If you run a real estate agency, you've a lot to manage. So, it might be easy to overlook less glamorous tasks, such as those related to accounting.
But the bottom line is, you must pay out commissions to your agents in a timely manner, collect rent from tenants, manage lease payments, and handle incidental expenses for the upkeep of rental units.
So how do you manage your accounting needs efficiently and without error?
Software can help you automate finance-related tasks and keep your accounts in order, allowing you to focus on the two most important parts of your business—properties and clients.
We've compiled the five top-rated accounting apps on GetApp for real estate agencies.
Products listed by overall rating in descending order. Read more about our methodology at the bottom.
FreshBooks is cloud-based accounting software that offers several features to manage and track invoices, accounts, and expenses. The software includes time tracking and billing capabilities. FreshBooks offers a 30-day free trial.
Automated recurring invoices: Schedule regular invoices for repeat customers.
Mobile expense capture: Capture photos of receipts on mobile devices and bill expenses directly to clients.
Time tracking: Accurately capture billable hours and pull them into invoices.
Reporting: Access business expense reports with color coding for different types of spending, along with other reports such as payment collection, profit and loss, and sales tax summaries.
Based on an analysis of reviews on GetApp, here's how FreshBooks users feel about the tool:
Users like the easy invoice management process, as they can manage all invoices from a central location on the dashboard that keeps them organized. They also like that they can set up recurring invoices for automatic billing.
Users also like the reporting functionality as well as the customizable and easy-to-understand format of different reports.
Users appreciate automatic email notifications whenever transactions are made, which verifies that a customer has reviewed or paid an invoice.
Some users feel they should be able to share project details with contractors more seamlessly. They want contractors to be able to view project names and client names.
Due to its high ease of use score and simple implementation, FreshBooks is suitable for self-employed real estate professionals or firms with small teams of agents.
Wave is a cloud-based accounting solution that offers income and expense tracking, customized invoices, payment processing with saved credit card details, and tax filings. You can scan expense receipts on the go and consolidate all your expense records. You can also record and calculate multicurrency expenses.
Receipt scanning: Scan receipts on a smartphone and share them with customers for billing.
Expense management: Capture and monitor daily business expenses to stay on budget.
Recurring billing: Automatically bill, receive, and process payments from repeat customers without adding billing details again.
Based on an analysis of reviews on GetApp, here's how Wave users feel about the solution:
Users like that they can manage receipts, track expenses, and handle double-entry accounting in the free version.
Users also like that the mobile app pulls all transactions from accounts and allows them to maintain separate business and personal accounts.
Users say that it's easy to accept e-checks and credit card payments, and they like that they can select customers who are eligible to pay electronically from a simple drop-down menu.
Some users feel that after adding a lot of financial data, payment processing slows down significantly, and would like to see improved load times.
Wave is suitable for real estate agencies that have multiple client-facing business development teams and those with repeat clients, as it automates redundant tasks related to billing and invoicing through recurring billing and payment processing.
Zoho Books is a cloud-based accounting tool designed to help you automate business accounting workflows. It helps you track your bills and expenses, and you can use it to organize your expenses and automate recurring ones.
Automated expense generation: Automate expense generation for recurring expenses to manage bulk expenses more easily and reduce manual entries.
Multicurrency expenses: Multilayered and automatic approval flows for expenses; handles multicurrency expenses.
Autoscan: Attach bills, receipts, and credit notes to expenses by scanning documents.
Based on an analysis of reviews on GetApp, here's how Zoho Books users feel about the solution:
Users like the ability to upload receipts online for documentation.
Users also like the regular feature additions during software updates, and the integration with online shopping websites such as Shopify and WooCommerce.
Users appreciate the automatically generated graphic reports that are easy to understand.
Some users feel that the recurring expense feature should be improved as it stops working at times.
Zoho Books is suitable for independent real estate professionals as well as small real estate teams. The software is easy to use and helps individuals and businesses take care of accounting without much professional help.
Xero is a cloud-based accounting solution that helps you process payments and streamline your expense, inventory, and invoice management processes. The software allows recording and storing all bank and credit card transactions at one place.
Document storage and sharing: Store all financial documents in one place and grant permission to bookkeepers and accountants to access and collaborate in real time.
Payment processing: Use customized online invoices and payment options such as PayPal and Stripe.
Multicurrency accounting: Send invoices and accept payments in more than 160 currencies; assign different currencies to specific customers.
Based on an analysis of reviews on GetApp, here's how Xero users feel about the solution:
Users like that Xero is easy to use and quick to reconcile transactions. They like that it integrates with their bank and other bookkeeping systems.
Users also like that the solution provides a real-time visual representation of expense and payment details.
Users appreciate the solution's mobile app for tracking receipts and payments on the go.
Some users say they'd like to see more payroll options to manage different states' payroll and tax laws.
Xero is suitable for real estate teams that want the flexibility of processing payments through online payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe. Xero also streamlines the payment processing by storing contacts in one place, where you can check payment status.
QuickBooks Online is cloud-based accounting software that allows you to view and send invoices and manage payments and financial reports on desktop as well as a smartphone. The software allows you to connect all your bank accounts and credit cards, so you can reconcile sales and expense transactions on one platform.
Estimates and proposals: Create and share pricing estimates, proposals, bids, and quotes. The tool converts estimates into invoices once they're accepted.
Customizable invoices: Brand invoices with business logos and colors and customized entry fields.
Tax estimation: Consider various financial parameters to calculate estimated tax payments.
Car mileage tracking: Use GPS tracking to record and store vehicle mileage information to track transport expenses.
Based on an analysis of reviews on GetApp, here's how QuickBooks Online users feel about the solution:
Users like that QuickBooks Online allows them to categorize expenses by project and customer, making it easier to invoice customers and file taxes at the end of the year.
Users also like the easy linking of their bank accounts with the software; it doesn't require any technical know-how or support from customer service.
Users appreciate that their expenses, payroll, and vendor information are well organized and presented on a single dashboard.
Some users want an offline version of the tool. Few say that the software can be difficult to use at times, especially when shifting between different accounts, but guidance from customer service makes things easy.
QuickBooks Online will suit you if you're transitioning from manual methods and want to start using accounting software for your real estate needs. The software offers first-time users a detailed checklist to set up. To promote user acceptance, it offers guided accounting tips based on user activity in the first month. The solution offers pricing plans for self-employed users as well as tiered pricing plans for small businesses.
Having read about the top-rated accounting tools and their features, you need to keep a few things in mind before making a purchase:
Identify your unique business needs and choose a solution that offers all the capabilities you require. Do not buy a solution that offers more than what you need, as the unwanted features will be a waste of money.
Shortlist a few tools and test those with your team to find out what they prefer. Review the subscription models, demos, and free trials to help your team understand how the software functions. Pick the solution that fits your team's requirements, is easy for them to use, and is within your budget.
The solutions highlighted in this article are accounting software systems used by real estate professionals, with 4+ overall user rating from among the most reviewed products at the time of writing this article (the week of September 2, 2019).
Here's an overview of our method for choosing this list of top-rated apps:
We filtered accounting software products that are used by real estate professionals, using the industry filter. The filtered products were then arranged in descending order, with those having the highest average customer reviews at the top. From among the top 10 products with 100+ reviews, the five with 4+ overall user ratings were shortlisted.
The “User feedback trends" section for each product is based on the analyses of feedback from users who left reviews on GetApp.
Additional information in the article is compiled from vendor websites and other secondary sources, wherever mentioned.
Note: The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view are expressed by users and does not represent the views of GetApp.