Real Estate Agents are no different than other independent contractors or self employed persons in New Zealand, who spend a good percentage of their working day “on the road” so to speak.
To calculate a “working Vs a private usage” situation for the vehicle used, IRD request that a log book must be kept, covering & detailing a continuous period of three (3) months. And it needs to be updated every 3 years.
This logbook is really no more different than what I suspect truck drivers complete every working day, it needs to state your start, your finish, your kilometers and the purpose, as in whether each trip is for private purposes, or solely business related.
Erwin Wernsen is a chap who, between projects, decided to write an app, in this case an Android app that works brilliantly on the Samsung S3 I can attest.
His little app will save the real estate agents of New Zealand heaps and heaps of time, and yet into the bargain, provide an even more detailed and accurate “log book.”
As any new Smartphone user already knows these devices today come standard with the ubiquitous GPS. To ensure you don’t lose any points on your license, most everyone I know has a Bluetooth handsfree carkit in said business related vehicle as well.
Great, that’s the only two ingredients required for this little app, the cunningly named “Auto Mileage Log” to do its business and log your journeys.
Time to throw away that paper based book!
The one other item required is an internet connected PC so that you can review, analyse and download your “logbook” reports.
And in the words of the developer himself, here’s the neat little trick that makes this app a standout winner in my books………
But while I was developing the app I got the idea to use the bluetooth connection as a signal to start and end the trip logging. This way the logging would be fully automatic and I would not need to remember to start and stop the registration. At that time that was a unique feature so I decided to publish the app on the market. I guess more people liked this feature since I had quite a few downloads right away. Some of the users also provided me with good feedback…..
So you don’t even have to remember to turn anything on! Just remember that you have started the app, and that you have the GPS and Bluetooth activated on your phone, oh and obviously that its connected “paired” to your handsfree carkit.
You can even review your maps right on your Smartphone just to check you got all the details correct
Another exciting feature is that when setting up the preferences you select what time of the day, I think mine is set for 23:00hrs, that the phone will upload your “logbook” data automagically to the dedicated website. Yes, yes…… upfront you do need to register on the site, and use a special PIN that the site generates for you, but it works a treat. You can also download the report in .CSV.
Oh, and did I mention at this stage the app is FREE.
I suspect that not just Real Estate Agents would benefit from this app/website combo, and would be interested to know of other industries in NZ where something like this would be handy.
Thanks Erwin for a great app, I’m thinking this won’t be the last one you write.
PS: When you review the details online you can adjust the report so that, for example. you may require to change Business to Private.
Also this works better with a car only Bluetooth unit, not one of those wireless ones people clip to their ears. If you have one of those, then this app will track you everywhere you go….?