Cost Effective Accounting Software for Real Estate?

6 Replies

I am looking for a cost-effective, easy accounting system that is user friendly for landlords or anyone with a very small rental business.  I currently have been using the pro version of quickbooks online because it allowed me to put each of my rentals in classes as suggested by my accountant.  I had been getting a special deal on QB (about $25/month) because it was purchased from my accountant.  I have switched accountants and I see now that the online Pro version is $60/month.  My bank statement is one to two pages at the most.  I don't do any invoicing, I have no employees so this seems excessive. Can anyone else suggest a cost-effective accounting software that is easy to use and is more cost effective?  



You can use the desktop version of QuickBooks Pro for $189.00 (one user) on sale at Amazon till the end of June. I got my QB Pro Version 2011 for years now, but will have to upgrade soon as 2011 version doesn't work in Windows 10, and I'll be upgrading my computer. See: Amazon Quickbooks

I seen reviews of the online version and I believe the desktop version works far better. For $189.00 one time charge, it beats paying $25.00/month. Regular price is $289.00, still beats $25/month. Just make sure you have online backup.

I have everything set up, with classes for various rentals, and if I were in your shoes, just upgrade the software, and you're good to go. You don't even have to redo the files, as it should take your old files in the upgrade and automatically convert it. In 2011, I converted from my 2002 QB, and I didn't have to re-enter data. It's the most cost effective way from what I can see.

QuickBooks Online is not the best program for Landlords.  QuickBooks Pro is what you need.  

You want to be able to keep track of all details regarding your property and you can do that through the Fixed Asset Items List of QuickBooks.  (Square Feet, date of purchase, land description, etc.) 

You can customize the desktop version to whatever you want to know about whatever you want to know. 

QuickBooks Online is costly.  QuickBooks desktop version is a one time fee until you decide to upgrade.  Usually, every 3 years, depends on you. You don't have to upgrade at all if you don't want to.  

Nancy Neville

I had the desktop version until my accountant requested that I get the online version. (the one I was purchasing the sofware plan from) I did like the fact that I could have a VA do my books for me and I liked the fact that I could immediately scan in receipts from my phone. I am glad to know that the desktop version is still available for purchase. I am so tired of everything going to cloud/online versions.

 I had a NeatDesk and recently learned that it is no longer supported.  I don't think it is worth the monthly recurring fee of 10-$20.  

Has anyone used WAVE?  Excellent reviews and it is suppose to be free.

Thanks for the input!


Hi @Sandy Uhlmann ,

We used Buildium which has accounting specifically for rental properties built in; that's why my husband picked it over all the other options out there. It is $45/month for up to 20 units. Unlike Quickbooks, it is a full-fledged property managment tool in addition to accounting software. We really like it. We use the online rent payment system, the online application, the elease functionality, and the work order system extensively.

Hi Sandy! I personally haven't used their services, but TenantCloud offers free accounting for landlords. I would also continue to search and compare software on Google to see what your best option is before settling on QuickBooks. Hope this helps!