Author: Alita Hall

QuickBooks for Property Management: Managing New and Exiting Tenants

As landlords, you are all familiar with the revolving door of tenants, the struggle of filling vacancies, and getting an empty unit “rent ready”. Aside from that there is exiting tenants and performing the walkout with them; assessing the state of the unit before handling the security deposit. What does this have to do with bookkeeping? When you use QuickBooks Desktop to manage your rental business, you are managing the tenants information as well as it pertains to you. Charges for their rent, payments received, any damages charged to them during and after their time with you, and finally the possible return of any part of their security deposit. I am going to tell you a little about what QuickBooks Desktop can do for you in this area, but not too much 😉 Handling a new tenant, in terms of bookkeeping, is a very quick task. This step you will do after they have been onboarded. I talk about that here. After he or she is onboarded you will enter their information into QuickBooks Desktop as outlined in my post on setting up tenants. The following steps take place after you have your tenants set up in QuickBooks as outlined

Top 5 Reasons to Ditch the Spreadsheet

Today’s topic is the top 5 benefits of ditching the spreadsheet and move to a computerized accounting system. For content purposes, QuickBooks Desktop is the accounting software I am talking about. I want to make one thing very clear about this post… is specifically created for Landlords. There may be some overlap into other industries but this is based on my 6+ years as a bookkeeper for landlords who manage their own units. Y’all know I like to dive right in. Excel is a great analytic tool to help compile, sort, calculate, and analyze LOADS of data. It is employed by large and small business owners alike. What makes it such a great tool is that you can do quite a few things with it. Create dashboards, databases, and turn it into a low-cost accounting system. For the former uses, you will hard-pressed to find any as user-friendly and priced so well. For the latter, there are a few reasons why Excel is not the best choice for accounting. Landlords this is especially true for you. • How many sheets do you have for your Rental Business Workbook? • How much time does it take to make changes to the

Landlord Reports: KPIs – What Are They and What Can They Tell Me?

Landlords, let’s talk reports and which of them you should analyze regularly. Obviously you are familiar with the P&L Statement and the Balance Sheet but how about your Tenant Turnover, Rent-Ready Costs, and Revenue Growth Reports? These reports are your KPI Reports, Key Performance Indicators. How many of you can raise your hands to say that you are even tracking these things? It’s okay if not many of you raised your hands. You don’t know what you don’t know. I will explain a little about the 3 reports I mentioned above and talk a little about how your bookkeeper can help you begin tracking these vital pieces of information about your business. Let’s start with the Tenant Turnover Report. Tenant Turnover, for those of you who are new to landlording, is the process of getting a rental ready after a tenant has moved out. This report is vital because it can help you determine just how much it costs to fix any repairs in the unit, cleaning costs, and all the administrative costs associated with getting the unit occupied again. These costs include but is not limited to: • Marketing • Application Processing • Showing the Rental (your time is

Small Business & Bookkeeping – Economic Injury Disaster Loan

The Coronavirus has really changed things in a DRASTIC way. Small businesses are forced to close as they are deemed nonessential and because of this, they are losing money, forced to lay off or fire loyal employees and are having difficulty paying their bills. This lack of control over their businesses causes high levels of uncertainty, stress, and that is just on the owner. Their employees are in fear of losing their homes, health insurance, and a host of other liberties that NO ONE should be in fear of losing. The Small Business Administration has several solutions to help small business owners protect their assets including their employees. The one I am going to talk about in this blog post is the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, referred to as the EIDL for the remainder of this post. The EIDL was put in place as a means for small businesses to offset the financial damages caused by disasters. Think Hurricane Katrina. This particular loan is only for those injuries of a financial nature. I recently reviewed a presentation on the EIDL; its requirements, what it can and cannot be used for, and who is and isn’t eligible to apply. The requirements

Small Business & Bookkeeping – Time Tracking

Let me start with an apology. I am sorry I didn’t post last week. I want to jump right into it because with all the talk about COVID-19 and employers moving to a virtual working environment, this post is NECESSARY. By now employees are being clocked via badges issued so that when they scan it to enter the building, they are officially “on the clock”. With the move to remote offices and virtual working environments, this is not happening. I DO have a solution. Tsheets by Intuit is your time tracking solution both remotely and in-house. It handles it all! With its geo-location tagging, you, business owner or HR Director, can see where an employee is when they clock on. From the admin screen you can get a quick glimpse of who is currently working, who is on break, track their paid and unpaid leave hours, approve shift changes and time off requests. Employees can clock in from their phones via the smartphone app, the website, or using a tablet set up as a kiosk. This is great for in house because that kiosk can be set to snap a photo at clock in so there will be no more

Small Business and Bookkeeping – Expenses

Tracking your expenses sounds easy, right? We all know that isn’t the case. It can be quite time consuming especially if using spreadsheets. If you are a high volume transaction business, finding the time to input that data can prove to be quite difficult and let’s face it, that task can simply get put off for MONTHS is there is too much to be done. I want to talk about a couple of automated methods of tracking your expenses that, once setup, require nothing more than uploading a receipt. First up: Receipt Bank Optimized for web-based accounting platforms, Receipt Bank allows you to take a picture of, store, and sort your receipts for ease of use for you and your accountant or bookkeeper. There is also a mobile app, making it much easier to snap a photo of the paper receipt and upload it to you Receipt Bank folder before it gets lost or damaged so bad it can’t be read. For a demo of Receipt Bank, you can click the name above this paragraph. Next: Expensify Another optimized for web-based accounting platforms, Expensify boasts itself as a simple method of tracking expenses across multiple accounts; automating the entire process

Small Business & Bookkeeping – HubDoc

For small businesses, automation is a MAJOR key to succeeding. When you have to do everything on your own, having some powerful tools in your tech stack (software and apps used to run your business) to alleviate a lot of the data entry can be LIFE CHANGING. One of the tools that should be in EVERY small business’ tech stack is HubDoc. The power of HubDoc comes from the over 700 suppliers (banks, credit card, and utility companies) you can import documents from and the way you can upload documents like receipts. You can scan them, take a photo with your smartphone, or email them. In addition to where you can get your info from and how you can upload that info to HubDoc, are the ways your HubDoc account can be maintained. Self-Managed is just as is it sounds. You, business owner, will manage your account including adding your own bank and utility accounts that will fetch statements and invoices. You must invite your accountant/bookkeeper to your HubDoc account in order for them to have access to the documents and be able to sync information between your cloud accounting software and your HubDoc account. The self-managed option is best

Small Business & Bookkeeping – Choosing Software

Switching from spreadsheets to accounting software is a big deal and you want to first and foremost ensure you are getting the software that fits your BUSINESS needs. With cloud accounting software becoming increasingly more popular, it gives you another option to consider when switching to a computerized accounting software. Let’s discuss the options available. Intuit Products – QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online Here at AMH, we are AVID fans of QuickBooks Desktop. It is, by far, the most robust accounting software available to small business owners. It handles payroll, inventory, cost accounting, property management, and much more. To make this more of a better option, your desktop file can be hosted online, giving you anywhere access to your accounting information as long as you have secure internet connection (recommended). QuickBooks Online is a good option for those just starting out and want to keep good records. With its “scalable” options it is a good fit for many. Like its desktop counterpart, QuickBooks Online can handle payroll, inventory, and cost accounting. It can handle all of this for a business with multiple locations. This is especially good for construction business or contractors who have jobs in multiple locations. For more

Bank Accounts – How Many Should I have and Why?

One of my favorite things about helping business owners, particularly landlords, is discussing systems and processes. There is just something about providing solutions for a client and seeing that look on their faces that makes me happy. One of the items on my list of implementable systems is Bank Accounts. For a rental property business, the setup of your banking information, as it pertains to your business, is crucial to creating and maintaining an efficient operation. Let’s get right into it. The number of bank accounts I recommend any rental property business have is 3. An Operating account, a Security & Key Deposit account, and a Repairs account. The reason why I recommend having these accounts is because it helps keeps monies separate and helps ensure there is a reserve in case of large repairs. The Operating account is where the rent goes. It is also the account that expenditures for business will come out of. Expenditures like office supplies, business credit card payments, and payments made to contractors. Owner’s Draws can be taken from this account, too. You want to make sure to keep things simple with this account. Try to avoid paying for personal expenses out of this

Recording & Reconciling 3rd Party Merchant Payments

Discrepancies occur often with bookkeeping and one of the most popular I have seen is during the reconciliation with 3rd party payments. There is usually a 1-3 day turnaround before funds paid by a 3rd party are deposited into a business’ checking account. For example: Company A performs Jobs for Companies 1,2,and 3, respectfully, on 3/30/XX. March 30 is on a Monday. Companies 1 and 2 pay via check and company 3 pays via credit card. Checks are recorded and deposited Monday, March 30 at 4:30; the credit card payment is recorded on March 30. Reconciliation is performed April 1 including the credit card payment which has not cleared the bank at the time the reconciliation is completed. This results in a discrepancy in your bank reconciliation which will continue to affect all other reconciliations in the amount of the credit card payment. It is important that you verify when deposits hit your bank by logging into the business’ operating bank account and matching those deposits with payment received via 3rd party merchants that processes your credit card transactions. Doing this before you reconcile will save you or your bookkeeper countless hours in unreconciling and re-reconciling to correct the issue.