Whether we like it or not, landlords need to have their finances in order to run an effective business. Keeping a shoebox full of receipts is no longer needed nor practical in today’s digital world. There are so many accounting software apps for landlords that can help automate and manage every financial aspect of your business.
Expenses, income, deductions, and other key real estate investing metrics can all be digitized through the use of key accounting apps. Today we are going to give an overview of the more popular accounting software apps for landlords.
Stessa is a digital platform for property investors to manage, monitor, and communicate the performance of real estate assets. Created by real estate investors, Stessa allows users to easily keep track of property performance, finances, and the paper trail that comes with real estate investing—in one central place.
Stessa will track income, expenses, and provide investors with dozens of critical investing metrics and tax-ready documentation.
Beyond the fact that it’s free, Stessa also offers a number of innovative solutions for landlords who want a tool that moves beyond simple accounting inputs and outputs. For instance, Stessa recently added real-time receipt scanning with automatic tax-ready real estate categorization to the Stessa mobile apps for iOS and Android.
All receipts and invoices that are scanned with the Stessa app are also available on the online platform and vice-versa, so you always have a complete picture of your property expenses. Stessa’s machine learning and OCR technologies parse all the details and then organizes the information. All transaction details are stored in the cloud with bank-grade security, so everything is always accessible and available during tax time or for audit purposes.
Further, Stessa has a document storage feature that allows landlords and investors to capture all of their critical financial and accounting documents in one centralized database.
Quickbooks is accounting software used by businesses in all industries. It is a powerful accounting tool designed for businesses of all types to track and manage income and expenses.
As such, many landlords have turned to this platform to manage their rentals. Quickbooks can easily allow you to receive and track rent payments, pay contractors and property managers, and track fees and track property maintenance.
That said, because Quickbooks is a more general accounting software suite, it lacks many of the industry-specific features that landlords may require like investing metrics.
Appfolio, and Buildium below, are both full suite property management software. Appfolio is therefore a powerful tool for landlords and property managers to keep track of tenants, properties, payments, word orders, and more.
Appfolio does have accounting features, such as deposits, online payments, automated late fees, and more.
Buildium is similar to Appfolio, in that it is more of a full-fledged property management platform than one specifically designed for accounting. Buildium does offer some accounting features such as company financials, payment tracking, accounts payable, and more. And, you get all these accounting tools with Buildium’s core membership, it’s not an upgrade.
Buildium also includes some in-app calculators and an e-filing tool when it comes to tax time. To compare both Appfolio and Buildium, here is a comprehensive analysis of both software suites.
Other accounting software apps for landlords
ZenLordPro: A free accounting tool for landlords that allows them to collect rent and late fees automatically, keep track of bookkeeping, and manage work orders.
Quicken Rental Property Manager: Help you track all financial aspects of your rental business including property value, bank accounts, loans, documents, tenant lists, income, and expenses. You can also keep track of tenant contact information, rental agreements, move-ins and outs, and security deposits.
Google Sheets: Using Google Sheets to automatically track and calculate specific investing and accounting metrics is a great way to start as a landlording. Understanding how these important aspects of your business are tracked and calculated is invaluable. There will come a time when you will need to upgrade to an easy-to-use and hopefully free platform as you scale, but Google Sheets is a great start.
Excel: The same reasoning as with Google Sheets, just using a different product. Excel is a highly powerful tool that sits on your hard drive so you can use it offline. It can be used to track a myriad of financial and accounting metrics.
All landlords need accounting software apps. The idea is to choose the best one for you and your business. Do you just have 1 property or are thinking of buying your first? Try out Google Sheets or Excel to get your hands dirty and learn the various metrics and accounting mechanisms you should be tracking.
If you have one or a few rental units you’ll need to start thinking about some sort of software that can automatically track these metrics for you. We would suggest finding one that’s free. Once you’ve built up a substantial rent portfolio and are looking to scale, even more, you can then look to pay for a more comprehensive and robust property management platform.