Managing Your Accounting Tasks, Part 1
Accounting isn’t an easy task for anybody. It takes diligence and consistency to stay on top of your accounting tasks.
For vacation rental managers, accounting can be particularly tricky. Vacation rental property managers engage in a kind of trust accounting. Trust accounting manages funds from renters to the business and the vacation rental homeowners. A reliable trust accounting process is vital for the health and legality of their business (as well as their sanity).
Property managers can manage their trust accounting tasks with specific trust accounting software, preferably one that integrates directly into their PMS system or booking software. These tools help simplify and track large amounts of financial information, making it more digestible.
So, where do you even start? We’re big list makers around here, so we’ve created a to-do list of standard accounting tasks for vacation rental businesses that you and your team should complete monthly, if not daily or weekly (depending on your particular company).
In this blog, we’ll detail the first four tasks and how trust account software, like LiveRez’s LiveTrust system, can make accomplishing them easier! (Want the complete checklist for your personal use? Download a printable version right here.)
- Run monthly reports
- Map unmapped line items
- Invoice/audit work orders
- Clear queued checks
- Enter deposits, adjustments, and expenses
- Reconcile cash account
- Payout stakeholders and publish statements
Run Monthly Reports
Let’s start with the most basic accounting task for vacation rental businesses: running monthly reports. Generating reports makes it easy to see the flow of transactions and catch any log jams before they become a real issue. Here are a few of the most helpful reports you can generate.
- Balance Summary Reports
- Individual Balance Reports
- Liability Detail Reports or Unpaid Bill Reports (to ensure that you haven’t missed any required payments to vendors, the city, or the IRS)
- Register Reports (these are useful if you have to keep track of many paper checks)
- Owner Distribution Reports
Map Unmapped Line Items
This is one of those organizational tasks that help you keep track of your expenditures. You’ll group different line items and map them to specific categories, such as “guest arrival,” “guest departure,” and so on. Then, double-check that everything checks out before you publish monthly statements. It’s a good idea to alert your accountant whenever you map a line item or add a new one, so everyone is in the know. (Are you a LiveTrust user? We have a step-by-step tutorial on mapping line items here.)
Invoice and Audit Work Orders
Another essential aspect of managing your accounting is keeping track of your work orders—things like housekeeping, maintenance work, and other outsourced labor. It’s important that these records are always up-to-date, not only to pay your vendors on time but also for performance metrics when expanding or consolidating your resources.
If you use LiveManager, the invoicing section allows you to send everything to LiveTrust. To do this, you can go to invoice History in LiveManager to send them over to LiveTrust. Check that work orders were invoiced correctly before sending them to LiveTrust. It’s also possible to export the invoice to Excel, depending on your company’s system. Again, it’s best practice to do this at least once a month or more, depending on the company.
Clear Queued Checks
Not only do these monthly short-term rental accounting tasks keep you sane, but they also make clear your current cash position. Knowing your cash position is vital to your company’s success—it can help you make decisions about resources, expansion, and other business goals. That’s why clearing out your check queue is so essential. Ensuring nothing is outstanding in your queued checks saves you a lot of time and stress later on.
Wondering how to manage your monthly account tasks? LiveRez can help with its state-certified trust accounting software, LiveTrust. Reach out to our experts to learn more.