2012 Financial Tools: Shop by Budget
In This Guide
2012 Financial Tools: Shop by Budget
The most affordable solutions in financial management include generic products and apps that can be adapted to the business needs of real estate professionals.
From Intuit, developer of Quicken and QuickBooks, Mint.com provides personal finance management tools and services in the cloud. Apps are available for Apple and Android smartphones and tablets. This secure service can be used to manage multiple accounts, track spending and expenses by assigned categories, and manage a budget.
$4.99; free trial version
Available in versions for the iPhone and iPad, this app tracks business expenses and mileage by user-defined expense categories or accounts. Update expenses as they’re incurred with a few taps on the screen. Records can include photos of receipts, voice memos, and file attachments. It also includes report functions. Data can be exported as CSV or QIF files.
$9.95; 30-day free trial
This expense tracking and personal finance app for Android devices includes an expense tracker, budget planner, checkbook manager and bill reminder. Income and expense categories are fully customizable. It includes a widget for simplified data entry. Records can include photos of receipts. It can report income and expenses, cash flow, and account balances and import and export data in CSV and QIF formats.
Plans start at $9.99/month for up to 50 receipts.
This service provides a paperless solution for archiving and organizing business expenses. Users can submit paper receipts in a prepaid envelope, as photos of receipts captured with iOS and Android devices, or from HP scanners. The OCR service “reads” those receipts and organizes the data by user-defined categories, creating a digitized archive of expenses that can be exported to other financial management software or services.
$7/month; free basic plan
Subscribers are assigned an e-mail address to which they can text or e-mail information on expenditures as they are incurred. The service automatically organizes this data into categories set up by the user and provides reports on expense history. Data can be exported in popular file formats.
Xpenser users upload receipts, expense items, or mileage in real time from smartphones and tablets, text, e-mail, or as photos from mobile devices for scanning and digitizing, verified by human operators. Once digitized and organized by categories, expense data and history can be analyzed in reports or exported in popular file formats.
Business Planner, Budget Planner and Mortgage Calculator/Planner
This bundle of Excel spreadsheets provides specific functions for varied aspects of small business finance. Business Planner handles business accounting, expense tracking, payroll, and sales. Budget Planner does budget planning and analysis, while Mortgage Calculator/Planner can be used to explore a variety of mortgage options. It requires Microsoft Excel to operate.
As you move up in price, options expand to include real estate–specific tools with money management features for the individual, as well as small-business, accounting, and financial solutions.
This cloud service provides an integrated suite of tools for managing all aspects of a real estate business, including clients and contacts, listings, rentals, scheduling, and marketing. It features a component that provides financial management tools for accounting, tracking expenses, and computing mileage. It also calculates commissions and income with relevant expenses deducted. Financial data can be exported as a CSV file.
QuickBooks Online Simple
$12.95/month after 30-day free trial
This is the most basic version of Intuit’s QuickBooks line of cloud-based services and software programs for managing small-business finance. It imports financial data from Excel or QuickBooks desktop software and automatically backs up all data loaded into the system. Accessible through any Web-connected device, it provides a simplified user interface for business accounting, expenses, payments, and invoicing. It also includes 20 customizable business reports.
Sage 50 Complete Accounting
$369 for single user
This is the basic version of the Windows small-business solution, which evolved from Peachtree accounting software. It provides a system for organizing and managing all financial activity related to a business and clients, including income and expenses, billing, and payments. It includes more than 100 customizable reports for financial analysis and projections.
Feed paper bills, receipts, business cards, and other documents into this desktop scanner and it extracts the text or numerical information and converts it into a digital format. Once digitized, the information can be organized into a data file of fully searchable categories defined by the user. Data can be exported in popular file formats. It includes cloud storage service with automatic upload of scanned documents. Available for Macs and PCs.
Like most integrated real estate suites, this popular cloud service includes a financial-management component. With it, you can track income and expenses related to each buyer and seller client or listings, review total income and expenses based on user-defined categories, and analyze the numbers in customizable reports. Financial data can be exported as a CSV file or Excel spreadsheet.
The most expensive and fully featured specialized products are scalable solutions that simplify the multiple challenges of financial management for brokerages and other real estate–related companies.
Realty Broker Office
$97.99 for administrator, $9.99 for each additional user
This cloud service provides an integrated suite of tools for managing the front and back office functions of a real estate office. Its financial management component handles all aspects of business accounting, agent commissions, invoicing, payments, and financial analysis with customizable reports.
Base price $299/month for brokerage with up to 25 agents
This scalable cloud solution handles all aspects of financial management for a brokerage. It can calculate commissions, generate printable checks and 1099s, and provide individual summaries. It includes advanced financial analysis with customizable reports. Access levels can be set for brokers, managers, staff accountants, and sales associates. It also exports data to other financial software programs.
Base price $1,125 for company with up to 15 agents
This scalable Windows software is a fully integrated accounting package for a real estate brokerage. It handles accounts receivable, payroll, budgeting, business financial analysis, and projection with customizable report functions. It also includes components for managing agents, listings, sales, commissions, escrows, task scheduling and document management. Specialty modules are available.
Pro Gold i2
$1,295 user license, then base price $132/month for up to 15 agents
This integrated, scalable Windows software provides a suite of integrated tools for managing front and back office operations in a real estate office in a single entry system. Financial management functions include accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, commission calculation with custom plans, payroll, agent invoicing, bank reconciliation, 1099 reporting, and form printing.