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Property Management Blog

Why You Should Not Use Excel for Accounting


Wayne Hartigan - Thursday, December 1, 2016

The accounting software of today in no way resembles the awkward software of yesterday. Today, most software products are designed with the end-user in mind, and include easy system navigation, intuitive data entry screens, and system tutorials to make it easy to learn your way around the system.


If you’re using Excel to run your property management business, you may want to consider the following:


Excel’s Primary Functionality is NOT Accounting


Excel’s primary function is creating spreadsheets, not processing transactions, or producing financial statements. Yes, it can be used for those things, but typically with accounting software; not in place of it. As a result, users will spend an inordinate number of hours entering Excel data manually, because it does not have the capability to share data. So anytime your tenant pays rent, you’ll be posting that payment in your checkbook, your accounts receivable journal, and your tenant record. With regular accounting software, you post it once.


Propensity for Errors Increases


The lack of a central database and no double entry accounting system in Excel also means a lot more repetitive data entry. And each time you have to re-enter the same data, the likelihood of making an error increases dramatically. Also consider that without the safeguard of a double entry accounting system, it’s very easy to end up with out of balance accounts.


Lack of a Reliable Audit Trail


Accounting software has become valuable to business owners because of the ability to ensure that data is accurate and secure. Excel offers no such protection; meaning that formulas can be changed, entries accidentally (or purposely) deleted, and transactions erased, all without leaving a trace of the original entry behind.


Ease of Use - Or Lack Thereof


While it’s fairly simple to create spreadsheets in Excel, making it a functioning accounting program requires another level of skill that most Excel users will never attain. Creating an invoice, printing a statement, or processing a financial statement in Excel can take up valuable time, while accounting software allows you to create those items in minutes.


Make the switch and upgrade to a complete accounting program. I use Yardi Genesis and am quite pleased with its capabilities. 


If  you would like further information regarding this topic, contact us at info@arrowmanagement.com


Wayne Hartigan
CERTIFIED PROPERTY MANAGER ®
Arrow Management Company

Phone: 626-796-4926
Fax: 626-796-3375

Our Address:
107 S. Fair Oaks Ave., #324
Pasadena, CA 91105
wrhartigan@gmail.com

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