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If you have employees that travel for business, it’s important to track their mileage, towards a potential employee mileage reimbursement. Tracking employee mileage improves your client reimbursements, gives you key insights into your business budget, and helps improve employee productivity.
But if you’re relying on self-reported numbers or mileage sheets, tracking employee mileage can be difficult. Let’s take a look at how to track employee mileage more effectively—and why you need to.
State and Federal Laws for Tracking Employee Mileage
The federal government does not have any laws that require employers to track employee mileage or prohibit them from doing so. However, some states do have laws that require employers to reimburse employees for business-related travel expenses.
For example, in California, employers must reimburse employees for all work-related travel expenses, including mileage. If you have employees that travel for business in California, you will need to track their mileage and reimburse them accordingly.
Two other states have similar laws—Illinois and Massachusetts. So, if you’re operating in any of these three states, tracking mileage isn’t optional.
How To Track Employee Mileage
Today, most employers use four methods of mileage tracking: self-reported manual logs, GPS tracking apps or devices, mileage tracking apps, and GPS-powered mileage tracking apps. While they all have pros and cons, time tracking apps with in-built mileage tracking give you the most bang for your buck.
Track With Manual Logs
Some employers often just use paper logs to track employee hours. Employees would fill out their mileage whenever they travel for business, however, these logs can be quite extensive, especially if an employee is visiting multiple sites each day.
Manual mileage logs have the same problems as paper timesheets. They are often inaccurate and easily forgotten about. While this system is fast and easy to set up, it will hinder efficiency and accuracy day to day.
Use GPS Tracking Devices
One of the most accurate ways to track employee mileage is to use GPS tracking devices. These devices can be placed in company vehicles or given to employees to carry with them. When employees travel, the device tracks not only route and mileage but also safe driving habits.
GPS tracking devices are accurate, but they’re expensive. Many employers, especially smaller contractors, don’t want to spend money outfitting all their employees with GPS tracking devices, especially when they drive their own vehicles—it’s an unnecessary added expense. Additionally, any information gathered from separate GPS tracking devices will need to be reviewed and parsed out separately which makes the data collection and consolidation process more difficult and inefficient.
Digitize Mileage Tracking on Smartphone Apps
Without GPS features, mileage tracking apps on smartphones function largely the same as tracking employee mileage through paper. Employees still have to enter in their own times, but everything is kept within a digital format and easily accessible.
Mileage tracking apps are a step up from using just paper. But they still have many of the same problems—while they make the process of reporting easier, they aren’t likely to be accurate.
Track Employee Mileage Accurately With GPS-Powered Time Tracking Apps
Finally, there are GPS-powered time & mileage tracking apps that make mileage tracking a breeze. An integrated time tracking app solution will allow you to monitor what your employees are doing throughout the day and ensure that their mileage and drive times align with their time cards. These apps perform the same function as a GPS tracking device, but there’s no equipment cost; the app uses the GPS technology provided by the phone. Today, this GPS technology is highly accurate.
Mileage tracking apps are easy for employees to use, effectively as accurate as other GPS technologies, and deliver results in real-time. You can try out a GPS-powered mileage tracking app today with Workyard.
The Advantages of Better Mileage Tracking
You already know the importance of mileage tracking—that’s why you want a system for tracking your miles. But isn’t pen-and-paper accurate enough?
Let’s look at some of the advantages of not only tracking your mileage but accurately tracking your mileage.
Improved Client Reimbursements
If you bill your clients for travel expenses, accurate mileage tracking is essential. When you have GPS data or detailed mileage logs, you’re not just confident that you’re billing correctly—you have the paper trail to back it up. Improve relationships with clients and make it easier to get reimbursed.
Better Budgeting Insights
Tracking employee mileage can also give you better insights into your business budget. When you know how much your employees are traveling, you can make informed decisions about where to allocate your resources. You can also fine-tune your scheduling and your site management to reduce travel and improve efficiency.
Reduced Risk of Audit
Another advantage of tracking employee mileage is that it can help reduce the risk of an audit. The IRS requires businesses to keep detailed records of business expenses, including mileage. The IRS also roughly knows how much any business should be reporting as mileage. If you have accurate records, even an audit won’t matter.
So, it’s not enough to just track your mileage. You need to track your mileage as effectively as possible. Any extra miles logged could be money that you don’t need to spend.
If your employees are traveling for work, you should track their mileage. There are several methods of doing so, from installed GPS devices to manual logs. But ultimately, the best solution will be a GPS-powered app. Mobile apps are easy for employees to use, they don’t cost as much as installed GPS devices, and they are far more accurate than manual logs.
With the right mileage tracking, you can accurately reimburse employees, receive client reimbursements, and manage your business budget. In addition to benefits such as reimbursements and budgeting, having a time clock app with gps built-in that tracks employee mileage can protect you in the event that an employee claims you didn’t pay them enough for their mileage because you would have a detailed record that shows otherwise.
How Do I Keep Track of My Employee Mileage?
There are a few strategies you can keep track of your employee mileage, but using a GPS tracking app is the easiest, most effective, and most accurate. Workyard is a leading GPS tracking app designed for employee and mileage tracking.
Is There an App for Recording Mileage?
Workyard is an all-in-one utility for tracking employee hours, breaks, mileage, tasks, and projects. You can track your labor costs and mileage in real-time from wherever you are with Workyard.
Is There a Free Mileage Tracker?
There are a few free mileage tracker apps available, but they tend to be less accurate and have fewer features than paid options. Workyard is a leading GPS tracking app that includes mileage tracking alongside its robust labor tracking tools.
How To Track Employee Mileage Accurately With Workyard
GPS tracking is already in the palm of your hand. You don’t need to install an expensive kit on your company vehicles—you can start tracking employee mileage with Workyard today.
Once employees log into Workyard, GPS tracking will be used to track both their hours and their location. You can see where employees are at a glance, check on their travel times, and view labor and mileage reports in real-time.