How to Choose the Right Commercial Real Estate Accounting Software for You
Logan Paton | April 24, 2018
At their core, most accounting software systems do the same work. They track expenses, send invoices, and run financial statements. But not all accounting platforms are created equal despite doing the same tasks. Be selective when selecting your real estate accounting platform and check for these key features.
1. Simple User Interface
The best accounting software is intuitive for users of all skill levels. The tech-savvy accountant can quickly log in and easily pick up how the platform works without hours of training. On the flip side, your more technologically inept accountants should still find the platform relatively easy to learn and figure out the features. Before signing up, ask how many hours of training will be involved before accounting staff can start using the software. Too many hours could be a warning sign.
Naturally, you want to keep your data and your employee’s personal data secure. Ask what measures the software has in place to verify user identity, encrypt data, and prevent cybercrime. Using the latest version of the software is essential to maintaining security. Out-of-date software leaves data vulnerable to viruses and hackers. Some software providers charge for additional upgrades and patches. A bonus to selecting a SaaS accounting platform is most automatically include security updates in their subscription price.
Prevent a headache caused by constantly importing or exporting data. You want your accounting software to integrate with the platforms you are already using, such as a mobile payment system or QuickBooks. Check what integrations the software has with other services. Anything you can automate saves time.
Will the accounting program grow with your business, both in the volume of work and in the number of users? The platform needs to handle your busiest periods like tax season or the end of the month. The last thing you need is for software to crash when trying to finish an audit because there too many users are accessing the software at the same time. Furthermore, you check into what it will cost if you increase the volume of your business or add more users to the platform. This technology allows brokerages of all sizes to compete with each other.
The real estate industry is a mobile workforce. Agents and brokers want complete work remotely and for that, they need access. Check into how the accounting software handles access on different devices. You might want to pick a platform that has a mobile app for your agents to use. Make sure the app is just as intuitive to navigate as the main platform.
Accounting work tends to be repetitive. Past-due notices, recurring invoices, and payroll are regularly expected on certain days of the month. Your accounting software should automate as many tasks as possible. It should flag discrepancies that need a deeper look, suggest transaction matches, auto-calculate real estate agent commissions, and even automate tax preparation.
The right accounting platform makes a real estate company’s life easier. Accounting is a complicated task, but with today’s technology tools, the work can be done for you without sacrificing accuracy. Nonetheless, be thoughtful when selecting the right accounting software for your needs. Pick a user-friendly solution that will grow with your business.