Property Management Accounting 101 Part 1: The Basics

property management accounting

And for a work order-specific solution, read our guide on the 10 Best Work Order Software Tools. You could still manage your accounting with something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet. Cull or combine unnecessary accounts, double-check accuracy, see where property management accounting you might be overspending, and use that data to inform your moves for the following year. One mistake can cause a painful audit that could have been easily avoided by paying a small fee to a local accountant who will review and sign off on your books.

The time saved by not doing manual accounting can be better used to manage the human elements of property management, like dealing with tenants. Expenses are the costs required to manage your property portfolio. For example, to rent out a property, your expenses may include advertising costs and real estate fees. For individuals managing their own properties, cash accounting is usually advised (and preferred). For larger organisations or business owners with a team of staff members, accrual accounting is generally more appropriate. The two most common approaches to property accounting are cash basis accounting and accrual accounting.

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Property managers must record each rental payment’s amount, date, and source. Due diligence in tracking allows property managers to spot missed or late payments quickly and take the necessary steps to ensure a steady cash flow. It’s impossible to plan for every unexpected expense, but experienced property managers typically know how to budget for these events. And rental property accounting software helps them set aside these funds.

  • Property management accounting aims to show how much profit a property is making.
  • Lastly, preparing owner packets was always a challenge for me and my team.
  • Stessa is another software program for financing rental properties.
  • In this article, we have gathered 15 of the best property management accounting software tools.
  • These apps offer excellent accounting features, track key metrics and capital appreciation, and maintain a general ledger.

Sadly, there is occasionally a tendency to overlook or disregard this crucial task. If multiple properties bring in money, you’re probably better off with a double-entry bookkeeping system. It takes more work to maintain, but it’s better for organizing many different transactions and ledgers. If you’re using Excel to manage your bookkeeping, you might have a separate sheet for each journal month.


When our accountants ask about gross income, they’re not trying to insult your earnings. The rules and standards all accountants abide by, set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Many owners reinvest equity built in their property once they’ve paid off mortgage debt. CPAs are useful for stuff like dealing with changing legislation, filing taxes, and completing complex transactions.

  • In the real estate industry (and in particular, property management), specific scenarios determine when and how these forms are used.
  • Making sure that’s the case is the process of bank reconciliation.
  • Both are technically savvy and have implemented digital technology into Widgets’ operations.
  • Moreover, Professional Landlord ensures that all financial reports you will produce comply with state requirements.
  • There are only two ways to track money flowing in and out of business, whether you manage personal or investment properties.
  • We’ll also include a list of common accounting terms and their definitions.

It allows you to accurately record your expenses, so you can make the most of tax deductions. And it makes it easy to report income and expenses separately for each property—something the IRS requires you to do. That’s why many landlords outsource this job to an accounting company.

Bookkeeping and Books

He owns these in conjunction with his long-time business partner, Fred. However, Fred is a silent investment partner and hasn’t been involved in the business operations. Tom and Fred have been modestly successful at Widgets, Inc., building a solid business making widgets over the last two decades. Let’s take a look at a scenario where the business ownership and the property ownership became thoroughly entangled over the years. The main benefit of this style for owners is that you get your money more quickly and within the same month that the tenant pays. This is most beneficial for owners that prefer their money sooner rather than later, especially if they have a mortgage they’re paying or other miscellaneous expenses.

property management accounting