Real Estate Bookkeeping 101

realtor bookkeeping

Expenses under the accrual accounting method work in a similar way. If you receive an invoice for landscaping service in December, the invoice is recorded as an expense in December, even if the bill is not paid until January. Bookkeeping and accounting in real estate describe two different things. The most important factor in our pricing score is the monthly cost of the program. However, we also considered any limitations on transactions, vendors, or customers.

  • The services also tend to be offered by clubbing them into packages, each containing a different number.
  • Additionally, real estate professionals often pay for membership fees to associations and other nationwide organizations, which may count as deductions.
  • When in doubt about your accounts, consult with a Certified Public Accountant, or CPA.
  • Plus, it’s helpful if the software they choose includes some form of integrated contract management so it’s not completely separate from the accounting process.
  • Bookkeeping services are one of the key processes while managing a real estate business, as it allows companies to track their income and expenses to determine overall financial performance.
  • Some software tools make the work simple and easy for bookkeeping, and it is worth to invest in.

An agency that needs to manage agents, transactions, and vendors along with accounting will appreciate the real estate focus of this accounting software option. Lone Wolf Back Office is designed for large real estate firms but can also be a software that works well for a smaller brokerage. Lone Wolf software is great for large firms with more than one location because the technology provides a way for the broker or managing partner to track the entire business easily. Zoho Books boasts strong, customizable, schedulable reporting functions with more than 50 built-in reports. The dashboard highlights important financial data in real-time. Beyond that, users can run in-depth reports on profit and loss, balance sheet, and cash flow.

Notice of intent to sell rental property: Your obligations

The principles of accounting aren’t meant to confuse you or take time away from your clients. They’re meant to guide your decision-making with informed data and clear numbers.

realtor bookkeeping

Realtyzam includes only two reports—profit and loss and sales stats. Like most products on this list, QuickBooks Online requires a monthly subscription but offers plans at five different price points, depending upon the user’s needs. It could work for an individual real estate agent, but it lacks nice-to-have features. The prices and features increase across the Simple Start, Essentials, Plus, and Advanced plans. QuickBooks Payroll costs extra, as noted earlier, and it also comes in tiers ranging from the cheapest option at four employees to the Elite option for 10 employees.

Benefits of Virtual Bookkeepers for Real Estate:

Keep an eye on the big picture to ensure sustainable profitability. High level dashboard views paired with detailed reports show month-to-month or year-to-year comparisons to identify cash flow trends.

realtor bookkeeping

Again, the goal of real estate accounting is to make the numbers line up perfectly—or “reconcile”—between your bookkeeping and bank account statement. The purpose of bank reconciliation is to double-check everything to make sure your books are accurate.

Real Estate Bookkeeping Tips for Investors

Emphasys integrates with DotLoop, DocuSign, and SkySlope, among others, as well as local MLS platforms. These integrations facilitate the contract management process, so not having a native contract management platform shouldn’t be an issue. When a user first signs up, a quick tutorial is automatically displayed and covers basically everything a user needs to know. Whenever the user clicks real estate bookkeeping on a new item in Realtyzam, helpful tips are displayed. Derek Miller is the CMO of Smack Apparel, the content guru at, the co-founder of Lofty Llama, and a marketing consultant for small businesses. He specializes in entrepreneurship, small business, and digital marketing, and his work has been featured in sites like Entrepreneur, GoDaddy,, and StartupCamp.

realtor bookkeeping

These two systems are two sides of the same coin, working in tandem. Books without the paperwork mean an IRS auditor may never believe your claimed expenses. But if you have paperwork and no records, you’ll never have a clear, easy-to-understand summary of the financial happenings of your business.

Ever-popular QuickBooks Online can serve a range of real estate businesses from small to large. Many real estate agents are self-employed, so they’re potentially subject to quarterly tax estimate payments. As such, the accuracy of their payment information is crucial. They need to know how much they earned, what their expenses were, and how many miles they drove. Plus, it’s helpful if the software they choose includes some form of integrated contract management so it’s not completely separate from the accounting process. Another popular real estate management system, Appfolio describes itself as a real-time property management solution.

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