Found this article in Forbes online by Steve Olenski. Covers some great points on the advantages of GPS tracking.
Tracking mileage for business used to involve notebooks, scraps of paper and even napkins from fast food restaurants – admit it, you’ve done this, I know I have. After recording the mileage, you might have had to do the math on your watch calculator to figure out the difference between your beginning and ending points.
Thankfully, technology has come to the rescue and given us apps that can streamline the process of tracking mileage, reporting expenses and fleet management.
Here are some reasons to use a mileage tracking and fleet management app for your business:
1. Mobile Device Capability
Instead of supplying your employees with bulky laptops, apps allow them to use a mobile phone or tablet to track mileage. Once connected with a Bluetooth device, apps will automatically begin recording the mileage and will automatically stop recording when the vehicle is stopped. Users will also have the ability to track locations with GPS. Another feature of having a tracking app on your mobile device is that you can sync data between a mobile device and web services. Apps also have the ability to record the route taken and show it on maps. Be sure to know what the laws are in your state for using a mobile device while operating a vehicle, and provide drivers with a dash mount or hands-free device.
2. Ability to Create IRS Compliant Reports
Apps like TripLog allow you to create reports that are compliant with IRS rules. You are allowed to deduct $ 0.575 per mile, but in order to claim this deduction, and save hundreds or thousands in taxes each year, you must keep detailed records. The IRS requires you to keep receipts for any business or vehicle expense over $75, and a tracking app can give you the ability to take a photo of the receipt and upload it to the cloud for safe keeping. Using an app that has the ability to create IRS compliant reports will help you claim the highest number of exemptions.
Other vehicle expenses include fuel, parking, tolls, maintenance, insurance, registration, etc. Other business expenses include meals, lodging, gifts, travel and many others. Local service companies like Home Inspection All Star rely on mileage tracking for their day to day operations.
3. Connecting with Accounting Software
Using a tracking app can spare you the effort of inputting data into spreadsheets by connecting with and uploading mileage and expense data directly to Intuit QuickBooks. This allows for easier and quicker mileage reimbursement to your employees. You will also have the ability to upload other expenses like parking receipts.
4. Knowing Where Your Fleet Is
If your business has a large fleet of vehicles, a tracking app can show you the location of every vehicle in your fleet, down to a specific parking spot. You can see real-time driving routes and locations for each driver in your fleet. Drivers can also share trips on Facebook, Twitter and GoogleMaps/Earth.
5. Saves Money and Time
Keeping records of repairs and maintenance to your fleet can save you lots of money by eliminating redundancy and oversight of needed repairs. You’ll avoid costly repairs that could have been prevented by performing scheduled maintenance, and also track the costs so that you can compare and save. Many apps allow you to record and compare fuel costs and gas mileage for all of the vehicles in your fleet.
There are also apps that allow your employees to drive safer by alerting to road hazards, accidents and bad weather. You can also track the speed at which the vehicles in your fleet are traveling, alerting you to drivers who are breaking the law and being reckless. Safer driving prevents accidents, which keeps insurance costs down and keeps your vehicles on the road, saving you the time and money involved in repairing or replacing a vehicle.