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Bookkeeping Basics for Real Estate Brokers & Agents

real estate bookkeeping basics

Those features depend on the software, but they often include invaluable features such as a built-in tenant portal, automated rent payments, and a work order management system. Plus, with property management-specific accounting software, you also get access to features that typical accounting software can’t give you. Bookkeeping is essentially just business accounting, the process of recording business transactions that give you your accounting data.

real estate bookkeeping basics

Notice how we have 100 account numbers blocked out for each property type. Depending on how many properties you manage, this could be much larger and have further subaccounts that organize your individual property accounts by state or city. Visually, a chart of accounts is just a list of your various financial accounts, typically using a number system to organize those accounts. Because of this, it tends to be the accounting method that most sole proprietors choose to use.

Start Improving Your Real Estate Accounting Processes

You may have to pay real estate taxes on any properties you own during the renovation process. Buying and selling homes as a business can make your taxes more complicated. Once you have your operating costs sorted in your accounting system, you can take steps to track all of your business expenses.

They give you a behind-the-scenes look at potential red flags as well as opportunities for business growth. You will have to sort your business and personal expenses into 2 separate categories and may need to file taxes for both your business and personal arenas depending on your company’s structure. Real estate agents have some of the most diverse expenses in business.

property management bookkeeping basics

Generally speaking, mileage is more beneficial in situations where owners purchase cheaper cars and drive them for more than 5 years. Actual expenses can be more beneficial for owners that switch cars every few years and purchase more expensive real estate bookkeeping vehicles. When you’re an S-corporation, you can either take actual expenses or get reimbursed by your company for mileage expenses. If you are going to take actual expenses, it’s important that the vehicle is owned by your business.

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