Going the extra mile to make Solo Expenses Personal Use

Guest blogger Jamie Mitchell comes up with a way to make the free download Solo Expenses ‘Personal Use’ package an even more effective online expense tracker – until you’re ready to move up to the Business Owner and SME packages, which are even more feature rich ­ – and could save you and your business  heaps more time and money…

I usually skip YouTube adverts after the five mandatory seconds. This means advertisers have these crucial five seconds to grab my attention and sell their product. But on the look out for new and useful apps, one ad caught my eye and kept my attention. Mile IQ, a mobile app for tracking business miles.

Being a blogger I have the luxury of working from wherever I can get Wifi, but my partner Hannah drives to work every day – where she usually drops off the car, hops in the work van and heads off to a job. Hannah clocks up to 400 miles a week driving to and from the office and being sent out to different sites.

Think about how much time do you spend behind the wheel. How many miles do you clock driving to and from work, or out on a job, or just doing the weekly shop? The average motorist will drive 7,413 miles in one year, and that’s just on average. If you’re like Hannah and one of many who uses their car or van for the long daily commute, this figure will barely scratch the surface. Even more so if your vehicle is your business – then this is an app for you.

All those miles driven, but you should be able to claim them on expenses or log them for you tax return, right? That’s if you’re good at keeping track, that is. Logging your miles can be an arduous process for an individual, and saving all your fuel receipts even more so. Hannah keeps a rough tally of her miles on her phone, and the petrol receipts – they’ll be some floating around the car, some in her purse (with all the other receipts), some in the glove box, and some lost down the side of the seats. “Why can’t someone do it for me?!” is a question I’m frequently asked. The Business Owner and SME versions of Solo Expenses have a mileage tracker, of course, but Personal Use doesn’t ­– but in partnership with this month’s ‘app of the month’ the problem is solved. Hannah, this one’s for you.

Mile IQ was founded by startup investor Dan Bomze, and with the help of a small software design team and partner Chuck Dietrich they made the first mobile app to passively track user mileage. This mobile app has a minimal effect on the battery life of your device and works in the background to keep track of both businesses and personal trips.

Acquired by Microsoft in 2015, Mile IQ has been dubbed by many as ‘the Fitbit of driving’ and allows its users to know exactly how many miles they can claim back on their expenses or claim tax back on. You can let the app do all the work – automatically track all your journeys, assign them as business or personal and log them ready to be exported. Which is much like Solo Expenses expense management software, keeping track of all your expenses.

Ever since I started writing app reviews I’ve thought, Solo Expenses would work so well alongside a mile tracker app, like tea and toast, coffee and doughnuts, or fish and chips. It makes so much sense! Having one app that tracks your mileage – working away in the background so never miss a mile to claim back on. Then using the other to take a quick picture of the receipts – as a tangible record of how much fuel you’ve used, storing them safely, ready to be turned into an accurate expense report..

The free version of Mile IQ offers the user 40 drive logs per month before having to upgrade to the Premium account, whereas Solo Expenses is completely free for personal use – that’s right! No charges, ever!  However, you can always upgrade to the business versions should you feel the need. This is where Solo Expenses’ cloud based expense management software really comes into its own. Investing in the Business Owner plan is like having an accountant in your back pocket, just without the price tag.

If you’re going to spend thousands of hours on the road a year you might as well make it worth your while. That could be your biggest expense claim covered, and you can leave the rest up to Solo Expenses’ cloud based management software. You’ll never miss a claim because all your expense reports will be formatted ready for the accountant – who’ll thank you for making his or her life much easier (and should reduce the time they charge you for).