iPhone Expense App Tracks Mileage Using GPS

Last Updated Jun 14, 2010 11:33 AM EDT

Half the battle in tracking expenses is tracking your mileage. There are plenty of apps that let you manually enter your miles or odometer readings -- but that's still a pretty low-tech approach.

Free app ProOnGo Expense uses your iPhone's GPS to calculate mileage, then adds the information to your expense report. Now that's what I call automation!

Actually, there's still a bit of manual effort involved, as you have to run the app when you start your trip, then run it again after you've arrived. That's how it determines your locations and calculates the distance traveled.

Still, I think that beats punching in odometer numbers. And there's a lot more to Expense than just mileage tracking.


In fact, the app's real claim to fame is the way it handles receipts: You take a snapshot with your iPhone camera; the app uploads the image to ProOnGo's Receipt Reader service, then extrapolates the data right into your expense report.

That report can be uploaded to QuickBooks Online, exported to Excel, or even faxed anywhere in North America.

Now for the rub: While the app itself is free, you'll need a ProOnGo subscription for the Receipt Reader service. $2.99 per month buys you 30 "reads," while $4.99 bumps it to 50 (and adds a few other perks). The app does include 10 free Receipt Reader credits so you can try before you subscribe.

I actually think those are reasonable rates for anyone sick of manually entering receipt data into expense reports. And if you really want to get crazy, ProOnGo can integrate a custom, company-specific expense report right into the app.

What do you think? Is this the app you've been waiting for all your life? While you're mulling that over, here's a quick video that shows Expense in action:


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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.