accounting

7 Replies

@Laura Epstein I and a few other investors friends of mine use General Ledger. www.getledgers.com

Allows you to have automatic transaction downloads via connections to your banks and credit cards. Also you can easily setup multiple properties and break down transactions via the IRS categories and sub categories you might like to track. 

I have many of my clients on Quickbooks online. Offers lots of automation so you don't have to spend a ton of time. 

If you're not ready for that point yet- Zillow has a fairly good free spreadsheet. 

But talk with your tax pro, make sure what you use fits what they want so that you're not paying extra come year end for them to request more information, re-do the expense categories, ect. 

https://www.zillow.com/rental-manager/resources/rental-income-and-expense-worksheet/

Building your own spreadsheets are a great way to learn when you're just starting out. Wrestling with the various categories, running your own metrics in Excel, and matching things up with Schedule E at tax time will open your eyes to all sorts of operational details you might otherwise miss.

As you grow and add more properties, there are some great cloud-based "rental property tracking" solutions available at very reasonable monthly fees. In addition to income and expense tracking, some also offer doc storage, automatic bank and mortgage data imports, tenant screening, rent collection, etc.

When you get even bigger and start investing with partners, some rental property owners choose to go with Quickbooks or another full-service accounting program for more flexibility. The set up time and knowledge can be quite significant with this option. If you go this route, I'd definitely recommend hiring a CPA to make sure your initial bookkeeping structure accurately reflects both your operational and tax situations.