports, and drivers’ records and their licensing information. While checking for these items, you should also ensure they are current. Additionally, you should inspect all DOT compliance records to make sure files are in good order in case you are audited by the Department of Transportation or State regulators (Biennial Inspection of Terminal). Review all accident reports for preventability by the accident review committee and issue recommendations to mitigate future accidents.
- Work Order Records: Review technician work orders monthly to ensure they are completed correctly and closed correctly when finished. Quality-inspect the work order labor times to ensure parts and labor hours are entered properly, and repair time standards are met.
- Maintenance Records: Ensure all preventive maintenance and daily driver inspections are completed in a timely manner. Review vehicle histories and look for concerning trends that need more focus to prevent driver equipment abuse or that can lead to unplanned breakdowns.
- Parts Records: Periodically perform parts inventory audits to ensure proper purchasing protocols (e.g., purchase dollar approval levels, PO issued, etc.), are followed and a separation of employee duties is in place to prevent fraud. Ensure old vehicle parts that are no longer needed are removed to prevent inflated inventories and reduce obsolesce.
- Vendor Records: Routinely audit vendor contract performance to determine if they are adhering to the agreed upon performance and pricing terms. Audits can uncover issues and aid with developing action plans to maintain vendor compliance.
- Fuel Records: Audit fuel records monthly to ensure drivers are using the correct products, entering correct odometer readings, accessing fuel at preferred locations, and purchasing the right amount of fuel. Audit employee PIN use regularly to make sure security is maintained at a high level to prevent fuel misuse, fraud, or unauthorized purchases.
Check If Your Fleet Is Ready for an Audit
To ensure your fleet operation is ready for an audit, there are certain steps you can take before the official audit takes place.
One option is to pull random records from your fleet management software system and see if they are accurate, contain the right data and are compliant with requirements. This can include financial, vehicle, driver, or maintenance records.
Another option is to schedule a “mock audit,” like what your company might expect to occur should a regulatory agency decide to schedule an audit of your operation (California BIT). A mock audit can be a good test to ensure all protocols, files, and data are in compliance prior to a “real-live” audit.
If your random sampling of records shows inconsistencies or areas where the required information was not available, then you know you have work to do to get your fleet compliant and ready for a complete audit.
It’s important to perform these audits regularly – about every six months – to ensure your operation is staying compliant and important information isn’t slipping through the cracks.
RTA Fleet Management Software can help your fleet operation perform an audit. Contact us to learn about our consultation services!