Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What is good accounting software? - a discussion....

It's always interesting to get a pulse on how people feel about apps, and in that spirit we came across this discussion at, "What is good accounting software"?

Omar Stoltzfus

from Narvon, Pennsylvania

Dec 29, 10:52 AM

I was looking to upgrade my accounting systems at the beginning of the new year. I was wondering what the best software is for real estate accounting? Or what you would advise me to use? All options will be greatly appreciated 
Thank you, Omar

Peter MacKercher

Real Estate Investor from Saint Louis, Missouri

Dec 29, 10:56 AM

Best accounting software to use is something that you will use and your account understands. 
I like quickbooks seams universal that most small business use is as well as most accounts understand it as well. 
My suggestion is to talk to your account and see what they suggest. Also i would suggest paying for there bookkeeper to set it up for you and help you understand how to use it probably will take 3 sessions about 1hr long each. 

Nancy Neville

Real Estate Investor from Commerce Township, Michigan

Dec 29, 11:07 AM
1 vote

Believe it or not most CPA's don't know how to setup QuickBooks the correct way for Landlords.  
You see a normal CPA or an Accountant who isn't a landlord, looks at QuickBooks through an accountant eyes.  They want you to do a lot of Journal Entries.  Yep, I just said the No NO Word...JOURNAL ENTRIES.
QuickBooks does all this for you behind the scenes.  Just once in awhile you may need to do a Journal Entry.  
Yes, QuickBooks can look and seem intimidating because it is so Robust!  But it really isn't hard at all.  But if you want to use all it's features, it does take some time to learn.   I have taught a quickie course in 4 hours.  But to know it fully would take about 8 hours or even 16, if one is doing a seminar and teaching it all. 
But all in all QuickBooks is a Landlords best friend.
Nancy Neville

Medium_the_landlord_s_bookkeeper_2014_book_coverNancy Neville, The Landlord's Bookkeeper
Nancy Neville, Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor Retired Landlord Author

Aly L

Real Estate Investor from Middletown, New Jersey

Dec 29, 11:33 AM

I had a Quickbooks consultant set up my software several years ago, and yes, it's a little more specialized for landlords. But it's absolutely been a great improvement, especially as we've acquired more properties. Start out the right way and you won't have to go through what I went through 4 years into landlording! You'll save a lot of time and money by setting it up right from the start.

Simon W. 

Real Estate Investor from New York, New York

Dec 29, 03:34 PM

As a property accountant, I will tell you that it really is up to you what you feel comfortable with. Quickbooks is alright, but it's not landlord's best friend.
Most management companies uses Yardi, MRI, and Timberline. It's a matter of preference.
Most CPAs that don't have a clue about real estate won't be able to help set up any software properly. A lot of the investors here uses Excel, which is good for only managing a few properties. However, in the long run when an investor keeps acquiring more properties, excel won't be the way to go.

Medium_privatereillcrev-finalSimon W., Private REI LLC
Telephone: 1.917.204.9495
Always looking for Equity Partners to Build Wealth together!

Nancy Neville

Real Estate Investor from Commerce Township, Michigan

Dec 29, 04:15 PM

Simon, there is a difference between a landlord and property management.  QuickBooks is truly the best software out there for a landlord. 
However, for a Property Manager taking care of other people's properties, it could be, if someone wanted to take the time to utilize it the way I show them to.  But there are software programs out there for Property Managers that I like as well. PropertyWare is one. 
BTW,  most CPA's use QuickBooks !!!!

Medium_the_landlord_s_bookkeeper_2014_book_coverNancy Neville, The Landlord's Bookkeeper
Nancy Neville, Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor Retired Landlord Author

Nathan Emmert

Real Estate Investor from Byron Center, Michigan

Dec 29, 04:30 PM

What makes QuickBooks superior to Wave Accounting??  Saying something is "the best" is a pretty strong statement and I'd love for you to back it up... while I'm frugal (my wife would say cheap), I don't mind spending $200 if it's really going to improve my life over what I currently have... but given how easy Wave is... and the cost of Wave, I'm finding it hard to understand where QuickBooks could be superior to be "the best"...

Nancy Neville

Real Estate Investor from Commerce Township, Michigan

Dec 29, 04:42 PM

Nathan I will do a search on Waves and see what it does.  I never heard of it before.  I base my opinion on the fact that I had purchased and view almost every software program out there.  So I will check out is that?

Medium_the_landlord_s_bookkeeper_2014_book_coverNancy Neville, The Landlord's Bookkeeper
Nancy Neville, Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor Retired Landlord Author

Nancy Neville

Real Estate Investor from Commerce Township, Michigan

Dec 29, 04:58 PM

I'm back.  Took a peek at the Wave Screen Shots and I think they gave it a good try, but it is kind of babyish.  
QuickBooks has a class feature that allows you to keep track of every penny you make on your rental units and how much money you spent on each rental unit and then some, any time of the day, minute, year, month.  In great detail.   
QuickBooks is a Professional Accounting Software Program that, when done correctly, makes a landlords life easier.  
We need to keep track of every repair done to our buildings, our units, right down to the last nail, the last dry wall, the date, the cost, who did the work , the time, when.  Detail, Details Details. 
Many software programs are Ok.  Wave is OK, but QuickBooks for landlords is what is needed.  Not something cute.  Note something like money in money out.  But a program that is easy to use, has professional looking reports to impress the banks and other investors, and knock the socks right off yourself when you want to know where you stand financially, and I and 1000 of other landlords who use QuickBooks will say it is the best. 
QuickBooks can keep track of loans and Mortgages.  Fixed Assets.  Depreciation.  
It has a Balance Sheet a Profit and Loss Report, and over 60 other reports than can printed out any time you need them.  
QuickBooks can be purchased in stores all over the country.  It is sold all over the World.  Is is used all over the World.  
CPA's  prefer to use it.  Not all, but many. 
So, I don't want to hurt your feelings, but I have to stick with saying that QuickBooks is the best.  But, hey, if someone can truly show me something that cost as much as QuickBooks and does everything QuickBooks can do, I'll promote it. 
Oh BTW, QuickBooks can tell you when a lease is going to expire.  It can keep track of properties purchased and sold.  It can tell you how many Square Feet your homes are, when they were built, and anything you want to know.  It is the only software program out there that YOU YOURSELF can CUSTOMIZE to fit YOU!  
Who can say that about any other software.  
Just sayin!

Medium_the_landlord_s_bookkeeper_2014_book_coverNancy Neville, The Landlord's Bookkeeper
Nancy Neville, Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor Retired Landlord Author

Gita Faust

Accountant from Richboro, Pennsylvania

Dec 30, 07:02 AM

There are two aspects to rentals, real estate investing and property management.
Accounting and Property Management.You need to make sure that the software you use does it all. Like the one stop shop -where you can purchase groceries and alcohol at one store at lease in our state.
It really does not matter which software you use. It all depends on the person who is entering the data and then you as the owner checking, reviewing, and analyzing your reports every week.
Make a list of your NEEDS, WANTS, and SOFTWARE COST.
I can only speak from experience; our clients use Buildium, Appfolio, Yardi, and QuickBooks for accounting. Some third party software offer integration with QuickBooks and some charge extra for the accounting module.
Pick a software, stick to it, and budget for training and consulting every year. Being consistent and persistent is the key to success.

Andreas Mirza

Real Estate Investor from Ladera Ranch, California

Dec 30, 09:11 AM

My business partner and I used Quicken for our 21 rental condos for our first year and it was such a hassle since it's really more designed for personal finances. Converting to Quickbooks took a while and a lot of work but was worth it going forward. It's easy to generate balance sheets and P&L's and any kind of standard financial doc's that you need to generate for accountants, lenders, and investors.
Another advantage is that you can send the Quickbooks file directly to your accountant so that he or she can make any necessary changes. It makes it so much easier since most accountants are already using it. Why complicate things? If I had to do it over again, we would have started out using Quickbooks.


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