Mileage Estimator FAQ

This document provides a quick overview to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the Mileage Estimator.

Document 6012  ¦  Last updated:  08/16/2017 RR2


Question:

What is the Mileage Estimator?

Answer:

In seconds, Mileage Estimator turns your current year's databases of signed or inspected reports in WinTOTAL or TOTAL into a customizable spreadsheet with mileage totals, fuel consumption, fuel expense, and even vehicle tax deduction estimates.  Click here to learn more.


Question:

How do I get started?

Answer:

Once you've purchased the Mileage Estimator, you'll get an e‑mail with download instructions.


Question:

How are the routes calculated?

Answer:

Everything is estimated on a report‑by‑report basis.  Based on standard GeoCoding and route computations, your main office serves as the starting point.  From there, the closest property to the office is "mapped" — whether it's comp four or the subject property.  For instance, maybe comp four is closest to your office.  That would serve as the starting point.  Then, if comp two is closest to comp four, the calculations between those two points will be shown, and so on.  So, if you know that a property is 15 miles from the office, but its line item is showing 10 miles, it's because the property is 10 miles away from a closer property in the appraisal.

To see address routes used, simply click on the link in the report.  As with everything else in the report, use your own judgment and replace an item's data with numbers that you feel are more accurate in your real‑world use.


Question:

How did you determine the deduction rates and price per gallon of fuel?

Answer:

We used the standard allowable deduction per mile provided by the IRS.  For the average price of fuel per gallon, we used data provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/).  Please keep in mind that you can change these numbers in the report as you see fit based on local data specific to the market in which you operate.


Question:

How do I change the starting address?  I typically start my trip from home, not the main office.

Answer:

Simply change your office address in TOTAL or WinTOTAL.  Here's how:

  • In TOTAL:  Click Tools, then Configure Settings, then Office Settings.
  • In WinTOTAL Aurora:  Click Options, then Change Office Settings.

Then, simply re‑run the Mileage Estimator.  Once you have your new mileage report, don't forget to change your office address back to the main office so it shows up correctly on your appraisals.


Question:

What reports are pulled into the spreadsheet?

Answer:

When you launch Mileage Estimator, you'll choose the folders from which your data pulls.  From there, all your signed or inspected reports will show up in your spreadsheet.

At this time, you’re unable to select an attached directory.  If you wish to calculate mileage from reports in an attached directory, simply move the reports from the attached directory to your (My) Reports database.


Question:

Does the report include unused comps that are in my Workfile?

Answer:

Yes — Check the appropriate box, and the final report will include the unused comps that are in your report's Workfile.


Question:

Do I need to configure Mileage Estimator to only calculate mileage for the current year's reports?

Answer:

No.  Mileage Estimator is designed to calculate data for the current year's reports.  You can generate reports for a previous year if you've purchased Mileage Estimator for that year.  Mileage Estimator automatically selects reports within the date range you provide and performs the appropriate calculations.  You don't need to worry about manually removing or sorting through reports.


Question:

Can I generate reports for a specific date range within a year instead of the entire year?

Answer:

Yes, you can specify a date range.


Question:

Can I generate reports for the current year as well as previous years?

Answer:

Yes, as long as you've purchased previous versions of the Mileage Estimator.


Question:

Can I generate a single report for both this year and the previous year?

Answer:

No.  The allowable IRS mileage deductions and the average price per gallon of fuel are different between years.  However, if you've purchased previous versions of the product, you can create a report for each year as separate Excel files.


Question:

Can I generate a mileage report for a specific appraiser?

Answer:

Yes.  Check the box, and the final report will include a separate Excel sheet for each appraiser that has signed or inspected a report, as well as a combined report for all appraisers in your office.


Question:

I recently switched from WinTotal to TOTAL.  Can I generate a single report using both programs?

Answer:

No.  However, there are ways to combine your data.  We recommend moving your appraisal files from WinTotal to TOTAL.  Then, you can generate your Mileage Estimator report using TOTAL.  Click here for instructions on using our Aurora Transition Assistant.  Or, if you're comfortable editing spreadsheet files, you can simply generate one report from WinTotal and one report from TOTAL, and manually combine the appraisal data from both reports using TOTAL's Worksheet PowerView, Microsoft Excel, or LibreOffice.


Question:

Is this included with the Elite System?

Answer:

While Elite is by far our most comprehensive bundle, it doesn't include all of our products and services.  Mileage Estimator is purchased separate from the Elite System, but at just $49, it's a great deal.


Question:

I have more than one computer.  How many installs do I get?

Answer:

Mileage Estimator is tied to your account number.  This means that it can be installed on any machine registered under the same account.


Question:

I don't have WinTOTAL or TOTAL.  How would I use the Mileage Estimator?

Answer:

If you're an existing customer, simply download TOTAL from your account at www.alamode.com/myaccount.  If you're a new customer, click here for more information about TOTAL and purchase your copy online, or contact one of our sales representatives at 1‑800‑ALAMODE (252‑6633).

Then, import your appraisal XML files into TOTAL using our XML import tool, which pulls in the major form of each report.  To import files, open a file in TOTAL, click File, then Import UAD XML.  From there, your appraisal is displayed in TOTAL.  Once you've imported your current year's files, run the Mileage Estimator.


Question:

I don't have Microsoft Excel.  Can I still use Mileage Estimator?

Answer:

Yes.  LibreOffice is an open‑source, free alternative to the Microsoft Office product suite.  LibreOffice includes comparable programs to Microsoft Office that are used for word processing, spreadsheets, and more, and the final reports exported from Mileage Estimator are compatible with both Excel and LibreOffice.  Go to www.libreoffice.org to learn more and download a free copy.

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