7 Keys to Selecting Financial Software for Property Management
Founder & CEO
As your short-term rental management company grows, it becomes increasingly important to consider upgrading from basic accounting software to a more robust financial management system or enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. While there are many similarities across solutions in this category, some features are especially important for property management companies.
When researching robust financial software and ERP solutions for property management companies, two solutions often come to the top of the list: Sage Intacct and Oracle NetSuite. Both provide an array of core accounting capabilities, serve customers globally, and can perform advanced reporting functions, but there are a few key differences that property managers operating short-term rentals should take into consideration when making a purchase decision.
(If you aren’t sure if it’s time to upgrade your financial software, download the white paper: Has Your Hospitality Organization Outgrown its Accounting System?)
In this article, we drill down into the specific features and qualities of financial software that are especially important for property management companies in the hospitality industry. The seven criteria we’ve identified include:
- Ability to Match the Business
- Ease of Use
- Reporting Capabilities
- Industry Expertise
- Required Investment
- Product Innovation
- Cancellation Policy
Continue reading to learn about each of these factors and find additional information to determine which financial software is the right fit for your hospitality business.
1. Ability to Match the Business
What makes your business successful is often tied to what makes it unique. Therefore, choosing financial software that can flex to your organization, rather than forcing you to conform to a set structure, is extremely beneficial for your continued success. For a flexible solution, your finance department will need four important features:
- Multi-Entity Consolidation
- Chart of accounts (COA)
2. Ease of Use
Financial software that constantly needs intervention from a technical expert will become a costly bottleneck for organizations that need to quickly grow and adapt as new opportunities and requirements arise. To vet software for “ease of use”, you should consider:
- Is coding knowledge required to change the appearance of reports or implement new workflows?
- Is the navigation intuitive?
- What training resources are available?
3. Reporting Capabilities
Manually collecting, analyzing, and formatting data is a time-consuming and inefficient process, so choosing software that allows you to slice and dice income, spending, assets, liabilities, and other transactional data with versatile reports can pay dividends over the life of your business. Reporting features that hospitality managers should look for include:
- Built-in financial reports
- Statistical accounts
4. Industry Expertise
Selecting a software that has a proven track record in your industry has a number of advantages, including a smoother implementation process, a more comprehensive set of features relevant to your business, and more knowledgeable support staff. To find a solution with the right level of industry expertise for your hospitality organization, consider the following:
- Tailored messaging
- Purchase options
5. Required Investment
In addition to the out-of-pocket expense, the total cost of your investment also includes your time. Calculating how much you’ll end up paying in these terms can help you avoid many headaches down the road. When we help clients assess the total investment required for a solution, we break it down into these components:
- Subscription/service fee
- Charges for additional modules
- Service Level Agreement (SLA)
- Implementation time
6. Product Innovation
Short-term rental managers should consider not only how financial software is designed to meet their current needs, but also how that software will evolve over time. To determine if a financial management system is suited to keep up with the pace of innovation in your industry, we recommend asking three important questions:
- Is software updated on a routine basis?
- Are updates free?
- Is there a risk that updates would break or disrupt existing functionality?
7. Cancellation Policy
Whether it’s due to acquisition, shutting down, or something else, new circumstances might require you to change financial software somewhere down the road. When that time comes, you don’t want any surprises. Before you make your decision, you should clearly understand the company’s cancellation policy by asking questions like:
- Is data archiving available?
- How long will you have access to financial data?
- What are the payment terms if you cancel?
Comparison: Sage Intacct or NetSuite?
Now that you understand the seven components of financial software that are important for property management companies, let’s take a closer look to see how Sage Intacct and Oracle NetSuite compare. Download the free white paper to access our comprehensive software review.
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