Managing finances can be a complex task for Airbnb hosts, whether you have one property or one hundred. It’s not just simply tracking expenses and income, either; you want to stay on the right side of the law and get the maximum tax deductions too!
In this blog post, we will explore the best accounting software for Airbnb hosts and discuss the benefits of using this technology to streamline financial management.
Here are our top picks:
- Best Overall: Freshbooks
- Best Features List: Quickbooks
- Best for Remote Owners: Xero
- Best Free Option: Wave
What Is The Best Accounting Software For Airbnb?
To simplify the process of tracking where every penny goes, many hosts turn to accounting software designed specifically for Airbnb. These programs automate bookkeeping and provide financial insights, helping hosts stay on top of their business finances.
Our top pick? Freshbooks. But, while Freshbooks checked all the boxes we wanted, that doesn’t mean there isn’t another software that might fit your business needs.
For this article, we ranked and reviewed several accounting software platforms. Some are household names (like Quickbooks), and others are geared specifically toward vacation rental businesses.
Either way, we approached each tool from the perspective of an Airbnb business owner and measured them against a few criteria:
- Cost – How much does it cost? Do the features justify the cost?
- Features – What can the software do? Does it meet all the host’s needs?
- User-friendliness – Is the software easy to use? Easy to learn?
- Reputation/Reviews – What do other users think of the software?
- Integrations – Will the software connect to my property management software (PMS)? Or other tools?
FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting software that can be an excellent solution for Airbnb property owners. It provides an easy-to-use platform for tracking and managing income and expenses, invoicing guests, and monitoring project expenses. With features like automatic late payment reminders and online payment processing, FreshBooks simplifies the financial management process for Airbnb hosts, saving them valuable time and effort.
Additionally, FreshBooks integrates with other tools and platforms (like Uplisting and Ownerrez), making it a comprehensive solution for Airbnb property owners looking to streamline their accounting needs.
- Bookkeeping: tracks and organizes every transaction automatically and helps prepare tax documents ahead of time.
- Online payment processing: integrates with payment gateways, and supports multiple currencies, making it easy for hosts to receive online payments from guests.
- Mobile app: allows hosts to manage their finances and track expenses on the go.
- Reporting: provides financial reports and analytics, giving hosts a clear picture of their income and expenses.
- User-friendly interface: has a simple and intuitive interface, making it easy for hosts to navigate and manage their finances.
Freshbooks has a 30-Day Free Trial. Their plans start at $17/mo. Calculate your Freshbooks cost.
Freshbooks is a great accounting software for Airbnb business owners with any number of properties — the software can be scaled as much as you need. It’s affordable, easy to use, and has a suite of features that make vacation rental accounting easier.
Quickbooks is the largest (and most well-known) accounting software on this list, and for a good reason. Their software is used in nearly every industry and has millions of users. Plus, it sports a truly comprehensive feature set, features that make it a versatile solution for small business owners looking to streamline their accounting processes.
Additionally, Quickbooks online functionality lets you track income, business expenses, and bank accounts and create detailed reports from any device while on the go. It works just as well on your phone or tablet as on a desktop computer.
- Complete accounting system: Quickbooks has many tools. So many, in fact, that users can tackle nearly any accounting process.
- Reporting tools and analytics: Analyze the entire health of your business with in-depth reporting and customizable analytics dashboards.
- Integrations: Quickbooks has been around for a long time and can connect with most other software for Airbnb, like your favorite PMS or vacation rental channel manager.
Quickbooks has a 30-Day Free Trial. Their plans start at $30/mo. Calculate your Quickbooks cost.
Quickbooks is the “Walmart” of accounting software — it has nearly every financial reporting, expense tracking, and tax preparation tool you could want.
Still, Quickbooks has a learning curve and some complex accounting processes that can make it intimidating to learn. This tool is a better fit for those with some accounting knowledge, those who’ve used accounting software, or have a lot of experience tracking finances for a vacation rental business.
Xero was founded in 2006 in New Zealand and has since expanded globally. Xero’s cloud-based accounting solution provides the flexibility that many Airbnb owners need to manage their finances, especially if they manage multiple properties or operate in multiple locations.
With features like real-time bank connectivity, invoicing, and expense tracking, Xero can help Airbnb owners manage their income and expenses, track their financial performance, and stay on top of tax compliance. Additionally, Xero integrates with other tools and apps commonly used by Airbnb owners, such as payment gateways and property management systems, making it an attractive option for vacation rentals.
- Cloud-based: Xero operates in the cloud, allowing for seamless collaboration and anytime, anywhere access to financial data.
- Bank Connectivity: Offers real-time bank account feed integration, allowing for automatic and secure updates of financial transactions.
- Multi-currency support: Have properties in different countries? Xero allows businesses to manage multiple currencies in a single platform.
Xero has a 30-Day Free Trial. Their plans start at $13/mo. Calculate your Xero cost.
Xero is the best Airbnb accounting software for owners with properties in multiple locations (this can apply to states with different tax laws) or countries. The multi-currency support and tax compliance features will simplify a potential bookkeeping nightmare.
Launched in 2010 as free accounting software for small businesses, Wave grew to over three million active users in just a few years’ time. What’s even more impressive? Just two people built Wave!
Wave accounting software comes out of the box with premium-grade features. Wave’s invoicing feature allows for automated payment tracking, receipt scanning helps keep track of expenses, financial reporting provides insights into income and expenses, and the payroll solution allows for easy payment of employees and contractors.
It’s also the only 100% free vacation rental accounting software on this list.
- Free: Wave is free, making it accessible to businesses of all sizes.
- Automated invoicing and receipt scanning: This helps streamline the accounting process and saves time.
Wave’s accounting software is free.
Note: Wave does charge a small fee for payroll tax servicing AND payment processing. But, this “pass-through” fee structure is standard practice for any software that processes online payments or payroll features.
Wave is great accounting software for beginners to Airbnb bookkeeping or just the vacation rental industry in general. Plus, any money you save on accounting software could be put towards more crucial items like vacation rental insurance or furnishings.
Next Steps: How To Setup Accounting Software for Airbnb
Even the best accounting software won’t do you any good if it’s not set up properly.
This next section will share some best practices to help you get the most out of your software and hopefully eliminate a few bookkeeping headaches.
Step 1: Learn to use the software correctly
It can be tempting to “feel your way around” a new tool, but accounting software requires a tiny bit more diligence. After all, a bookkeeping mistake can have serious implications for vacation rental owners.
You can learn how best to use your chosen accounting software with video tutorials like this one:
Once you know how to use the software correctly, you can integrate it with your other property management systems.
Step 2: Integrate your accounting software with other tools
One of the hallmarks of great software is how seamlessly it connects and shares data with other applications. We want that “flow of information” between our accounting software and the other tools we use for the vacation rental business. There are a few ways to do this:
1. Check if your property management software (PMS) integrates directly with your accounting software.
2. Use a tool like Zapier to integrate with your PMS.
3. Or use Bnbtally (if you’re using Airbnb only and Quickbooks or Xero).
Optional Step 3: Hire a professional
If you’ve completed the first two steps and are still having trouble getting your bookkeeping system to operate seamlessly, it might be time to bring in help.
Our recommendation: employ a service like Vacation Rental Bookkeeping. Yes, the company’s name is very “on-the-nose,” but they do exactly what they advertise, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a company that specializes in just Airbnb business accounting.
Quick Recap: The Best Accounting Software for Airbnb
Here again, are our top picks for the best accounting software for Airbnb and vacation rental businesses:
- Freshbooks – Best overall. Easy-to-use accounting software that offers a range of features designed for small business owners, including invoicing, expense tracking, online payment processing, and mobile app access.
- Quickbooks – Best features list. Comprehensive accounting software that offers a robust set of features. Its integration with other tools, mobile app access, and customizable invoicing capabilities make it a versatile solution for businesses seeking a complete financial management solution.
- Xero – Best for remote owners. Cloud-based accounting software is known for its multi-currency support and tax compliance features. It provides small businesses with a range of tools for invoicing, expenses, payroll, and bank reconciliation, all while ensuring they remain tax compliant.
- Wave – Best free option. User-friendly interface and lack of hidden fees make it a popular choice for businesses looking for an affordable alternative to traditional accounting software.
That’s it—that’s our list, ranked and reviewed by our team. We hope this gives you the information to confidently pursue and implement accounting software for your Airbnb or vacation rental business.