How to Set Up QuickBooks for a Property Rental

By Alec Preble

Your property rental business probably processes a lot of transactions; between incoming rent payments, repair and maintenance expenses and utilities you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed if you don't have accounting software. QuickBooks by Intuit offers a simple solution. The setup interview will guide you almost completely through the setup process. Once you have completed the interview, you can add specialized sub-accounts to track your overall business activities and the income and expenses for each property or unit you own.

Open QuickBooks. Choose "Create a new company." Go through the EasyStep Interview to set up your business.

Enter your business name and contact information. Choose "Property Management or Home Association" from the "Industry" list. Choose your entity type and fiscal year. Save your company file.

Continue the interview process; choose the correct option for your business for each of the next options. Questions are related to the types of invoices and billing your business engages in. You can change any option after the interview if you decide you need to employ new methods at a later date.

Set up your income and expense accounts. QuickBooks automatically chooses accounts related to your chosen business activity, but this section allows for further customization. You may want to add accounts such as Advertising and Promotion, Business Licenses and Permits, Janitorial and Miscellaneous expenses, Property Taxes and Income from the Sale of Assets.

Finish the interview and begin using QuickBooks. As you enter expenses and income, create sub accounts for each property you own. Click the "Lists" menu and choose "Chart of Accounts." Click "Account," "New." Fill in the circle next to Income or Expense, type an account name such as the property address and unit and place a check mark next to the box that says "Subaccount of." Choose the appropriate account.