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QuickBooks Mileage Tracker: Testing for Pros and Cons

Samson Kiarie
Last update on:
January 5, 2024 4:58 AM
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QuickBooks is a popular accounting software many businesses use worldwide. If you are running a small business, chances are you’re familiar with the QuickBooks range of products. 

While the tech giant is known for its bookkeeping and accounting software, recent acquisitions and product revamp have brought new functionalities, such as the QuickBooks mileage tracker.

If you want to automate mileage tracking, you’ve probably considered the QuickBooks mileage tracker. However, you don’t have to make an uninformed buying decision. We took the mileage tracker app for a test drive to see how it performs.

In this guide, we’ll give our detailed and honest account to help you make a wise decision. We’ll also compare the QuickBooks Mileage tracking app to some of the best mileage tracking apps. 

You could find a better and more affordable mileage tracker than QuickBooks.  

Learn how Timeero mileage tracking features work.

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Does QuickBooks Have a Mileage Tracking App?

Yes, it does. Mileage tracking is a core feature for most of the QuickBooks range of products. This is a good thing as it helps you decide based on what other things you want to achieve besides mileage tracking. 

QuickBooks time mileage tracker
QuickBooks Time suite of features includes a time tracker, mileage tracker, and expense tracker.

For example, if you use QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks self-employed (or are considering using them), they come packed with mileage tracking capability. That means you can streamline accounting, create digital logs and categorize your drives on a single platform or through the QuickBooks mobile app. 

Besides that, mileage tracking is baked into QuickBooks Time. The feature was initially available as a featured add-on, but that has changed recently. QuickBooks has weaved the mileage tracking feature into its core capabilities, allowing users to track mileage with less hassle.

In late June 2023, Intuit combined QuickBooks Time and QuickBooks Workforce mobile app functionalities to birth the new QuickBooks Workforce app. The new app enables employees to track mileage without lifting a finger. All they have to do is just drive, and the app will track mileage automatically.

Who Can Track Their Mileage Using QuickBooks Mobile App?

QuickBooks time mobile app
Installing the QuickBooks Workforce app on your Android and iOS mobile device from Google Play and Apple’s app store is easy.

QuickBooks Time mileage tracker is for you if your company has a mobile workforce and you use QuickBooks products. Put simply, if you have employees who drive for work or business, you should consider using QuickBooks Time. 

On the other hand, QuickBooks Online is ideal for self-employed drivers and independent contractors who need to automate mileage tracking. 

Automated mileage tracking stops overreliance on odometer readings and manual mileage logs, negating the effect of human error on your logs. It ensures that no employees erroneously omit business mileage or add personal miles to your mileage logs. This has two main benefits. 

Firstly, it enables you to compensate employees fairly, taking into account things such as commuter mileage. Remember that mileage reimbursement is a must in some states, such as California.

Secondly, according to the latest IRS mileage rates, every mile you drive for business deducts 67 cents from your taxable income. An automatic mileage tracker ensures you record every business mile and create IRS-compliant logs to claim accurate tax deductions. 

How to Track Mileage With QuickBooks Online Mobile App

There are several ways to track business mileage in QuickBooks Online:

  • Manually enter mileage in QuickBooks Online.
  • Use the QuickBooks Self Employed or QuickBooks Desktop app to record mileage.
  • Need to track more than yourself? Use a third party like Timeero to give you and your employees a way to track mileage for reimbursement, as bills or invoices in QuickBooks Online.

We will take a look at each approach to track miles accurately.

Manually enter mileage in QuickBooks Online:

  1. If you are entering mileage via the website: On the QuickBooks website, choose mileage> Add Trip
  2. If you don’t have a vehicle added, choose View Vehicles from the drop-down and tap the Add Vehicle button. Fill in all required or necessary information.
  3. Next, click on Add Trip> Create Trip.
  4. Fill in the required details for the trip and click Submit

Entering mileage using the QuickBooks Online mobile app:

There are two ways to enter mileage in the QuickBooks Online mobile app:

  1. Manually entering different trips into the QuickBooks Online app
  2. Automatically have the app log your mileage (this is ideal if you are just logging your own mileage).

To manually log trips into the QuickBooks Online mobile app:

  1. Click on the Menu (3 lines) and choose mileage.
  2. Next, click the + button and choose Add Vehicle (if you haven’t added a vehicle). If you have already entered a vehicle, you can choose to Add a trip.
  3. Fill in the necessary fields (date, mileage, and trip purpose); you should be all set.

Does QuickBooks Track Mileage Accurately: Test Drive Results

Of course, the best way to answer this is to take it on a test drive, so we did just that. 

From our testing, the QuickBooks mileage app does track fairly accurately. Like most mileage tracking apps, it uses GPS locations; hence a good satellite signal is essential for accurate tracking.

quickbooks timesheet timeline
QuickBooks Time creates a timeline with flagged times when the employee stepped outside the geofence. 

During our previous testing, the biggest drawback was that the QuickBooks Online mileage tracker didn’t show the path we traveled. Instead, it only showed the start and endpoints. This hasn’t changed, but QuickBooks has introduced the mileage tracking tools on QuickBooks Time software.

While QuickBooks Online still shows the start and end point, the QuickBooks Workforce app (formerly QuickBooks Time mobile app) is molded differently. 

The app shows a route that depicts the one we actually covered, at least partially. The only issue is that the QuickBooks Time app (now known as QuickBooks Workforce mobile app) uses straight lines to connect the GPS points. 

This isn’t a big problem if you only need to track mileage. However, if you want to track the actual route a sales rep or delivery driver took, it can be inconvenient. To sidestep such problems, you have to use an app that creates employee exact routes, such as Timeero.

timeero route
Timeero is an apt mileage tracker for freelancers, independent contractors, and companies that need to track employee movement beyond tracking mileage. 

The Pros & Cons of QuickBooks Mileage Tracker

As we mentioned, you can track mileage with QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Self-employed, or QuickBooks Time. Like many products, there are pros and cons with each tracking option. Let’s dive in: 

Pros & Cons of QuickBooks Online Mileage Tracker App

Here are a few pros:

  • Ideal for self-employed or single-employed business owners.
  • The QuickBooks Online automatic drive detection means the app can automatically track mileage when it determines you are on a drive.
  • Accurately categorize trips as business or personal travels.
  •  You can track and add vehicles.

Beyond the strengths, QuickBooks Online has a few drawbacks you may want to pay attention to: 

  • Not ideal for tracking company mileage or employee mileage. In QuickBooks Online, only the master admin can track mileage. If you want to have your employees electronically track mileage, then the QuickBooks app will not work.
  • Does not eliminate commuter mileage. This means you could be overpaying mileage reimbursement to your employees. 
  • Lacks detailed point-by-point time stamps for accountability purposes. For example, the QuickBooks Online mileage tracker only captures the start and end locations and does not capture the actual drive path. So if you want to see which route your team members are taking, look elsewhere.
  • Intuit’s QuickBooks Online is pricey. We will talk more about pricing in the next section.

Pros & Cons of QuickBooks Time Mileage Tracker

Here are the benefits of using QuickBooks Time mileage tracker:

  • Combine other workforce management features: Besides mileage tracking, QuickBooks Time has other helpful features such as time tracking, location tracking, scheduling, and time-off management. 
  • Automatic tracking: QuickBooks Time uses automatic drive detection to log employee mileage. It starts creating mileage logs as soon as the employee hits the road. 
  • Off-line tracking: If you’re traversing areas with no internet coverage, fret not. QuickBooks Time mileage tracker works just fine without an internet connection, thanks to QuickBooks Time offline mode. 
  • All accounts can track mileage: One of the biggest drawbacks with QuickBooks Online is that only the admin account can track mileage. Thankfully, QuickBooks Time, now known as QuickBooks Workforce mobile app, lets every employee track mileage on their account. As a result, it’s ideal for tracking company or workforce mileage. 

The benefits aside, here are some drawbacks you’re likely to encounter with QuickBooks Time:

  • No point-to-point time stamps: Like QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Time doesn’t offer detailed timestamps. However, the app provides an employee Timesheet timeline with timestamps depicting when an employee left the predefined geofence. 
  • QuickBooks Time is pricey: First, the app has a base price. The mileage tracking capability is available on the Time Elite plan, costing $40 per month (base price) plus $10 per user. 

How Much Does QuickBooks Mileage Tracker Cost?

Depending on what suits your company’s needs, you can pick either QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Workforce Mobile app. 

quickbooks time pricing
QuickBooks Time base price makes it pricey compared to other mileage tracker apps. 

The pricing for QuickBooks Online mileage tracker cost starts at $30/month for a single user, the Simple Start plan. Alternatively, you can pick the Essentials plan, which sets you back $55 per month, or the Plus plan for $85 per month. Check out the latest QuickBooks Online pricing to learn more about plans and features. 

QuickBooks Time is the best bet if your company is looking to solve time-tracking issues besides mileage tracking. Mileage tracking functionality is available on the Time Elite plan, which costs $40 per month base price, plus $10 per user per month. 

Let’s put QuickBooks Time pricing in perspective. If you own a small delivery business with 10 drivers, you’ll pay $140 monthly for the software. Compare that with Timeero — the best mileage tracking app.

If you only need to track time and mileage, you can subscribe to Timeero’s Basic plan at $4 per employee per month. In other words, you’ll pay $40 monthly for the time and mileage tracking features, saving a whopping $100 monthly. 

If you need unique tools such as suggested mileage, commuter mileage or facial recognition to eliminate time theft, you only need to get the Premium plan for $11 per user per month. Using our previous example, you’ll pay $110 for the software — saving $30. 

QuickBooks Mileage App vs. Timeero: A Test Drive

We wanted to test the QuickBooks Mileage app alongside the Timeero, GPS, and mileage tracking software to see how accurate the QuickBooks mileage app is. 

We tested QuickBooks Workforce mobile app alongside Timeero to see how both tools stack up against each other. We set both apps on automatic mileage tracking and took to the road on 30 miles trip. Besides that, we installed both apps on one device to ensure they have access to the same set of data or GPS coordinates. 

QuickBooks workforce route tracing
QuickBooks Workforce partially shows an employee's route but isn’t as accurate. It didn’t track our movement around the roundabout section. 

Timeero recorded 27.32 miles, representing over 91% accuracy, whereas QuickBooks Workforce mobile app tracked 25.96 miles (86.5% accuracy). More than being accurate, Timeero tracks all our movement, including every turn we took on the road, such as when navigating a roundabout, as you can see in the image below. 

The story was different for QuickBooks Workforce, as the image above depicts.

timeero route tracing
Timeero accurately tracks mileage and shows the exact route an employee took. It tracked our movement around that roundabout section. 

Timeero: Employee Mileage Tracking App for QuickBooks Online

If our Timeero vs. QuickBooks mileage tracker results are anything to go by, Timeero could deliver better results than the Intuit products. Add that to Timeero’s affordable pricing, and you get a time and mileage tracker worth trying for any large or small business. 

timeero mobile app
Timeero has sleek and user-friendly Android, iPhone, and iPad apps. The web portal is a cinch to use, too. 

You can read our full Timeero review to learn how the software works. If you’re short on time, let’s give you a ‘taster’ of Timeero’s mileage tracking capability: 

Automatic Mileage Tracking

First and foremost, Timeero uses automatic-drive detection to log employee miles. You only need to set the base speed and ask employees to download the Timeero app on Android or iOS devices. 

Once the employee starts driving and exceeds the predefined base speed, Timeero instantly starts logging their mileage. It’s easy peasy, and employees don’t have to lift a finger. 

We regularly test Timeero mileage tracking alongside other mileage trackers, and it constantly snags a spot in the top echelon in terms of accuracy. Some apps tend to miss shorter business trips, but that isn’t the case with Timeero. Regardless of how long or short the trip is, Timeero will log mileage, provided the vehicle exceeds the base speed. 

Segmented Mileage Tracking

If you have a team of sales reps, you want a granular view of their mileage. For example, you want to see mileage between customer locations and time spent with each customer. 

Sadly, regular mileage trackers require sales reps to clock in and out at every customer’s location to achieve the results mentioned above.  

If the sales rep forgets to punch in or out, it becomes difficult to attribute mileage or time to their customer nurturing endeavors. Consequently, you can’t compute the money spent to nurture leads vs. the value you get from them as customers. 

timeero segmented mileage tracking
Timeero segmented tracking enables you to compute an employee's time at a customer location. 

The days of grappling with these problems are finally over, thanks to Timeero segmented tracking. With the feature, the sale rep will only need to clock in once, get on with their customer visits and clock out at the end of the day. 

The segmented tracking tool segments the representative journey based on their stops. It automatically computes the mileage between customer locations and the time spent at the customer location. 

Just bear in mind that this is an add-on feature that costs $5 per user per month. Thankfully, we’ve made it easier to test the segmented tracking feature on the 14-day free trial. 

Commuter Mileage

Commuter mileage is not reimbursable, meaning you should deduct it from the employee’s total mileage. Timeero commuter mileage tool helps you achieve just that. It lets you set employee commuter mileage and only logs mileage when an employee exceeds their commuter threshold.

For example, if the distance from the employee’s home to the office (or first account) is 10 miles. You can set the commuter mileage to 10 miles. This way, Timeero will start logging miles when the sales representative exceeds 10 miles, automatically deducting commuter mileage. 

Suggested Mileage 

The suggested mileage is a cost-saving feature that suggests the shortest route to a predefined customer location. It analyzes an employee’s travel history and looks to see whether there’s a shorter route than those the employee has been taking. 

Taking shorter routes saves fuel and vehicle maintenance costs. Remember that it costs $0.72 per mile to keep a company vehicle in perfect condition. 

If you bring an employee’s mileage down by 5,000 per year, you save $3,600 on maintenance costs. The cost savings can be enormous if you have a large fleet of vehicles. 

Route Replay

When you recommend the shortest route, do employees take them? Or are they taking the longer and more scenic route for their jobs? Are they making random non-work related stops and counting it towards their mileage? Unfortunately, these things happen more frequently in businesses than we may know.

timeero route replay
If you don’t have the time to constantly track employee real-time location, you can use the route replay to see the places an employee visited. 

Detailed Reporting Capabilities

The ability to extract essential mileage data is crucial for accurate billing and reimbursement. In Timeero, generating mileage reports is easy. Simply choose one of our many mileage report options to get the mileage information you need. No more complex computations when the employee reimbursement or tax time rolls around. 

With Timeero, you can generate mileage reports in various formats, such as PDF and Excel, and even export them into QuickBooks. In QuickBooks, you can create invoices and bills or calculate your expenses from the mileage amounts.

Timeero Integrates Seamlessly With QuickBooks

Yup, you read that right! Once tracking is completed, you can generate IRS-compliant mileage reports or even export the report to QuickBooks Online. The mileage amounts can be exported to QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop as billable expenses, bills, or generated invoices.

What’s Next?

If you’ve read this far, there’s a good chance you are looking to track your mileage in QuickBooks accurately. And, when it comes to logging solo mileage, the QuickBooks Online mileage app should work well. But, if you want to track mileage for your team, consider using an app like Timeero.

Start a 14-day free trial today to learn how Timeero’s mileage tracking capability is helpful to your company. 

QuickBooks Mileage Tracker: FAQs

How Does Mileage Tracker Work in QuickBooks?

QuickBooks Mileage Tracker allows you to track mileage manually or automatically. The automatic mileage tracker is reliable and enhances the accuracy of employee reimbursement (based on the current mileage rate) and tax returns. 

How to track mileage With QuickBooks Online Mobile App

You need to set up automatic tracking and add vehicles to track mileage with the QuickBooks Online mobile app. When employees start driving, the mobile app will log mileage automatically. 

Will QuickBooks Track Mileage?

Yes, QuickBooks enables you to track mileage via QuickBooks Workforce mobile app, QuickBooks Online, or QuickBooks Self-employed. 

All your employees’ miles at a single place

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AUTHOR
Samson Kiarie

Samson is a mathematician turned content marketer specializing in SaaS and Tech content. He focuses on the practical aspects of software systems while keeping abreast of the industry’s cutting-edge principles to create informative and engaging content. When he’s not writing, Samson spends time playing or watching soccer.

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