If you need to keep track of your mileage for business purposes there are some great mobile apps out there to help you.
Now, I admit that you could just have a spreadsheet open on your phone to log your miles, or even (gasp) a piece of paper and a pencil, but what fun is that? The important thing is to keep the log up as you go. A log that you keep up as you go as opposed to one that you try to fill in months or years later will be much stronger evidence in case of an IRS audit.
Here’s some of the top apps that I found:
Trip Cubby — This one seems to be a very popular app, and it was designed with IRS compliance in mind. This app is only available for iPhone. You can designate different purposes for your trips (i.e. kids, medical, work, etc.), and even different drivers and vehicles. You can e-mail reports to yourself or to someone else in Excel. You can sort, filter and search the trips. There is a free version (I think you’ll get ads shown with that one), and then the full featured paid version is $4.99 in the App Store.
Mileage Log — This is an app for Android users. It looks like it is $1.99 to purchase the app, which will record your odometer start and end along with many other fields. It will let you record if a trip is paid or unpaid, and which vehicle was used. It’ll allow you to email yourself a pdf report. This looks like a pretty good app for the money, to at least try it out.
MileBug — This app is available in the App Store for iPhone/iPad users and in the Android Market for the Droid people out there. This is another popular app with both a free version and a paid version for $2.99, although there are a few reviews of this app crashing. The free version quits working after 10 trips, so you can test this app out with the free version and then upgrade to the paid version. Or, you can just e-mail yourself the report, clear out your 10 trips, then start over again, all with the free version. This app will let you track multiple vehicles for multiple business purposes all in one. You can define custom rates if needed, and you can email yourself reports.
ProOnGo Expense — This is an app for the BlackBerry users. This will allow you to track mileage (via GPS), your time, and will keep receipt information organized by taking pictures of your receipts. There is a free trial for 30 days, and then you will need to pay for a subscription. If you do not have a GPS enabled phone, then you may need to check to see if you can just track your mileage by the odometer.
HandyLogs — This is another app for the BlackBerry users out there. This is a free app that seems to be very popular. You can also track your time with this app. It looks like there is an “extended premium” service that will allow you to export your data, so that sounds like something that you’ll need if you want to use this to document your business mileage. It has mixed reviews on the site, so you may want to look through some of those reviews first.
If you have some experience with any of these apps and would like to add your opinion, please give your $0.02 below.