Best Property Management Accounting Software


Property management accounting software offers a number of features that typical accounting systems do not. In addition to financial and payroll reports, these programs will integrate industry-specific information on vacancies, units, tenants, and property maintenance into the real estate software.

More robust accounting tools also manage company information tied to property listings, track referrals, and link electronic documents to sales.

This guide was created to help property managers determine the best software to meet their needs. We will cover the following topics:

What is property management accounting software?
Common Features of Property Management Accounting Software
Benefits of Property Management Accounting Software
Deployment Options
What type of buyer are you?
Business Trends You Should Know

What is property management accounting software?

Property managers are required to perform certain specific types of accounting processes, such as holding and tracking security deposits and maintenance costs for common areas.

A property management-specific accounting system is designed to help managers with their unique responsibilities, such as:

  • Monthly rent collection
  • Track expenses for maintenance, improvements and supplies
  • Budgeting and forecasting using real-time information

Reporting features also allow managers to review revenue by property so users have an overview of their financial health.

Screenshot of vacancies in Buildium

Common Features of Property Management Accounting Software









Track rents and payments This software will categorize receipts according to the specific real estate category, such as rent, utilities, subleases, or late fees. The software also calculates property taxes, property insurance, maintenance costs, and payroll, and all of this information is tied directly to the tenant or property file.
Online payment portal Some property accounting systems include an online portal for tenants to pay their rent. This simplifies the payment process, as renters can pay online 24/7 using credit or debit cards. This feature is more common in full property management suites.
Bank reconciliation Many systems offer bank reconciliation assistance to ensure that the numbers match both your accounts and those of the bank. Users can download bank statements to identify and correct discrepancies.
Reports Accounting systems typically offer a variety of report and chart types to show income and expense data by month or year. These reports can be automatically generated on certain dates and shared with specific people.
Business growth and development Automatically calculate annual rent increases, property appreciation and depreciation, and manage your asset growth. Many of these programs also have built-in budgeting and forecasting capabilities and the ability to analyze rents based on current market rates.
Management of common areas Most solutions calculate fees and costs associated with common areas, tracking maintenance, policies, and usage as desired.

Benefits of Property Management Accounting Software

Automating accounting processes is a clear benefit of real estate accounting software, and others increase the convenience of common tasks.

  • Get paid faster. With an online payment portal, you don’t have to wait for mailed checks to arrive. Tenants can pay their rent online at any time, with cards or cash, directly to your account.

  •  

  • Calculate rent increases more easily. Software can help analyze local housing market conditions to calculate how much you can charge for rent and still stay competitive.

  •  

  • Keep control of your accounting wherever you are. Most major property management software providers offer a native mobile app or the ability to access the system through a mobile web browser. Even when traveling, you can view incoming payments or reports.

  •  

  • Spend more time finding good tenants. Once the software has helped you handle complex accounting tasks, you can focus on picking out the bad tenants you don’t want to deal with.

Deployment Options

Software can be implemented in different ways, but two options are most common today:

  • On the spot. An on-premises accounting system would be installed locally on the computer you use at your office. This type of deployment keeps your accounting data at your fingertips. These deployments generally require a higher initial cost.

  •  

  • Cloud-based. Alternatively, a cloud-based system is installed on the software provider’s servers and delivered to you via the Internet. This can be a more secure option, as your accounting data is stored “in the cloud” and will not be lost if your local computer is destroyed or lost. Additionally, a cloud-based deployment is often a cheaper initial investment, with fewer hardware requirements and monthly subscription fees.

What type of buyer are you?

Portfolios can vary widely from one property manager to another. Software vendors know this and offer a range of features that can often be mixed and matched to meet a manager’s requirements.

  • Managers of a single small apartment complex. For those overseeing a small apartment complex, basic accounting features like ledgers for rent payments and expenses should be enough to meet your needs. Additional features can be added for convenience.

  •  

  • Managers with a large complex or mixed real estate portfolio. Maybe you manage a few apartment complexes or you have a mixed portfolio, with hundreds of tenants to track. These managers can get more out of the software by opting for more features, such as advanced reporting, budgeting, and forecasting. An online portal can also significantly reduce the stress of collecting rent each month.

Business Trends You Should Know

The property management industry is always subject to new government regulations, trends in tenant behavior, and ever-changing real estate and property markets. Here are some events that impact property managers:

  • Rental growth is strong despite the increase in supply. The supply of housing in the United States in 2016 is not able to meet the demand, which leads to strong growth in rents. Cities with booming rents include Austin, Seattle and Nashville. Some experts say these markets are hard to break into as developers aggressively build new properties, but apartment managers in these locations have the opportunity to raise rates.

  •  

  • Are we due for another economic recession? US economic indicators in mid-2016 show patterns that could lead to another recession within 12 months, according to estimates by economist JP Morgan. This suggests that property managers should be cautious about growth or expansion plans and more critical about the applicant’s financial stability.
Previous Auditchain expands its presence in the $600 billion global accounting services market with the acquisition of Areport
Next Mobile Accounting Software Market SWOT Analysis Including Key Players NetSuite, Sage Intacct, Deskera ERP, Adaptive Insights, Budgyt, Divvy, Certify, ScaleFactor, Xlerant