Thursday, August 22, 2013

QuickBooks for Real Estate Agents Part II

Real Estate agents have very unique financial needs than the more stable hourly, salary employees. Many agents are paid as 1099 independent contractors. This means keeping track of your finances is not only useful for your personal needs, but very important for tax purposes. 

Now, many individuals will jump into Quicken Home and Business, and that isn't really a bad choice. It is a good program. It can manage your business, track investments, handle portfolios  and report on your personal finances; however, every time I see Quicken Home and Business, I think: A jack of all trades, a master at none.

If you are using Quicken Home and Business and it's working for you, then continue. If you are still looking for a solution to track your finances, then continue reading.

People go with Quicken for business needs because of the idea that Quicken would be faster and easier to learn then QuickBooks. Let me say this. Both have moderate learning curves, and you will always learn of new things to do in each one. My suggestion is to go with QuickBooks first. Spend the time to learn how to use QuickBooks (or have me help you) and your accountant will thank you later. 

The reason to use QuickBooks Pro instead of Quicken is simple. QuickBooks is designed for a businesses. When you are a 1099 independent contractor you can write off expenses and other tax maneuvers that will help reduce your year end taxes. QuickBooks Pro can track fixed assets  vehicle mileage, even do cost accounting. 

Image being able to see which client generates the most income? Do sale of condos offer higher profits than single family homes? Is it worth the expenses and time to sell multi-family dwellings? QuickBooks Pro is designed to help answer theses questions using jobs, items, and billing features. Expenses can be assigned tax codes to make tax season a breeze. 

To further help you make your choice, think of this: Are you paid as an employee? Then use Quicken or YNAB. If you are paid as a 1099 contractor, then QuickBooks Pro  is the way to go and also think about starting a LLC.