Accounting for businesses in the property industry can be a minefield… but does it have to be?

Published by Helen Bogie on 29 May 2019

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For those involved in running businesses in the property industry, there are various accounting regulations which need to be followed, covering a number of different areas of accounting, but having a good record keeping system will be a huge step towards ensuring you are compliant with those regulations.

The use of Excel spreadsheets as a mechanism for recording transactions of such a complex nature has been a burden for both the business owners producing them and accountants trying to make sense of them. The emergence of accounting software has paved the way for a new way of working, taking advantage of a streamlined and more efficient way of recording financial transactions.

At a basic level the implementation of an online accounting solution to manage your day-to-day bookkeeping could provide the following benefits:

  • Access from anywhere, anytime ensuring flexibility in the maintenance of your financial records.
  • Bank feeds which allow for bank transactions to be uploaded without manual input.
  • Automation of transaction processing.
  • Ability to easily provide shared access to specific financial data and share management information.
  • Track income and expenditure across projects and investments.
  • Maintain real-time financials allowing for more valuable management information output.
  • Fully integrated payroll solutions, including functionality for commission payments.

Each of the above are benefits which can be experienced through the use of online accounting software but are certainly not the only factors to be considered. Once your financial records are maintained in the cloud there are a number of doors which can be opened to further benefits through the integration of software, including property management, reporting and forecasting, and tailored project management and budgeting solutions.

Furthermore, as it is required to keep some property related documents e.g. completion statements and details of works carried out, for more than 6 years, an online system with the ability to easily scan and attach documents can be hugely beneficial in saving your time and office space.

Online property management solutions

As with the majority of integrated online solutions there are various options available for the management of properties, each with particular factors to be considered when deciding whether or not they might be suitable for your business. Generally, these platforms will provide detailed workflows, automated property transactions, alerts across your property portfolio for key dates and deadlines as well as a unified system for the complete management of your property business with access available to those who need it.

Reporting and forecasting solutions

Being able to extract valuable management information from your accounting system is often something taken for granted and for too long has been difficult to achieve. The adoption of an online accounting solution, with the ability to achieve real time information, means that businesses are now in a much better position to be able to produce more accurate and reliable management information in a format they better understand. With the tax implications of holding property becoming increasingly complex, real time information is invaluable when tax planning.

Project management and budgeting solutions

Tracking financials across properties, projects or even members of your team can be particularly valuable in the property industry and with various solutions available this information can be available on a real time basis. Functionality within these types of solutions include the following:

  • Quotes
  • Budgeting
  • Timesheets
  • Purchase orders
  • Financial project management
  • Invoicing

In addition to the specific functionality detailed above a good project management solution can provide integration between your back office and project teams with increased visibility of integrated financial and non-financial data.

With so many solutions being available to businesses the trick is to survey the market, consider your requirements and produce a detailed plan of implementation and integration.

We have a dedicated online accounting team who are able to advise on the various solutions available. For further information please speak with your usual Kreston Reeves adviser here.

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