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I would like to know what accounting software other vacation rental owners are using to keep track of expenses. I'm a new owner of a vacation rental condominium in Florida. I am managing the property myself through VRBO and HomeAway, and I am happy with Reservation Manager for keeping track of inquiries, reservations, and payments. Just having completed my 2011 taxes, I realize that I also need an accounting system to keep track of expenses and rental incomes. I would like to hear what works well for other owners. I use Turbo Tax to do my taxes on, so was thinking of buying Quicken since it seems to interface very well with Turbo Tax.
I am a property owner and a CPA and I use QuickbooksPro to manange my businness. It is easy to set up and the reports are better here than in Quicken. Quicken is really designed for the individual.
When you set up QuickbooksPro, it will ask you what kind of business you own. Then is customizes the accounts for you. This is important for your taxes because repairs are treated differently for tax purposes than something like a new roof which has to be depreciated with the house.
Thanks for the accounting software information. Will Quickbooks Pro interface with Turbo Tax? I would like to have software that will provide all the income and expense data directly into turbo Tax.
I too have used quick book pro for 11 years and it has worked perfectly for us. With 7 properties we are able to break out costs, etc by property.
I also use Quick Books Pro. I set up a "company" for each of my rentals. I use "H&R Block at Home" for my taxes, which follows the "interview" process to enter the data for the rentals. I just print out an income/expense report from Quick Books, and use the report to enter the expenses by category in H&R Block (maybe 20 entries is all). I use Quickbooks to create and email invoices, and in addition to their reports, I've set up reports to print a list of renters with invoice date, balance due, due date, rental dates, etc. that I can easily refer to to stay on top. Also use it to track lodging taxes, etc.
A number of years ago I used Quickbooks Pro for a small ATM business I had. I just got tired of all the entries I had to make. Because of that I have been reluctant to try QB for our rental condos that we have bought since I had the ATM business. Right now I use an online excel type spreadsheet for each of our properties (4 units) and it works well but it isn't elaborate. Do you spend a lot of time making your entries for each property? I am wanting to expand into managing properties along with the ones we have of our own and I feel like I need an efficient program and one that I don't have to work all night after working all day. Our condos are vacation rentals so we have a number of ongoing expenses every month in each property. Any further comments you can make would be appreciated. Also, do you know if the online QB is a good thing versus just having it on one computer?
Thanks, Randy Moris
For my first year I used QuickBooksPro for Mac. It was a lot of work with far too many entries. It really isn't designd for vacation rentals and that means you have to try and adopt another business model that is "close enough." The final straw was when I learned that it does not interface to Turbo-Tax. The Windows version does but not the Mac. They still don't as of the most recent version and upgrade. For now I use a program called Accountedge Basic and it seems to work pretty well. All of my booking data is handled by my online booking web site and it generates an Excel or CSV file that can be easily imported into the Accountedge program.
For many years I used QuickBooks (for DOS!) for the various expenses of my professional practice, and it was fine.
There is, however, a certain "minium activity" required before a computerized system becomes superior to a manual system. Everyone has to decide for himself what that activity is, but I believe that it's at least thirty entries a month.
With only one VR to rent I use a "fully manual" system. If I had two, I would be investigating some version of QB and probably trying to buy a dot-matrix printer.
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