I’ve been experimenting with an expense-tracking app for my iPhone that might just make my paper mileage log obsolete. While it’s slick as anything and almost makes mileage tracking painless, it’s got me wondering. The mileage that I’m tracking in 2011 will be open to audit until April 15, 2015, assuming I don’t file for an extension. Unlike my trusty paper logs, my app leaves my mileage information trapped in my iPhone until I remember to export it. Even then, I’ll probably print the results and save them with my other tax documents. I don’t want to assume that I’ll be able to find that spreadsheet file three years from now, considering how many computer problems I seem to have!
So, first I had to review the available apps to see what their exported data looked like and how easy it was to export. Then it occurred to me that an iPhone could be easily lost, and my mileage data could be lost with it! So then I narrowed my selections down to those apps that had a built-in back-up feature. I eventually selected BizXpenseTracker and am still playing around with all its features. So far so good!
Are you using an app for tracking mileage? How is it working for you? Will its data be enough for an audit? Will you be able to find it three years from now?
Deb Howard Greenleaf, EA, CEO and Principal, of Greenleaf Accounting Services provides virtual accounting and bookkeeping services and specializes in financial management to consultants, coaches, solo professionals, and other small business owners across the US. Deb is an Enrolled Agent (EA)—an IRS-licensed tax professional—and specializes in small businesses and entrepreneurs filing Schedule C or as an LLC. As an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Deb spends her day in QuickBooks Online and specializes in providing QBO support.
Oh the joy of mileage tracking. I usually just track mine on an Excel but I’ll try the app you recommended. Anything to make it easier…thanks for the tip!