Need help tracking income/expenses for my rentals.

7 Replies

I have 4 rental properties which I have been book keeping by hand for the last couple years. SUCKS! I am now looking for a program/spreadsheet that helps with my income and expenses. I am looking for a free and easy program. So far I have been digging into GNUCASH but it seems pretty tricky. I have also looked in the file place but haven't found a good one. Please post links. Thanks guys

Example some of my expenses

auto ( fees, gas, parking, repairs )

Bank fees

Equipment rental

Insurances ( fire, renters, other )


Loan interest

office supplies

payroll expenses




property taxes

Repairs ( general, major, other, vacancy )

utilities ( sewer,water, pg&e, cable, garbage, internet, cell phone, vacancy )

Services ( alarm, property management )

Credit card debit

Depreciation %

Quickbooks can do all that, but it will cost you around $150 or so to buy. Somebody still needs to do the bookkeeping entries no matter what you choose, and for some folks that is what they find painful.

I like buildium although I am totally guilty of not using it to its fullest extent. I like it because I can use it for everything leasing to expenses. They also had great customer service.

I also use Buildium and it will do most things satisfactorily on your list.

  • You can add unlimited "vendors" and "expense categories" to suit your needs (taxes, postage, utilities, handymen, etc)
  • I don't believe the Loan Interest feature is robust at all (lots of complaints about it on the Buildium forums)
  • It has Depreciation feature, but again I think it is very basic (my CPA tracks depreciation outside of Buidlium)
  • I pay every expense with either a check or my business debit card. Buildium records all payments as a "check" (no matter the actual payment method). I WANT to use my points Credit Card, but the support for credit card expense tracking in Buildium is abysmal.
  • Tracking general business expenses not related to a rental property (such as auto, printer ink, cell phone, etc) is possible, but not really well thought out (you have to create a fake non-existent property where you track your general expenses)

@Anthony Contento

I too have been using GNUCash for my rentals. I agree that it isn't necessarily the easiest to use especially if you are trying to keep track of your rentals separately but for what I am doing, I am a buy and hold investor so I am not going through any large flip projects, it seems to work. I set up my income and expenses categories as the same categories as the IRS Schedule E so come tax time it is much easier. Most people seem to be using Quickbooks, Buildium, an Excel but the factoring in the cost (Free) and features that GNUCash does have, I think it is well worth it.

I use RenTech and I love it. It's inexpensive, it's online and very easy to setup. The main thing though is that support is the best out there. They actually answer their phones! They've called me even to make sure everything was running smoothly. I highly recommend it.

My expertise is in QuickBooks and I KNOW that it would more than handle what you're needing. Another newcomer into this market is and it does handle class tracking which is what you're needing. It's starts at $9.00/mo - QuickBooks for Pro edition which about 90% of my clients are on, I can get for about $180, it retails for $250.

Quickbooks is great; however it may have a small learning curve.

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