Q&A: Rent to Own in QuickBooks

If you’ve signed up a tenant with a rent to own structure, there are unique requirements for recording the transactions. Here’s a recent question from Gloria.

How do i book rental income that is no longer rent but going to be payments for a purchase of property for 250,000 tenant pays 3500.00 a month towards payment?

Create a receivable? Chart of accounts “options to purchase” Asset? Help …

Great question. This can be complicated, and we recommend you work with an advisor.

Rent to own, or an Option to Purchase, is a contractual agreement between buyer (lessee) and seller (landlord). The buyer purchases an option to buy the property later. In your books, that will be recorded in a liability account (just like security deposits). Buyer and seller likely decide on a purchase price then, or let it fluctuate with the market. Traditionally, a price is agreed upon in the option. Both parties negotiate the terms, and the buyer (lessee) has exclusive rights to purchase the property during that time period. If the buyer eventually buys it or not, the option to purchase is non-refundable. Then, each month as the lessee pays rent, a portion of that goes into the purchase price. Over time, they “prepay” for the purchase, in addition to pay rent.

The initial option payment is not income until the renter exercises the option, or forfeits the option and leaves. So the initial deposit of the option payment posts to a liability account “Option – 123 Main St.”

Then, monthly payments often are counted towards a future purchase of the property. For a $1200 rent check, it could post like the following journal entry:

Cash Dr $1200
Option – 123 Main St  Cr. $100
Rental Income  Cr. $1100

Sometimes in option agreements renters also need to pay property tax and insurance. It is the same as if you were paying to an escrow / impound account when you get financing from a bank. In the above option, it would decrease the rental income, and credit another liability account for Impound.

This is just a start, there are other things you still need to consider such as if the tenant surrenders the option, or exercises it.

Great question – you were on the right track asking this question. We look forward to a followup in the comments below.

Order our full training on managing properties in QuickBooks today. It comes with a money back guarantee. And thousands of customers love it (read testimonials ♥).

See pricing information for QuickBooks training for Real Estate

eBook Excerpt: Chapter 1. Introduction

Below is an unedited excerpt of Chapter 1 of our training guide for landlords to use QuickBooks. If you like what you see, you can order risk free and download everything immediately. Want a hassle free refund? Ask us for your money back within 30 days.

Chapter 1. Introduction

1.01  Who Should Read This Book
1.02  What this Book Is
1.03  What this Book Is Not
1.04  When is a Good Time to Read and Implement this?
1.05  How this Manual is Designed
1.06  QuickBooks is not Quicken
1.07  QuickBooks is not Quicken Rental Property Manager
1.08  Benefits of QuickBooks
1.09  My Personal Goal

The actual book is in PDF format and comes along with a sample company file and a template data file. You can print the eBook, no restrictions.

1.01 Who Should Read This Book

This book is designed for people involved in the purchase, management, and tracking of rental homes or apartments. It is my hope that this book will aid you in your understanding and application of QuickBooks for a real estate investment company. Other individuals such as property managers, commercial landlords, or developers have found this book helpful too. I appreciate your feedback and success stories as your read this over. Share successes at LandlordAccounting.com/your-story.

You will understand how a real estate rental business works and the associated terminology. Ideally you already either have your own corporate entity, or are in the process of forming one. It is essential for you to have a strong understanding of the financials of your company, even if you hire a bookkeeper. We’ll help you learn those. Use QuickBooks to enter data properly, and you will be able to analyze your business, make decisions using accurate financials, and save an enormous amount of time.

I recommend starting at the beginning to understand the underlying accounting principles. This applies if you plan to enter the bookkeeping data yourself, hire a third party, or train an employee to do it. You will learn common bookkeeping activities a landlord will encounter while dealing with properties, tenants, and sorting out financing.

1.02 What this Book Is

This manual is an education tool to bring anyone involved in the residential real estate rental market up to speed to manage the bookkeeping and property management using QuickBooks. The basic concepts and terminology will still apply to older or newer versions.

Throughout this book I will use a sample data file of an LLC. Your entity, state laws and individual needs may differ. Get a competent accountant and attorney and go over what you do in QuickBooks.

Large public corporations keep two sets of accounting books: one for tax purposes, and the other for management decision making and analysis purposes. This manual assumes you keep one set of books and use one QuickBooks file.

1.03 What this Book Is Not

This manual is not a replacement for your accountant. There are nearly 10,000 pages of tax law which change yearly. Please interview many accountants and choose a competent one with extensive experience with QuickBooks and real estate business owners like yourself. When you’re ready to implement QuickBooks for your property management, make sure your accountant supports you and is familiar with the program. Most who deal with small businesses are, and may even offer you a discount for using QuickBooks.

This manual is not a replacement for your attorney. Consult your attorney. Do not consider anything in here legal advice.
ch1.03 caution quickboks landlords

1.04 When is a Good Time to Read and Implement this?

Read now! Implement slowly. Commit to reading this every day and playing with QuickBooks until you master it and are ready to try it on your own company. I invite you to visit the free forums at www.LandlordAccounting.com/forum on a regular basis to ask questions and strengthen your knowledge by helping answer other people’s questions.

It is suggested to not try this on your own “real” books at first. Instead enter transactions that are similar to what you would incur in your company. Then try generating the reports you need and have your accountant look it over. Start using QuickBooks exclusively when he or she approves your setup.

Like what you’re reading? Order our full training today for the 200+ page ebook and QuickBooks data files.

See pricing information for QuickBooks training for Real Estate

1.05 How this Manual is Designed

I have been an investor, landlord, consultant, and business owner. I firmly believe in the importance of understanding the financial health of one’s companies. Some investors just want to make the next investment, and they insufficiently manage, optimize and track what they already have. Through this book and the accompanying company files, you will enter property, tenant and management company transactions, automatically track tenants’ late fees, understand your business’ financial health, and save time.

Information that you type appears in this special typeface. If you need to press a special key sequence, such as the “Control” key and the “A” key, I will write it like: Ctrl+A. I put QuickBooks specific terms in “quotations.”

When you need to click a link or a menu item on the screen those will be bold. For example, to open a company file in QuickBooks, click File > Open Company….

If a new term is introduced, I use a definition box like the following:

ch1.05 definition quickbooks landlords

As you read you will have questions, I try to answer them all here in FAQ’s. If I don’t answer your question, don’t hesitate to search the forum at www.LandlordAccounting.com – someone else probably had the same question and it was answered.

ch1.05 faq quickbooks landlords

Sometimes something tricky comes up; if that’s the case, take careful note of our Quick Tips:

ch1.05 quick tip quickbooks landlords

There will be times that you need to use extra care, we will highlight these moments with a caution.

ch1.05 caution quickbooks landlords

When a related topic is relevant to current discussions, the See Also box will refer you to these other topics.

ch1.05 see also quickbooks landlords

From time to time there will be additional information that does not merit inclusion in the main text area, but some people will enjoy reading it. A sidebar will pop up on the side and delve into more details.

ch1.05 sidebar quickbooks landlords

1.06 QuickBooks is not Quicken

Quicken is a personal finance product for individuals. It uses single entry accounting. Amounts are usually recorded in column form, like a checkbook register. Entries include the transaction’s date, a memo, and the amount of money involved.

QuickBooks is an accounting solution for small businesses. It uses double entry accounting. Each entry has two accounts (sometimes more with “splits”) associated with it. In the simplest case this means one account is where the money came from, and the other explains how it was spent. For instance, you use cash to buy a new property. The two accounts involved are cash and a fixed asset account for the property. Money came from the cash account and it went to the new asset. Details on double entry accounting appear next chapter. QuickBooks makes it easy and once you understand it, you will be grateful of double entry’s power.

Businesses need more detailed financial reporting than individuals. QuickBooks transactions are recorded on a dual impact on the financial position (change to balance sheet) or operating results (change to income statement) or both. You cannot deposit money from a security deposit into a checking account (increasing an asset on the balance sheet) and stop there. You also need to recognize that you owe this back to the renter (and add a liability on the balance sheet).

QuickBooks has fields to collect information about your tenants, services, vendors, inventory, late fees, etc. You can invoice your tenants, track accounts payable and rent receivable, make journal entries, create advanced reports and more in QuickBooks. Many of these functions are not available in Quicken.

When you start to use QuickBooks for your business, it should have no relationship to your personal finances. If you commingle the two, you may have serious consequences with the law or tax authorities. It is essential to keep separate personal and corporate finances. If you are migrating records from Quicken to QuickBooks, refer to the integrated help on this topic in both programs.

See pricing information for QuickBooks training for Real Estate

1.07 QuickBooks is not Quicken Rental Property Manager

Many of my customers have first tried to use Quicken Rental Property Manager; however it did not work out well for them. Because it is designed to be so “simple” many real business scenarios just aren’t supported. QuickBooks’s is still our best bet. Here is what some of my customers had to say.

Note: I recommend you use QuickBooks, not Quicken Rental Property Manager. Below are complaints of people who tried to use Rental Property Manager. (Later they were delighted once hey started using our training – testimonials ♥).

“I tried the Quicken PM [Rental Property Manager] – very busy and very non- intuitive.” – C.B.

“We are presently using Quicken Rental Property Manager 2.0. It is an entry level program, but quite an improvement from our previous excel spreadsheet system. Quicken RPM 2.0 does not provide the ability to compare expenses, profits, between individual units/tenants on our property’s.” – D.W.

“Checked with my accountant on this one and turns out this is actually a QUICKEN product so it doesn’t have the double entry system and some other necessary business features.” – C.K.

“The new software [Rental Property Manager] did not produce any late notices and is not able to be interfaced with Quickbooks.” – E.E.

I hope you too will turn to QuickBooks since it is a real business accounting software package. With this guide and our data files, it is not hard to set up, and you’ll quickly be moving in the right direction.

1.08 Benefits of QuickBooks

QuickBooks is the number one bestselling small business accounting software in the world. It is extremely easy to use, very powerful, adaptable, loved by accountants, and it creates a multitude of detailed reports. It saves you time, money and headaches.

You will be able to get the information you need out of the program through customizable reports, and efficiently enter the data through its well-designed user interface.

1.09 My Personal Goal

I first wrote this book after our company struggled with implementing QuickBooks for residential rental properties. It is my goal that:

  • You will successfully implement QuickBooks as your business accounting solution.
  • You will be completely satisfied with my book and website.
  • You will build a competent team of professionals.
  • You will tell your partners and associates about my product if you find it useful.

ch1.09 100% guaranteed quickbooks landlordsIf you are not satisfied with this book, let me know within 30 days of purchase and receive a complete refund. Your satisfaction is important to me.

 

That concludes the excerpt from the book, Chapter 1. Please read more on our blog, or more efficiently, purchase our training today to get expert assistance in managing properties in QuickBooks.

See pricing information for QuickBooks training for Real Estate

Q&A: Partial Security Deposit Payments in QuickBooks

P.J. wrote in asking how to receive security deposit payments over time, such as in a payment plan.

How do I properly track partial security deposit payments (Some of our tenants cannot pay full deposit up front—but might take an additional month to pay in partial payments).

We need a easy way to know at any given time how much they owe. I read how to setup the security deposit in your book—but I am unclear on how to determine how much they owe vs. how much they paid.

I can look at Chart of Accounts and see how much they have paid in Security Deposit—Current Liability account—but I cannot determine how much is remaining—any help would greatly be appreciated.

Great question. Fortunately, after reading other parts of the book you practically know the solution already. You’ll want to create an invoice and invoice the tenant (job) for the security deposit. The key is you need to create an item, just like the Rent Item, but it is a new item to post to this tenant’s security deposit sub-account.

Create the new tenant’s security deposit account:

create security deposit account - partial deposits

security deposit accounts - partial deposits

Create the item to use on the invoice for the security deposit.

quickbooks item for security deposit of a tenant

partial security deposit item lists

Invoice the tenant for the item, as in the rest of the examples in the book. Then go through the book’s normal receiving of payments process as the tenant pays things back. Receive payments as many times as they pay. Choose if you want (and are allowed) to impose finance charges to a late payment.

How much does this tenant still owe in their security deposit?

Look at the Customer center and see the tenant (job’s) current outstanding balance. Or, click Reports > Customers & Receivables > Customer Balance Detail.

If all of this seems complicated, we have a simpler way that works in most cases. Usually security deposits are paid upfront, so we teach a quicker method in our training. Also, we show instructions for combining the first month’s rent with the security deposit. There are many more screenshots (with detailed arrows) in our book than in the abbreviated instructions above.

Learn about our Landlording Training for QuickBooks or order our full guide today. Money back guaranteed, no questions asked, read about some of the thousands of happy customers.

See pricing information for QuickBooks training for Real Estate

Opening Balance Equity Account Explained

opening balance equity quickbooks Opening Balance Equity is an account that QuickBooks automatically creates under certain circumstances, most commonly when creating a new account and setting an opening balance.

How does Opening Balance Equity get a balance?

The following screenshot someone created a new checking account and set the opening balance here. That seems tempting, but it just defers the real work. (Later you’ll need to zero out Opening Balance Equity and record the actual account that gave this new account the opening balance.) The money came from somewhere else, so read below for the preferable way to enter all opening balances.

new account creates opening balance equity

It is an equity account, which means it sits alongside Owners Equity, Retained Earnings, Capital Stock, etc. You can see the current balance by looking in the Chart of Accounts, or click Reports > Company & Financials > Balance Sheet Standard.

opening balance equity balance sheet report

When Opening Balance Equity has a non-zero balance, you need your accountant to make end-of-year adjustments into other balance sheet accounts and zero it out.

How do you adjust Opening Balance Equity to zero?

It could be as simple as a two line item journal entry from Opening Balance Equity to the actual balance sheet account that “funded” the opening bank account balance. Generally, it is one journal entry, just sometimes many accounts are involved.

Other times it is not that simple. There may be multiple sources of the Opening Balance Equity balance. And it takes your accountant’s help to correctly allocate them to the right accounts depending on which owner contributed them and whether they happened in the current, or a prior, year.

If you only entered the beginning bank balance during the set up of the bank account in the chart of accounts, you may have a simple fix. Quickbooks automatically offsets the amount in the Opening Balance Equity account. Since the beginning amount is generally from prior period activity, do a Journal Entry to retained earning to zero out the Opening Balance Equity. It could be that simple. Or, it could need to go to the member’s Equity account, or split among several owners.

Recommended steps for creating a new company file, preventing any Opening Balance Equity.

Thanks to fellow QuickBooks ProAdvisor Laura D. for sharing what she does with a new company file and existing data:

  1. If you have an accurate trial balance from a previous month/year, enter it as one journal entry. (Do not enter any opening balances when setting up new accounts in the chart of accounts.)
  2. Start your journal entry with a blank line.
  3. For the Checking account, enter only the reconciled bank statement amount in that journal entry.
  4. Enter all other Balance Sheet accounts except Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable.
  5. Enter your Profit & Loss accounts.
    1. If you want your income/expenses by class, you can enter each year-end amount on a separate line in order to attach the class to it. (Following our training, you will want to do this for each property’s class).
    2. If you want your income/expenses by job, you can enter each year-end amount on a separate line in order to attach the job name to it. (As landlords, you don’t want to do this).
  6. Let the variance hit Opening Balance Equity.
  7. Then, enter any outstanding checks/deposits and hit Opening Balance Equity. (Use the write checks/make deposits windows).
  8. Then, enter Unpaid Bills and Open Invoices, one at a time with the vendor/customer name, offsetting Opening Balance Equity. (Use the enter bills/create invoices windows – you will have to set up an item which points to Opening Balance Equity for the invoices).
  9. When you complete these three steps, your Opening Balance Equity should be zero.

This will give you the detail of outstanding checks/deposits so that you can reconcile next month’s bank statement.

This, also, will give you an accurate A/P and A/R with enough detail to move forward in paying bills and receiving payments.

Hopefully, the LandlordAccounting.com blog is helpful to you. Read more, or order our full training for Landlords in QuickBooks today.

See pricing information for QuickBooks training for Real Estate

 

How to convert a Tenant as a Customer into a Job in QuickBooks

We recently recommended entering Properties as Customers and Tenants as Jobs. What if you have an existing company file where your tenants were customers? Read on to learn how to convert those customers (tenants) into jobs without losing historical transaction information.

The secret is in dragging and dropping the tenant (currently as a customer) under a new customer (which you have to create, which is the job).

Here’s a video, or read on for picture instructions:


Open the Customer center. Here we have a customer “My Existing Tenant” that we want to make a job. We also created a new customer that will represent the property. In the end we want the old tenant to become a job under the new customer (property).

convert customer to job - 1

Look for the diamond next to each row in the list. Click the diamond and drag it to the right.
convert customer to job - 2

That’s it. You can double click and edit the name of the job if you wish. Now you moved the existing customer into a job under the new property (customer). This is helpful if you bought our training and are migrating an old company file into using our best practices.

convert customer to job - 3 done

Hopefully this helped. Read more from Landlord Accounting’s blog, or order the full guide now.

See pricing information for QuickBooks training for Real Estate

Calculate Cap Rate in QuickBooks

calculate the cap rate for landlords in quickbooks Calculating Cap Rate (Capitalization Rate) for real estate investments is straightforward. We previously explained cap rate for real estate investors and landlords. Recall that Cap Rate = Net Operating Income / Value.

Here’s how you calculate the Capitalization Rate for one of your rental properties in QuickBooks. This uses the Sample Data File included in our training course.

Step 1. Find the value of your property. Check the Chart of Accounts for the property’s value. Since we keep depreciation in a separate contra-account, you can grab the value that you see without adjustment. Here we will compute the cap rate for a duplex, 3304 Covenant.

The value is $90,000.

Step 2. Go to the Reports menu and choose the LandlordAccounting.com memorized reports menu. Choose profit and loss by class and filter to only show the 3304 class and sub-classes.

The Net Adjusted Income for this property is $8,362.57.

Step 3. Calculate the Cap Rate. In our example that is $8,362.57 / $90,000 = 9.3%.

Questions? Contact us, or leave a comment below. Want to quick start your real estate investing? Purchase our full training today, with a money back guarantee.

See pricing information for QuickBooks training for Real Estate

Return to the blog for more articles on QuickBooks landlord accounting and real estate investing.

How to Import the Sample Company and Template File (QuickBooks Online Instructions)

Previously, we explained for Windows and Mac users how to import the training files you purchased. Now, we break it down for users of the Online versions of QuickBooks.

Step 1. Email us requesting the online edition data files. They are not currently in the members only area because most customers still use the desktop versions of QuickBooks.

Due to QuickBooks Online limitations, you must use Windows and Internet Explorer for importing. Read more about how to work around this if you only have a Mac.

Step 2. Log into QuickBooks Online. It is important to note that having multiple online company files requires multiple subscriptions. With only one subscription, you can create and delete many company files, trying new things each time. But, you may only have one active company at a time, and delete any existing company file so you can import the sample company.

If you must delete an existing company file, here’s how:

Log into your old company and click the dropdown in the top right. Go to My Apps.
go to my apps to cancel quickbooks online to create a new company file

Go to the Manage My Apps tab and click Cancel subscription.
confirm to cancel quickbooks online to create a new company file.jpg
Confirm you want to do this.
Cancel Subscription - YourCompany, LLC Sample Company File - QuickBooks Online Essentials-1

Then go to http://quickbooksonline.intuit.com/ to sign up for a new account, at whichever cost level you want. (Try the free trial to learn if it will work for you.) For more help deleting and creating a new company, read this. (If you are paying, you won’t have to pay any more because this new account will replace your previous account).

Step 3. Logged into a brand new QuickBooks online company file, choose to Import QuickBooks Desktop Data.

import quickbooks desktop data

Upload the the special online edition file that we gave you. When prompted, if you want to view sample transactions, choose to import everything, if you want a template just import the lists.

You may need to wait a short while once you imported the file before it is available to use. Check for an email from QuickBooks when your file is ready. When it is imported (it only took a few minutes for us), explore all of the data and transactions you now have.

quickbooks online after landlordaccounting import

When it is time for you to create a real company file, you can erase all this data, or go through the import process again. Questions about landlording and QuickBooks? Contact us, we’re glad to chat.

Want to start learning today with our custom landlording training? You can buy our full training with hundreds of pictures explaining everything.

Cash on Cash Return Calculation for Landlords

Cash on Cash Return = Annual Pre-Tax Cash Flow divided by the Total Cash Invested

Example: You purchase a $200K rental property for 30% down plus $4K in closing costs. You invest $10K cash in improvements. After expenses, your first year’s pre-tax cash flow is $12K. The Cash on Cash Return would be $12,000 / $74,000 = 16%.

How do you use it?

Cash on Cash return is one of the simplest and most versatile ways to evaluate real estate properties. You can quickly determine if an investment is performing favorably, as well as trying to detect if a property for sale is underpriced. (See also our cap rate blog post).

Calculating Pre-Tax Cash Flow

  1. Sum the annual income including rent, fees, laundry, parking, everything.
  2. Leave an allowance for vacancies.
  3. Subtract expected cash outlays, such as expenses (repairs, interest expense) and the mortgage payment.

If cash is extracted from a property, through a refinancing for instance, don’t include that cash in the annual cash flow, because that return of capital is not income and it would misleadingly inflate your rate of return.

Carefully Consider the Following

Cash on cash return is based on before-tax cash flow, so it does not consider the investor’s tax circumstances (although it could become more favorable after the tax saving depreciation expense is considered).

Cash on cash return also ignores property value appreciation.

It ignores what investments your cash flow could be reinvested in, thus neglecting the effects of compound interest.

How to calculate Cash on Cash Return in QuickBooks

quickbooks for landlords instructional training - cash on cash returnIf you are doing a forward looking calculation, you will not have income information about that transaction in QuickBooks, so you can do it all on paper or in Excel. (Perhaps basing your vacancies and expenses on actual comparable numbers, though.) If you have entered the purchase price already, you can calculate this with a few clicks and a simple calculator. To learn more (quickly), invest in our QuickBooks training for landlords and property managers today.

See pricing information for QuickBooks training for Real EstateEverything is 100% guaranteed and you can read other investors testimonials ♥ for more information.

If you enjoyed this, also read about the Cap Rate explained for Landlords and Real Estate Investors or the rest of our landlording blog.

Cap Rate (Capitalization Rate) Explained for Real Estate Investors

capitalization rate landlords property managementShort version: Cap Rate = Net Operating Income divided by Total Value of the Property.

Example: You consider buying a property for sale for $300,000 that generates $35,000 (after fixed costs and variable costs). You verified the income and expense numbers from the seller, and believe they are accurate (very important). Your capitalization rate would be $35K/$300k = 11.7%

In other words, for every $100 you invest in that property, you expect to earn $11.70 per year.

How do you use it?

Cap rate can be used as a way to quickly compare returns on investment between different properties. It is as if you have a cash only purchase, thus if you use financing the cap rate will not be the actual leveraged return you will get.

Calculating Net Operating Income

  1. Determine gross revenue by adding all the rental, laundry room, and other income.
  2. Subtract income lost from vacancies. This is effective gross income.
  3. Subtract operating expenses (maintenance, management, advertising, etc).
  4. That is your Net Operating Income.

Key to remember for the NOI is all revenues must come from ongoing operations and not a one time asset sale or insurance payout. Also, do not consider depreciation and debt service for expenses. These conventions are used because we are focusing on the asset’s value, and one time events, depreciation, and financing reflect irregular events, tax issues, and capital structure, not value.

Projecting Property Value Given a Cap Rate

Because Cap Rate = NOI / Value, if you have a target Cap Rate you can estimate your max price by dividing NOI by cap rate. Example: 8% target cap rate / $200K = $2.5M. Compare that to what the actual properties are selling for (and verify your assumptions for NOI).

Carefully Consider the Following

Cap Rate does not consider financing. In thoroughly evaluating an investment, you need to consider what your actual return on investment will be, after financing. Also, verify all assumptions of the costs and occupancy rates if you are given a cap rate for a property from another investor or seller.

Consider other factors such as the stability of expected income, property value appreciation, and your alternative investments you could buy instead.

Cap Rates change. In the example above, if the property value appreciates to $350K in a few years, with net operating income held constant, your new cap rate will be $35K/$350K or 10%. This is less favorable and reflects how you could sell the property and purchase another investment. (Or in reality, perhaps refinance.)

Cap Rate’s Similarity to P/E Ratio in Stock Equity Investing

If you invest on fundamentals in the stock market, the Cap Rate can be considered the real estate version of the P/E ratio. The P/E ratio is the market value per share (price) of a security divided by the earnings per share.

This is the inverse relationship of what the Cap Ratio is for real estate investments. A P/E of  20.5 could come from $40 share value and $1.95 earnings per share. This is the “price multiple” or “earnings multiple.” The cap ratio can be considered similar because it is the opposite comparison: the net operating income divided by the value. Much like it is useful to compare P/E ratios of one company to another in the same industry, it is useful to compare similar properties’ Cap Rates.

We hope you enjoyed this article. Read more about real estate accounting and QuickBooks at LandlordAccounting.com.

Invest in our training too, for more help with QuickBooks and landlording. See pricing information for QuickBooks training for Real Estate

 

Entering Landlords’ Historical Transactions in QuickBooks

If you are starting a new QuickBooks company file for an existing company, you probably want to enter all those old transactions from the company into QuickBooks so that you can track current performance versus the past. For many landlords’ businesses, this is the right approach, and we will present two methods to quickly enter these historical transactions.

But for other businesses (especially the very small) it may make sense to cut over to use QuickBooks and leave historical reporting in your old system (Quicken, Excel, etc). If you create summary reports and some spreadsheets you can get a lot of the benefit of comparison, but less effort in migrating the data.

Forms method to ender historical transactions in QuickBooks

First, you can re-enter every transaction using the forms and windows you would normally. (Create invoices, receive payments, etc.) This is a great way to learn how to enter new transactions into QB’s. We recommend it for everyone to try, even if only to scrap that company file, as you learn much about how to do property management in QuickBooks by entering actual transactions.

If you do this, the order you enter the transactions is important, do it in the following order.

Enter Accounts Receivable in this order:

  1. Invoices
  2. Statement Charges
  3. Cash Sales
  4. Returns
  5. Customer Payments
  6. Deposits of customer payments sales tax payments

Enter Accounts Payable in this order:

  1. Bills
  2. Credits from vendors
  3. Bill Payments

Enter historical payroll txns.

Enter bank and other txns in the following order:

  1. Checks (do not duplicate bill payments)
  2. Deposits (do not duplicate customer deposits) bank fees and transfers
  3. Credit card transactions

Reconcile each bank account for each month as you go. Getting each month perfect will save a lot of time versus having to reconcile many months at once.

Summary journal entry method (“monthly rollup transactions”) to enter historical transactions in QuickBooks

This method is more useful for quickly entering your transactions, but only gives transaction data on a monthly rollup level.

Enter all historical transactions by creating a summary journal entry for each month between the start date and current date. Each entry will have the net impact of the month: rent receipts, maintenance (per property/class), capital investments per property’s asset account, owner draws, etc. You can enter in on the first of the month, for all transactions that happened each month.

Remember, even though this is not entirely accurate, it gives you a granularity that enables year over year monthly comparisons. For some people this is helpful enough, and potentially faster to calculate these net transactions from their old system than enter everything individually.

Reports to verify correct entry of old transactions into QuickBooks.

There are several reports you can run after migrating the data to ensure your new company file has the correct information.

  1. Run a Balance Sheet report as of the start date to verify beginning account balances.
  2. Generate a Profit and Loss report for periods since start date to verify historical transactions.
  3. Create an Open Invoices report and verify accounts receivable as of the start date.
  4. Use the Unpaid Bills report to verify accounts payable details as of the start date.
  5. Verify inventory by running inventory valuation summary report (probably not applicable for rental property companies).
  6. Run the Payroll Liabilities report to verify payroll liabilities detail as of the start date.
  7. Use the Payroll Summary report to check year-to-date payroll transactions.

We hope this helps, remember at Landlord Accounting you can learn more about tracking rental properties in QuickBooks and invest in our training.

See pricing information for QuickBooks training for Real Estate