Wednesday, 17 Jul 2024
Technology

9 Best Real Estate Accounting Software

best accounting software for real estate investors

Whether you’re a seasoned real estate investor or a property management professional, the key to effectively managing your assets lies in having the right tools at your disposal.

In this article, we delve into the world of real estate accounting, exploring the top 9 software available for investors today. The software in this list includes both general accounting platforms and solutions specifically designed for real estate investors.

How To Select The Best Real Estate Accounting Software

With so many options on the market, evaluating and selecting the best possible real estate accounting software can be challenging. There are numerous considerations from ease of use to the available features and functionality to customer support and reviews.

One important question you need to answer before you begin your search is, do you want an accounting only platform? Or do you want a property management software with quality accounting functionality?

There are pros and cons to both approaches. For example, accounting platforms like QuickBooks for rentals offer comprehensive accounting tools and reporting that caters to the most complex accounting needs. However, they lack important property management features (like automated rent collection and tenant screening) and can be challenging to set up and use on a day to day basis unless you’re already an expert.

When selecting real estate accounting software:

  • Begin by setting your budget. Some software offers free plans suitable for smaller portfolios, however, you might stretch your budget for larger portfolios.
  • Understand the features you need and the features you don’t. Do you just need accounting tools? How important is a balance sheet? Do you also need tenant management or rent collection?
  • Assess user reviews. Explore real online reviews and see how happy existing customers are with the product.
  • Get to grips with the help documents and support systems. Great customer support is essential if you’re going to get maximum use out of the software.

Property Management vs Accounting Software for Real Estate Investors

A few key differences between property management software and real estate accounting software include:

1. Cost Efficiency.

All-in-one property management software eliminates the need for multiple systems, reducing associated costs. Instead of investing in separate accounting, tenant management, and rent collection tools, you can streamline your operations with a single, integrated solution. This consolidation will save you time and money while simplifying your budgeting.

2. Ease-of-Use

As mentioned, software like QuickBooks can be incredibly challenging to set up correctly and operate for real estate businesses. Leading to costly accounting errors. Property management and accounting software come equipped with default expense categories, custom reports, and property management features that align with both your property management and accounting needs.

3. Tenant Management

An important part of owning and operating rentals is managing leases and tenancies. Most purpose-built software offers robust tenant management features, making it easier to track lease agreements, store documents, manage tenant information, and automate rent collection.

4. Rent Collection

Tenants should be able to set up automatic payments online and landlords send rent receipts, set up automated rent reminders, automate income tracking, block partial payments, and manage late fees.

Best Real Estate Accounting Software

1. Best overall: Landlord Studio

Landlord Studio is the top-rated real estate accounting software on the market. It has been meticulously crafted by landlords for landlords.

Streamline your real estate accounting with automated income tracking and bank feeds, and utilize the GPS mileage tracker and smart scan receipt features to ensure you’re maximizing your end of year deductions and portfolio profits.

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With the ability to instantly generate customizable reports in .csv or pdf formats, you can effortlessly analyze your data throughout the year and at tax time. Plus, easily share crucial financial insights with your business partners and accountant.

This powerful real estate accounting and reporting is paired with a suite of award-winning property management tools. Collect rent online, create rental listings, screen tenants, and store essential documents, all in one place.

Rated 4.9 stars on Capterra. View Landlord Studio Pricing

Features:

  • Landlord Studio is a best-in-class real estate accounting software for landlords with powerful property management functionality built-in. Save $500 per property in additional tax deductions and save days of admin time along the way. Available on any device and your first 3 properties are completely free.

  • RENTAL ACCOUNTING

    • Advanced income and expense tracking
    • Connect your bank feeds
    • Smart Scan receipts
    • Automatic mileage tracker
    • Xero integration
  • ACCOUNTANT APPROVED REPORTS

    • Income expense report / Profit and Loss
    • Schedule E Report
    • Trailing Twelve Month Report
    • Rent Ledger
    • Mileage Report
  • ONLINE RENT COLLECTION

    • Secure payments made directly into your bank account
    • Tenant auto-pay and easy-to-use portal and app
    • Control partial payments
    • Invoices, rent reminders, and receipts
  • FIND TENANTS

    • Rental listings
    • Collect and prescreen applicants
    • Run a tenant screening report
    • Email tenants
  • PROPERTY MAINTENANCE AND MORE.

    • Track maintenance jobs
    • Tenants can submit maintenance requests online
    • Track leases
    • and more.

Pricing:

Your first 3 units with Landlord Studio are free. See our pricing here

2. QuickBooks

QuickBooks is the leading accounting software on the market, used by the majority of accountants in the US. However, while it can be tailored for use by real estate investors and property managers, its complexity and versatility make it difficult to set up and use for property owners.

Key Features for Real Estate Investors:

  • Easily record rental income and property-related costs.
  • Generate tax-ready reports for seamless tax preparation.
  • Automatically import and reconcile bank transactions.
  • Create professional invoices for rent collection.

Cons:

  • Not designed for real estate investors. No property management features.
  • Hard to get set up, easy to make a mess of.
  • Pricing varies but can be relatively high, especially for extensive portfolios.
  • There’s a steep learning curve for newcomers.

QuickBooks Online Pricing:

  • Start: $30 per month
  • Essentials: $60 per month
  • Plus: $90 per month
  • Advanced: $200 per month

3. Quicken

Quicken, like QuickBooks, offers robust financial tools which can, in a pinch, be adapted for use by real estate investors. The platform excels when it comes to maintaining precise financial records for tax preparation. However, like QuickBooks, it can be a challenge to set up, especially for larger, more complex portfolios, and as your portfolio scales, it can quickly become unwieldy.

Key Features for Real Estate Investors:

  • Capture rental income and property-related expenditures.
  • Financial reports include Schedule C and E reports for investors and self-employed individuals.
  • Automate the import and reconciliation of bank transactions.
  • Craft polished invoices for efficient rent collection.

Cons:

  • User-interface can feel clunky and hard to navigate.
  • There’s a learning curve for newcomers.
  • Not as full-featured as alternatives on this list.

Pricing:

  • Simplifi: $3.99 per month
  • Home & business: $9.99 per month (best for rentals)
  • Premier: $6.99 per month
  • Deluxe: $4.99 per month

4. Xero

Xero is an accounting platform that prides itself on ease-of-use. Offering robust financial tracking, reporting, and invoicing tools. Once you’ve properly set up your chart of accounts for real estate investments, it performs better than some of the other accounting-specific tools listed. Nevertheless, it can become challenging to track individual properties with more than a few units in the system.

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Key Features for Real Estate Investors:

  • Set up a real estate-specific chart of accounts and stay on top of income and expenses.
  • Take advantage of the robust invoicing tools.
  • Xero offers simple and powerful reporting, allowing you to dig into the numbers.
  • Connect your bank account and reconcile transactions.

Cons:

  • The pricing structure varies depending on the plan and can be relatively expensive, particularly for users with multiple properties.
  • While user-friendly, getting set up and taking advantage of the advanced features requires a learning curve for newcomers.

Pricing:

  • Early: $13 per month
  • Growing: $37 per month
  • Established: $70 per month

5. Sage

Sage offers a solid foundation for real estate accounting, providing essential tools and features for financial management in the industry. Its strength lies in its versatility for various business types, which can sometimes result in it falling short of the specialized capabilities found in industry-specific software.

Key Features for Real Estate Investors:

  • Efficiently rental income and record property-related operating expenses.
  • Take advantage of powerful reporting tools, including a P&L.
  • Import and reconcile bank transactions.

Cons:

  • Pricing varies depending on the plan and can be relatively expensive, especially for users with multiple properties.
  • While generally user-friendly, advanced features will require a learning curve for newcomers, and the software doesn’t scale well for larger portfolios.

Pricing:

Sage offers a range of products and services with a complex pricing structure. You will need to contact Sage to determine which product is best suited to your needs and get a quote for pricing.

Dedicated Accounting Software for Real Estate Investors

Pros and cons of using property management software for real estate accounting.

6. Tenant Cloud

TenantCloud offers excellent property management capabilities, including rental information tracking, payment handling, lease management, maintenance oversight, and tenant communication.

However, it’s worth noting that because it’s tailored to property management over real estate accounting, it may not be suitable for people looking for more robust real accounting software. Additionally, users have reported the app to be hard to use, making this primarily a desktop software.

Key Features for Real Estate Investors:

  • Listings
  • Scheduling
  • Applicants
  • Screenings
  • Rent payments (for ACH, you will need to upgrade)
  • Maintenance
  • Vendor network

Cons:

  • App isn’t very user-friendly.
  • Accounting features aren’t as developed as some of the others on this list.
  • No free plan.

TenantCloud Pricing:

The Starter plan costs $12 a month. The Growth plan costs $40 a month.

7. Propertyware

Propertyware excels in the realm of single-family home property management, offering a comprehensive platform designed to meet the core property management and accounting requirements of property managers overseeing extensive portfolios.

It’s worth mentioning that as it’s tailored to larger portfolios, it is less cost-effective for property managers or independent landlords overseeing fewer than 250 units and is rated only 3.8 stars when it comes to usability.

Key Features for Real Estate Investors:

  • Comprehensive asset and document management
  • Maintenance management and tenant communication
  • Essential accounting tools
  • Online rent collection
  • General financial reporting

Cons:

  • Some customer support complaints.
  • Not cost-effective for small portfolios with large onboarding and monthly fees.
  • Its extensive feature set for property managers makes it hard to use.

Pricing:

Propertyware has three pricing tiers.

Their Basic plan costs $1 per unit per month with a $250 minimum and a $500 onboarding fee. Plus costs $1.50 per unit per month with a $350 per month minimum and a $700 onboarding fee. Premium costs $2.00 per unit per month with a $450 minimum and a $900 onboarding fee.

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8. Buildium

Buildium represents a robust cloud-based solution explicitly crafted for the management of large portfolios. It encompasses an extensive array of cutting-edge features typically associated with property management software.

This platform has an intuitive mobile portal and is distinguished by its award-winning customer support. Additionally, it offers invaluable analytics tools that yield critical insights, enhancing your grasp of your rental business’s performance. It also provides tools tailored for the management of community associations and homeowners associations (HOAs).

Key Features for Real Estate Investors:

  • Automatic rent collection through a tenant portal.
  • Online ticket support during business hours.
  • A lot of training materials offered.
  • Essential real estate accounting tools
  • Generate and share a range of financial reports.

Cons:

  • Expensive pricing plans.
  • Some customer support complaints.
  • Not a fit for small-medium portfolio management or independent landlords.

Pricing:

Buildium offers three pricing tiers. The first and most basic plan starts at $52 per month and has optional extras that you can pay for.

Their Growth plan starts at $166 per month.

And their Premium plan starts at $479 per month.

9. Appfolio

AppFolio is a top choice among real estate investors managing large rental portfolios. It includes standard features commonly found in property management software, like managing maintenance requests, automating payments, and enabling online leases.

Key Features for Real Estate Investors:

  • Plans for community associations and commercial real estate landlords.
  • Supports all types of units.
  • Has a mobile app.
  • Essential real estate accounting tools
  • Generate and share a range of financial reports

Cons:

  • No pricing plans for smaller residential landlords.
  • Has a high minimum monthly fee.
  • Not fit for a small number of properties.

Pricing:

Pricing starts at $280 per month for their Core plan and $900 per month for their Plus plan.

Final Word: Real Estate Accounting Software

While software like QuickBooks, Xero, Buildium, or Appfolio certainly offer valuable features and have their own merits, Landlord Studio excels in several key areas that set it apart as the best real estate accounting software.

Firstly, Landlord Studio has been meticulously designed to match the unique needs of real estate professionals. Its intuitive interface makes it easy to get started, and with its powerful mobile app, use on a day-to-day basis becomes seamless and stress-free.

Secondly, you can instantly generate any of over 15+ customizable reports designed specifically for landlords and investors, including schedule E and P&L reports.

Thirdly, Landlord Studio pairs award-winning accounting with streamlined property management features, so you can centralize every aspect of your property management, from document storage to rent collection in a single system.

And it does all this for free.

Get professional real estate accounting tools and take the stress out of tax season with Landlord Studio today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Coming soon.

Conclusion

In conclusion, having the right real estate accounting software is essential for effective management of your assets. Whether you choose an all-in-one property management solution or a specialized accounting platform, it’s important to consider your specific needs and budget.

Among the top options, Landlord Studio stands out as the best real estate accounting software, offering a combination of powerful accounting features and integrated property management tools. Its intuitive interface, customizable reports, and award-winning support make it the ideal choice for landlords and real estate investors.

Streamline your accounting processes and maximize your profits with Landlord Studio. Visit Eireview to learn more and get started for free.