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Do you keep a vehicle log? Here’s a solution!


Gregory Clarke on March 9, 2011 in Advice for Business Owners

Using a car for business purposes is a necessity for most of us. Some of us own our vehicles personally and are reimbursed by the company for our business travel. Others are provided a vehicle by the company. Regardless of the ownership, it is important to track your mileage. In order to deduct your vehicle expenses or reduce the taxable benefit on a company owned car, the Canada Revenue Agency requires that you substantiate your business travel. This means keeping a log.

A log can take different forms depending on what works for you. It may be a small journal that you keep in the car and record the mileage as you travel or it may be some type of spreadsheet set up on your smart phone, iPad or portable computer. Both of these are manual systems that require you to remember to record each trip. The act of recording the trip is a simple task but the problem is that we’re all busy and under pressure which leads to us rushing and forgetting to log trips.

Fortunately, I’ve found a solution. It’s a downloadable application on your blackberry that automatically tracks your mileage using the GPS functionality of your smart phone as you drive and you don’t even have to remember to turn it on if your vehicle is Bluetooth enabled. When you turn your car on, the Bluetooth automatically connects to your phone which enables the application. The application takes a GPS reading including current address location, date and time. As you drive, the application tracks the distance travelled. When you stop and turn the car off, the Bluetooth turns off and the application records the ending address, date and time.

All this information can be forwarded to your email address in a CSV file format which can be opened by any spreadsheet package to provide a line-by-line account of every trip that you have made. Then, you can review the log and mark which trips were business and which were personal. In a nutshell, this application is easy, reliable, and captures all the necessary information to keep you onside with the Canada Revenue Agency. The application does all of this for a price tag of $10, which is a great value. I recommend that you try out this application to see if it works for you: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/6534?lang=en