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Mileage Tracking

Forgot to Track Your Mileage? There Is a Solution.

Emily Maina
Last update on:
January 4, 2024 12:42 PM
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For companies with a mobile workforce, keeping tabs on mileage can be a real challenge. Ensuring accurate mileage tracking is not just about saving money. It’s also about streamlining operations and maintaining compliance with the IRS. 

Here’s a common occurrence for companies with teams often on the road: An employee forgets to track their mileage, and suddenly, the reimbursement process becomes a nightmare.

We understand the frustration, so we’re here to introduce a solution that will transform your mileage tracking process. 

This article is your answer if you’re a company dealing with the hassle of employee forgetful mileage tracking. 

We’ll cover how a mileage-tracking app can save you time and money and what to do if you learn that your employee forgot to track mileage. 

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The Consequences of Forgetting to Track Mileage

There are several potential repercussions of your employees forgetting to track mileage. These include:

1. Financial Losses

Financial loss is the most evident and immediate result of employees forgetting to track their mileage. According to a  Chrome River Survey, businesses lose $2.8 billion annually to travel expense fraud.

Mileage costs already take up a sizable amount of a company’s budget and business expenses. When mileage records are erroneous or incomplete, businesses wind up overpaying, putting a strain on the company’s finances. 

2. Compliance and Tax Implications

Inadequate mileage tracking can land you in hot water. In some cases, such as IRS audits, you may need to provide detailed records of your business-related travel to support your tax deductions. 

If your mileage tracking for business purposes is haphazard or non-existent, you risk losing out on these deductions and potentially facing penalties.

3. Lack of Employee Accountability

You cannot rely on recollection or assume that your team members will consistently remember to record their distance accurately. 

Tracking inefficiencies can result in disagreement and trouble with paperwork while attempting to reconcile mileage records.

4. Lost Time

There is an administrative cost when employees forget to record their mileage on a regular basis. It takes time and effort for the finance or HR department to manually adjust business mileage data, reconcile disparities, and track down missing records. In addition to the time spent, this also diverts attention from more important duties they could be undertaking. 

The best mileage-tracking apps are designed to help you easily track your work-related mileage and eliminate these challenges. 

What If I Didn’t Keep Track Of My Mileage?

Everyone can occasionally forget to track their mileage; it’s not a new occurrence. For this reason, the IRS permits an individual to assemble a mileage log using partial records.

As per the IRS, an individual must provide proof of an aspect of a cost they wish to deduct or claim compensation for if they do not have complete records. 

This proof can take the form of the following:

  • their statement, which will contain detailed information on the element and
  • Any other adequate supporting evidence. 

If an employee forgot to track mileage, your company could still deduct taxes while compensating them by filling in the gaps on a fragmentary mileage log. Nevertheless, ensure that your mileage corresponds with the supporting documentation so they don’t write off your claim. 

When an employee forgets to track mileage for work, they can provide alternative evidence. 

Examples of this would be: 

  • Invoices for business-related deliveries 
  • Electronic visit verification (EVV) for home health nurses
  • Clock-in/out records at work locations
  • Conference invitations with proof of attendance. 

Considering such evidence can help establish at least the minimum mileage for compensation and tax deductions following IRS requirements. It can also ease your reimbursement process. 

To get the latest information about mileage reimbursement, check out our guide on IRS mileage rates for 2024. 

Mileage Tracking in Timeero

Let’s take a closer look at how Timeero simplifies the mileage tracking process.

Mileage tracking for your employees in Timeero begins right when they clock in and stops when they clock out. Because it is motion-based, the mileage tracker app considers an employee to be driving whenever they move and exceed a particular speed threshold. 

A GPS point is recorded whenever the user moves more than 150 feet. Mileage traveled does not, however, include every point that is captured. The mileage traveled computation captures any speed exceeding 4.47 miles per hour.

timeero mobile mileage tracking
Mileage tracking on Timeero

This implies that when calculating mileage, walking is not taken into account. As a result, the total mileage traveled does not include each point you see on the map. Timeero has a ‘Commuter Mileage’ option that enables mileage tracking only after any employee travels more than a certain distance daily when commuting. 

As the admin, you need to configure your account for mileage tracking. You can do this in User settings. Access the user you want to enable tracking for, click the pencil icon next to the user, and check off the ‘Track Mileage’ box. If you are using jobs, turn on mileage tracking for each job to allow mileage tracking. 

timeero user settings
You can turn on mileage tracking for specific employees. 

When your employee accepts an invite to use the app, they must set their location settings to ‘Always.’ This does not mean the app will be tracking them all the time. It will always track miles only when they are clocked in, even when they close the app.

Once an employee clocks out, their mileage or location is not accessible. Motion and Fitness must also be turned on for iOS devices. 

timeero location precision
Setting access to Always ensures accuracy when recording mileage.

Timeero adds several additional functionalities to your standard mileage tracker. In addition to tracking total mileage, you can monitor your employees’ whereabouts at any moment. 

You can see their travel speed and replay their routes, giving you some insight into their business driving patterns. The breadcrumb trail feature allows you to follow every path they take while clocked in.

timeero route replay
You can see exactly where your employee visited through the breadcrumb trail feature.

The software then generates precise and IRS-compliant mileage logs with all required data. Furthermore, any changes to entries are thoroughly documented in the History Log, guaranteeing transparency.

timeero reports
You can generate mileage reports on Timeero. 

This simplifies payroll, for instance, if you reimburse mileage with Gusto, as you can access all the necessary data. You can easily integrate the payroll solution into Timeero. 

What Happens if You Forget to Track Mileage? 

Suppose your employee tells you they forgot to track mileage. What happens? 

Timeero allows employees to enter their mileage manually. Enable the company setting, ‘Require users to input mileage before clocking out.’ Users will be prompted to enter their mileage when they clock out on the mobile app. 

timeero manual mileage entry
Employees can manually input mileage on Timeero.

You will see the mileage on the employee’s timesheet and in your reports when the user inputs their mileage and hits submit. You can also enter the manual hours as admin under the company settings. 

While it’s one thing to have employees clock in, what would happen if one failed to clock out? 

When employees fail to clock out, the number of miles accumulates. Problems like this may cause you losses in the longer term, as you may overcompensate for mileage. 

Timeero provides a solution by allowing you to recalculate miles to the correct time. You can do this in the Web Portal under Time & Mileage. 

This only works if the clock-out time is changed to an earlier time. For instance, the clock-out time was changed from 9 p.m. to 6 p.m. If the clock-out time is edited to a later time, miles will not be added.

Segmented Tracking: A Unique Timeero Feature 

Segmented Tracking within Timeero is an innovative solution that takes a hands-off approach regarding mileage and GPS tracking. 

Imagine a scenario where an employee needs to visit different client locations during the day. Traditionally, this would require separate clock-ins and clock-outs, making mileage tracking and GPS monitoring a logistical woe.

With Segmented Tracking, the employee can simply clock in at the beginning of the workday, eliminating the need for multiple entries. This saves time and minimizes the risk of forgetting to clock in at each location.

Timeero automatically tracks the distance traveled and records GPS data for each location as the employee moves from one site to another. It does this using Google Maps. This means that the mileage associated with each site visit is accurately logged without requiring manual intervention.

At the end of the workday or after the employee has completed all their site visits, they can simply clock out. Timeero calculates the total mileage and ensures it’s seamlessly integrated into your records.

You can view your employee’s segments from the time and mileage tab on Timeero once you turn on segmented tracking in your account. Here, you’ll see the time they clocked in and out and their total duration on each job. Changing the view to satellite allows you to see all the places they visited, and you can play back the entire route they used. 

timeero segmented tracking
Timeero’s Segmented Tracking feature

You can register jobs on Timeero coinciding with specific locations for segmented tracking to show the job instead of GPS location. If you have not registered your jobs and an employee stops somewhere, you can view the address in the segment. 

It is also possible to view the address of a location if you are using jobs and an employee stops at a specific site that is not registered as a job in your account.

Additionally, if your employee takes a break, you’ll see that on the segment. Hovering over the break icon allows you to see the start and end time of the break and its total duration. The break name will be listed in that segment for you. 

Employees using segmented tracking don’t have to worry about forgetting to record their mileage and time. They simply have to complete one clock-in at the beginning of the day and one clock-out at the end of their shift. Segmented tracking ensures the amount of time and distance people spend on each part of their workday is automatically tracked. You can then generate a report for this on Timeero.

It provides high precision, ensuring you’re never left wondering if you’ve missed out on any business miles covered. It also helps maintain accurate records for mileage deductions and compliance. 

Choosing Your Mileage Tracking Method

Though the IRS accepts all mileage recording approaches equally, some are more effective than others. Certain ones have the potential to significantly reduce the likelihood of employees forgetting to record their mileage.

One common approach employees take is manually recording their mileage in a notebook or on paper. This method may work for some, but it’s time-consuming and inaccurate. Plus, it’s easy to forget to jot down every trip mileage in the logbook, especially when busy and on the move.

Employees also have a terrible time with it—those responsible for filling out all the data and those preparing it for payroll. Not to mention having to organize and sift through all these records to get the information you want.

A more sophisticated way to track total miles is to enter them into spreadsheets. Although it is better than the paper-based method, it also has numerous drawbacks regarding accuracy and reliability. 

A regular error made by small business employees or self-employed individuals when using this method depends on memory and estimation to fill in mileage details. However, human memory is notoriously erroneous, and estimates in this maintenance record are bound to be inaccurate. 

This is especially true when it comes to tax season and IRS audits or in cases where there are employee-employer disputes. Because of these drawbacks, a more effective method of recording employee mileage is necessary. 

So, What is The Best Way To Track Mileage?

A real-time mileage tracking app like Timeero is the best way to maintain mileage records. It is available for both Android and Apple mobile devices. You won’t have to waste time or money on tedious, unreliable reporting. 

Furthermore, Timeero offers benefits beyond basic tracking. Because it uses geofencing technology, the GPS mileage tracker will alert your employees to begin tracking time and mileage.

Final Thoughts

If you forgot to track mileage, don’t panic. Even the IRS acknowledges that such scenarios can occur to anyone, so it’s not all lost.

Implement a mileage tracking solution like Timeero to ensure it doesn’t happen again. You can read our in-depth Timeero review to learn more about this solution.

FAQs

How Do I Track Past Mileage?

You can track past mileage by reconstructing your travel history. Examine your appointment records, trip logs, and calendar to do this. Cross-reference this data with known destination distances using tools such as Google Maps. After that, you can compile a mileage record. 

Can You Estimate Mileage for Taxes?

According to the IRS, if an individual lacks comprehensive documentation to support an aspect of a cost they wish to deduct or seek reimbursement for, they will need to provide proof of it. It can be in the form of their statement or any other adequate supporting evidence. If you have incomplete records, you can give an estimate as long as you have sufficient supporting evidence. 

What Are Some Tips to Help Me Keep Track of My Mileage?

You can use a mileage tracking app like Timeero to maintain mileage records. It’s accurate and hassle-free and ensures mileage is not overestimated or underestimated. Ensure your employees make it a habit to clock in and log their mileage on-trip. 

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AUTHOR
Emily Maina

Emily Maina is a tech-savvy writer with a passion for creating content. With years of experience in the industry, she is well-versed in the latest trends and developments in the tech industry. When she’s not working, Emily enjoys exploring the great outdoors or watching her favorite shows.

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