Which Airbnb accounting software for property mgr?

Which property management bookkeeping software do you use?

Didn't find your answer?

Online research has me going around in circles, so I thought - let me just ask the community...

I'm looking (on behalf of a client) who is currently using excel spreadsheets - for an online bookkeeping software that can:

  • Connect her office account and 4 client accounts (Starling bank)
  • Manage her bookkeeping for her own business
  • Keep track of the income and expenses for the 4 properties for the 4 different landlords
  • Provide a statement for the landlords
  • She's not VAT registered or has any payroll... but we need a solution that can grow with the business. I'll take the job on from April (start of the new financial year) and I don't have time to be manually downloading bank statements from 4 different bank accounts and fiddling about.

Software like Quickbooks / Xero seem a great choice if you were doing property rental for yourself... but when you're doing it for a landlord, its not ideal. I've looked at the trust / liability accounts... Quickbooks Online suggests having TWO companies or using the desktop (which I think can do 2 in 1), but I want an online solution. I don't want to be looking in 2 places for data. I don't want to make the gross income of all 4 airbnbs count towards her sales... it shouldn't... she's making a commission. I can add in a journal here and there... but I'm not trying to make an unsuitable software fit... and she doesn't need a software with all the extra bells and whistles of inventory and tenant management etc., 

Any answers? Any ideas?

Thanks

Replies (10)

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By Matrix
19th Feb 2023 00:34

You could try FreeAgent. Why aren’t you using the gross sales?

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Replying to Matrix:
SMH
By ShakingMyHead
20th Feb 2023 15:03

The client gets the sales from airbnb directly into the clients bank account... but the client doesn't want this gross figure to reflect in their business accounts, because it's not their sale. Their income is just the 15% commission they earn from the sales revenue.

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John Toon
By John Toon
19th Feb 2023 14:40

FreeAgent, Hammock, Arthur or Re-leased would be able to handle this in varying degrees of capability (the latter 3 connected or not to Xero or QBO)

As a side point are you happy the Starling accounts are "client" accounts assuming these should be conforming to some kind of regulation? My understanding was Starling only offered true client accounts if you used their payment services platform which is essentially restricted to e-money issuers. I suspect the "client" accounts are spaces simply for managing each properties income/expenditure.

Thanks (2)
Replying to johnt27:
SMH
By ShakingMyHead
20th Feb 2023 15:07

Good question. They called it a 'client account' but essentially, Starling may just be offering them 'pots' of money in which to put the funds into. They currently have 4 landlords who they are managing the short lets for... and they have been good at keeping the monies in and cleaning fees etc., going out for each landlord separate by using a different account for each and having a debit card attached to each one. They're currently banking with Natwest who'll only allow 4 accounts, which is why they're thinking of switching to Starling, but I did ask if they'd get a debit card for each account... as my understanding was a 'pot' was just a way to separate funds... not sure if its an actual new account number too ?!

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Replying to ShakingMyHead:
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By Hugo Fair
20th Feb 2023 16:00

Definitely worth checking ... "if they'd get a debit card for each account... as my understanding was a 'pot' was just a way to separate funds... not sure if its an actual new account number too ?!"

Based on my personal experience (several bank accounts with Barclays for similar, albeit non-business, reasons to your client's 'pots') ... they each have their own account number and each of those gets its own debit card, BUT those are all 'linked' (such that I can use one card to access/authorise transactions in any one of my other accounts).
This was news to me when I (accidently) found out and had certainly not been requested by me, so is presumably a default set-up by the bank?
[I've double-checked and they haven't done the same across my various business accounts with them - thank god - but it was a shock nevertheless!]

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By carnmores
23rd Feb 2023 14:44

2 banking shocks in a week its almost too much to bear :-)

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Replying to carnmores:
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By Hugo Fair
23rd Feb 2023 14:58

Yes I was looking forward to becoming less shockable with age ... but it turns out the regularity is increasing (although not sure whether this is due to having more time in which to notice the causes, or to the underlying services having degraded so much and so quickly)!

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
19th Feb 2023 20:11

Firstly if reporting to clients do they need their rents/costs reported to them on an accruals basis or a cash basis? There are plenty of providers out there but a lot only report on an intromissions basis. In addition how are you intending the presumably online bookings/reservations system is to link into the accounts software?

Also, not sure you need 4 client accounts and most management software tends to assume just one client account, why four?

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Replying to DJKL:
SMH
By ShakingMyHead
20th Feb 2023 15:14

The reporting to clients is on a cash basis. As and when it comes in - their cut off date is the month end. The online bookings doesn't need to link into the accounts software as they have a separate solution for that which the cleaners etc., can access. I've tended to find that there's lots of apps for the guest experience, but on the other end, when you're trying to report figures for each landlord - it's not easy. They have 4 landlords at present. If they're to scale and grow (which they want to), they have to figure out how to streamline this. Currently they've used a method whereby you download each bank to s spreadsheet (1 for the business, 4 clients)... then its taking the cleaning and laundry fees out, adding an repairs, cross referencing... and then creating a new spreadsheet to act like a statement for each client... every month... I don't want to mess about with all that. They don't mind paying for software, but it's just finding something to track the client activity, and to track their activity without over-complicating things... the bookings etc., is taken care of in a separate app... its just tracking the money!

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Replying to ShakingMyHead:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
20th Feb 2023 16:55

Well any agent residential letting software will likely work to some extent. Just do a google search then do some trials/demos to see if it fits.

Maybe this works (am not recommending , just an example)

https://www.rman.co.uk/#pricing

I use Landmark re our management but it is really not aimed at letting agents and is more aimed at property investors and/or farmers/estate owners.

If scaling up you also want something that can be fed direct from the bank account but if you are offering landlord reporting then not sure I would restrict myself to just cash reporting for my landlords, the accruals threshold at £150k is not that high, especially with higher turnover AirBnB (one Edinburgh flat can certainly achieve 30k gross, 5 flats gets you there) and of course companies cannot report on cash basis.

My advice is understand what you do, understand what needs done, estimate growth, look at what software addresses and do not get fixated on just accounts but look at recording all the other property management events that need controlled, things like PAT tests, utility reads, documenting repairs, licences with local authorities etc- imho property management is 10-15% debits and credits, 35% admin, 25% marketing /selling and 25% holding Landlord's hand, do not let the debit and credit needs blind to the other matters that need fitted into diaries/schedules/reminders etc, also distinct standalone systems that do not talk are often not a good idea causing more issues than they cure.

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