The Ultimate Real Estate Accounting Guide 2022


bookkeeping for real estate

According to Deloitte’s most recent “Real estate — accounting and financial reporting update,” the market is experiencing significant disruption. Today’s real estate agents and real estate firms must keep up with new technology and navigate changes to COVID-19­–related accounting and financial reporting requirements. Your company will need many different performance reports, including income statements. Net cash flow reports are also necessary and will show the cash moving in and out of the account during certain periods. This process is crucial because it makes sure the real estate accounting system shows the same money and transactions as the bank.

bookkeeping for real estate

The first rule of any good real estate accounting system, this not only makes bookkeeping easier, but keeps you out of legal hot water. It’s a bad idea to commingle personal and business funds—especially if you are using (or plan to use) an LLC or other legal entity. The bank account, savings account, and credit cards should all be separate from personal finances. Dealing with rental income and property management involves collecting rent from tenants on time, ensuring the property is well-maintained, and handling any issues that may arise during the tenancy. It also requires keeping detailed records of expenses and income related to the property to accurately track financial performance. This can help business owners make informed decisions and improve their financial management.

Financial Reports

Simply deleting or editing transactions has cascading effects on your records. Deleting a payment on an invoice, for example, sets the invoice back to unpaid, which messes up your accounts receivable (i.e. makes you think someone owes you money when they don’t!). Separating your business and personal finances is the single most important thing you can do to manage your business finances. If you’ve got an established business and you’re regularly earning an income as a realtor, consider getting help with your bookkeeping.

Larger expenses include office rentals, event space, and recurring services such as cleaning or maintenance. As more real estate professionals operate in a mobile format, these costs may be minimal. A good real estate accounting system automatically creates a paper trail to back up every income and expense item claimed. Instead of having to dig for information the IRS requests, documents are neatly organized if you are ever audited. An accounting system for real estate will help you keep track of documentary evidence like invoices and receipts, to help you defend each deduction.

Understanding Cash Flow

Check your bank statements and security deposit ledger regularly and report discrepancies. The right real estate accounting system always considers everything that makes your small business unique. It’s entirely possible to find an adaptable solution that accommodates your business practices, whether that includes property management, working with tenants, or tracking commissions.

Depending on your state landlord-tenant laws, a landlord may also be required to hold tenant security deposits in a separate bank trust account. In general, most individuals and many small businesses use the cash method of accounting, according to IRS Publication 538. A key reason you need solid bookkeeping in your business is to keep all your financial information in order to prepare for filing and paying taxes.

Recording security deposits

Customers schedule an appointment to have a bookkeeper review their transactions, and  multiple schedules are available to choose from. You will have access to a client management portal, and can communicate with customers through video conferencing and messaging. Bookkeeping is the practice of organizing, classifying and maintaining a business’s financial records. It involves recording transactions and storing financial documentation to manage the overall financial health of an organization.

bookkeeping for real estate