An accurate, timely, well-kept vehicle mileage log for every mobile employee is vital for businesses that want to keep mileage reimbursement compliant and nontaxable. The IRS doesn’t actually dictate what the format of a mileage log should be, though; just that the log includes the date, mileage, destination and purpose of each work-related trip, and be recorded in an accurate and timely manner. The actual methods of tracking and recording trip mileage are up to the business. 

This means there’s nothing stopping an organization from requiring its employees to record odometer readings and then subtracting the difference at the end of each trip in order to calculate their mileage for reimbursement. 

There’s also nothing stopping you from using GPS tracking methods to monitor employees’ travel and tally their mileage that way. Likewise, allowed vehicle mileage log formats include handwritten paper logs, PDFs, account books, and manually maintained digital spreadsheets. 

However, just because something is allowed doesn’t mean it’s actually the most prudent, cost-effective, or efficient way of doing things. GPS tracking, while high-tech, is often overly simplified and unintuitive. And manual data entry, especially using odometer readings, is rife with the possibility of errors. 

When you ask human beings to write things down, and especially do math, there will inevitably be misplaced or missing entries, data entry errors, and miscalculations. Not to mention how easy manual mileage log reporting makes it to record all travel, even commuting and other mileage that is technically not work-related and therefore ineligible for reimbursement. Surely there has to be a better way…right?

The Shift to A Digital Vehicle Mileage Log

As the global workforce expands and technology advances, digital tools and solutions for mileage tracking are proving to be a game-changer for businesses used to manual methods. These methods have certainly been serviceable in the past, but it’s time to leave them there, and let your business advance with the technology and the world around it. 

By using trustworthy digital tools to automate the mileage tracking process, you free up your employees, managers, and supervisors to spend their time at work actually doing their jobs, instead of fishing around for lost submission forms. 

Advantages of Digital Mileage Logs

By throwing out manual data entry for a digital vehicle mileage log format, your business will see several benefits.

Enhanced Accuracy and Efficiency

The first and most immediate benefit of automating the vehicle mileage log is that in doing so, you immediately eliminate the possibility for errors that come from manual data entry, and by extension, reduce the possibility of inaccurate mileage reimbursement claims. By digitizing tracking, automated solutions also greatly enhance accuracy. 

Mileage reimbursement software uses some elements of GPS tracking to capture exact locations, providing specific and accurate trip mileage that you simply won’t get by recording and subtracting odometer readings. Additionally, automated mileage reporting generates data on real-time employee travel and mileage usage, giving businesses greater oversight into how employees structure their days and spend their time, allowing them to make informed decisions about monitoring expenses and instituting budgets or per diems as needed.

Streamlining Business Practices

Automated mileage logs also means faster, more streamlined mileage reimbursement processes for your organization. Mileage tracking solutions provide automated approval workflows, customized to meet the needs and organizational structure of individual businesses. This ensures that administrators, supervisors, and management can review and approve reports and immediately move on with their workdays, without having to worry about lost or missing paperwork or approval bottlenecks. 

Many software solutions also help businesses keep reporting compliant, with the ability to observe and flag problematic behaviors in the system, such as when claims exceed a per diem amount, or when duplicate reports are submitted.

Adherence to Tax Regulations

When dictating how your business manages mileage records, never lose sight of the fact that the ultimate goal of these logs should be compliance with all IRS rules and regulations. Digital mileage logs help ensure that mileage tracking adheres to IRS guidelines as closely as possible. 

Digital logs also help meet the IRS requirement of keeping records as contemporaneous as possible, or made as close to the actual time of the trip itself as possible. Unlike many manual mileage management methods, using digitized logging, results can be recorded in as close to real time as possible. 

Digitized records also mean more accessible records, which means that if you do face an audit by the IRS, proving an audit trail will be fast and simple. Mileage records created through the use of software can be kept in a centralized location, making them easily accessible should they ever be needed for tax records, while allowing greater transparency and visibility through the process.  

Manage Mileage with CompanyMileage 

Embrace living in the future by automating your company’s vehicle mileage logs, and let CompanyMileage help you do it! Our suite of software solutions for mileage reimbursement are specially designed for accurate, organized, and intuitive mileage tracking. 

SureMileage, our mileage reimbursement software, uses a unique method called point-to-point calculation to calculate mileage for reimbursement. This method takes the starting and ending points of each work-related trip and from there calculates the best route between them, and the expenses to be reimbursed, eliminating the tedium of traditional mileage calculations. 

Our SureMobile app makes gathering data easy, letting employees log their trips quickly and easily on their smartphones. At the end of each workday, they simply have to take a few minutes to organize their trips, photograph any relevant receipts, and submit expense reports, which then move through a customizable workflow. Our system also integrates with all major accounting and payroll software, ensuring that every step of the process is as streamlined as possible. 

Accurate, accessible vehicle mileage logs are a crucial part of any successful and compliant reimbursement process, but with the right tools you can enhance your organization’s mileage management without added stress. Find out how CompanyMileage can help save you time and money by contacting us for a demo today!