Few if any general partners, real estate investment trusts and property management companies (PMC’s) will argue that the demands for financial reporting and transparency into operational metrics from internal and external stakeholders has weighed heavily on the back office accounting personnel.
Choosing an Accounting Platform
An enterprise resource planning (ERP) real estate accounting platform must be able to scale from the transactional side, as well as provide the necessary flexibility for internal staff to design, configure and deliver the required and ever-changing financial and regulatory reporting. The platform should also have the ability to manage the corporate accounting functions of the enterprise, which can be quite different from the property accounting functions.
At minimum, your property accounting software should have best-in-class configurable dashboards; a robust, user-friendly, native financial report writer; and the ability to provide corporate and operational accounting without having to operate multiple accounting platforms.
Let’s review each of these requirements in more detail:
1. Configurable Financial Dashboards
Dashboards should be a part of the core accounting application or solution. Too often, dashboards are “aftermarket” software that must be licensed in addition to the accounting platform. Configurable dashboards deliver quality, real-time, online reporting with the ability to click through to the source transaction providing transparency into operational and financial data.
2. Robust Financial Reporting
Your core accounting application should have a native report writer that can access all financial and non-financial data. (If not, your accounting software might also look like it was designed way back in the 20th Century).
A financial reporting tool should be very intuitive and easy for staff to design (and easily redesign) and deploy reports electronically, including to the configurable dashboard. Using spreadsheets with data exported from your system should be an option, not a requirement.
3. Corporate vs. Property Accounting
The accounting platform must be able to provide functionality to manage the corporate accounting in addition to property accounting. For example: the requirement by the general partner to invoice funds, properties and other entities for services or expense reimbursements resulting in non-tenant billings and accounts receivable on the corporate books and a corresponding accounts payable invoices on the entities’ books.
Your accounting platform should provide for these transactions automatically and not require manual inputs.
Property owners should find a dynamic real estate accounting platform that places the necessary tools in the hands of internal and external stakeholders who need them, and does so without layering on additional time and costs for software and deployment. Learn more!