Employee Mileage Reimbursement Guide (2021)

triplog best company employee mileage reimbursement platform

Even as phone and computer applications grow more and more ubiquitous in our daily lives, there are many places where the old way of doing things still manages to keep hold. One of these places is in the world of employee mileage reimbursements.

In this short read, we’re going to discuss what employee mileage reimbursement entails, what are some current methods that companies use, and how modern offerings can help save those companies time, money, and effort.

What Is Employee Mileage Reimbursement?

Mileage reimbursement refers to employers reimbursing their mobile employees for expenses that they accrue when conducting business using their personal vehicle. This can include fuel costs, but can also be seen as a general cover for wear and tear on the car, as well as long-term needs such as new tires, oil changes, etc.

While there is no federal requirement to provide mileage reimbursement, there are some instances where companies are required to reimburse; namely, certain states require mileage reimbursements, and if the employee will accrue expenses when conducting business that will cause their net pay to fall below minimum wage. The IRS provides a standard mileage rate ($0.56 per mile in 2021) that “is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile” (IRS).

If your company has mobile employees, chances are that you are reimbursing them for their mileage. If they’re using pen-and-paper methods to track their mileage, your company could be missing out on thousands of dollars per year per driver, as well as countless hours in manual payroll processing.

Employee Mileage Reimbursement: The Data

Without a modern mileage tracking app, employees generally use paper mileage logs and Excel spreadsheets. This requires the driver to pull out their mileage logbook, grabbing a pen, and manually entering in the necessary information.

Compared to a modern automatic mileage tracker like TripLog, which automatically starts tracking mileage as soon as the employee begins driving and ends when they’re done, a driver will spend around 2 minutes per mileage entry. If drivers make multiple trips throughout the day, these minutes add up, with a typical driver spending an average of 58 hours a year filling out manual mileage logs.

In addition, TripLog found that, within a three year period, 28% of all manual mileage claims are overreported, costing companies an average of over $1,800 per driver. TripLog’s app cross-references manual reports with Google Maps, ensuring accurate mileage reporting.

triplog ditch manual mileage reimbursement for the best mileage tracker app

Employee Mileage Reimbursement: Make The Switch

TripLog streamlines every step of mileage reimbursement, from reporting to approval. In addition, automatic mileage tracking and reporting cuts down on inaccuracies and inefficiencies.

Drivers can rest easy knowing that they’ll never miss a reimbursable mile, and business owners can be assured that their reimbursements are accurate. Administrators are able to get all of their mileage reports in one convenient web dashboard, ending the need to hunt down stacks of mileage logs or Excel spreadsheets. 

In addition, TripLog’s web dashboard gives business owners and administrators access to insightful data, such as month-by-month mileage, fuel use, busiest hours, and more. 

Employee Mileage Reimbursement: Conclusion

It’s a no-brainer – TripLog saves companies thousands of dollars per driver, saves drivers dozens of hours per year in manual reporting, and can save companies over 10 hours of payroll processing time per pay period. Simply put, switching to a modern mileage tracking and reimbursement solution will save your company money and headaches, as well as improve driver satisfaction.

Trusted by Fortune 100 companies and over 500,000 users, TripLog is the most feature-rich mileage and expense tracking solution available. Download the app on iOS or Android, create an account through our web dashboard, or schedule a free live web demo today!

How Employees Working From Home Deduct Their Mileage

triplog commute to work from home deduct mileage

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, only 1/5 of adults in the United States worked from home. That number has since jumped to nearly 3/4, with over 1/2 of them stating they would prefer to continue working from home after the pandemic ends (Pew Research Center). 

With major companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon permanently overhauling their work-from-home policies, it’s likely that workplace culture is going to take a dramatic shift, one that will last well beyond this current coronavirus outbreak. But if those employees working from home need to travel to a client from their house, how will mileage reimbursement work for them?

Mileage Reimbursement Rules

When an employee drives from their (non-home) office to conduct business, the rules are clear – this is considered deductible mileage according to the IRS. Personal commuting expenses, on the other hand, cannot be deducted, period.

For instance, if you are driving from your house to work in the morning (or vice versa in the evening), you can’t deduct that mileage. Personal commuting expenses also refer to taxis, Ubers, busses, subways, etc. Pre-COVID, even if employees traveled directly from their personal residence to a work-related appointment (a client meeting, plumbing work, etc.), this would be considered a commute, and thus not be reimbursable.

Mileage Reimbursement Working From Home

With that said, the line gets fuzzy when your house is now the location of your office. Let’s say your team has all started working from home with no intention of returning to the old ways of office work and you are told to meet a client on the other side of town.

Would the drive you took to get there count as a commute, as you’re driving from your house to where you are going to work? Or would it count as business, since you’re going from your place of work to go conduct business?

triplog deduct drive from home office to client work meeting

You Can Deduct A Drive From Your House, If…

All that needs to be made clear – and well-documented – is the fact that the employee’s home office counts as an official office location for the company. When that is established, the drive between the home office and, say, a client can thus be deductible.

It would be good to review your state or municipality’s local regulations as well. For example, the State of Washington has very specific requirements on how mileage reimbursement works when employees travel from their home office to conduct business.

At Home Expense Reimbursement

What about expenses other than mileage? Say an employee needs two monitors and was provided such at the office, but their home isn’t as well-equipped for office work. While companies aren’t technically required to reimburse employees for purchases made that will affect their business, there are certain restrictions.

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, if accrued expenses related to business would cause an employee to earn a net less than minimum wage, the business will need to reimburse them, at least to the point where their net earnings would be at or above minimum wage. If your at home employees earn or are close to the minimum wage, it is your company’s responsibility to reimburse them. 

That includes when they use their personal assets. If they needed to purchase a more expensive Wi-Fi plan or a more ergonomic chair and those purchases could bring your team member down below minimum wage, your company is obligated to reimburse them.

How TripLog Can Help

TripLog’s suite of tools are a powerful way for companies to track their team’s mileage and expense reimbursements. With accurate GPS-based tracking methods and six different autostart options, businesses have been able to streamline their approval process and cut down manual reporting time 10x.

To learn more, schedule a free web demo today, or simply create an account to access our web dashboard, and drivers can download TripLog on iOS or Android.

Home Care Mileage Reimbursement – Why Companies Should Care

triplog home healthcare worker mileage tracking reimbursement

The importance and impact of healthcare workers has been given a spotlight over the last year and a half like never before. During the COVID-19 pandemic, frontline healthcare providers have been regarded as essential workers, risking their lives to help keep people safe and healthy. 

Home healthcare involves nurses, social workers, and other providers who go to patients’ homes to assist them with any medical needs they require without having to make a trip to a doctor’s office or hospital. These services can range from providing various forms of therapy, giving injections, and assisting with quality of life. However, as these providers tend to use their personal vehicles to travel, it’s paramount that they track their mileage and expenses. Here’s why.

Why Home Healthcare Providers Need To Track Their Mileage (& Expenses)

Even compared to other industries with large mobile workforces, home healthcare providers profoundly rely on their vehicles to help do their work. Despite their importance to both the individuals and communities they serve, home healthcare workers in the United States earn an average wage of just $13.49, well below the minimum livable wage of $16.54 (as of 2019). 

Related: The Healthcare Apps You Need To Know About

Making sure home healthcare providers are provided with every cent that they deserve is, thus, very important. These workers, whom we have collectively deemed essential, are struggling enough as it is as we emerge from the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Home Healthcare Companies Stay Compliant 

Believe it or not, in the United States, there is no federal law requiring companies to reimburse employees for their mileage. Some states, like California, Illinois, and Massachusetts, have their own requirements, but most companies in the US will have their own internal reimbursement procedures.

With that said, if an employee tracks their mileage and expenses and finds that the expenses they accrued while conducting business have caused their net pay to dip below minimum wage, federal law does require reimbursement

The IRS provides a mileage rate, updated yearly, that is based on “an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile”. The rate for 2021 is $0.56 for mileage accrued conducting business in a personal vehicle, but this is not a hard requirement. If an employer can prove that the expenses their employees incur are worth less than this rate, they can pay them any rate they feel is fair.

Still, companies often choose to offer reimbursements to stay on the safe side. If caught under-reimbursing, employees may be able to sue their respective companies.

Why Companies Should Reimburse Home Healthcare Workers

Even though it’s not a federal requirement, there are many reasons why companies tend to choose to offer reimbursement. For instance, companies offering reimbursement tend to have more credibility, thus attracting higher-quality candidates.

Another reason is the increased oversight provided by mileage and expense tracking. For instance, TripLog offers an admin dashboard, allowing company owners and payroll specialists the ability to find inefficiencies, track fraudulent reimbursement requests, and enforce spending policies

triplog best mileage tracker for home healthcare workers providers

Accurate Reimbursements Are A Must

With wages as low as they are for home healthcare workers, being reimbursed for mileage and expenses accrued while conducting business can mean the difference between getting food on their family’s table or going hungry. 

How Healthcare Providers Can Accurately Track Their Mileage

Up until recently, traveling workers have needed to manually track their mileage with pen-and-paper logbooks, a system that can be easily subject to fraud, whether unintentional or otherwise. Even with the advent of Excel sheets, drivers need to manually input their trips, which can be very time-consuming.

Worse still, when it comes time to provide the reimbursement, a single payroll specialist might receive many individual documents from several drivers. They will need to manually take all of that data, create concise reports, and somehow ensure the logs are accurate.

Switch From Pen-and-Paper To a Modern Solution

Today, solutions exist that can streamline that entire process from start to finish, simplifying the process and removing any chance of mistakes or fraud. TripLog is the industry’s most powerful and feature-rich mileage tracker app for drivers, helping mobile employees never miss a mile. 

For admins, company owners, and payroll specialists, TripLog’s web dashboard provides unparalleled amounts of data and analytics, designed to help companies fight fraud, enforce policies, and provide accurate reimbursements.

TripLog also allows companies to manage their team’s time and schedules. Your team can clock in and out, and administrators can easily track by project, client, or task, and easily see who’s working where.

To learn more about what TripLog can offer your company, schedule a free demo, or simply download the app on iOS or Android. Thanks for reading!

Manual Expense Reports: The Hidden Costs

triplog the best expense tracking app for companies

The information age is changing the world faster than people and companies can adapt. The ways we’ve done work for decades (or centuries!) changes by the minute due to new technologies coming out faster and faster. One of the biggest places where companies are still catching up is their expense management solutions.

Companies still using pen-and-paper expense management solutions are costing themselves countless hours and thousands of dollars each year. Switching to a modern digital solution is an absolute must. Here are a few reasons why.

Manual Expense Reporting Hidden Costs: Human Error

Manual data entry is as arduous as it is thankless. As much as we may not like to admit it, people make mistakes – often. According to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), 19% of all expense reports have errors

These errors come from things like employees losing receipts, not properly filling out their reports, and having to do manual data entry. If you have mobile employees, it is absolutely within reason to expect them to enter their expenses correctly, but if they just drove eight hours straight and are settling in their hotel, the last thing they want to do is pull up an Excel sheet and input their receipt from lunch that afternoon.

Related: 3 Ways SMBs Can Save Money (And 3 Ways They Lose Money)

Let’s say they input $7.87 rather than $6.87. That dollar may not seem like much, but if you have dozens of employees using the same outdated paper methods, these errors can add up over the course of a year. When taking into account how many businesses provide expense reimbursement, the fact that nearly 1/5 of expense reports have errors easily translates into thousands and thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

Using a modern expense tracking app like TripLog is a powerful way for your team to cut out human errors and save your company money. For instance, TripLog’s OCR capabilities cut out the need to manually enter fuel receipts, saving your team time and headaches.

Manual Expense Reporting Hidden Costs: Fraud

Fraud is an unfortunate – and rampant – problem that virtually every business is forced to face. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, companies lose a whopping 5% of their revenue to fraud. Approximately 10% of that number is through intentional omissions, resulting in the single costliest category for occupational fraud.

Some major types of expense report fraud include:

  • Multiple reimbursement claims
    • This is when a single expense report is submitted multiple times. While this can be the result of human error, it can also be done intentionally, and that can be hard to determine.
  • Submitting personal expenses as business expenses
    • This type of fraud occurs when an employee attempts to frame personal expenses as business expenses. For instance, let’s say an employee claimed they met with a client for lunch when in reality they went out with a friend. That would be a very blatant – and hard to track – instance of fraud.
  • Inflated expenses
    • Inflating one’s spending is also one way to commit fraud. If a lunch cost $20, but the employee claimed it cost $30, they will receive a reimbursement of more than what they spent.

While it’s important to trust your employees, the reality is that pen-and-paper methods can give them an easy way to claim personal purchases as business or lie about how much a purchase costs. Using a powerful expense management solution like TripLog can help businesses avoid such problems.

triplog-expense-tracking-solution-app-free-trial

Manual Reporting Hidden Costs: Time Wasted

Manual expense reporting produces a long and complicated chain that is prone to errors and time wasting. According to the GBTA, the average expense report for a single night hotel stay takes twenty minutes to complete, and an even further eighteen minutes to correct. TripLog can cut down that process by 1,000%, down to just 2 minutes.

Related: 3 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs An Accountant

If just twenty of your employees submit expense reports that take twenty minutes each, that results in 84 hours per year used solely on expense reporting. Adding on the amount of time it takes to correct and review results is a significant amount of lost labor to your business.

Other time sinks include staying on point with company spending or travel & expense policies. TripLog Expense provides companies with an easy way to enforce their spending policies in one convenient location. Manually receiving and verifying expense reports is, simply put, a major time sink on all points of the reimbursement chain, and digital expense management solutions cut out significant amounts of steps. 

Manual Reporting Hidden Costs: Employee Dissatisfaction

Not only does manual reporting cost your company money; it can also prevent your employees and team members from getting money that they are entitled to. This can result in employee dissatisfaction, which can hurt your business in countless intangible ways.

According to one UK study, more than 1/3 of employees forget to claim their expenses, and 1/5 don’t claim their expenses because they consider the amount to be too little to claim. Other significant reasons why employees choose not to claim include feeling embarrassed about claiming, feeling their company’s process is too long-winded, and not being sure what they can claim.

Related: Reducing Work Burnout In The Home Healthcare Industry

Delays in reimbursements, the tedious nature of manual reporting, and the somewhat intimidating nature of request reimbursements can, rightfully, frustrate employees. Paper expense reporting can move at a snail’s pace.

A full 62% of employees view the expense reporting process as frustrating and slow, and 1/3 of employees feel financially unstable when asked to make big purchases on behalf of the company. Digital solutions are a simple and powerful way to help keep your employees happy and productive.

Switch to a Digital Expense Report App

Manual pen-and-paper reporting has been around forever, but powerful digital software and apps that can streamline and automate have only been around for a few years. Employees absolutely should not feel intimidated to request deserved reimbursements, and businesses deserve to use tools that will save them time, money, and hours of effort.

TripLog is the most powerful mileage and expense tracker for companies with a mobile workforce. To learn more, you can schedule a free live web demo, or simply download the app on iOS or Android and try TripLog’s premium features free for 15 days. Thanks for reading!

Mileage Tracking Apps vs. Paper Mileage Logging

triplog mileage tracker apps vs paper mileage log

If a driver uses their vehicle for work, chances are that they are able to get money back on their taxes or via reimbursement from their workplace. However, neither the IRS nor a given workplace can magically deduce how many miles a driver has driven.

Simply put, if a driver intends to deduct mileage on their taxes or receive a reimbursement from their workplace, they will need to track their mileage. There are a few ways to do that, but today we’re going to look at two popular methods – a mileage tracking app (like TripLog!) or a paper mileage log.

Using A Paper Mileage Log Book

If you intend to deduct mileage on your taxes, the IRS has a few requirements of what your log will need:

  • The total mileage of your trips
  • Dates of the trips
  • The locations you drove to
  • The reason for your trips

A mileage log book will typically have these fields. Another popular choice among those who drive for work is to use an Excel or Google Sheets slide. However, compared to a modern digital mileage tracker, those methods can have many issues.

Let’s say a given company has 20 employees who conduct business out on the road on a daily basis and that they use manual mileage log books. Each one of those drivers has to ensure that every single mile and expense is accurately tracked. Afterwards, they all have to transfer that information, by hand, onto an Excel sheet.

By the time that Excel sheet has reached the payroll associate, it has gone through several error-prone stages that can result in inaccurate reimbursements. In fact, TripLog found that over 1/4 of all recorded mileage is overreported, which can cost thousands of dollars per employee and millions of dollars per year in lost revenue. Using manual processes like paper log books provide virtually no oversight or accountability when such things occur.

The Benefits of a Mileage Tracking App

Whether you are a driver going out on the road to conduct business or are the payroll associate reimbursing them, the benefits of using a modern digital mileage tracking solution are numerous.

triplog-manual-mileage-tracking-vs-mileage-tracking-app

Benefit For Drivers

Individually tracking everything you do on the road is, undoubtedly, a hassle. Doing so manually is tedious, time-consuming, and inaccurate. If a driver inadvertently misrepresents their mileage, this can cost them or their business thousands of dollars per year.

Using an automatic mileage tracker like TripLog is the best way to ensure that drivers never miss a mile and that every dollar earned goes to the right place. With powerful features like automatic trip tracking, OCR capture, and bank card integration, drivers can appreciate a more streamlined reimbursement process.

Paper Mileage Log Inaccuracies

Drivers need to track every single trip, whether they be business related or personal (including commutes). Finishing a drive and then pulling out a paper log book and attempting to jot down accurate information quickly can result in inaccuracies. A digital mileage tracker takes out all of the legwork, allowing drivers to focus on their work.

A digital mileage tracker also stores all data in the cloud. If a driver loses or damages their log book, that can result in hours upon hours of lost time attempting to recreate what will end up being largely inaccurate logs. With TripLog, drivers and their managers can rest easy knowing their data is accurate, secure, and, best of all, private.

Benefit For Companies

TripLog has found that its clients have been able to cut down their approval processes by 70% while increasing mileage accuracy by 80% and achieving 33% increases in employee productivity. With less time being spent on managing stacks of documents related to employee travel, payroll and HR team members are able to save thousands of hours per year.

Read: Why Small Businesses Are Vulnerable If Not Properly Tracking Mileage

As time goes on, laws and regulations shift and change. Punishments for incorrect reimbursements can be steep from revenue agencies like the IRS or Canada’s CRA. TripLog’s mileage app and web admin dashboard stay up-to-date on all regulations at all levels, ensuring audit-proofing.

The IRS recommends that records be kept for 3 years from the filing date should an audit occur. Even if companies digitize their records, that doesn’t mean they will be organized. TripLog’s unique and powerful web dashboard gives companies that peace of mind they want and the oversight capabilities and accountability functions that they deserve.

Paper Log Book vs. Mile Tracking App – Conclusion

While using a paper log book cheap in the short term, the reality of inaccurate reporting is evidence enough that companies should have their mobile employees switch to using a modern digital mileage tracker. With savings coming in the form of lost hours and accurate mileage reimbursements, it’s a no-brainer which method is better.

Using our mileage reimbursement savings calculator, you can see the savings for yourself. For instance, if you have 20 team members driving an average of 50 miles over 10 trips each in 2021, your business will save nearly $35,000 in potential lost revenue and almost 1,600 total hours from avoiding manual entries.

To learn more about TripLog and what our solutions can do to help your team and your business, schedule a free live web demo today, or simply download the app on iOS or Android to get started.

3 Ways SMBs Can Save Money (And 3 Ways They Lose Money)

smb small medium business save money 2021

It goes without saying that saving money is extremely important for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Here are some great ways that your company can save money, and some things to avoid which can cause you to lose money.

How Small And Medium-sized Businesses Can Save Money

1. Follow The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle, states that roughly 80% of outcomes (or outputs) come from 20% of causes (or inputs). In regard to your business, it essentially follows that you would find, for instance, that 80% of your costs come from 20% of your expenses. Conversely, you might also find that 80% of your profits come from a 20% subsection of your expenses.

Following this rule can be a great way to help small businesses prioritize their business expenses. Discovering what’s working best allows you to better root out inefficiencies. When it comes time to review your company’s expenses (monthly, quarterly, etc.), the Pareto principle will prove extremely useful.

2. Automate What You Can

Doing everything manually is a trap that many businesses, large and small, can fall into. The growth of technology moves quickly, perhaps more so in recent years than ever before, so it can be understandably difficult to stay up-to-date on everything new. Doing your due diligence on what tools, software, and apps will be useful to your company will be a powerful way to save money and time.

For instance, if you have a mobile workforce, TripLog’s suite of tools can reduce time spent on things like mileage tracking and time management. Outdated methods like pen-and-paper tracking can be time-consuming and inaccurate, which can result in costly audits if not done correctly.

Some software can even remove the need for having a specific employee entirely. In this day and age, if there’s a task being conducted manually by a person, there’s probably an inexpensive app or piece of software that will drastically reduce time and errors.

3. Hire An Accountant Or Bookkeeper

When running a small business, each new penny earned is equally important as the last. Hiring an accountant or CPA (certified public accountant) is a powerful way for SMBs to save money come tax time. They’re also experts when it comes to regulatory compliance. Audits from the IRS (or your country’s respective revenue service) can be extremely costly, and hiring someone to manage your books can help prevent unintentional finance errors.

Hiring employees is a big cost/benefit problem for businesses of any size, but small businesses have to toe the line especially closely. If hiring a dedicated accountant or CPA is outside of your company’s budget, you still have a few solid options to consider.

Read: 3 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs An Accountant

Instead of hiring an accountant, you can see if a bookkeeper will do what your business needs. While both bookkeepers and accountants are qualified to keep accurate records and record/classify a given company’s daily financial transactions, accountants typically have the distinction of being able to process and interpret data.

Another solid option SMBs could consider would be to try a service like 1-800Accountant. Rather than paying a full-time employee, you can pay a flat fee for a professional service. Without question, you should be tracking your expenses. Using a powerful tool like TripLog’s expense tracking feature will help you understand your expenses, which in turn can help you make better business decisions.

how smb small medium business can save money.png

How Small And Medium-sized Businesses Can Lose Money

1. Wasteful Spending

Wasteful spending is a problem that all businesses of any size have to deal with, but it can be particularly troublesome for startups. A startup typically has a team with less experience than an established business. As the money starts flowing in (whether through a loan, investment, or otherwise), it can be tempting to throw it at less-than-useful places.

Instead of buying a suite of high-end iMacs for your team, first do some research of what your team will need the computers for. If you only have one graphic designer/video editor and the rest of the team’s work will be limited to word processors, perhaps splurge on the artist’s computer and use the money you’ve thus saved elsewhere.

Even for more established companies, cutting office expenses is a great way to save money. Consider purchasing used or refurbished items rather than new. This is another scenario where technology can help. There are plenty of apps and solutions like OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace where you can find gently used desks, printers, and computers for significantly cheaper than buying them new.

2. Not Going Green. No, Really!

The now decades-old perception of going green being costly rather than a great way to save money persists, even here in the early 2020s. Not only is going green a way to save money, but it also helps keep the planet liveable, giving your company a solid piece of PR to fall on.

Simple things like switching your lightbulbs to LEDs and shutting down computers at the end of each workday can go a long way to saving money. More subtle ways to go green come with using digital tools rather than pen-and-paper.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to work differently. One of the major changes has been the proliferation of digital documentation tools. Rather than signing documents in person, more and more people and businesses are discovering that PDFs can be signed digitally and sent via email.

Encouraging (and teaching) your team to go digital as often as possible can also help save your company some cash. For example, digitizing documents and storing them in cloud-based servers is a great way to ensure documents don’t get lost or destroyed. In addition, rather than printing out dozens of pages of a document in a given meeting, outfitting your team with inexpensive tablets can be a solid solution as well.

3. Not Saving A % Of Your Revenue

Okay – let’s say you’re following the 80/20 rule to help you prioritize your expenses, you’re automating using modern apps, you’ve hired a bookkeeper or CPA, you’re managing your spending well, and you’ve gone green. Congrats! Now it’s time to look at your revenue and start saving a percentage of it.

Depending on the size of your company, it can be tempting to take every dollar earned and reinvest it right back into your company. While we’re not saying you shouldn’t, you should absolutely take a portion of that profit and place it in a separate account.

Start small (1-2%) and work your way up (5%+). This will quickly give your company a much-needed emergency buffer when times get tough (next pandemic, anyone?).

In Conclusion

Managing a small to medium-sized business is a challenge, but saving money doesn’t have to be. Taking the time to make the changes, both subtle and big, we discussed above will help save you money. Using TripLog to manage your mileage, expenses, and time will help as well. Download the app on iOS or Android today.

Mileage Allowance – A Simple Guide (UK)

mileage allowance uk MAP AMAP HMRC expense tracker triplog

What Is A Mileage Allowance?

Mileage allowance refers to an allowance for employees who make work-related trips using their own vehicles. The government of the UK has a set of rules that outline what can be paid without needing to report on the figures, vastly simplifying the process.

The outcome is that companies are able to reimburse employees for business expenses incurred as a result of their use of their own cars. The reimbursement rate is designed to cover petrol or diesel costs as well as wear and tear resulting from the use. Other costs incurred whilst using your vehicle, such as road tolls or parking charges, will be covered under the subsistence expenditure.

Mileage Allowance Payments

Mileage Allowance Payments (MAPs) or Approved Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAP) are what you pay your employee for using their own vehicle for business journeys.

You’re allowed to pay your employee a certain amount of MAPs each year without having to report them to HMRC. This is called an “approved amount”. Source: HMRC

In short, the flat rates are calculated on a per-mile basis and represent the maximum amount that can be claimed per mile. Once the limit is not exceeded, you will not be subject to taxation.

hmrc Approved mileage rates

Source: HMRC

As the above table illustrates, for the first 10,000 miles per tax year, cars and vans are eligible for 45p per mile. Any miles driven after that are at a rate of 25p per mile.

If you travel with colleagues from the same company, the driver can claim an additional 5p per mile, per passenger.

Example Calculation:

Jane travels 20,000 business miles per tax year in her car. The mileage allowance would be (10,000 miles @ 0.45p and 1o,000 miles at 0.25p) equating to £7000.

How Does It Work?

The starting point is to be clear on what constitutes business use and what does not. According to the HMRC:

  • The job can’t be done unless the trip is made.
  • The job takes place somewhere other than the usual workplace e.g. meeting a client, or travelling to another office. NB this factor is key – your daily commute to the office does not constitute business use.
  • In short, the primary purpose of the trip has to be work-related.
mileage tracking uk hmrc triplog app

How Do You Calculate Mileage Allowances?

The old-school approach is to manually track it using a logbook. The logbook needs to capture the following information:

  • Employee name
  • Date
  • Purpose of trip (confirmation it is a business trip)
  • Starting point
  • Final destination
  • Business miles travelled

Personal driving miles are never covered and should never be claimed. It is important to keep a receipt relating to other associated business travel expenses including road tolls and parking charges.

However, manual methods are falling out of favour and are being overtaken by companies using mileage and expense tracking apps like TripLog. Manual methods are time-consuming, error-prone, and can also delay reimbursement as you need to submit the claim, and wait for approval.

While the HMRC does not require companies to file logs every year, it is important to keep them for at least 5 years after the yearly tax submission date, on the chance that you are required to produce them during a tax inspection.

Using A Company Car

The HMRC has different guidelines when it comes to a company car vs. using a personal vehicle for work. If you’re using a company car, it’s important to note that you cannot use AMAP rates. AMAP rates typically cover expenses beyond fuel, such as car maintenance.

In regard to using a company car, what you are able to claim has to do with the type of fuel you’re buying, as well as the engine size. The HMRC has a term for this: advisory fuel rates. According to their guidelines, these rates are used only to “reimburse employees for business travel in their company cars” or when you “need employees to repay the cost of fuel used for private travel”.

Key Features Of Mileage Tracking Apps

Mileage tracking apps like TripLog are designed to make the process a lot more efficient. The app can be programmed to start once the trip commences and finishes on completion. TripLog offers additional hardware supplements including drivers that can make the process even easier.

A dedicated mileage tracker is a powerful way to save money, time, and effort. Outdated techniques like pen-and-paper can be inefficient and inaccurate. In order to avoid costly audits and save your team headaches down the line, making the switch to a modern solution is a must.

How Triplog Mileage Help Your Team

TripLog is the market’s most full-featured solution for tracking mileage. Our app uses GPS to automatically track your trips, mileage, and odometer. In addition, TripLog has a multitude of auto-start features. For instance, if you want a trip to start as soon as your car starts moving, TripLog can do that, giving drivers additional convenience.

TripLog is also a powerful expense tracking tool. You and your team can snap photos of their receipts, and managers can review and approve expense reports from TripLog’s easy-to-understand dashboard.

Conclusion

Ensuring that your mileage is tracked accurately is paramount for mobile employees. Any government revenue service, such as the HMRC or the IRS in the United States, is going to have specific rules and regulations regarding mileage reimbursement. Using a modern app like TripLog is a great way to never have to worry about proper mileage reimbursement again. Download our app for free on iOS and Android today.

3 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs An Accountant

why you need an accountant bookkeeper save money

Starting and running a small business can be a daunting task. Coming up with a business plan, finding a location, registering correctly, and, perhaps most importantly, managing funding, are all massive hurdles to cross.

However, despite the relief that comes when your business is up and running (and hopefully profitable!), it’s important to make every effort to continue to maximize every dollar and cent as your business grows. One of the best ways to save money and help your business grow is to hire a Certified Public Accountant (or CPA). Here are three reasons why.

1. Simply Put – They’re An Expert.

There’s a lot of pride to be had in starting a small business. The amount of work it takes, coupled with the immense risk, and the result of producing a success that creates jobs and provides people with a service is nothing short of an incredible feat. It certainly takes a special type of person to do that – someone with ambition and clearly definable smarts in a number of areas.

With that said, the biggest fault of a successful small business owner might be their belief that, because of the immense amount of solo work they put into their venture, they can do it all. While it’s true that such a task requires a lot of broad know-how, there’s no shame in admitting there are places where you may not have the right amount of expertise to succeed. Managing your business’ books is likely one such place.

Hiring an accountant, or, depending on your needs, a bookkeeper, doesn’t have to be difficult. That’s why TripLog partnered with 1-800Accountant to bring you an affordable way to get an accountant or bookkeeper onto your team.

2. Their Whole Job Is To Save You Money

Without question, hiring employees or consultants is a cost-benefit issue. However, depending on the size of your small business, managing your finances might just not be something you have the time to do accurately. Thus, there’s a good chance that your business will lose money in the long run via inaccurate expense management.

Having a bookkeeper or accountant is a powerful (and simple) way to get a handle on your financial situation. It’s important for any business to know where its money is coming from and how it’s being spent, but small businesses need to spend or save virtually every penny brought in.

An accountant will help you maximize your tax deductions, manage your budgets, and ensure that your business stays compliant to local regulations. Their arsenals are full of money-saving and cost-cutting tips and techniques, designed specifically to save you money.

In order for your business to grow, you will need a clear and direct view of your business’s finances. Making well-informed financial decisions is critical to the continued success of a small business.

3. A Small Business Accountant Can Help You Avoid Audits

One of the most crippling things that can happen to a small business is a costly audit. While you’re unlikely to purposefully commit tax fraud (we hope!), inaccurate bookkeeping can result in an audit by the IRS (or your government’s own revenue agency).

As a small business, you likely don’t have scores of cash stored away to help repay taxes from an inaccurate report, so it’s important to get your taxes done correctly the first time. Hiring an accountant or bookkeeper that you can trust can give you and your team the peace of mind you deserve as you work to grow your business.

What Else Can A Small Business Do To Save Money?

In addition to hiring an accountant, there are plenty of robust and affordable tools and apps you can use. For instance, TripLog Expense gives your team the ability to submit, review, and approve expense reports with the TripLog mobile app.

You can keep an organized record of your business transactions and generate detailed expense reports to help make sound decisions that will affect your business. Download the app on iOS or Android, or schedule a free demo today to see what else TripLog can offer your business.

5 Reasons Why You Need An Employee Time Clock App

best time tracking employee time clock app

Using a time clock app to manage your employee’s hours can be a boon to businesses of all types and sizes. Compared to outdated methods, an employee time clock app is a modern solution that gives your company significant advantages. Here are five reasons why.

1. Prevent Time Theft

Time theft, whether inadvertent or otherwise, is something that businesses, unfortunately, have to deal with very often. According to the American Payroll Association (APA), a full 75% of businesses in the United States are affected by time theft every year. This loss in productivity results in businesses losing an estimated $400 billion per year.

One example of one of the most common methods of time theft (or time fraud) is buddy punching. Put simply, buddy punching is when an employee clocks in (or out) one of their coworkers. This can clearly present many issues.

For instance, if you operate a large warehouse, it can be very difficult to manage what could be several hundred individuals. All it would take is one employee clocking in their “buddy” on a day they stayed home to cost your company significant amounts of money and productivity.

A 2015 report estimates that 43% of hourly workers in the United States commit time theft by exaggerating how much they work in a given shift. By committing time theft, employees are forcing their employers to pay them for work that they didn’t do. Compared to a manual time clock, using a modern time tracking solution like TripLog is a great way to prevent time theft.

2. Save Time…

There are many different methods of time tracking and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. The strongest all-around available today, given the advent of modern technology, is using a robust employee time clock app. Other methods, like tracking your time with a pen and paper or a spreadsheet, can be time-consuming and inaccurate.

TripLog’s time tracking solutions make it easy to see who’s working where. You can track progress at a glance and see where your team has allocated time, allowing you to discover inefficiencies.

3. …and Money!

Keeping your company operating as efficiently as possible is paramount to staying in business. Payroll errors that can come from inaccurate reporting, no matter how small, can add up. According to the American Payroll Association, “automation reduces payroll processing costs by as much as 80%, much of that from reducing errors in invoices and paychecks”.

With TripLog Time, you get the market’s best tool for tracking and approving employee timesheets. You can also easily see each project and job’s budget and rate to help estimate costs and manage bills and invoices, allowing you to track profits, costs, and more, by cutting out ambiguity.

4. Increase Employee Productivity and Morale

With an advanced, automated, and full-featured time tracking solution, employees can rest assured that they are getting paid for all of their work, every time. In addition, your hardest-working team members can be assured that none of their co-workers are committing time theft or taking unfair advantage of breaks.

In addition, by cutting out time-wasting paper timesheets, you can save your accounting and HR departments time, money, and labor as well.

5. Regulatory Compliance

In the United States, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal regulation that requires employers to keep employee time and pay records. Thus, it’s important that businesses use an easy-to-use and accurate method of time tracking to ensure that these requirements are met. Other government bodies such as the CRA and HMRC in Canada and the United Kingdom, respectively, also typically have similar requirements.

Avoiding audits by having accurate employee time-keeping data is important. The inaccuracies that come from spreadsheets or pen-and-paper methods can be easily avoided by using an employee time clock app.

Add TripLog Time To Your Plan Today!

TripLog Time is the market’s best tool for managing your employee’s time clocks. Backed by precise GPS data, easily see who’s working where, manage daily routes, and dispatch with ease. Managers can also easily review and approve expense reports from TripLog’s intuitive dashboard. Get started by downloading the app on iOS or Android, or create an account on the web.

Why You Should Use A Mileage Tracker With Your Fuel Card

fuel card gas card mileage expense tracker uk

Using a fuel card or gas card for your company can be a great way to track your business’s mileage expenses, and using a fuel card in tandem with a mileage tracking app is even better. Today, we’re going to show you the benefits of using both tools and how they can save your company time, money, and stress.

How Do Fuel Cards Work?

A fuel card is a credit card that you assign to your employees that allows them to purchase gas (and often other vehicle expenses) from a network of accepted locations. As a business owner, they give you control over spending, allowing you to see how much fuel your team is using. In addition, fuel cards often come with special perks such as discounts and rewards.

Generally, fuel cards are used by organizations for company vehicles that are consistently used for business purposes. These can range from just a few cars to fleets of thousands of vehicles, so choosing the right fuel card (and the right tool to help manage your spending) can be an important step in saving money.

The employee drives the car and can use the card for expenses that go into that car. Fuel, oil, repairs, and even convenience store purchases can often be purchased with a fuel card. Compared to regular credit cards, a fuel card will generally give business owners more control over their employee’s spending. For instance, many fuel cards allow the manager to not permit gas station convenience store purchases and only allow them to buy fuel.

Choosing The Right Fuel Card

Choosing the right fuel card is an important decision for a business. Some fuel cards may have a higher monthly cost, but give you more money back per gallon than cheaper ones. As a manager or business owner, you will need to calculate how many gallons you expect to use. Most fuel card companies offer different packages depending on how much the card will likely be used.

Calculating your return on investment doesn’t have to be difficult, and many fuel card providers offer methods to determine the best fuel card for your needs. With that said, it’s important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you are maximizing your profits. As with any monthly investment, the more you use it, the more likely you will want to pay for a higher-end package.

Why You Need To Use a Mileage Log With Your Fuel Card

Look – we’re already a fifth of the way through the 21st century. Modern technology has made just about every facet of our lives easier, and managing money and expenses is no exception. Connecting your fuel card to an advanced and easy-to-use mileage log like TripLog will give you even more control over your expenses, saving you money, stress, and effort.

The IRS (or the CRA or HMRC if your company is based in Canada or the UK, respectively) requires you to differentiate fuel and mileage depending on usage (business, personal, etc.). Sure, you could have your team print out their receipts and have them track their mileage usage type in a pen-and-paper logbook or spreadsheet, but that leaves you open to fraud (intentional or unintentional). In addition, if your fleet of vehicles is numbered in the hundreds or thousands, tracking expenses using imprecise and outdated tools can be difficult and could cost you tons of money in overhead costs.

Without using a precise mileage and expense tracker, they can submit personal expenses as business expenses, falsely report their mileage, submit more than budgeted – the list goes on. The last thing any business wants is their country’s revenue service breathing down its neck. Using an accurate mileage tracker is imperative to holding your team accountable.

Choosing the Right Mileage Tracker

First and foremost, your tracker will need to be able to connect to your bank card. Thankfully, here at TripLog, we have you covered there. TripLog will automatically capture and calculate your mileage and expenses, while also maintaining employee privacy.

Even if you still use receipts, TripLog lets you take photos of them, allowing you to easily and simply categorize your expenses and transactions. In addition, TripLog’s intuitive administrator dashboard gives you complete control over your employee’s gas usage and other expenses.

In Conclusion

Even though COVID-19 has resulted in the lowest use of gasoline in the United States in decades, many businesses still use company cars and fleets. As we exit this period of difficulty and uncertainty, life will slowly (but surely) return to normal.

Even still, if you use company vehicles, it’s paramount that you use an efficient and cost-effective way to manage your employee’s fuel spending. Should you choose to use a gas card, you should absolutely couple it with a powerful expense management tool like TripLog.