QuickBooks Chart of Accounts for Landlord Rentals, Residential, and Multi-Unit Properties

Find out how to set up a chart of accounts for a real estate company

Q: I need help setting up a proper chart of accounts for a real estate company that has three separate checking accounts for normal, commissions and escrow.

A: The Chart of Accounts is the backbone of your accounting system. That is why it is so important to set up the Chart of Accounts correctly. QuickBooks categorizes accounts as:

  • Assets: things your company owns
  • Liabilities: money your company owes
  • Equity/Capital: depends on entity type but it is used to track money invested into the company and drawn out of the company
  • Income: money earned from day-to-day business tasks
  • Cost of Goods Sold: Tracks the direct costs of your business’s goods or services
  • Expenses: fixed costs or overhead costs

If you are creating a new Company file, select Property Management or Home Owner Association or Rental as your industry. It will customize your income and expense accounts for you.

Open the Chart of Accounts list (Ctrl + A) and add a new account. Select the Account Type and enter the account name and information.

 Add a New Account

If you need help learning how to use QuickBooks for property management, we would like to offer you a sneak peek into our Landlord’s Guide to Financial and Property Management.

The guide will help you discover a quick and easy solution to all of your financial and property management needs! It is packed with tips, tricks, and techniques you need to know. Every task is explained in detail, with screenshots and step-by-step instructions.

A Landlord’s Guide to Financial and Property Management will give you the solid foundation you need to get your real estate rental business organized and on track for even greater profits.

By |2017-03-21T12:14:07-05:00September 3rd, 2011|23 Comments

About the Author:

With more than thirty years of experience in the real estate and property management industry, Gita Faust is more than just a real estate investor; she is also popular for her work as an accountant, consultant, mentor, speaker, QuickBooks Top ProAdvisor, QuickBooks Solution Provider, member of Intuit’s Trainer/Writer Network, and, of course, author. As the CEO and owner of Fast Trac Consulting, Gita is well-known for her exemplary leadership and advisory skills. In fact, she even helped pioneer the adaptation of QuickBooks to suit the needs of professionals in real estate and property management. To share her knowledge and experience with others, she has written a series of courses titled Simplified Accounting Solution, which provides step-by-step guidance for those working with QuickBooks.


  1. chawnta April 7, 2018 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    I need assistant on how to input to quick books the correct way for flipping houses . . I started with this construction company in November 2017 and the person before me an accountant had no idea how to keep track of each flipped house and caused us a huge mess to clean up and for our CFO to have to re-do everything and charge us a ton of money. I want to do it right and make my life easy now that I have cleaned up everything else. If I can get some guidance id be grateful. I have a house we just bout so I need step by step how to put in quick books. Please help


    • Gita Faust April 23, 2018 at 10:49 am - Reply


      Give our team a call. We start you with a strategy call and see what works the best for your situation.

  2. Linda November 26, 2016 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Gita,
    New to the rental field. I have Two investors that purchased property and is now being rented out. Our monthly rental is covered within the rental from the tenant. After rent is collected and rent is paid there is apx $1,200.00 to split between en the two investors. When we signed the contract they gave me a deposit of 1st, (prorated 2nd), last and security deposit. I entered the cashiers check as a Customer deposit as a sub from my bank account. I now have to pay two monthly tenant invoices for the months he has paid for. How do I take the deposit and turn them into the paid monthly invoices. The last and security deposit will sit in my “Customer Deposit” account I set up specifically for deposits.
    I’m just not sure how to handle future payments as they come in: Where to apply it? Do I set up a separate account for the investor so it won’t show as all our income for us? Then pay from It?

    • Gita Faust November 28, 2016 at 11:58 am - Reply

      Hello Linda, It seems you are looking for processes and procedures to implement. Which software version are you using? Our blog has addressed few of your questions. I am going to recommend to my book which has all the answers you are asking for and more. It may be worth your investment. Let me know if you have any questions.

  3. Gracia November 15, 2016 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    I talked with Gita and Karla several times over the past week as we worked to find the best solution for our companies needs. They both provided fast, cheerful, and concise answers to my many questions. Excellent customer service and support! Thank you!

    • Gita Faust November 16, 2016 at 9:36 am - Reply

      Gracia, You are welcome. Appreciate your kind words. Gita

  4. G Kompare February 9, 2015 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    I’ve been enjoying your emails and articles.

  5. Emma February 5, 2015 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    Hi , i am a new Quick books is there any book I can buy it to help me I have a rental income i have quick book 2012
    Thank you

  6. Catherine Patten September 7, 2014 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    I am a bookkeeper new to rehabbing & real estate flipping. My new client does this for a living and has about 3 months of receipts to input to a new QB 2014 PRO for windows platform however I have no idea what CHART OF ACCOUNTS TO USE. I know how to look at a HUD 1 report to write a check to HUD to acquire property and then to input the right fields into QBs when my client sells his rehabbed property to a buyer and I’m not keen on buying a book I don’t need. What I need is a CHART OF ACCOUNTS for Rehabbing (flipping) so I can input what I need basically as I go through his receipts for expenses which I intend to use the CLASS function to segregate each under CONSTRUCTION: subclass: PROPERTY ADDY.

    If you can tell me where I can get this or buy it – I’d appreciate it.


  7. Antonio August 13, 2014 at 5:45 am - Reply

    I need help in get started with the first few transactions required to be posted in the system in a new real estate company.
    Presently owner has provide with the funds for buying all the things required to start the business.
    They are in a process of opening a bank account.
    How do I start with posting the first entries?

    • Gita Faust November 10, 2014 at 7:14 pm - Reply

      Antonio, Congrats! You will have to be more specific as to what you want to enter.

  8. Gita Faust July 23, 2014 at 6:44 pm - Reply


    Am glad you found this helpful. Do not forget you are the hero too!

  9. Stan July 13, 2014 at 5:17 am - Reply

    Hi Gita, if I use quick books to manage rental properties for landlords, would you record commissions earned in a separate company file for my own income and expenses?

    • Gita Faust July 23, 2014 at 6:42 pm - Reply

      Stan, It could be one or multiple files. All depends on your business structure, and processes you have in place currently in your business. What is your agreement with the owners?

    • Gita Faust July 23, 2014 at 6:49 pm - Reply

      It all depends, one file and multiple file is an ongoing debate with everyone who I connect with. It all depends if you have partners, business structure and more.

  10. Lukman June 25, 2014 at 12:27 am - Reply

    Computer And Internet comes under what expense?

    • Gita Faust July 23, 2014 at 6:43 pm - Reply


      Computer and Internet would be an Expense Account. Computer purchase would be Fixed Assets.

    • Gita Faust July 23, 2014 at 6:47 pm - Reply

      Computer purchase would be a Fixed Asset account where as Computer Repairs would be an Expense Account by it self or subaccount of Repairs. Internet can be included in Telephone.

  11. Daniel Ciscomani July 29, 2013 at 10:06 am - Reply

    Just what I needed! I am also using your book: A landlord’s guide… I also do flips, do you have a book on that or can you recommend a chart of accounts for that activity? Thanks!

    • quicknumber July 30, 2013 at 7:54 am - Reply

      Hello Daniel, Thank you for the kind words. Flip Real Estate using QuickBooks is the book you are looking for that includes template files and reports for the flip, rehab industry. Here is the link http://www.fasttracconsulting.com/books/

  12. sue bugden September 23, 2012 at 9:17 am - Reply

    i take rental payments (short term vacation homes) for my customers villas that i manage – where should i record these rental amounts and how should i post the monies to my customers (the homes i manage) in quickbooks – should i set them us as a customer and vendor??

    • Gita Faust January 20, 2013 at 1:32 pm - Reply


      I would recommend creating your customers as Customers. Do you use an online software to rent the vacations homes?

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