At first glance, it might appear that all property management accounting software is pretty much the same, offering rents received, rents payable, rent demands, rent arrears, works orders for contractors, landlord statements and a variety of other standard components. Yet beyond these core attributes lie dozens of other features, covering a vast array of functions and services for letting agents and property managers. When considering if your current software is capable of seeing you through uncertain times some of these features can be considered indispensable. Many others, however, are marginally useful or nothing more than marketing gimmicks.
Leading property management software services provider Eurolink has put together this list of 10 essential property management accounting software features to help you through the evaluation process:
1. Reporting and analysis: Information is power in today’s challenging property management environment. That’s why any accounting software you evaluate must have robust reporting and analysis capabilities. Besides helping letting and property management staff gain insight into crucial financial activities, reporting and analysis functions help letting and property management companies conform to an ever increasing array of government and industry regulations.
2. Graphics: Accounting is a numbers-focused activity. Yet graphics, in the form of charts and other illustrative formats, is a powerful tool that can be used to present trends and other concepts in a way that numbers alone can’t convey.
3. Automation: For many businesses, support for simple accounting transactions and basic financial management tasks just isn’t enough. Many companies require the full automation of appointment reminders, arrears letters, inspections, gas safety, visa checks and other complex financial activities.
4. Automatic updates: Using out-of-date property management accounting software is like eating food that has passed its expiration date – a risky proposition that could result in severe nausea. Tax laws, regulations and industry practices change over time, so it’s vital to use software that receives regular, relevant and user-inspired updates.
5. Customisation: Chances are that no property management accounting software will exactly match your business’s needs. That’s why you’ll want to look for a product that allows the easy customisation of statements, forms, reports, screens and other program facets.
6. Internet connectivity: With the whole world moving to the Internet, it’s only logical that property management accounting software should follow the crowd. That’s why you’ll want to make sure that any property management accounting software you consider has the ability to send and receive digital documents and handle electronic fund transfers.
7. Interoperability: The data entered into your property management accounting software can be productively used by various business applications for maintenance reporting, document control, referencing and other key industry sectors. Conversely, you may want your property management accounting application to draw information in from other software products such as Fixflo or DocuSign®. That’s why you’ll want to check on a program’s ability to interoperate with other software before deciding on whether to subscribe to it.
8. Scalability: With hard work, and perhaps some luck, your property management business will be larger and more prosperous in the years ahead. Will your property management accounting software be able to keep pace? Look for a product that accommodates, or can be easily upgraded to accommodate, a progressively larger number of users and a growing amount of financial data and transactions. Ask software providers about their programs’ limits in these areas.
9. Expandability: Your business may grow in scope as well as size. The property management accounting program provider should either offer add-on modules that allow clients to slap extra capabilities to its product, or a migration path to a full multi-discipline environment.
10. Security: Your business depends on its property management accounting software for its very existence. If data is lost or tampered with you stand to lose time, money, business secrets (such as sales or profit data) and, if the damage is severe enough, your company. Any provider should be able to tell you about its software’s built-in security features as well as how its product can mesh with your own on-site safeguards (such as anti-malware technology and network firewalls).
Eurolink Managing Director Nigel Poole says:
“At Eurolink we understand the complexities of property management client accounting and our experience over the last 26 years as a leading property management accounting software provider means our clients can rely on best-in-class software backed by brilliant support from knowledgeable staff”.