4 Key Issues to Address Before Implementing a New Vacation Rental Accounting System

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Jesse Ehret

Founder & CEO

4 Key Issues to Address Before Implementing a New Vacation Rental Accounting System

A new vacation rental accounting system can transform your business – as long as it’s implemented effectively. Consider four key issues early on.

Four Key Issues to Address Before Implementing a New Vacation Rental Accounting System

The decision to implement an enterprise-class vacation rental accounting system is a major leap for your company. It promises to upgrade your accounting capabilities and help you turn finance into a strategic asset. However, implementing a new vacation rental accounting system isn’t just making changes – it’s transforming your accounting and finance function.

It’s natural, and maybe even necessary, to be anxious about any major tech upgrade. Raising concerns early on keeps them from manifesting into actual issues once the system is up and running. In all ways, more planning and preparation upfront – before and during the implementation phase – leads to significantly better outcomes later on.

But here’s the hard part: implementations involve many moving parts and countless consequential decisions. With so much depending on the success of the implementation, how do you prioritize the issues that matter most while ignoring the distractions? We suggest you keep these four important considerations in mind.

Trust Accounting – How Will it Work?

Trust accounting and owner statements are key to any vacation rental business. Where and how revenues, expenses and the cash collected from guests will be tracked is paramount. Will trust accounting be done in your property management system or do you need to track this in your vacation rental accounting system? 

If done in the property management system, how will and what data will be transferred to your vacation rental accounting software? How will billing owners for expenses and management commissions work? How, where and from what bank account will bills associated with your managed properties be recorded and paid?

If trust accounting will be done in your vacation rental accounting software, again it’s important to understand how data will be recorded from the property management software. Can you integrate the two systems? How will your accounting system tag, track and report revenue, expenses and cash to owners or your company? How easy can owner statements be created, formatted or customized? 

All these questions are paramount to a successful vacation rental accounting software selection and implementation.

Who You Choose To Partner With

Your implementation partner is your guide through the entire process. Ultimately, the quality of that partner has the biggest impact on the quality of the implementation. You will want to select a team that understands the nuances of vacation rental accounting, can handle the entire implementation and deliver a high-level of service and support throughout. Vacation rental companies have unique accounting needs and organizational structures that must be built into the system throughout the implementation. Relying on someone with a track record in vacation rental management results in a system that’s far better aligned with your needs and wants.

The Length of Your Implementation Timeline

A good implementation takes time. Trying to rush through the process only leads to buggy and broken systems that frustrate users. Be realistic about how long the implementation will take, and don’t make plans based on the assumption that it will be full-functional tomorrow. If that timeline needs to speed up, consider scaling back the project by, for example, limiting the number of customizations. It’s a balancing act between what you need and when you need it.

How You Adapt to Change

Even with the right partner and the right accounting system, implementing new technology doesn’t instantaneously perfect accounting. To reap the full benefits, vacation rental businesses need to adapt their accounting team, their workflows, and how the organization approaches finance from the top down. A successful implementation transforms their accounting and finance function to something new and seamless as possible – but it takes training, education, and change management for a company to see the intended uplift from a new system.

Choosing the right partner is the first item on the list because it facilitates the following two. Implementation specialists can help you understand your business requirements, vet the right system options, set a realistic timeline, optimize the effort around your business goals, and help you adapt all aspects of your organization to use the system to the fullest. Work with a team built to serve vacation rental businesses. Contact Ximplifi today!.

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