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Small Biz Apps: What I’m Using Now to Track Miles

Author: Katie Truesdell Date: June 05, 2014

Traveling small business owners are busy. These apps help save time—and money.

Keeping track of business travel can be a headache, but doing so is a must. Expenses can earn tax deductions, and recording distances trekked can save a small business owner time and money. Here are three common problems owners face when it comes to tracking miles—and the apps that fix them.

1.  Monitoring Long-Distance Travel   

The Problem: You don’t have time to record miles traveled. By day’s end, you’ve forgotten how far you’ve gone, causing inaccuracy in travel reports.

The App: MileIQ

Why It Helps: “The app tracks the miles automatically and allows you to organize them at a later time,” says Josh Leavy, owner and brewmaster of San Francisco Brewing Co., who spends five days a week on the road, distributing beer to bars and restaurants throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area. “We are meeting with clients and making deliveries throughout the day, and I don’t have the time to keep track of the miles.”  

It detects and tracks miles automatically (using Wi-Fi/cellular triangulation, route tracking algorithms and, sparingly, GPS) and syncs them to your cloud-based mileage log. It also allows you to classify each drive quickly and generate accurate expense reports.

Ali Brannan, a Denver-based wedding photographer who travels daily for business and logs about 1,200 miles per month, adds that MileIQ saves her time, guesswork and money now that she’s no longer missing miles.

Cost: Free for up to 40 drives per month; $5.99/month or $59.99/year for unlimited drives

2.  Tracking Repeat Visits

The Problem: You visit the same locations weekly and have to re-enter the same mileage data over and over and over again.

The App: MileTracker

Why It Helps: Jennifer Snyder, owner of Neat as a Pin! Organizing Experts in Waco, Texas, says 95 percent of her work is on location at the homes of clients, many of whom are on repeating times and days each week. MileTracker’s storage of frequently used choices helps her save time.

This customizable app also does much more. It allows you to track mileage several ways: live tracking with GPS, start/stop odometer readings and manual entry of start and end addresses. It also allows you to track fuel, toll and parking expenses, save photos of your receipts, and generate mileage reports, which are broken down by month and exportable to Excel.

Cost: $3.99, with add-ons like device syncing and custom reporting available for between $0.99 and $2.99

3.  Keeping Track of Rewards Points  

The Problem: You’re so busy that you forget to cash in on travel-loyalty programs, such as United Airlines, Hertz and Marriott, missing an opportunity to save your small business money.

The App: UsingMiles

Why It Helps: The app manages all your loyalty programs—including airlines, rental car companies and hotels—in one place, ensuring that you won’t lose any earned miles, reward points, coupons or credits. It also provides tips on best practices for earning and using miles and rewards.

“I love that it tracks expiration dates for my miles or awards,” says Jonathan Duong, founder and president of Denver-based Wealth Engineers, an independent investment advisor. “This way, I don’t have to worry about tracking such dates separately on a calendar.”

Cost: Free for basic account; $29.99/year for premier account

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