REAL ESTATE ACCOUNTING: Definition and the Basics Principle of Real Estate Accounting

real estate accounting
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Real estate accounting can simply be defined as the act of owning and managing a property, either for commercial or non-commercial purposes. Basically, you need to have knowledge of real estate accounting to own or manage a property. However, in recent times, they have made this an easy task by creating the best and most available software as well as a good number of available firms to offer these services.

Real Estate Accounting

Firstly, accounting is a system of documenting and summarizing commercial and financial transactions, as well as evaluating, validating, and reporting the outcomes. Accounting can also, be defined as the measurement, processing, and transmission of financial and non-financial information about organizations and enterprises. Accounting is known as the “language of business,” which monitors the outcomes of a company’s economic actions and communicates this information to a range of stakeholders, including investors, creditors, management, and regulators. Accountants are those who practice accounting. Financial accounting, management accounting, tax accounting, and cost-accounting are all types of accounting.

Meanwhile, accounting in real estate is a necessary component of owning and managing rental properties. While accounting is likely one of most investors’ least favorite duties, it helps keep property profits higher by precisely recording revenue. as well as costs and tax deductions. To simply put it, accounting in real estate is knowing how to calculate property income. also on costs, profits, and losses, as well as how to evaluate asset value increases.

This is in order to maximize earnings, learn how to manage money wisely, and understand what to look for during a financial audit or analysis. to ensure compliance with corporate rules and tax collection and remittance requirements to meet tax deadlines. They use this to correctly compile reports for quarterly and year-end tax filing. Most often, we tend to confuse accounting and bookkeeping. In any case, they’re not the same thing. Accounting mostly involves property revenue and costs, profits and losses, and asset value increases. You need to have accounting knowledge to properly excel in your real estate transactions. and as well, make the best decision for your real estate investments. 

Commercial Real Estate Accounting

Commercial real estate (CRE) is a property that you typically use for only commercial purposes or as a workspace. Most commercial real estate is leased to tenants that generate money. This broad type of property includes everything from a single storefront to a large retail mall. This includes retailers of all kinds, like office space, as well as hotels and resorts, strip malls, restaurants, and healthcare facilities. All of these fall under the category of commercial real estate.

Commercial real estate refers to properties that are utilized for business or to generate money, like office space, industrial, multi-family rentals, and retail. These are all types of commercial real estate. For investors, commercial real estate provides both rental income and the possibility of a capital gain. Commercial real estate investing often demands more skill, accounting, and bigger sums of money from investors than residential real estate. Individuals can indirectly engage in commercial real estate through publicly listed real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Understanding Commercial Real Estate Accounting

Commercial real estate accounting is not as difficult as going through the process of transacting in commercial real estate. Residential real estate is much easier than commercial real estate. However, accounting for it is easier if you get to properly understand the steps. In order to correctly account for your real estate firm, you must first ask yourself two crucial questions.

  • Are you constructing a home with the intention of selling it later?
  • Or are you renting out the property?

It’s important that you ask these questions in order to define your real estate company’s goal. When it comes to real estate development, the balance sheet of your financial accounts will be your primary concern, and your profit and loss statement will also be your primary focus if you construct real estate for the purpose of rental revenue. A balance sheet entailing a profit and loss financial statement will be required for accounting for commercial real estate activity. However, depending on the aim of the real estate firm you’re running, your primary financial emphasis will shift. 

Best Real Estate Accounting Software

Real estate agents and brokers want to concentrate on locating the ideal houses for their customers to lease or buy. Therefore, they also need good accounting software that will produce the best financial analysis results. This is because accountants don’t want to get bogged down with accounting responsibilities, but they understand the value of calculating and tracking commissions and other important data of real estate.

Now many real estate agents are self-employed, and they will be required to pay quarterly tax estimates, as a result, the accuracy of their payment data is critical.

However, choosing the best accounting software for their client’s real estate business is advantageous because most of this software offers some type of integrated contract management, so the accounting process isn’t entirely separated from the real estate business itself. Note that the details of real estate accounting of agents and brokers are not the same, however, agents and brokers use the same software to archive their aim or results.

Some of the Best Accounting Software for Real Estate

This software typically varies in its features and prices. However, you will find the best to suit you in this list and they include;

#1. Xero

For real estate brokers and brokerages, the best overall accounting software is Xero, which is also known for its integrations, with over 700 of them available. Xero is a double-entry accounting alternative that can be as simple or as complex as the real estate agent or broker needs it to be. This software is known for giving key accounting tools; commission and payroll administration via a smooth interface; and a wide range of contract management options via connectors. It is also cheap and simple to operate.

#2. The online version of QuickBooks

This is mainly for multi-agent organizations and bigger brokerages. QuickBooks Online is a popular accounting program that can help small and large real estate companies because of its robust accounting tools and management choices ranging from DocuSign to other connectors. Also, including a lot of payroll options, and a decent range of plans to match your needs.

#3. FreshBooks

Freshbooks is one of the best software packages for accounting in real estate for single real estate agents and also for small brokerages. It easily combines with double-entry accounting and time-saving automation. And also, integrations with this software are available for real estate companies that need payroll and contract administration. FreshBooks may be customized to match the demands of bigger companies, but it’s most cost-effective for independent contractors.

#4. Realtyzam

Realtyzam has basic accounting capabilities, including the ability to compute commissions and fees, as well as manage financial data by listing. However, realtyzam does not include contract management among its numerous capabilities. Overall, it’s really a straightforward and affordable solution customized to real estate brokers’ needs.

#5. Wave

You can typically say that the wave is mostly for new real estate agents, and the best of it too, for newbies using accounting software for real estate. Wave is the only completely free alternative on our list, offering powerful double-entry accounting without requiring a financial commitment. Contract management needs connections, and payroll may be added for a minimal monthly fee. While commission tracking takes some more setup than the rest, however, it is still possible.

#6. Zoho Books

It is a company that specializes in publishing books online. Zoho Books is a solid alternative for individuals looking for scalability. This is because some Zoho modules enable payroll and customer relationship management (CRM), and hence commission management as well as contract management in the CRM plus module. Meanwhile, generally, Zoho Books with CRM Plus is a convenient all-in-one financial management tool.

#7. Lone Wolf Back Office

This is a real estate-focused solution that can help a variety of businesses, from small brokerages to major real estate firms with several locations. It’s a basic accounting feature that keeps the finances in order, but it excels at commission management and computation, as well as contract administration.

#8. CORE back office

The core back office is an excellent choice for a small real estate firm or brokerage. This is essential because it offers basic accounting, document management, customizable commission computation, and direct deposit payouts. The core back office also has over 30 connections, including Quickbooks and Zoho dashboards.

#9.  Realty APX

Realty apx is another all-in-one solution for real estate accounting that you can utilize as a single realtor or big brokerage. This accounting software is the best recommendation for big and single brokers because it offers accounting and administration of papers as well as contracts, commissions and offers, leads and contacts, etc. Each of these packages from RealtyApx includes a simple website.

#10. Emphasys

Emphasys is a brokerage management system that handles showings, transactions, and commissions. It can also be linked to QuickBooks online for more advanced invoicing, expenditure management, and agent payment.

Real Estate Accounting Firm

A real estate accounting firm simply means organizations that help with the burden of the accounting analysis of your real estate. There are quite a good number of real estate accounting firms as well as a good firm around for you. However, you need to do good research for reputable ones for the best results on your property. In order, to maximize operating revenue and asset values, which are the steady goals and aims of many real estate-and accounting-driven businesses, you need a good firm with the best people from various backgrounds and experience in order to get the best advice you need. 

The role of this real estate firm is to basically provide a wide range of audit and accounting services to help you, your stakeholders, investors, and others make informed business decisions. Most real estate accounting firms or any prestigious firm around do not only offer accounting services, but they also offer some other related services to and for developers, operators, funds, trusts, etc. Some of the best real estate accounting firms include

  • Avenues Financial- Located in Lehi UT 
  • MindSpace Outsourcing Services Pvt. Ltd- At Jaipur, India
  • New Horizons Global Partners Shanghai- This firm is in hong kong
  • EBS Chartered Accountants- Dubai, United Arab emirates
  • Farahat & Co- Dubai, United Arab emirates
  • Numetrica City Inc-Ottawa, Canada
  • N R Doshi & Partners- United Arab Emirates
  • Berry Dunn- Portland, ME 
  • Ethics plus public accountants-  United Arab Emirates
  • Mowery and Schoenfeld- Lincolnshire, IL
  • Fuller Landau LLP- Toronto Canada
  • Baltic assist- Vilnius, Lithuania

Real Estate Accounting Job

Accounting itself entails a lot of focus, dedication, and work. Now, accounting in real estate even entails two times the qualities you need for just accounting because, for a real estate team, a real estate accountant oversees all accounting operations. Some of the major features of the job of a real estate accounting accountant include financial reporting; managing accounts payable and receivable, creating journal entries; reconciling business accounts, and entering data into accounting software. The real estate accounting job also requires accountants to manage incoming and outgoing payments, bill collection, monthly and quarterly financial statements, etc.  All these functions are for the purpose of archiving an accurate and orderly transaction.

Duties of the Job of an Accountant in Real Estate

  • To track all revenue statements and costs, create thorough journal entries and upload them to the general ledger (GL).
  • On a daily basis, handle all accounts payable and receivable to ensure that each invoice and expense report is correct.
  • Reconcile all business accounts to verify that our records are accurate and that you did not overlook any transactions.
  • Enter financial information into the software, to make you properly file all your bills and invoices.
  • Print, get signatures for, and distribute checks for all incoming payments and outgoing checks as needed.
  • Follow up with suppliers for accounts payable, and stay in touch with them in case you need them for collections, so as to ensure that you pay invoices on time.
  • prepare quarterly reports following industry best practices and assist with monthly closings.
  • One of the particular jobs of a real estate accounting accountant implies that when needed, he/she will assist the real estate team or other staff accountants with accounting activities.

Qualification and Pay

An average real estate accounting job entails you having a degree in accounting in order to get a job. Also, the average national pay of a real estate job is $52,968 (National Average). Other qualifications of a real estate accountant include;

  • You need a high school diploma, and a bachelor’s degree in accounting or any related field is deeply valuable.
  • Experience in accounting, real estate accounting, or property accounting is preferable.
  • This job also prefers experience in the real estate industry.
  • Knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) is
  • Strong Excel skills and experience with accounting software, such as Quickbooks
  • Proficient in property management software, such as Yardi
  • Solid written and verbal communication skills are a must

What are the 3 types of accounting?

The three types of accounting that a corporation might use to track its income are managerial accounting, financial accounting, and cost accounting.

What is accounting for property?

What is accounting for property? Cash inflows and outflows are tracked in property accounting to determine total profits or losses from renting out real estate. Overviewing rental income and expenses enables landlords or rental business owners (or managers) to create better planning and boost earnings.

Is real estate accounting difficult?

Real estate ownership and rental have numerous benefits, but there are also drawbacks. For instance, compared to accounting in other corporate sectors, property management accounting is more difficult and complex.

What are the 4 pillars of accounting?

Let’s examine the realm of accounting. Authentication, authorization, accounting, and accuracy are the four pillars of accounting dharma.

What is the easiest accounting course?

The associate’s degree in accounting is the level of degree that is the simplest to obtain. Community colleges offer this two-year degree, thus it usually takes less time to complete and costs much less than a bachelor’s degree.


Real estate in recent times is very profitable and as well as popular, however, you can still lose money if you don’t do proper research on the type of commercial real estate accounting or the firm to employ for the job, or even the best software you need to achieve the best results. 


What is real estate accounting?

In real estate, accounting paves a path for having accurate reports and records throughout the buying and selling processes. It also provides a way for agents to secure their own personal financial situations, and to stay organized for important activities related to tax collection and compliance.

What is commerce accounting?

Accounting is the process of recording financial transactions pertaining to a business. The accounting process includes summarizing, analyzing, and reporting these transactions to oversight agencies, regulators, and tax collection entities

How is real estate accounting different?

Bookkeeping and accounting in real estate describe two different things. Benefits of good real estate accounting include improved cash flow, accurate tracking of income and expenses, and being prepared for a tax audit

Do accountants make a lot of money?

The median annual wage for an accountant is well above the national median average for occupations. The top-paying industries for accountants include finance and insurance, management of companies and enterprises, tax preparation, and the government.

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