A Beginner’s Guide to Property Management Accounting

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how do you do bookkeeping for rental property

You certainly don’t have to become a full-time bookkeeper to keep things running smoothly. The same thing works for mortgage statements, invoices from contractors, and any other piece of paper related to your rental properties. Or if you get invoices or mortgage statements in your email, either get them sent directly to your rental property email address, or forward them there.

how do you do bookkeeping for rental property

In accrual-basis accounting, transactions are recorded when they are incurred, regardless of whether money has actually exchanged hands yet. It also functions in cash and accrual accounting simultaneously, saving time otherwise spent on double-entry bookkeeping. Buildium, our review’s best property management accounting software for large property portfolios, has expansive accounting features supporting up to 5,000 units in their Growth and Premium plans. Accounting software for rental rental property bookkeeping properties allows you to record daily bookkeeping items, track receipts, create reports, and prepare for tax season in minutes instead of hours (or days). Real estate investors use rental property accounting to track property financial performance at the property and portfolio level. With the online accounting systems available today, many rental property investors handle their own bookkeeping each month, then have a professional tax advisor take care of filing year-end returns.

Why should you use property management software for rental accounting?

One way to accomplish that comparison is by using a bank synchronization tool if available in your software. It is a time-saver in making sure transactions match both locations prior to a proper reconciliation. A bank sync matches and compares the transactions from the bank to those in the software which allows you to update transactions missing details and locate errors and omissions. The software then marks transactions to a ‘cleared’ status which confirms that the financial institution has processed the transaction. Equally important to consistently recording transactions, is reconciling your accounts to ensure money is accurately accounted for. If you have more than three rental properties, complete and attach as many Schedules E as are needed to list the properties.

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Programs like Excel, Numbers, Google Sheets, and OpenOffice can be used to create a basic real estate bookkeeping system to track income and expenses. However, even with one rental property, keeping information updated manually can become tedious and it’s easy to have something fall through the cracks. A bookkeeper can record the rent you receive from your tenants on your books, but they can’t guarantee the money will always hit your bank account. Lost rental income from non-paying tenants is perhaps the greatest fear of any landlord—and it often happens out of the blue. Without steady rent payments, your rental business will incur heavy losses quickly.

Why Real Estate Investors Need to Know Bookkeeping

For the detailed instructions on how to input income and expenses, click on this link and going directly to the Record transactions and complete other tasks section. If the current online program is capable of importing these transactions, then you’ll be able to bring the data directly into QBDT. However, if your accounting system is unable to automatically bring the transactions  into QuickBooks, you may want to consider using a third-party application. Take special note of keeping the invoice and receipt management system in perfect order and plan for unexpected expenses. But without invoice and receipts management, that is difficult to achieve.

  • Landlords with just a few properties who have the discipline to record their income and expenses into a spreadsheet might do fine with a program like Excel.
  • Digital programs – including accounting software – could crash, leaving you scrambling to recover your data.
  • It comes with an online version, standalone versions, and a mobile app to help users manage their business wherever they are.
  • Whether you’re managing personal or rental property, accurate property accounting is essential.
  • Instead of having a large admin task to build up at the end of the month, quarter or even year track and record income and expenses on the go.

The easiest and most effective way to manage this step is to find a purpose-built software. Landlord Studio is a property management and accounting solution designed to make your rental property bookkeeping as easy as possible. Quickly and easily set up your properties in the app and track your finances on a property by property basis with default categories already inline with IRS tax requirements. Plus, you can easily digitize and store all of your supporting documents in the same place. Accurate rental property bookkeeping is crucial for rental property management.

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