Preferred system to track income/ expenses multifamily

14 Replies

Hi All,

Any preference on system (excel, quicken, etc.) to track income and expenses for small multifamily (12 units, 3 separate 4 plexes on one property.) 

Our accountant would prefer to have expenses broken down per building if possible. This is our first year with the units so hoping to get a jump start on organizing for 2016.

For now we just have our statements and expenses and it's a bit overwhelming. We purchased last June.

Does bigger pockets Pro allow access to excel sheets or is it worth it to buy quicken or a similar product?

Thanks in advance !!! 

I'm currently looking into systems as well.  We have 60 units across 4 buildings and several companies.  A lot of folks have recommended rent manager, but I'm not a fan. I'm currently using QuickBooks because it's what I know, but I'm looking into Buildium.  I haven't made any decisions yet.  All of these will let you track by unit, building or company.  I'd suggest getting a software package that let's you share with your accountant and get them in place early so they can help you set it up the way they need it to be used regarding expenses, income, etc.

Cary

We have been using 123 Landlord since September. I'm still learning it but I like so far. Easy to input oayments, expenses etc. it has a lot of different ways to run reports for each. You can make tenant notes, save documents pertaining to the unit or tenant. It's kind of a one stop shop. We have 4 homes and a 9plex under one company so using excel was getting to be cumbersome to see how each property was performing as well as the company.

@Emmy K. I used excel up to unit 30 and that worked for me.  But I am crazy organized and reconcile our accounts at least once a week.  So I didn't get too far behind with transactions where I forgot what was what.  I have a multi-tab excel that I build that I uploaded to the file place if you want to try it.   I would download my bank transactions weekly and export them to an excel where I could copy and past the date/amount/description and then just categorize it by type and property.  The at the end of the month I could sort the data and put it into the P&L  

https://www.biggerpockets.com/files/user/chicagobr...

I started with Quicken Rental Property Manager, I like the user interface on Quicken and the rental property manager version has a lot of cool features.  It automatically imports transactions from my bank, but sometimes it double loads transaction and then I have to go and delete each one.  It keeps track of my personal accounts too, but the reporting is just ok.  Being a software version it can only be updated from one computer (unless you export a data file and send it to the other computer to import) so that didn't work for our business. I bought the newest version on Amazon for $100

Then we got Quickbooks online for the part of our business that required multiple people to have access and update the accounting, as it is cloud based.  This also imports all our bank transactions.  It was a lot harder to set up, and I didn't do it right because I can't easily pull P&L reports by property.  I can pull an income report by property and an expense report by property and copy over the data, which isn't that big of a deal.  I was told how to fix it but it would require me to delete what I did and redo it, which isn't worth it to me.  So make sure you set it up correctly from the start.  The reports are pretty easy to use, but the interface is more clunky then Quicken.  I pay $25/mo for this.

Once we hit 80 units we had to get a PM software, so we went with Buildium.  Their accounting is not very robust (and doesn't import my bank transactions) so we still used QB online but it is not as much of a pain to manually enter it so I think we are going to keep Buildium for our one part of the business and Quicken for our personal/local stuff.  We pay $75/mo for Buildium.  

We're using Quickbooks Online and I'm a HUGE fan of it. When the number of doors is small (say, less than 20?) the benefits of mgmt and bookkeeping being in the same place is HUGE.

As the number of doors grows much higher than that, I expect we'll switch to something like Buildium - more overhead to handle financials, but I would think the lease mgmt and turn process benefits and tenant portal features would outweigh that overhead.

Thank you all so much for the wonderful feedback and help!

I'll look into my options and track my expenses more efficiently in 2016!

Sincerely appreciate each of you taking the time to respond! Emmy 

@Emmy K. we also use Quickbooks Pro and set up our properties as Customers, and track each unit by "class" and "subclass".  I used Jonathan Wolters LandlordAccounting book to help me get everything started 8 years ago, but I just read a post on here about another BP user not being able to access his site anymore.  Anyway, it has served our purposes well.  However, we are a much smaller operation than you (one 4-unit). I have had no need to review other systems so I have no comparison info for you.  Good luck (and keep me posted with your choice as I would be curious for future!).

Yes QB reporting for Classes is great.

Each physical building is a unique class value, eg StreetName and you use that value for all invoices and billings.  Pulling Pnl and sort by CLASS does the breakout and the summary.

I have quicken property management and we have 23. I agree with brie on all points regarding the software.  easy to use,  not the most versatile.  I am a nut about balancing everything too..  down to the penny. 

I love using classes for QB, but I have a great accountant that does the bookkeeping for me too. Even if I'm not into PM, my transactions are far more robust and each receipt is scanned, project name written on it, and uploaded on our qb pro. Take that IRS!