Tech Tips - ScanBot & TripLogPosted by Derek Isaman on
Today I want to talk about apps. We all have them, usually dozens of them, on our phone. We have them to manage our affairs, track our fitness, and of course to kill time – and about a thousand other things. What I want to point out is how some apps can help you (and us) save time (and money!) on your taxes.
As the phrase goes – There’s an app for that. This time around I want to highlight two apps that I use regularly, one for document uploading and the other for mileage. Best of all, they both have a free version to try out!
Let’s start with the mileage, using TripLog:
Whether you are incorporated or a sole proprietor or even a traveling salesman, vehicle expenses can provide large tax savings at the end of the year.
This app is loaded with tracking options – my favorite, and what I consider the easiest is the Magic Tracker. It senses when you are driving by GPS movement and stops when you stop.
If your car has Bluetooth, you can set the app to start tracking as soon as it connects to the car. It’s the set it and forget it mode. It will capture a small amount more mileage – the difference between connecting to the Bluetooth and sensing GPS movement – but also only works with one vehicle.
And of course, there is a Manual option, where you can put in the start and stop points manually – perfect for if you didn’t have the phone for the trip (or if it died).
Once you have trips recorded, it is as easy as opening the app and choosing whether each trip was business or personal. You can add notes about the trip here as well.
The app will send you reports with all of your totals in PDF and Excel for easy modification. You provide us with the reports with your personal taxes or year-end and we will do the rest!
The free trial lasts for 30 days and then there are 2 options to choose from at $2.50 and $5.20 per month (can also be purchased at a 33% discount for paying for a year up front). With the tax savings, it will pay for itself!
Now for the document app!
We’ve all been there - needing to send something via email to someone and not having access to a scanner. Snapping a photo with a phone is convenient, but the quality is usually not great and (the bigger issue) it’s a JPEG (not the PDF that most people prefer) and it picks up all kinds of backdrops.
This app starts by automatically sensing and cropping the photo to include just the document. It auto-focuses, and then automatically captures the picture with clarity. You can then send a PDF documents right from the app via email. And this is all 100% free.
The paid version of the app allows you to save and manage groups of documents (mileage receipts for instance) within the device for future use. You can also send via fax straight from the app with this version, as well as edit the PDF.