best software for rental property bookkeeping

User Forum Topic
Submitted by harilicious on August 24, 2006 - 8:04am

Does anyone have a favorite program for managing their rentals? I have Excel, but, I don't really know it that well. Should I invest time to learn Excel or purchase a specific software? Thanks.

Submitted by PerryChase on August 24, 2006 - 9:26am.

Excel?! You need an accounting software. It depends how many properties you have to manage. Say you have 3 properties, Quickbooks will work just fine (about $100 at Staples or mail-order). Quickbooks has different levels but the basic one would work just fine.

If you have dozens of properties, you need more sophisticated sofware to track rent and repair history on each unit. There are so many software applications. TenantPro is not bad.

Keeping a file folder with written record for each unit is also recommended.

Submitted by FormerSanDiegan on August 24, 2006 - 9:30am.

I use a shoebox (actually a manilla envelope) to accumulate the small amount of items you need for tax accounting, since I have one rental property. Use Turbo Tax Premier to account at tax time. Turbo Tax remembers depreciation of the property and improvements, and annual printouts are there in case your computer dies between tax seasons.

I've used Excel to evaluate property, cash flow, etc. But it can be done by hand in about 5 minutes. Right now in San Diego the calculation is easy. Rental Property = Negative Cash Flow.

Unless you have multiple properties and/or are carrying over multiple 1031 exchange carryovers, Turbo Tax and Excel are enough.
Learn how to add, substract, multiply, divide and use the PMT function in Excel.

Submitted by speedingpullet on August 24, 2006 - 9:37am.

I've used both Quickbooks and Excel (admittedly for non-RE stuff) and I'm a big fan of Excel.
Its very adaptable, and if you learn how to use the formula bar, you can pretty much calculate anything you want to.
Plus the statistical/graphics are good, and it imports easily into Word and Access.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.