As a landlord, managing income, tenant information, and maintenance can be overwhelming. There are several options to help you get over this. You may decide to pass all your bookkeeping on to an accountant. But if you're running a small rental business, you're probably already tight on cash — and that can get costly. The other option would be to handle all the bookkeeping yourself to keep your costs down. But if you have no accounting or bookkeeping background, it can get a bit tricky to try to balance everything on your own.
So why not try a software program to help you out? There are several different programs out there that can help you keep your bookkeeping on track, while making it relatively easy. Quicken Rental Property Manager is one such program that can help you manage your properties.
Here's a look at some of the features of Quicken's property management software.
Quicken's Dual-Purpose Accounting Software
Quicken Rental Property Manager is not only a property management software but also a personal finance software. In fact, Quicken Rental Property Manager can be described as personal finance software with property management capabilities. Quicken also offers an upgraded mobile app — more about this later — so you can take care of business on the fly.
Basic Property Management Features
Quicken Rental Property Manager enables you to:
- Track rental income and expenses by property and unit, including partial rent payments and late fees. You can also create rent receipts for tenants when rent is paid.
- Track tenant information, including name, address, unit number, and lease details. You can also manage details on security deposits — tracking payments and refunds in and out of your accounts.
- Generate real estate tax reports, including Schedule E and Schedule C.
Basic Personal Finance Features
Quicken Rental Property Manager also lets you:
- Link all your bank accounts so you can categorize your income and expenses easily.
- Compare your actual spending to your budget.
- Compare your investments to market performance.
- Set up automatic billing alerts for personal and business expenses.
Quicken Mobile App
Users can download the mobile app to their smartphones or tablets. The app syncs with the desktop version, giving users the ability to do all their accounting even when they're not at their desks.
The data moves between the app and the desktop version and vice versa, so there's no guessing whether entries will actually show up when you're inputting it on one side.
Quicken Rental Property Manager is capable of handling 100 properties and 100 units per property, but these are its maximum limits. You may run into difficulty using Quicken Property Manager if you have rental activities of that size and scope. The complexity of managing that many properties will probably require more sophisticated software to be effective. In these cases, the financial and tax reporting features that Quicken Rental Property Manager offers will probably not be enough for you to work efficiently. But it is powerful enough to manage your work if you have fewer properties.
As mentioned above, Quicken lets you sync the program up to your financial institution. So you can link bank accounts, credit cards, investments and any other products related to the rental property. Once everything is linked, you'll be able to balance and reconcile transactions based on your real-time banking history. But before you buy the software, you'll want to make sure the program supports your institution's products. Check with your bank or credit union to see if it does. While you don't need this function to use the software, it will cut out a lot of manual balancing and cross-referencing from statements, making the job much easier.
Not the Solution for Professional Property Managers
Quicken Rental Property Manager is not designed for all types of landlords or property managers. In fact, it is not well suited for professional property managers. If you are in the property management business, you should look for other software products to meet your needs. Even individuals who have more than just a few properties will probably want to consider using other property management software.
Quicken Rental Property Manager has limited accounting capabilities. You can keep financial records on a cash basis, not an accrual basis. So, you can track when the money exchanges hands, not when expenses are billed or when revenue is earned. If you have more sophisticated accounting needs, you'll find Quicken Rental Property Manager doesn't have the ability to perform some of the tasks you require.
For example, you can't track the cost basis of your property, depreciation, inventory, capital assets, work orders or even create invoices for tenants with Quicken Rental Property Manager. If you want to send periodic invoices to customers, you'll have to do this in Word or another program.
Quicken Rental Property Manager is a good choice if you are the do-it-yourself landlord with a few rental properties and you want to have a personal finance software as well. It will let you manage both your personal finances and rental properties within the same program. You won't have to worry about learning separate accounting software programs — just one.
If you have more sophisticated property management needs, you'll probably want to look for another solution or you'll have to develop many workarounds when using Quicken Rental Property Manager. Although this is a good software program and is ideal for landlords with just a few properties, it's not well suited for those who are juggling multiple multi-unit properties.
Quicken is a subscription-based software, so you can't buy it outright. Instead, you get access to the software for one year, with the option to renew after that period expires. Every time the software is renewed, new functions and upgrades will be added automatically. The cost varies based on the plan you choose.
Quicken offers three different plans:
- Starter: This is the basic account. It lets users see accounts all in one space, lets them automatically categorize expenses, and gives users access to the software on desktop, web and mobile.
- Deluxe: This plan offers everything in the Starter plan, as well as customized budgets, debt management and tracking, and tax and investment management.
- Premier: This is the elite plan, offering everything in Deluxe along with free online bill payments and priority customer service access.