Best accounting software for rental properties

Table of Contents

Both VBA and Python are very useful for data analysis. VBA is a programming language used in Excel, while Python is a high-level, general-purpose, and open-source programming language created by Guido van Rossum.


Best accounting software for rental properties

Besides, accounting software guarantees transparency and accuracy. 


You can program each event to get data on time, which helps to lay timely strategies. 

You are probably wondering: 

Rental accounting software makes a rental property management system. Typically, property managers use software to execute processes needed for efficient management of rental properties.

With the best accounting software for rental properties, you can manage the following: 

  • Applications and tenant information
  • Rent roll and payments
  • Maintenance record keeping
  • Vacancy management
  • Financial accounting and reporting

Its gets better:

A property management system can help your business meet unique industry-specific needs daily. For instance, you need to track tenant information, create reports, and bank reconciliation and rent increases. 

Currently, every real estate company uses these tools. 

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10 Functions Required For Rental Property

If you own rental properties, you’ll have to do the following things: 

Finding New Tenants

Getting tenants involves marketing your rentals to fill the vacant units. You may post ads to various listing sites, or anywhere you may get tenants.

Screening tenants follow a specific strict process to determine whether tenants are trustworthy. The process involves looking at the credit history and backgrounds of the tenant. 

Handling Complaints

Where there people, complaints will always arise. For instance, complains about noise – if a neighbor has lots of parties. Property managers need to deal with these issues.

Setting, Collecting, and Adjusting Rents

Different rentals have different rates. While market forces determine the rates, landlords set according to certain factors. 

However, if the need arises, landlords can adjust the rent to attract tenants. 

Additionally, a landlord/property manager collects the rent, set rent payment deadlines, and rent collection methods. Besides, they impose penalties for rent defaulters or late payments.

Coordinating Tenant Turnover

Tenant vacate while others come in. The property manager/ landlord must coordinate these events. Often, managers need to check houses for damages, fix them, clean and organize a home after a tenant leave.

In cases of evictions, the property managers handle it too.

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Property maintenance ensures that rental property stays in good condition. Maintenance involves investigating and resolving tenant complaints. Also, it consists of enforcing rules of occupancy and renovating houses. 

Overall Supervision

Beyond daily visible activities, property managers do analysis, planning, and property management. That is why they need to have management skills and a firm grasp of real estate knowledge.

Financial Management

The issues of finances in rentals begin with rentals rates. That means analysis and calculations to establish the right rates.

The process involves calculating costs, depreciation, and taxes. Besides, it requires determining realistic profit goals and a budge. 

Remember, a landlord/property manager must achieve the financial objectives. The process involves collecting rents, paying invoices, monitoring variances, and taking corrective action.  

Property security 

Providing security involves using modern security devices or hiring guards; in some cases, both. Beyond that, managers create policies and procedures geared towards emergency preparedness.

Enforcing Landlord-Tenant Laws

Tenant-landlord laws cover all aspects. Consequently, rental owners should know them. They cover aspects like screening tenants, handling security deposits, lease terminations, and evictions and compliance with property safety standards.

Property management software makes it easy to run your rental property. You can do the above functions remotely. That involves observing the processes from beginning to end. In case of renovation or maintenance, you can still monitor on the go. 

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Best Rental Property Management Software

With multiple accounting software in the market, picking the best isn’t straightforward. 

But people who succeed in rental property managements understand three things: 

First, identifying the needs of their business.

Second, finding software that can automate the whole process.

Third, finding a program that consolidates all the critical functions of property management into a single program.


There is nothing significant like understanding rental software.

Let’s begin. 

Types of property management software

There are two common types – installed software and cloud software.

  • Installed or server-based: these are programs installed on your computer. It stores data in onsite servers. That means you need an IT team to implement, maintain, and upgrade. You can only access information while in the office. 
  • Online or cloud-based software: they require no installation. Just log in to the software through a web browser, tablet, or mobile device. The programs store data in the cloud, meaning you can access data from any location provided you have an internet connection.

What to consider in a property management software 

If you a landlord looking for a property management software, consider the factors below:

Property Types

Some software can manage only a single property while others manage multiple properties. The software you select should accommodate all your stuff and future expansions.

Number of Units

a Software manages a specific number of units. For instance, if you manage ten units, your needs significantly differ from someone managing 5000 units. 

Therefore, a property management software for multiple units comes with premium features right from the manufacturers. That makes it robust. 

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Features of property management software differ from manufacturer to the next. Besides, it varies with the pricing plan. 

So, it isn’t an all-inclusive thing. You might need to upgrade your current plan or buy add-ons to improve your existing program’s efficiency in some cases.

Basic features include:

  • Property listing tools
  • Application management
  • Tenant screening
  • Leasing and e-sign
  • Online rent collection
  • Tenant and owner portals
  • Secure sensitive data
  • Maintenance management
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Accounting tools

Look, if you want more features, then you have to pay more. However, only pay for the features you need.


In most cases, the price for property management software depends on property size and the billing plan.

Traditionally, you’ll pay per unit per month. Remember, the price per unit depends on the quality of features within the plan. Some software manufacturers may charge as low as $0.80 per unit. 

But if you opt to pay per month, the cost begins at about $250 per month.

Be keen about free software – you may need lots of add-ons, which may be costly.

Landlord vs. Property Manager

The needs landlords and property managers differ due to differences in the scope of management.

Property management agencies need software that accommodates multiple team members. Therefore, most software for property managers is built to scale.

On the other hand, landlords’ needs are less than that of property managers, which means that their software is smaller.

Rental property accounting

Rental property requires a solid knowledge of bookkeeping.


Bookkeeping and accounting is the backbone of your rental property business. Tracking all monetary flow is vital regardless of your business’s size. 

The good news:

There lots of software to help you with accounting.

Here are six tips to enhance rental property accounting: 

  • Separate Personal and Business Accounts: your business works well with financial accounts like checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and debit cards. This way, you keep separating your personal affairs from rental affairs.
  • Differentiate Property Accounts: if you own multiple rentals, open separate accounts for each. This way, you keep income and expenses separate on a per-property basis. Benefits of this include easy reconciliation and pointing out properties eating your rental income. 
  • Track Expenses: it involves tracking inflows and outflow. Here you need a reliable system framework. You can use a rental property accounting software or an expense worksheet. 
  • Go Digital: you can use scanning applications to digitize receipts and invoices. You can still buy accounting software to integrate your bookkeeping, file storage, and financial analysis in one place.
  • Automate Accounting Tasks: you can automate things like reminders, payments, and withdrawals. A rental property has numerous automating aspects, saving time, increasing accuracy, and making the process easier.
  • Hire CPA: A certified public accountant (CPA) is an excellent addition to your experts’ team. These experts will advise you on implementing accounting systems, educating you on best practices, and analyzing your financial performance. Besides, serve as your guide when preparing and filing your taxes.

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Accounting Software vs. Property Management Software

Even with lots of software around, some businesses are struggling.


Poor choice of software. 

Look, if you are running a real estate, you need a holistic property management software. Otherwise, you may run two or more software programs.

Often, people confuse accounting software with property management software. Is there any difference?

Accounting Software

Accounting software is invaluable in the tracking of financial transactions. Besides, it offers near-instantaneous reporting and analysis. 

The functionality of accounting software varies from product to product. Small businesses often choose an off-the-shelf product. By contrast, their larger counterparts go for a customized solution. 

Customization integrates a vast amount of data from many different departments. 

Accounting software lets you see all of your money management on a single page. More so, some programs allow you to link your bank account. Besides, you can manage and view expenses and send out invoices easily tracked through the financial software.

Such features are beneficial because it helps businesses save a lot of time and delivers accurate results. 

Typically, you will choose software based on the number of employees and the industry type. 

Accounting software falls into three categories:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System – large corporations
  • Commercial Accounting Software – ready-to-use
  • Custom Accounting Software – created for your needs

A good example here is QuickBooks

Let’s delve in. 

QuickBooks rental property

QuickBooks is a top accounting software. Thus, many professionals consider it the first option. 

When using QuickBooks, set properties as customers and tenants as sub-customers. Besides, you’ll need classes to track transaction types.

The tenant sub customer shows all rent invoices, associated payments, and current balance. Keep in mind; it also provides a solution for property managers who have higher accounting requirements regarding paying owners and trust accounting. 

Versions of QuickBooks include:

QuickBooks Online Plus – a cloud-based system ideal for real estate businesses, investors, brokers, and agents.

QuickBooks Desktop – ideal for keeping books for multiple businesses. It lets you set up a company file to run your property management business. 

QuickBooks Self Employed – combines accounting and tax software. It is suitable for self-employed real estate agents, managers, and investors.


  • Easy to use
  • Good accounting reports
  • Efficient
  • Flexible with 3rd party applications
  • Affordable price


  • Lack of industry and business-specific features
  • Prone to system crashes
  • Lack of direct professional support
  • Lack of critical reports outside of accounting
  • Limitations on the number of users

Click this affiliate link to order QuickBooks Desktop Pro 2021 Accounting Software for Small Business with shortcut guide (PC Download).

Property Management Software

Property management software goes beyond basic accounting. The right rental software can help you manage tenant information, repairs as well as leases. 

Beyond that, the software can:

  • Capture and collect payments
  • Manage your budget
  • Access vendors and bill payments 
  • Develop financial reports
  • Enable online payments
  • Manage bank reconciliations

Further, you can integrate some industry-specific aspects into your property management software. You can incorporate information about vacancies, units, tenants, and property maintenance.

Therefore, the best accounting software for rental property can deliver the highest profits and superior care for your property. 

Additionally, they save landlords and property manager’s precious time by creating ways of making the rental process much easier.  

Property management software for landlords 

By now, you should know that Property management software supports an extensive range of property types – residential, commercial, and industrial. Besides, their design accommodates the needs of various users within the sector.

Both landlords with a few investment properties and property management firms managing hundreds of locations get lots of options to consider. 

Let’s compare some property management software. 

Build-up vs. 360

360 Property Management (360PM) 

Microsoft Dynamics NAV powers 360 Property Management Software. This all-in-one property management and accounting solution that works for retail, commercial, industrial, and mixed-use properties.

360PM packs essential features for helping property and asset managers manage day-to-day operations and efficiently utilize their time. Additionally, it improves communication and collaboration between management and accounting. 

Core features include:

  • CAM (Common Area Maintenance) recoveries and reconciliation
  • Tenant Database
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Property accounting 
  • Rent Tracking
  • Financial management
  • Payment Processing
  • Landlord Database


  • Cloud-based so users can access from anywhere
  • No limitation to the number of users 
  • Mobile ready 
  • Allows monitoring of multiple aspects 
  • Personalized setup and training provided 


  • Not ideal for small scale businesses
  • Support is only available during business hours.


Build up is an easy to use property management software for property owners, consultants, developers, contractors, and subcontractors. The cloud-based software can perform:

  • Task management: keeps people on similar pages.
  • Inspection: opens visibility for all during a project 
  • Punch list: cuts closeout time by 44%
  • Export data: you can export PDF or XLS report for easy viewing, save and share
  • Customizable Checklists: you can organize by unit, by project, and by priority. This function is available on all devices.

Build-up aims at reducing costs, improving the quality of the product, and shortening construction time. 


  • Easy to use 
  • Allows for the creation of a customizable checklist
  • You can view all aspects of a project during the entire project 
  • Time-saving
  • Great mobile app 


  • Very difficult to create reports 
  • Requires considerable tech-savvy individuals
  • Can drain your battery really fast 

Build-up vs. 360: which one is best?

Both software will help you coordinate better, communicate more effectively, and resolve issues faster. 

This way, you can control costs and complete projects on schedule. Your choices depend on what you need.

Appfolio Property Manager by Appfolio.

AppFolio has functionalities covering marketing, accounting, leasing, and management. 

The software can handle a wide arrange of businesses, including student housing, multifamily, and single-family. Besides, it can handle commercial, mixed portfolio property managers and community association.  


  • Ease of use
  • Excellent customer support 
  • Company updates software based on customers’ needs 


  • Limited features for versatile companies 

Quicken rental property manager

Quicken puts everything you need to manage in one place. The software caters to businesses of all sizes. It’s helpful in tax planning management, rental properties, and tenant rent repayments.

Impressively, the software can help you manage personal finances. Thus, dual-purpose software. 

For rental properties:

  • Let’s track all rental aspects, e.g., property value, bank accounts, tenant lists, income, and expenses.
  • The rental dashboard displays your properties status, occupancy, rents received 
  • Manage all information and activities of the tenant 
  • Save rental rates, lease terms, and security deposits directly in quicken.

For tenants:

  • Track outstanding and paid rents
  • Create email reminders 
  • Customize and send rent receipts to tenants

For tax planning/ Personal Finance, Quicken allows you to:

  • Track rental income, and expenses from your credit card or bank account 
  • Export directly to TurboTax
  • Run Schedule E and other tax schedule reports simplifying tax time

There are four Quicken pricing plans, each with a 30 days risk-free trial. The plans work for both Mac and Windows. 

While quicken may have stellar features, it isn’t a good option for professional property managers – you cannot keep financial records on an accrual basis.


  • 5 GB free Dropbox online storage
  • Regular updates
  • Decent customer support 
  • Great for DIY landlords 
  • Sync software to your bank 


  • Manages a maximum of 100 units 
  • Limited accounting capabilities

Best landlord software – Rentler Landlord Software

With Rentler Landlord Software, you can automate the management of your rental properties. This cloud-based software is suitable for Start-ups, SMEs, Agencies, and Enterprises. 

You can streamline the entire rental cycle. That involves: 

  • Accepting rent applications
  • Screening tenants
  • Creating online listings for properties 

Besides, you can handle maintenance requests and messages through a centralized dashboard. 

On the other hand, tenants can utilize the search functionality to find rental properties based on type, price, or size and set up.


  • An easy to use platform 
  • Regular system updates make it efficient
  • 24/7 customer support 
  • Allows editing texts and changing photos when needed 


  • A little bit challenging to set up 
  • No mobile app 

Click this affiliate link to order QuickBooks Desktop Pro 2021 Accounting Software for Small Business with shortcut guide (PC Download).

Best property management software – Buildium Property Management Software 

Any real estate agent performs better with the Buildium property management software. 

The software packs many tools for property management, accounting, business operations, and leasing easy. 

Buildium works for both small and large properties.

The software allows you to manage maintenance requests and finances, market properties, and find tenants online.

Also, you can accept online applications and screen tenants before drawing up contracts. 

Property owners, homeowners, residents, and board members have portals to communicate with stakeholders easily.


  • Suitable for a range of properties 
  • Easy-to-use 
  • Free trial 


  • Expensive

Rental property software for Mac 

Developers create rental property software that works with Apple products – Mac computer, smartphones, or iPad.

Our top three picks include:

  • Condo Control Central: This is suitable for HOA, Condos, and properties as packs a plethora of features. Cobdo Control Central costs $0.80/Unit/Month and offers Online Payments, Accounting Integration, Amenity Booking, and Service Request.
  • WebRezPro: ideal for multi-property rentals with up to 100 rooms and hospitality industry. It is sort of a reservation tool. So it offers front desk, housekeeping, reservations, and accounting via a single interface. It costs $60.00/month. 
  • SimplifyEm: This is suitable for landlords, property managers, and real estate investors. It has tools to track rental income and expenses, monitor tenant balances, send notices, and general statements. It costs $20/month. 

All the software are:

  • Easy-to-use
  • Feature-rich
  • Web-based 

Workplace for Commercial Real Estate by Accruent.

Each workplace undergoes some sort of industry-specific innovations to solve everyday problems.

People work in offices for space efficiency. While the office manages space, they hurt workers. Thus, there is a demand to change the workplace environment.

It starts with a mindset shift, which can help commercial real estate professionals better understand the real estate industry trends.

It is easy to manage the workplace through available software such as the facility management system. 

The software helps you manage facilities, contractors, assets, and work orders. This improves efficiency and extends the life of an asset. 

An industry-specific facility management software lets you can manage your critical assets and maintenance needs. As a result, you keep your real estate businesses running optimally.

This software by Accruent is ideal for retailers and corporates. 

Click this affiliate link to order QuickBooks Desktop Pro 2021 Accounting Software for Small Business with shortcut guide (PC Download).


Accounting is essential for any business. It helps to ascertain the financial and operational condition of a business. Property management accounting is just one type of accounting that ensures smooth operations in real estate companies.

Therefore, investing in the best accounting software for rental property can increase your returns, reduce cost, and increase accuracy

Luis Gillman
Luis Gillman

Hi, I Am Luis Gillman CA (SA), ACMA
I am a Chartered Accountant (SA) and CIMA (SA) and author of Due Diligence: A strategic and Financial Approach.

The book was published by Lexis Nexis on 2001. In 2010, I wrote the second edition. Much of this website is derived from these two books.

In addition I have published an article entitled the Link Between Due Diligence and Valautions.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information published on this website is accurate, the author and owners of this website take no responsibility  for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relience upon the information contained therein.  Furthermore the bulk of the information is derived from information in 2018 and use therefore is at your on risk. In addition you should consult professional advice if required.