Last modified on November 10th, 2021
By Brittany Benz
The end of the year is approaching, which means now is the time to begin checking off all of your year-end reporting tasks and getting your 1099s in line. However, if you’re currently using an accounting software that’s separate from your property management solution or relying on paper files, this process can be incredibly time-consuming, cumbersome, and even error-prone for your property management business. Read on to find out three ways you can streamline your end-of-year duties, so you can create space for what matters — big picture thinking for the year ahead.
While this article contains helpful information, we are not providing legal advice and you should consult a qualified tax attorney for any specific questions about filing 1099s or year-end reports for your business.
1.) Move to a Paperless Accounting System
Paper-based accounting processes take up more time and can lead to errors due to double data entry. Meanwhile, generic accounting solutions like QuickBooks are not integrated into your business, so it takes longer to gather information and it’s harder to have a complete financial picture. Rather than relying on a separate system to handle your accounting needs, look for a property management solution with built-in accounting to save your team time on re-entering data and to increase accuracy. A fully integrated system like AppFolio can eliminate the pain of accessing and understanding the essential data that drives your business since everything is in one place.
2.) Make Use of Reporting Tools
Manually compiling reports by hand is time-consuming and requires a lot of expertise when it comes to analyzing data. Reporting tools can analyze the data on your behalf, saving time and enabling you to get a clearer picture of your finances in minutes. Consider switching to a platform that has these tools, along with built-in analytics that can spot errors or inconsistencies in your data, which can help you avoid penalty fees or an unexpected audit in 2022.
With a system like AppFolio Property Manager, you can generate an extensive collection of reports, including owner statements, income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, and more. These reports are also easy to share with owners since everything can be accessed via the online portal. AppFolio also offers performance insights, in which you can see real-time data visualizations and customizable dashboards that enable you to easily compare performance, review budget to actuals, and compare financial data year-over-year.
3.) Simplify Your Accounts Payables
Accounts payables are a tedious process your accounting team must handle all year. And manually entering vendor invoices for each month can take weeks of your team’s time. You can automate the process with innovative features like AppFolio’s Smart Bill Entry — which reads PDF invoices from vendors, identifies key information, and assists with processing so you can pay bills more efficiently year-round. With AppFolio you can also pay vendors — another benefit of keeping everything digital and in one place.
4.) Speed Up 1099 Filings
If you forget or skip filing your 1099s, you can get into big trouble with the IRS and put your business at stake. Most property managers must issue and file 1099s by January 31st — filing Owner 1099s by February 28th (March 31st if filing electronically). Instead of sending 1099s to owners by mail, send them electronically with an advanced system like AppFolio. The system already has all of their information, so it’s easier and faster to process. AppFolio also provides support for the newly added 1099-NEC form, which is now required to report on vendor earnings.
Completing all of your end-of-year tasks is a time-consuming, yet necessary process. However, when you have a fully digital system with built-in accounting and reporting capabilities, it’s a whole lot faster and you can breathe easy knowing your financial data is accurate and secure. By making the most of the tips shared above, you’ll also put yourself in a great position for next year’s tax season. To learn more about how you can streamline your accounting processes, take a look at this article.