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Rental Accounting

Should You Use QuickBooks For Rental Properties?

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Can QuickBooks Be Used for Rental Properties?

When people think about accounting for their business, there is an almost audible mental groan. Then people start looking for solutions. This is no different for landlords – which is likely how you’ve ended up here.

You’ve probably come across QuickBooks when thinking about professional accounting software. In this article, we explore how QuickBooks can be used for managing your rental property accounts.

On top of this, we’ll also outline it’s strengths and weaknesses when compared to industry-specific software like Landlord Studio which is designed with DIY landlords in mind.

“QuickBooks Desktop allows you to set up a company file that lets you run your property management business and do tasks such as receiving and tracking rent from tenants, paying property owners and management companies, fees and overhead charges for property maintenance.” Source: QuickBooks

quickbooks for rental properties

Setting Up QuickBooks For Your Rental Property

Setting up:

  1. Add your business banking cards.
  2. Create your properties as customers.
  3. If you have an HMO/ Multi-unit property you should create your units as jobs.
  4. Create your tenants as sub-jobs.

To enter rent received:

  1. Click on the customers menu,  and select receive payments to begin entering your rent receipts.
  2. Choose the cash receipt account from the accounts drop-down list.
  3. Select the appropriate tenant from the Customer: Job drop-down list.
  4. Enter the amount of the rent payment. Click “OK” to save the receipt if you are inputting rent for only one tenant. If you have rent from more than one tenant, select “Group with other undeposited funds” to move on to the next cash receipt entry.

It’s well worth exploring some demonstration videos on Youtube to help you through the setup process. 

The Limitations of QuickBooks for Rental Properties

Whilst QuickBooks is the leading accounting software for small businesses, it has limitations when it comes to managing rentals. Property management software like Landlord Studio has industry specific features which are designed for the very purpose of rental property management.

It can be time-consuming and challenging to set up QuickBooks for your rental properties. For these reasons amongst others QuickBooks falls short when compared to specific industry designed software

This is why more and more landlords are moving to property management software like Landlord Studio. It is already structured by property, and set up with common income and expense categories, it can easily differentiate between rent, and other forms of income, allows you to set reminders, plus you can keep all your relevant documents and receipts well organized all in one place.

Using Landlord Studio instead of QuickBooks for your rental property management

landlord studio is better than quickbooks for rentals

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Many of the problems experienced by landlords can be made easier (if not solved) with the improved organization and better use of available tools. This helps landlords streamline the management of their rentals.

They can automate time-consuming everyday tasks and communications, and when it comes to their accounts everything is properly organized with expenses categorized. Plus, all the relevant documentation and receipts can be stored in the same place.

Property management software gives a rental manager or landlord all the tools they need to run a successful business.

Using Landlord Studio with QuickBooks

Because Landlord Studio is specifically designed for creating a streamlined workflow for landlords, minimizing their time spent managing their rental accounts combined with industry specific features (like automated rent reminders), it makes sense to use Landlord Studio for the day to day management of your rentals.

You can track income and expenses on an organization level, on a property level and all the way down to a Unit level.

We have apps for iOS and Android making managing on the go easier than ever.

However, for general accounting QuickBooks is an excellent solution. Which is why some of our landlords (normally those with more properties than average) choose to use QuickBooks in conjunction with Landlord Studio to manage their rentals.

We have developed a number of advanced reports which can all be exported from the app as PDFs. These can be saved to your device or sent straight to your accountant from the app.

Or for our key reports you can generate these on desktop or iOS and export them as Excel files.

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Landlord Studio’s Reports

  • Profit and Loss (P&L)
  • Income Expense Statement
  • Income Expense by Category
  • Schedule E Report
  • Overdue Rent Payments
  • Reminders
  • Mileage
  • Net Worth Report
  • Occupancy Report
  • Overdue and Upcoming Expenses
  • Payments Made (Lease & Category)
  • Rent Ledger
  • Rent Roll
  • Tenant Directory
  • Plus More+

Exporting Reports to Excel.

On iOS you can export your Profit and Loss report as an Excel file.

To do this:
  • Go to the “Reports” page,
  • Tap on the “Report Type”,
  • Scroll to the bottom,
  • Tap on “Export to Excel”.

Importing Your Excel Report Into QuickBooks.

For detailed instructions on importing excel files into QuickBooks head over to their help page here: QuickBooks Support

Final Notes

Good bookkeeping is the backbone of any business. Whether you choose to use a property management software like Landlord Studio or an accounting software like QuickBooks or Xero, it’s vital you organize your books properly and keep careful records of income and expenses categorized properly.

The main reasons that this is so important are first that this gives you a better understanding of your properties performance and ROI. It also allows you to accurately calculate your claimable expenses – a nearly impossible task if it’s left as a final massive task right at the end of the year. And finally, if you get audited by the IRS or any other tax body, you will have accurate detailed accounts with all the necessary documents stored and organized ready to show them.

Our software allows you to quickly and easily track rental income and expenses, generate professional reports instantly, reconcile with your bank and more.

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“Track income and expenses, screen tenants, set automatic reminders, and more with Landlord Studio.”

* 14 day free trial. No card required.

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Ben Luxon

"Ben is an author and real estate enthusiast. His interest in all things entrepreneurial has led him to work with real estate professionals all over the world, distilling their knowledge into articles and Ebooks. His love of travelling has taken him to over 10 countries in the last year, where he has sampled the craft beer of them all."

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