Buying into digital
Despite the fact that 88% of property management companies already use a cloud service, such as LinkedIn or Gmail, there is still some nervousness about moving their finances to the cloud. However, companies needn’t worry: the changes will bring greater synchronisation of data, streamlined processes and efficient management of properties and businesses. For instance, the cloud facilitates lower software maintenance costs as you’ll only pay for the features you need when you need them and the software updates automatically. Unlike traditional accounting software, there is no capital expenditure; small monthly payments will reduce overheads and allow your business to maintain flexibility as it scales. Additionally, viewing and updating your financial data on-the-go helps facilitate a dynamic business, boosting the accuracy of data and productivity by encouraging administrative tasks to be completed while on the move.
Most property management companies will have in-house bookkeepers and the range of apps available will enable clients to take better control of their properties and update their accounts in real-time. The lettings and accounting side of the business are separated. Lettings activities, such as calculating rent, managing tenancy and security deposits, can be completed without any intervention by the client. Transactions relating to the tenants and the property itself can be automatically categorised and matched to bank transactions. This information can be pulled into reports and sent to the landlords for business performance reviews. On the accounting side, landlords’ information is managed in a similar way with a dashboard of analytics showing real-time expenses, outgoings and profit. The ability to drill down into client and property profiles is possible with tenants categorised as jobs, property owners as customers and properties as classes. Utilising apps allows the automation of manual processes and reducing the likelihood of input errors.
Many landlords will already outsource their accounting function to an accountant. However, cloud software will provide greater insight into how their properties are performing. Properties can be managed within apps that directly feed information from multiple properties even if managed by more than one letting agent. Integrating apps with software will give landlords greater control of properties, in areas like for example expenses and tenant management. It is possible for rules to be created, that ensure financial information is correctly organised. This ensures invoices and payments received are apportioned to their correct category rather than to a central location. This information can also be tracked and verified with direct bank feeds that pulls transaction data into the business accounts. Moving to the cloud shouldn’t be seen as an inconvenience but as an opportunity to successfully update your procedures to integrate frequent monitoring of income, expenses and profit into your daily business activities.