Property management accounting essentials: 6 must-have software features

Laurie Mega
Laurie Mega | 5 min. read
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Published on January 31, 2022

Good property management accounting software can be a powerful factor in the success of your property management business. In fact, with the days of ledger and spreadsheet accounting fading away, it’s virtually impossible to run a growing portfolio without it.

But not all property management accounting software programs are created equal. While not every solution will fit your specific business needs, there are certain features that you should look for in any quality property accounting software. If the property management software you’re considering does not include at least some of the following features, you should continue the evaluation process.

Here are six must-have features you should have in your property management accounting software:

#1: Automatic Bank Reconciliation

Be sure that each check and deposit is recorded accurately and reduce the chances or clerical errors by choosing a property management accounting software with automatic bank reconciliation. This will reduce your tasks lists, ensure your books are correct and also will let you produce balance sheets, cash-flow statements and income statements automatically and in real time. Major headaches can be solved with this feature—don’t overlook it!

#2: General Ledger Accounting

Make sure you can track your company financials with the same accuracy and efficiency as your managed properties. You don’t want to have to juggle multiple financial and accounting programs, so be sure to look for software that keeps your business records and property books separate and secure, while still benefiting from a unified interface. That way, you’ll have a full view of the money you have and money you’re about to receive or pay out.

A well-rounded platform should make it easy to access the data you want securely. That includes features that let you set up and customize a chart of accounts that reflects the way your company does business. Having that capability fully integrated within your software makes it easy to access, update, and share your chart of accounts data in a way that’s easy for you to track and contributes to your bottom line.

#3: Locking Your Books

Speaking of security and peace of mind, another must-have feature is the ability to lock your books once you’re ready to file. This ensures that users aren’t able to make unwanted or accidental changes and helps ensure your financial reports stay accurate. The right tools can make it easy to to lock your books and avoid any costly errors in the process.

#4: Online Rent Payments

Reduce your own frustrations in chasing down residents month after month. Choose a property management accounting software solution that gives residents a wide variety of online and automatic rent payment options, from EFT and bank transfers to credit card payments and other options like Pay-Near-Me at local retailers.

Giving residents the option to set up automatic payments is also a win-win that makes managing recurring charges easier for both them and your business. When fully integrated with your accounting software, online payments make it easier and less time-consuming to record and track transactions, freeing up you and your employees to focus on other priorities.

An effective payment portal also makes it easy to record and view payments from residents and association homeowners. Bonus points if the accounting software you choose lets you accept rental applications and application fees fully online.

#5: 1099 eFiling

Tax season and 1099 deadlines can be a huge hassle for property managers, so save yourself the pain and be sure to choose property management accounting software that will automatically and easily batch 1099 e-filing with the IRS, print and mail forms to owners and vendors, and record and track it all.

As an added benefit, look for tools that are accessible well ahead of the time filing officially opens with the IRS, so you can start the process early and at your own pace.

#6: Accounts Payable

How amazing would it be if your contractors and vendors could bill you electronically, you could verify the ticket was complete and then you could use a built-in calculators to figure out what you owe your vendor or yourself and then pay it—all in one place?

Yeah, you can do that. Not only that… you SHOULD be doing that. A great property management accounting software will convert work orders into bills, then pay them online.

Buildium has all of these property management accounting software features and an award-winning customer service team to help you get started quickly. Be sure to check out the how-to videos in our Accounting section, our Property Management Accounting Survival Guide for Non-Accountants, as well as bookkeeping basics for property managers to learn more! Happy accounting!

Read more on Accounting & Taxes
Laurie Mega

Laurie Mega has planned, written, and edited content on a variety of subjects. Her work has been published by HomeandGarden.com, The Economist, Philips Lifeline, and FamilyEducation, among others. She lives in the Greater Boston Area with her husband and two boys.

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