Financial Planning: Products on the Market
From standard to real estate–specific options, these are your best options.
October 30, 2015
Products in the charts below include a representative selection of currently available financial management solutions. They include tools for the typical business user along with a number of real estate–specific products. As these examples show, today’s buyers must also decide between software and the increasingly popular cloud services. While the cloud is convenient for storing information in remote systems, some may have concerns about how secure it is to do so.
More to Know About Financial Planning
Do You Need an Adviser?
There are plenty of tools that can help you manage your business expenses, but you may find that nothing beats hiring a professional.
Off-the-shelf accounting and financial-management tools are designed for business accounting in general. They boast a rich variety of features but may require some customization or integration with other modules for the specific tracking, analysis, and financial requirements of real estate.
|Quicken and Quickbooks||Quicken’s software starts at $29.95; the basic version of QuickBooks is $199.95 for the software, while the cloud version starts at $7.99 per month.||This family of products covers all bases in financial management and accounting. The Quicken line of software targets the budgeting needs of the individual or sole proprietor. An online version with basic features is available at Mint.com. For more detailed financial tracking and analyses, QuickBooks is available in several tiers as both software and cloud services. Several real estate products from other vendors can integrate with QuickBooks to make it a real estate solution.|
|Xero||$6.30 per month for the starter plan||This cloud-based small-business accounting solution includes online tools for accounting, bank account reconciliation, invoicing, expense tracking, payroll processing, and tax preparation. Apps are available for access to all features from mobile devices. Xero will import data from QuickBooks during setup.|
|NolaPro||$9.99 per month for the basic MyBiz plan||A scalable cloud service for small business, this handles accounting, billing, payroll processing, and inventory management. It also includes a contact database for organizing information about clients, employees, and vendors.|
|Expensify||$5 per month for the basic team plan||This cloud service lets you track expenses and upload information into business accounting software. It tracks expenses, credit card transactions, mileage, and time and supports SmartScanning for documenting and archiving receipts. Although it’s a cloud service, its apps provide offline access to its features.|
|Deductr Pro||$19.95 per month or $199 per year||Another cloud service for simplified expense tracking for small business, Deductr Pro keeps track of business income, expenses, mileage, and time spent on each project. One click generates common reports. Mobile apps for iOS and Android help you document expenses on the go.|
|Sage 50 Accounting||$299 per year for the single-user basic program||Formerly known as Peachtree Accounting, this Windows software provides tools for accounting, bill payments, financial analysis, and projections. Core features can be expanded with optional modules and services for payroll and credit card processing and mobile apps are available.|
What Your Tools Should Do
When shopping around for accounting solutions for your business, make sure they won’t be too time-consuming to learn.
Real Estate Financial Management Tools
Vendors have responded to the specific accounting and financial management requirements of real estate with a range of specialized software and cloud services. Several integrate with QuickBooks to create a business/financial management system for the real estate office. (Where price isn’t given, it depends on variables such as office size, number of users, and system features.)
|Billy||Free for basic options; premium features are $29/month||A cloud service for simplified real estate accounting for the individual practitioner, this is accessible through any web browser on any device. It allows users to record income and expenses and to reconcile business accounts, and it can be set up to organize information by listing, client, or vendor. Its optional API supports export of financial data into other accounting or financial management programs.|
|RealtyZam||$10 per month||A simplified cloud-based accounting system for real estate professionals available by subscription, it includes mobile apps for use on iOS and Android devices. It keeps track of income, listing and marketing expenses, broker fees, and commissions; reconciles income and expenses to generate reports for tax preparation; and includes report functions for monthly or yearly insight into buyer and seller conversion rates, average commissions, and best lead sources.|
|Brokermint||$59 per month for startup plan for three users and an unlimited number of transactions||This cloud service for real estate brokerages integrates with QuickBooks to provide a complete business and financial management system. BrokerMint provides the tools for organizing and managing information on transactions, associates, sales, and commissions. Customizable reports are available for insights into individual performance and any other aspect of business.|
|Emphasys Back Office||Varies||Emphasys integrates with QuickBook to create a comprehensive real estate back-office business management system. It includes tools for organizing details related to each transaction, including fees, deposits, expenses, and income and can be set up for automated commission calculations with complex formulas. It provides standard and customizable reports for insight into all aspects of company and individual associate productivity. Data is automatically synched with QuickBooks.|
|ProfitPower||Varies||This cloud-based back-office business and financial management system for brokerages handles accounting, bank account reconciliation, commission processing, and agent billing. It includes a database for managing information about associates, clients, listings, and transactions and standard and customized report functions. It integrates with QuickBooks for additional business accounting and analysis features.|
|brokerWolf||Varies||The back-office accounting module in Lone Wolf’s suite of real estate software provides tools for business accounting, bank account reconciliation, commission calculation, payroll, and business income and expenses, with standard and customizable reports. It integrates with other Lone Wolf modules to build a comprehensive business management and marketing system.|