Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Sydney Morning Herald: "Apps with fringe benefits"

The SMH published an article written by Charles Wright on the 1st August titled "Apps with fringe benefits".

Our inquiry to the minister's office for particulars led to some recommendations from Treasury. They include an iPhone or iPad app called VehicleLog (, produced by Gunn Software at Avalon in NSW. 
It is close to the minister's description, although the details demanded by the ATO are a little more demanding than he suggests. 
VehicleLog has a range of options, including the ability to link to the iPhone's GPS to record routes and locations, odometer readings and trip times, and it can also integrate with the address book and favourites to simplify the detailed recording of the purpose of any business trips, which the ATO requires. 
It allows you to publish and email a PDF copy of an ATO-compliant report. It highlights any problem entries. At $9.49, it comes close to the standards we expect for effortless compliance.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Australian Financial Review: "App makers emerge as FBT winners"

The recent announcement on the government's planned changes to FBT claims for motor vehicles has led to several articles in the press.

After an interview with James Hutchinson of the AFR the following article was published on the 17th July:

"App Makers emerge as FBT winners"

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Using VehicleLog and other GPS apps simultaneously

Please note the following:

If you use the GPS feature of VehicleLog to calculate your end odometer value for a trip, record trip start and stop locations or route information, please be aware that running other GPS apps simultaneously may cause iOS to suspend VehicleLog while it is running in background mode. 

iOS can suspend any background app if it needs to allocate further resources (memory etc) to the currently running foreground app. Resource intensive GPS apps that can cause this include TomTom and Apple Maps.

In cases like this users think our app is under reading distances or not recording trip distances properly.

It is in fact iOS suspending the app. Therefore VehicleLog cannot process any GPS location updates and "appears" to under read the distance traveled.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Australian Government changes to FBT legislation

The Australian government announced on Tuesday that it would abolish the ­statutory method for salary-sacrificed and employer-provided car fringe benefits.

The current 20% rate used to calculate the benefit could be applied regardless of whether the vehicle was being used for business or private purposes.

With the removal of the statutory rate method it is mandatory to use a logbook to substantiate the business use of your vehicle.

VehicleLog Enterprise customers jump on board

Building on the success of our standard edition of VehicleLog, the Enterprise Edition of VehicleLog is rapidly building momentum.

We are proud to have reference sites such Merck Pharmaceuticals, Beohringer-Ingelheim, Parmalat and Bickfords using our Enterprise software.

If you would like any information regarding our software please contact us.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

VehicleLog 2.8.1 submitted to the App Store

This version allows publishing of trip route information to be disabled or enabled in combination with trip start & stop times and trip start & stop locations. Note that if you disable publishing of start/stop times & start/stop locations, route information will also be disabled.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

VehicleLog 2.7 submitted to the App Store

This release includes several major enhancements in addition to some general bug fixes.

These enhancements satisfy the stringent logbook data collection requirements of many overseas Government Tax Authorities, particularly those in Europe.  

In the Netherlands, for example, you are required to keep the following records per trip:
  • Start time
  • Start odometer value
  • Start address
  • Route taken (names of roads)
  • End time
  • End odometer value
  • End address
  • Private or Business
  • Purpose of journey
  • Deviation from shortest route explanation (e.g. accident, traffic jam etc, this can added at the end of your purpose of journey by adding these descriptions to your favourites).
Australian users can benefit from these enhancements by providing additional evidentiary proof in their logbook data if they choose to, and those employees who are required to log private trips in addition to their business related travel can now do so.

VehicleLog 2.7 Changes:

1. iOS6 bug workaround for correct GPS geocoding of suburbs in Australia when using app option to record start & end times and start & stop locations (was returning city instead of suburb). Note this was not a problem in other countries. 

2  iOS6 additional permission check to access Calendars.  Users that had disabled access to Calendars in their Privacy Settings would encounter crashes.

3. iOS6 corrected screen flashing issue when publishing.

4. Trips can now be classified as business or personal and this data flows through to all reports.

Report sample without GPS information
Up until now recording of private trips in your logbook was not supported  as it would effect the business % use calculation in your logbook reports.  Additionally the ATO does not require private trips to be recorded.

In previous versions some users have ignored this and continued to log private trips using "Private" in the purpose of journey. If so,  you should now view your trip log and tag each private trip using this new feature, otherwise they will by default still be classified as business trips.

5. When using the GPS option to record trip start and stop times and start and stop locations, trip route information is now also generated using street names and included in reports. 

Report sample with GPS information

6. The notion of vehicle periods has now been hidden from users which really simplifies use of the app. The app does all the required setup of associating vehicles with periods and recording their period opening and closing odometers values automatically. The opening odometer value for a logbook period and vehicle is set to the start odometer of the first trip recorded in the period. The closing odometer value of a logbook period for a vehicle is set to the end odometer value of the last trip recorded in the period.

As you publish your logbook throughout the logbook period these values will be updated automatically. When you publish your logbook at the end of the logbook period (on or after the logbook period end date) you will then be prompted to confirm the start and end odometer values for the logbook period for any vehicles that have trips recorded within the period. This allows you  to override the end odometer value of the logbook period to take into account any private travel undertaken between the last trip business trip recorded in your logbook and the last day of your logbook period.