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Recommendations for software

As FC for a company managing property for several investors, I'm seeking a modern accounting package

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I'm the FC for a property management company. We have several sites, each within a separate company, which we manage on behalf of investors. 

We have been using a bespoke package running off MS Access (which Microsoft stopped supporting about 20 years ago!), but it's certainly not an accounting package. Currently, to prepare the y/e WP files, I have the laborious task of exporting the sales and purchase ledgers to Excel, then extracting and putting together a file out of that. (Our accountants submit the final accts, so all I need to do is prepare the WP files).

However, our package does have some advantages. On the sales side, it creates and sends all rental invoices automatically, per the inputted rent agreements. For purchases, it allows hyperlinks to PDFs for all the invoices entered. Plus, I can create a BACS run for unlimited invoices and suppliers in one go. Having come from a practice where we heavily used Sage Line 50, I believe the above 3 points to be things a package like Sage just cannot do.

So what I am seeking is an accounting package to run alongside our existing package, or better yet, one that can do the above tasks.

Ideally I want a package that will be as automated and time saving as possible. Hence I am reluctant to return to Sage Line 50 which I believe is very much a manual input driven software.

A further complication is that all bankings run through one client account, so while I would like a software that automates the bank posting process (as I believe Xero does), I don't know how that would work where bank transactions relate to different legal entities which (presumably) have individual logins/NL's.

Any advice welcomed.

Replies (7)

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
10th Jul 2017 13:21

These seem to depend on budget, are your companies in effect the landlords or the agents?

I just looked at one a few weeks ago (SME Professional) but was not totally keen as all transactions within the books were bank generated and it was aimed more at agents (which might suit you) and more residential property. In addition the reporting was in effect a glorified bank/cash analysis.

As we are landlords I more wanted accruals accounting (it did have memo screens etc re overdue rents) but no Dr debtor cr rent when invoice issued, I wanted something that was more driven by invoice creation and bank transactions more reflected settlement of debtors/creditors.

I can see why most agent software does not follow this re records as for agents their role is as a collection function rather than own income and they want to know they have received rents before disbursement to landlord.

A lot of available software via Google search is more geared to residential agency, we do mainly commercial property leasing with service billing, hence our dilemma.

The best system I ever saw, years ago in 2000, was Mosaic Property Master, no idea if still on market and may not suit your needs, was aimed at landlord/property company market, was also expensive which was why we did not proceed, I could not convince my business owners re the £14,752 cost to install back then.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
10th Jul 2017 14:51

I think you are making a rod for your own back with the single bank account for multiple legal entities.

You either deal with this the simple way- get different accounts, or combine entities, or the hard way. Which means splitting it at the bank account level before input (you could then load the company specific banking), or creating a consolidated set of accounts for the whole lot, and then dis-aggregating it at the end using some sort of cost center report. The latter you could do in Xero.

Seems like a major job creation scheme to me!

Anyhow, any of the major cloud packages should be able to do what you want it to. Things like the recurring invoices are pretty much standard now and ideal for putting rental invoices through, and you can quickly see who hasn't paid by running a debtor's report if your banking is done daily.

The cloud packages dont tend to have BACS runs.

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By slarti
13th Jul 2017 17:26

One system that can do everything you want, and more, would be SunAccounts.

This is not aimed at any industry section, but is a generic accounting package that has been around for a long time.

Your single bank account for multiple legal entities is unusual, but not insurmountable, there being at least 2 different ways of handling it, off the top of my head. Probably more.

I'm not up to speed with the current version, but I would recommend investigating through http://www.sapphiresystems.com/en-gb/solutions/infor/infor-sunsystems/

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By ShayaG
13th Jul 2017 17:46

Qube - pricey but the best in market for this sector.

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Noel Fraser
By noelfraser
14th Jul 2017 00:27

I'd recommend taking a look at Aqilla. It's a cloud based solution that was designed by one of the original founders of systems union (Sun Accounts) but it comes without the hefty price tag.

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By spursfan323
19th Jul 2017 12:19

Tried Xero trial and cannot bear the interface, nor the Americanisms.

In terms of the one bank account issues, what about using departments on Sage for each company? Wouldn't that work?

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By andybailey
24th Jul 2017 21:55

Octopus Blue specialises in helping business find the right software for their organisation.

I'd love to offer a complimentary call to better understand your requirements and see if we can help.

You can DM me or contact me via www.octopusblueuk.com.

Andy Bailey
CEO Octopus Blue
The Business Software Experts

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