When it comes to accounting for your property business, there are ways to make it easier. And no, we don’t mean hiring an accountant – although that wouldn’t be a bad idea if you have more than two buy-to-let properties, or plan on doing more than a couple of property renovations in a 12-month period.
Even if you employ people, you can still manage your general accounts and payroll easily with the right software at your disposal.
So, what is this accounting software and in what ways can it help?
These days you’ll find that the majority of packages on the market provide custom invoicing and payment tracking as standard. Many also do payroll and link with a variety of bank accounts. Our favourites are the versions with pre-written templates to easily – and politely - chase debtors up. Take a look below:
Quickbooks. One of the biggest (i.e. most popular) business accounting packages around at the moment, Quickbooks, has been endorsed by HM Revenue and Customs. It claims to be able to save the average business users around eight hours a month when it comes to their accounts, thanks to its simplicity and automatic features. Good for both freelancers and businesses (it does Payroll and VAT), there are monitoring tools included as well. Subscriptions start at £4 per month for the first six months up to £14 a month for a full management package, which includes VAT calculating and stock control. It has mobile apps for both iPhone and Android, meaning you can create invoices and log expenses at any time.
Sage. Another popular accounting system in the UK, Sage allows users to track quotes, manage cash flow and even convert currencies as well as the standard sending invoices, paying accounts and managing expenses. A big selling point with Sage is that you can link it to Google Drive in order to save a PDF copy of invoices for printed records. You can also take credit card payments. Subscriptions currently come in at £6 and £13.20 for the first three months, then effectively doubling.
KashFlow. Created specifically for sole traders and small businesses, KashFlow is a simplified version of the above big two software packages. It offers payroll, automated invoicing, credit control and automatic reminders for unpaid invoices. It is linked to more than 80 other applications such as Paypal, Barclaycard and Dropbox. There is also a huge list of pre-written templates to choose from when chasing payments, as well as reports in graph form if preferred. Prices start at £7 a month up to the £19 a month premium package with payroll.
Wave Accounting. The only free software accounting package we’ve listed here, Wave already claims to have around two million users. Again, it is aimed specifically at sole traders and small businesses. It connects bank and credit cards, provides templates with your own personalised logo and allows you to scan in receipts. Another accounting system you can take on the move, Wave has apps for both iPhone and Android mobiles. And the downside? Because it’s free, expect the odd advert to pop up now and again…
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