Earlier this year when I had my taxes done, my CPA once again got on my case for not keeping a better record of my mileage for business travel. He reminded me of how much I'm probably losing in deductions by not documenting my trips. I'm just not a paper log/notebook kinda guy. However, if I can use an App that not only makes it easy, but also kinda fun, I'm all in! I was reminded of this when talking with one of my friends over the weekend and I went in search of an App. Automilez was the second one I tried and I stopped searching there. It does everything I want and does it quite nicely with a nice UI (user interface). When I searched I was expecting to find an App that would allow you to input your starting and ending odometer readings and it would figure out the rest. What I wasn't expecting to find is one that does it via GPS, virtually eliminating the need to input the actual odometer readings. By the way, you CAN input the odometer readings optionally or in those cases where GPS data may not be reliable. Actually that's what I like about this one. You can put in your starting odometer reading and still use the GPS feature. If for some reason the GPS fails during the trip, just enter your ending odometer reading and you will still have the accurate mileage for the trip. Optionally you can use their cloud service to sync your logs between multiple devices.
Complies with IRS requirements
The IRS allows you to deduct your business mileage, but at different rates depending upon the type of driving/purpose trip. You can set up the categories you want ahead of time and put those amounts per mile in. This gives you not only the miles you've traveled but also the amount of the deduction. I gave it a test yesterday on multiple business errands I had to make and I was not only pleased with the way it worked, but also the accuracy. The end of my first trip matched my car's odometer to the 10th of a mile.
How it works
Launch the App, then choose a category and start the trip. You can optionally enter the starting odometer reading. Your current location will be pinpointed on the map. As you start to drive the route will be displayed on the Map. When you get to your destination you can then tap End Trip and it will figure out the total miles and show you your deduction amount. The only thing that I'm surprised by is that you can't actually (or at least I don't see a way) “sending” the report/log. It displays on screen, shows you each trip and you can drill down on each trip to see the details. Seems to be missing that one thing of “Send report/log via email”. Other than that strange omission, it does everything that I need it to do and at the end of the year/next tax season I can simply give my accountant the YTD total miles.
The Bottom Line
Automilez will more than pay for itself with probably the 1st trip that I would have otherwise forgotten to log. It makes this task easy. I would like to see emailing and printing support added and that's the only thing keeping me from giving this a 5th star. As a side note, if you do sign up for the optional free cloud syncing account, you can see your reports and even setup a regular schedule to have them emailed to you, but no on demand emailing. However, you can at least print to a PDF from the Reports web page.