Joining AATAC means that our retailers will meet quality companies with products and services that will help you prosper.

Up in Fumes

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. — In a penny-margin business, fuel-payment inaccuracies—everything from overpaying taxes to out-and-out fraud—can cost convenience-store retailers thousands, if not millions, according to speakers at a recent CSP webinar on fuel invoicing.

Pointing out two high-profile cases of fuel-invoice mismanagement, Gary Davis, senior product manager of the excise business unit for Avalara, Bainbridge Island, Wash., noted the fraud allegedly perpetrated by individuals at Pilot Flying J, which came to light in 2013, and an underpayment of taxes in the case of Spirit Airlines last year.

In the case of Pilot Flying J, the Knoxville, Tenn.-based company paid $85 million in civil penalties and a $92 million federal penalty. In the case of Spirit Airlines, Miramar, Fla., the company found that it underpaid its fuel taxes by $9.3 million, sending its stock plummeting 5.3% in one day, Davis said.

Though these cases were notable “aberrations,” Davis said, “This is the kind of thing that can happen if you’re not vigilant, don’t understand [the numbers] and simply pay invoice.”

Davis and his co-presenter, Ryan Mossman, senior director of managed services for Insight360 at FuelQuest, Houston, said fuel-price volatility and constantly changing tax requirements can confuse retailers and lead to substantial losses.

In a 2013 FuelQuest study of trucking companies, a third of respondents said they only checked a portion of their invoices, Mossman said.

The two speakers suggested tips that can help retailers avoid errors, including the following:

  • Validation. In the case of fuel, retailers need to secure strong supply contracts; leverage pricing providers like Argus, OPIS, Platts; and tie fuel surcharges to Department of Energy indexes or other transparent sources that help demonstrate true market prices. On the tax side, retailers have to make sure they’re up on all changes on both the state and federal levels.
  • Spot checking. While retailers might not be able to review and reconcile each and every invoice, spot checking is a solid practice, especially when buying circumstances change (new terminals, products, etc.)
  • Automation. Different services both on the fuel pricing and taxation sides can provide some relief, as these solution providers constantly monitor the changing landscape.

Retailers have a common goal of saving money, Mossman said, which they can accomplish by finding errors and reconciling corrections. “But the best practices [are] control and visibility, paying the best price, but getting fuel only when you need it.”

Angel Abcede


About jota

Vendor Application


Toll Free: 888-662-7780

Here at AATAC we are always looking for companies that may enhance our member’s businesses and better the industry as a whole. If you are interested in becoming a preferred vendor within our network please fill out this information form.

Send info and materials to our receivables office:

503 E. Jackson St. STE# 141
Tampa, FL. 33602



Answer the Question of the Day by filling in the information below and send it to us for your chance to win the prizes and exclusive discounts offered only to our members!



Located on the front page of our national website is a field called “Question Of The Day” (QOD). Each day we post a different question about the products and services that are presented through our website. The answer to this question can be found on one of our partner’s web pages. Our members will navigate through the preferred vendors page to find the answer to your question while subconsciously educating themselves about your company! AATAC effectively selects members who answer the question correctly to win rewards which include; rebates, complimentary services, cash, promotional offers from vendors, prizes, giveaways, etc. *Your QOD should be 1-2 sentences in length and can not name a specific product or company within the question. 

Here are some examples:

Which preferred vendor offers your customers a 99% accurate drug test that reads results in five minutes?  

One of our partner’s provides important compliance training classes in a virtual setting for a low cost. Who is it?


Your Vendor Category

When your logo and redirect are added to our preferred vendors catalog it offers two very important elements to members:

  1. It tells them that your company has been vetted and approved for business within our network. 
  2. It encourages them to visit your website where they can learn more about your company.