A Beginner’s Guide to Rental Property Bookkeeping

By moving tasks like rent collection, lease renewals, and maintenance requests to digital platforms online, you’re left with less manual administrative work. In response, companies have turned to property management software, particularly those that include owner portals to give their clients access to essential details, from inspection findings to monthly reports. They make the experience of working with owners, communicating with tenants, and handling the nitty-gritty of managing each unit, lease, work order, and vendor relationship easier. By keeping an eye on these indicators, small business owners can ensure that their rental business remains profitable and successful. Make sure that the accounting features of your software include a means to track KPIs. To maximize efficiency with real estate bookkeeping software, you should regularly update financial records, utilize automation features, and monitor key performance indicators.

  • Hopefully, by now, you understand the benefits of organizing your rental property finances, as well as separating income and expenses for each property in your portfolio.
  • That’s why, when choosing which is the right property management software for your business, you need to look for a solution that specializes in rental property management.
  • Property owners can manage their bookkeeping with an easy-to-use Excel spreadsheet that’s fully customizable to meet the needs of every investor.
  • Property owners can connect a credit card, debit card, or bank account to track and organize transactions.

With plans starting at $55, Buildium offers lots of features for managing rental properties’ finances and tenant journeys. Basic Property Management provides owners and managers of rental property with the tips, tools, and techniques they need to be successful. We provide articles on a variety of topics, including how to find and screen tenants, how to negotiate leases, and how to handle repairs and maintenance. We also offer a directory of property management services and resources, so you can find everything you need in one place. Some landlords and property managers are going to require high-horsepower accounting software, whether it’s because they need a glut of features, or they have a large number of units to oversee. We’ve recently reviewed the top accounting software for rental properties.

Easy syncing between online rent payments and your accounting tools, for example, means that every fee is accounted for with close to no effort on your part. Zillow’s rental income and expense worksheet offers a basic accounting spreadsheet for real estate investors. Property owners can manage their bookkeeping with an easy-to-use Excel spreadsheet that’s fully customizable to meet the needs of every investor. Yardi Breeze is another cloud-based rental property accounting software solution used by landlords with beginner or advanced accounting experience.


Doing so will make rental property bookkeeping a lot easier and more accurate. For example, W-9 and 1099 forms are required from every employee and non-employees that do any work for your business. A W-9 form documents a contractor’s tax ID number and their type of business. A 1099 form will be additionally required for non-employees who made over $600 from your real estate business within a calendar year. DoorLoop offers not only all the accounting features necessary to manage your rental portfolio but also a plethora of additional tools that help you run your entire business—not just accounting.

  • Some are designed specifically for real estate investors and property owners, and others are broader, but they can all benefit you greatly.
  • Finally, we investigated each company’s history in the market and their reputation for customer service and reliability.
  • Financial reporting provides insights into the financial health of rental properties by summarizing a property’s income and expenses.
  • Its feature list is one the most robust of any tool on this list, but it’s also less intuitive, and the interface feels a bit dated and hard to navigate.
  • Still, you only get the most basic features and none of the other valuable features that the best property management accounting software offers.

If you’re uniquely concerned with placement, Hemlane is worth considering for its leasing tools. Each of the tools below specializes in rental property management or has a robust set of features ideal for managing rentals. So, let’s talk about some of the best rental property accounting software options out there. So far, we’ve touched on a few of the features and benefits you get from rental property accounting software. With DoorLoop, you get not only a full suite of property accounting features but also a complete set of property management features to help make managing your properties simpler and easier.

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This is not the case with TurboTenant, which will remain 100% free no matter the number of units you manage. While many free rental property management software platforms leave much to be desired, TurboTenant is straightforward to use with a simple interface and setup. Keeping rental properties in top shape nonprofit business loans takes a steady cash flow, so you need tenants to pay their rent on time. FreshBooks makes it easier than ever for tenants to submit rent payments so you don’t have to waste time chasing down checks. Get paid 11 days faster with convenient payment solutions that work for both you and your tenants.

What Are the Benefits and Features of Real Estate Bookkeeping Software?

Its paid plans add features, such as the ability to invite more users, pay bills, assign custom roles, manage timesheets and set up automation rules. The best part of Bench’s services is that, unlike real estate accounting software, there is no learning curve. Then, its dedicated team of bookkeepers, tax experts and small business professionals take over from there to get you caught up and all your essential filings prepared and done. It will even offer you one month of services for free, complete with financial statements you can keep.

Real estate investors should have multiple bank accounts to manage rental properties. For instance, you might have one bank account specifically for security deposits, and another for regular rent payments. For instance, landlord-tailored accounting software will include things such as ways to collect rent payments online, Schedule E prep, and real estate-specific financial reports.

Track Expenses

Like QuickBooks, however, Xero is not designed specifically for property accounting and management. Therefore, it lacks some important property management features like tenant screening. Jeff has over 25 years of experience in all segments of the real estate industry including investing, brokerage, residential, commercial, and property management. While his real estate business runs on autopilot, he writes articles to help other investors grow and manage their real estate portfolios. Zillow also offers the Zillow Rental Manager to set up online rent payments. REI Hub is specifically designed for rental property owners who want to take the stress out of bookkeeping.

Appfolio could be the perfect fit for your large property management enterprise. Starting at $1.25 per residential unit per month with a $250 per month minimum, you won’t compromise affordability for power with this property management accounting software. Although it’s not strictly a property management accounting software, you can use QuickBooks Online for your very small or new property management company.

Buildium rental property accounting software is a good match for professional real estate investors with large property portfolios. Rentec Direct is a property management and accounting software designed for landlords and property managers. Next, make a list of the key features your real estate business needs to adequately fulfill its accounting responsibilities. Compare that feature list with the plan you are considering to determine if anything is missing.

AppFolio, popular among landlords with large rental portfolios, offers the best advanced features to control your units remotely, and additional support and resources to grow your business and maximize its efficiency. In 2004 they founded the company, which quickly grew to 10,000 customers by 2014, receiving many awards and recognitions to date. From automatic income and expense tracking to comprehensive performance metrics, Stessa works to give you the necessary tools to manage your properties efficiently. Plus, its state-of-the-art security measures help ensure your data is protected, so you have peace of mind. Landlord Studio’s capabilities are more focused on day-to-day bookkeeping. While its basic features can be beneficial, it may be of less value to landlords or investors who want broader asset management and portfolio optimization.

Payments made through ACH are free, but credit card payments incur a 3.49% fee. FreshBooks makes it easier than ever for you to get paid with simple, secure online payments. Tenants can pay you directly from an invoice with just a couple of quick clicks. With high-level encryption and first-class security, your tenants never have to worry about payment protection. FreshBooks offers a transparent, affordable fee structure to remove the guesswork from online payments. Invoicing probably isn’t your favorite part of the job, but you can spend a lot less time creating and sending invoices with FreshBooks online accounting software.

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