House Flipping Accounting/Job Costing Software

2 Replies

(Note: This was originally posted in both the "Real Estate Technologies" and "House Flipping" forums, because, well, that's where it makes the most sense. However, the BP overlords have decided that asking for your input violates the rules, so I was forced to post it here instead, where it will get very little traffic. I'll link this post to new posts in the two original threads instead.)

Last year, my wife and I dipped our toes into the world of REI - specifically flipping. We bought a house on our own, and at the same time I partnered with another local investor for a second, concurrent flip. I kept the "books" for our flip, while my partner kept them for the deal we worked on together.

We started out keeping track of our expenses using Excel. That worked okay until it didn’t. I then embarked on a futile quest to find bookkeeping software appropriate for flipping houses. At various times I tried Quickbooks, Xero, Freshbooks, Wave, Kashoo, Zoho Books, HouseFlippingSpreadsheet and maybe one or two others.

Long story short - and probably no surprise if you’ve looked for a solution yourself - none of those products did the trick. I reached out to my partner and asked him if he was having trouble, and he agreed that the spreadsheets were no longer working for him and that he’d been unable to find a good solution either.

The issue seems to be that all of those products are accounting applications at heart; they are NOT job-costing applications, and job-costing is what we need. Sure, you can force QB to sorta do the job by monkeying around with classes, customers, or projects, but is that really a solution when the least expensive subscription to QBO is $12.50/mo? And if you want to manage bills - which I’m sure your trades would appreciate - you can ratchet that right on up to $35/mo.

Want to track projects in Xero? Try $60/mo. Ouch.

So I set out to design and build an app specifically for small volume flippers to track their project financials. I wanted to be able to add the various accounts I use regularly to purchase job materials and labor; add the various jobs I’m working on; add loan and budget info for each job so I could better better manage the draw process; easily add expenses and assign them to either a specific job or to company overhead; easily add incomes, either job related or not, from draws, vendor credits, material returns, etc.; easily add bills for future expenses due; and produce reports common to the flipping business.

I’m happy to report that I have what I think is a clean, tasteful-looking app design that meets all of those needs plus a few more. I’m not quite ready to show it off, but I AM at the point where I’d like to get some feedback from fellow flippers: are you having the same issues we had, or is there some reasonably priced solution already out there that we missed? Are there features in addition to the ones mentioned above that you’d like to see included? And, perhaps most importantly, if the app works as I’ve described, is it something you’d consider adding to your toolbox?

I’m also building a list of potential beta testers; if you’d like to be included, please reach out via DM and I’ll put you on the list.

Thanks in advance for your input, and as usual, I'm grateful to the BP community for the awesome resource it's become.

Hey folks - if you've made it this far, thank you, and I apologize for the inconvenience. As I mentioned, something in the original post violated site rules about "polling members" so they told me I had to relocate the thread here. Unfortunately, nobody would ever see it here without my linking it from the other forums.

Anyway, thanks again for clicking through.