The Best Accounting Software for Airbnb, Vacation Rentals & Short-Term Rentals: 6 Great Bookkeeping Options
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As an Airbnb host, you wear many hats to run a successful business. One crucial task of an Airbnb host is bookkeeping and accounting for your rental property. This may seem like a difficult job to take on, but fortunately, several companies have created accounting software specifically for short-term rental properties to help make the accounting process more manageable.
After trying out several of the best accounting software for Airbnb, I have found these top six programs provide users with the best, most comprehensive services. Keep reading for my review on each accounting software program!
The 6 Best Accounting Software for Airbnb:
- Our Top Pick: FreshBooks Accounting Software
- Runner Up: Buildium Property Management Software
- The All-In-One Program: Hostaway Vacation Rental Software
- Classic Accounting Program: Intuit QuickBooks
- Best For Landlords and Multiple Properties: Rentec Direct Property Management Software
- The Budget Option: Wave Financial
Our Top Pick: FreshBooks Accounting Software
After trying multiple accounting programs to manage my vacation rental business, I found that FreshBooks provides the best all-around bookkeeping software and accounting program for vacation rental industry.
I rated FreshBooks using several criteria like ease of use, dashboard, value, and available tools. Here are my results:
- Easy to use
- Customizable settings
- Inventory tracking
- Mobile and desktop apps available
- Very affordable
- Limits on custom invoices
- The interface can be slow
Best Accounting Software for Short-Term Rentals
FreshBooks is an easy-to-use software program that will make managing your Airbnb’s finances and tackling complex accounting processes a breeze. It is full of valuable features that allow you to run your Airbnb business from a desktop program or a mobile app for when you’re on the go.
Keep reading for an overview of all the impressive features FreshBooks has to offer.
FreshBooks uses Double-Entry Accounting, so you will always have an accurate calculation of your Airbnb’s profits and losses. This software automatically performs checks and balances to ensure your debit and credit amounts are equal so you can reduce accounting errors.
The accounting software has an abundance of useful features like:
- A balance sheet for income and expenses
- A general ledger
- Accounts payable
- Cost of goods sold
- Chart of accounts
- Journal entries
You can even grant your accounting professional access to the program for even more convenience during tax season.
FreshBooks makes tracking expenses extra easy with the ability to sync your bank account to the program. You can also take pictures of receipts and upload them using your mobile app. FreshBooks will automatically capture the merchant, totals, and taxes for you.
If you manage several properties or live far away from your Airbnb, you know that mileage tracking is very important for taxes and tax deductions. FreshBooks mobile app offers an automated mileage tracker that logs trips as you drive.
When using FreshBooks, you can integrate your account with over 100 partner apps, from payroll apps to appointment booking apps. You can seamlessly manage all aspects of your short-term rental in one convenient place.
FreshBooks has an easy-to-use dashboard that provides users with reports so you can always see how your rental business is performing. FreshBooks software does all the number crunching for you with customizable reports that will make tax time a breeze.
FreshBooks is very affordable, making it the perfect option whether you manage one privately owned Airbnb or manage multiple properties. The most basic plan starts at a monthly fee of $6.00 and includes more features than the competitor’s base plans. You can also upgrade to the Plus or Premium plan to unlock additional features.
FreshBooks offers a free 30-day trial, so you can check out all the features of this program before committing to a plan.
Our Runner Up: Buildium Property Management Software
Buildium Property Management is a great option for an accounting and bookkeeping program because it is specifically tailored to vacation rental businesses. I love the intuitive dashboard on this program that provides a complete overview of your rental business.
Bookkeeping for Rental Properties with Buildium
Buildium helps vacation rental owners keep complete and accurate financial records. Buildium allows users to :
- Track transactions
- Manage accounts payable
- Bank reconciliation
- Payment log
- Make an accept online payments
- File 1099s online
Pros of Buildium
Buildium is a complete property management software program. Unlike other programs that focus specifically on bookkeeping and accounting, Buildium can help you do more. This program features tools that allow you to control business operations like maintenance request tracking and renters insurance. You can also manage rental listings, applications, and tenant screening.
Cons of Buildium
Buildium offers users much more than just basic business accounting software, but for that reason, it is more expensive than other short-term rental property accounting software. If you are just looking for accounting software and don’t need property management tools, this program may not be right for you.
Overall Thoughts on Buildium
Buildium is a beneficial program for anyone in the property management business. It allows you to conveniently manage all aspects of your rental properties, from daily operations to accounting. Buildium provides users with a 14- day free trial, which is a great way to test this Airbnb management software to see if it is right for you.
The All-In-One Program: Hostaway Vacation Rental Software
Hostaway advertises itself as the leading “all-in-one” vacation software rental, and it lives up to its name. With this vacation rental accounting software, property managers can streamline their management tasks and efficiently manage properties across several popular vacation rental websites, including:
Hostaway features an arsenal of property management tools like a reservation manager, guest portal, occupancy reports, and payment processing. In addition to these tools, Hostaway also provides users with several bookkeeping and accounting features.
Hostaway Analytics and Reporting
Using Hostaway’s analytics and reporting tools, property managers are able to gain valuable insights into their rental business performance. Hosts can create detailed reports, automate owner statements, track income, and monitor occupancy rates.
Financial Reporting and Expense Tracking
With Hostaway, small business owners get unlimited financial reports and customizable formulas to calculate net margins and owner payouts. The expense tracking tool allows property managers to keep track of maintenance and cleaning expenses, restocking expenses, and any other expenses the rental property may incur.
Pros and Cons of Hostaway
Hostaway is an easy-to-use all-encompassing property management program. It has a user-friendly design and plenty of helpful tools. You can integrate other apps with your Hostaway account, so all your property management tools are in one place.
Much like Buildium, however, it is an expensive program that provides more than just basic accounting software. If you are just looking for business accounting software, this program may be more than you need.
Classic Accounting Program: Intuit QuickBooks
Many small business owners are probably familiar with Intuit Quickbooks. Quickbooks provides users with a complete accounting system perfect for any small business, including vacation rental businesses. Quickbooks has a desktop program, Quickbooks online, and a mobile app.
Key Features Found in Quickbooks Accounting Software
Quickbooks has been around for a while, so they know the accounting and bookkeeping business. Using this knowledge and experience, they have tailored their software to make business owners’ accounting process and tax season easier. When you use Quickbooks, you will have access to the following features:
- Auto-track income and expenses
- Online payments
- Ability to send invoices online
- Custom reports
- Smart reporting
- Contractor management
Quickbooks Accounting Software Cost
Quickbooks provides small business owners with the option of four different pricing plans. The most basic plan, Simple Start, is only $12 a month and provides most small businesses with all the accounting and bookkeeping tools necessary to run a successful business.
Quickbooks also has a Freelancer/Self-Employed option that is only $7.50 a month. Depending on your needs, this plan may be perfect for Airbnb hosts managing a single property who need basic bookkeeping and accounting software. Quickbooks Freelancer offers the following tools:
- Track income and expenses
- Capture and organize receipts
- Estimate quarterly taxes
- Track miles
- Run basic reports
Overall Thoughts on Intuit Quickbooks
Quickbooks is a classic accounting software program that provides small business owners with multiple tools that help manage the bookkeeping of a small business. While Quickbooks isn’t made specifically for vacation rental businesses, many vacation rental owners could benefit from this basic software. Even the most basic Quickbooks plan makes tax preparation and accounting simple and stress-free.
Check Out Our Other Articles on Rental Recon:
- Hostaway vs. Guesty: Which Property Management Software is Right for You?
- Hostaway VS iGMS: How do these Property Management Software Programs Stack Up?
- Hostaway Vs. Uplisting: Suprising Results
Best For Landlords and Multiple Properties: Rentec Direct Property Management Software
Landlords and property managers who manage multiple properties will benefit most from Rentec Direct, and all the features this property management software has to offer. Rentec Direct primarily caters to business owners who have between 25 and 5000 units. Rentec Direct users will benefit from no start fees, no term commitments, and US-based customer service and training.
Key Features of Rentec Direct
This accounting software provides business owners key accounting and bookkeeping tools in addition to all the property management tools any property manager could need.
Some key features included in Rentec Direct are:
- General ledger accounting
- Financial reports
- Custom website and website hosting to promote a company
- Work order tracking
- Automated ACH and credit card processing
- Online rental applications
- Electronic 1099 filing
- Tenant screening
Pros and Cons of Rentec Direct
Rentec Direct has several pros and cons that should be considered before use. This accounting software caters to a specific demographic of property managers. To get the most out of the software, you should be a rental manager who takes care of at least 25 rental units.
Rentec Direct Pros
Some positives of this property management software include:
- Easy to use software
- Great value for features
- Modern integrations
- No accounting knowledge is necessary
Cons of Rentec Direct
Rentec does have some drawbacks as well.
- No mobile app
- Limited accounting tools
- Slow customer service
Summary of Rentec Direct
If you have a property management business responsible for multiple listings, Rentec Direct is a great software program to help you manage your properties, keep track of finances, and communicate with your customers. Rentec Direct is easy to use and provides exceptional value for the cost.
This software provides many advanced features that small businesses might not need, so it is unsuitable for most Airbnb hosts and vacation rental property owners.
The Budget Option: Wave Financial
Accounting software can be expensive. For a small business with limited income, these accounting software programs sometimes cost more than a small business owner can pay. Wave Financial is a free option for small businesses that doesn’t require a monthly fee.
What Features Does Wave Financial Provide?
Wave Financial is a complete accounting system that provides users with a suite of products, including access to accounting tools, online invoicing, online payments, and even a payroll option.
Bookkeeping for Rental Properties with Wave
Wave is not designed specifically for rental properties, but Airbnb hosts will probably find it very useful for bookkeeping purposes. With Wave, users can manage financial transactions, track cash flow, and organize receipts.
Connect Your Bank Account
With Wave, users can connect their business bank accounts directly with their Wave account. You can have unlimited card connections, so all transactions are updated instantly – no more manual receipt entry.
Multiple Businesses with One Account
Do you have more than one rental property to manage? Wave lets you link multiple businesses to a single account. This allows you to take care of all your business needs in one convenient location.
Wave Financial Pros and Cons
The most significant pro of Wave financial is that it is free. Wave offers the tools necessary to run a business without the extra bells and whistles that many Airbnb hosts and vacation rental property managers don’t actually need. Some other pros include:
- Fast and easy setup
- Customizable invoices
- Bill and invoice reminders
- Customizable chart of accounts
- Accountant approved with double-entry software
Wave has a few negative aspects that are worth mentioning.
- Basic accounting software without any property management tools
- If you accept payments through Wave, they will charge a fee
- Wave charges for payroll services
Overall Thoughts on Wave Financial
If you are an Airbnb host with only one or two properties, an in-depth and expensive property management program may be more than you need to manage your business. Wave provides small business users with the accounting and business tools they need to succeed, and it’s completely free.