At a basic level, real estate accounting software tracks income and expenses. But the best single-family rental accounting software does much more, helping landlords and property managers to maximize potential returns by monitoring property performance and streamlining workflows.
In this article, we’ll take a look at nine of the best single-family rental accounting software systems for real estate investors to consider.
- Single-family rental accounting software offers key features such as automated bookkeeping, income and expense tracking, and tax-ready financial reporting.
- The best software also keeps track of rental property depreciation and includes a real estate balance sheet that automatically adjusts property values.
Why real estate investors use accounting software
Single-family rental accounting software provides investors with integrated tools to automate time-consuming bookkeeping tasks, track income and expenses, generate key financial reports, and prepare for tax season with just one click.
In addition to saving time and effort, accounting software for single-family rental homes allows users to monitor investment performance at both the property and portfolio level online at any time.
The best single-family rental accounting software also includes a real estate balance sheet that tracks rental property depreciation and periodically adjusts property values to provide an accurate idea of owner equity.
Some real estate accounting software requires a monthly or annual subscription, while others are 100% free and offer optional premium services such as rent analysis, market research, and mortgage financing.
9 highly-rated single-family rental accounting software systems
According to a recent report from Investopedia, the best value in accounting software for rental properties is Stessa.
Let’s begin by taking a look at what Stessa offers real estate investors, along with eight other accounting software options worth considering.
Stessa is an accounting software and asset management system designed by real estate investors for real estate investors. The software helps both small investors and landlords with large property portfolios make more informed decisions about the rental property they own.
Stessa is free and offers optional premium services for a fee, such as rent analysis and market research. Users can track unlimited single-family, residential multifamily, and short-term rental property.
Investors use Stessa to monitor the performance of over $45 billion in real estate assets via a property performance dashboard, and smartphone apps for iOS and Android. Some of the biggest benefits of rental accounting software from Stessa include:
- Track unlimited residential properties
- Automate income and expense tracking
- Sync with business banks and property mortgage accounts
- Manage, organize, and securely store real estate documents online
- Generate rental property financial reports including income statement, net cash flow report, capital expense report, and real estate balance sheet
- Obtain a free rate quote for financing or refinancing a rental property from lenders
- Generate tax-ready financials, access tax resources, and claim an exclusive TurboTax discount via the Stessa Tax Center
The full suite of accounting and property management features from AppFolio includes modules for accounting and reporting, communication and service, maintenance and efficiency, staffing and training, marketing and leasing, and management and growth.
Landlords and rental property managers of single-family home, multifamily, and student housing can use AppFolio to manage their entire residential portfolio online. The Core Plan from AppFolio is designed for real estate investors with small to mid-size portfolios of 1,000 units or less.
Pricing begins at $1.40 per unit per month, with a minimum monthly fee of $280 plus a one-time onboarding fee based on portfolio size. Rental property owners interested in AppFolio can fill out a contact form on the company’s website to book a free, customized demo with a product expert.
Buildium is another software service that combines accounting with property management. Features include accounting, online payments, maintenance request tracking, property inspections, document storage, rental listings and tenant screening, electronic leasing, and a professional website for landlords.
Software from Buildium is designed to support up to 5,000 units and comes in three pricing plans: Essential starting at $50 per month, Growth starting at $160 per month, and Premium starting at $460 per month. All plans come with a free 14-day trial that uses sample data to demonstrate how Buildium handles real-world tasks.
Each pricing plan from Buildium includes accounting, tasks, owner and resident online portals, and maintenance scheduling and tracking features. Additional add-ons at an extra cost include showings coordinator, 1099 e-filing, and remote check printing.
Related reading: AppFolio vs Buildium vs Stessa
Accounting and management software from Property Matrix offers almost everything that a landlord or property manager could ask for. The software is fully customizable and includes 120 features and 500 customizable reporting fields.
Property Matrix offers a full menu of features including custom reports, automatic actions, check scanning, document signing, owner and tenant portals, vacancy posting to online rental listing websites, email blasts, credit reports, and management company accounting.
Pricing plans are straightforward and come with a 30-day money back guarantee. The Standard plan includes 250 units and costs $400 per month, Property Matrix Pro includes 250 units with a fee of $475 per month, while the Enterprise plan includes 800 units and is priced at $1,200 per month.
While QuickBooks Online is one of the most full-featured general-purpose accounting software systems on the market today, it isn’t specifically designed for single-family rental accounting. However, landlords and property managers with some basic accounting knowledge can adapt QuickBooks Online to use for rental property accounting.
Landlords can track tenants as clients, and monitor income and expenses by class and location. The wide variety of financial reports can be customized to display the profitability of a particular property, or even a specific unit within a multifamily building.
There are four Small Business pricing plans from QuickBooks, with fees ranging from $25 to $180 per month depending on features. The company offers a free trial for 30 days, and a 50% discount off for three months.
Quicken is a good general accounting software for investors with just a few rental units. The rental dashboard tracks everything related to the rental property, including income and expenses, bank accounts and loans, and property value.
Users can see the real-time status of properties, occupancy, and rent received all at a single glance. Landlords can maintain tenant contact information, including rental rates and security deposits, rental agreements, and move-in and move-out dates.
One-year subscription plans from Quicken include the Starter priced at $35.99 per year, Deluxe priced at $46.79 per year, and the Premier plan priced at $70.19 per year.
The full-featured rental accounting software from Rent Manager is fully customizable and ideal for properties of every size. Modules include a complete accounting system, 450 vital business and financial reporting options, marketing and leasing, business operations, and property management and maintenance.
Rent Manager is designed so that users can expand capabilities beyond the software, with integrations for AI and business analytics, leasing and marketing, screening services, payments, and delinquency management.
Pricing plans are not listed on the company website, but interested owners and property managers can fill out an online form to schedule a free demo of Rent Manager.
The easy-to-learn general ledger accounting system from Rentec Direct helps investors save time and money by keeping detailed records and automating transactions to eliminate double or triple entry accounting.
Accounting features from Rentec Direct include full general ledger accounting, online tenant payments via ACH or credit card (with cash accepted at 20,000 payment locations), property manager payment of owners electronically through ACH, and a robust reporting system.
The company also offers property management modules for operations, leasing, and management. Pricing begins at $35 per month for up to 10 units, and the first two weeks are free.
Landlords and property managers looking for a free, basic accounting software system may find Wave to be a good choice. The software provides income statement and balance sheet reporting, and connects to bank accounts to import transactions.
However, one of the biggest drawbacks to using Wave for real estate is that the investors can not track profit and loss by individual property.
Accounting and invoicing is free, with optional pay-per-use for credit card processing and ACH, and payroll tax services beginning at $20 per month plus $6 per active employee or independent contractor paid.
Using a good single-family rental accounting software helps landlords and property managers to monitor property income and expenses on a property and portfolio level, and simplifies monitoring and evaluating rental property financial performance.
While most options for rental property accounting include a full suite of property management features with a monthly fee, single-family rental accounting software from Stessa is free and provides the features that the most successful investors use.