To run an effective student accommodation operation, a number of elements need to work together like a well-oiled machine. However, there are a number of business challenges that keep student housing managers and leaders occupied. How to maximize rates of occupancy? How to ensure well-timed, full rent collection? Will property maintenances, acquisitions, or enhancements justify the investment?
In addition to the above concerns, property managers are also answerable to the property owners and investors. PBSA investors also want to get the most out of their investment so they will want to be kept up to date about expenditures and vacancy rates. To maximize efficiency and profits property management firms are employing advanced accounting software solutions to gain a competitive edge.
Whether you are planning to invest in your first accounting software or planning to migrate to a new system that offers more features, you’ll have a multitude of options to choose from. However, at the end of the day you need a reliable accounting system that makes managing general accounting, payables, intercompany accounting, and rent collection easier. At the same time, you need to make sure that you comply with all the regulatory requirements.
In order to make sure that the software system is able to fulfil your current and future expectations, it is essential to keep in mind the below points:
Each business is unique and has its own nuances, features, positives and negatives. The same applies to the accounts department, its processes and its requirements. For this reason, it’s good to employ an accounting system that is flexible to the requirements of your student accommodation business.
You may need to modify your accounting procedures once you implement a new software however, so it's best to go for a solution that aligns well with your business. Try to choose a scalable system that not only solves your current problems but which can be scaled to meet the requirements as your business grows.
- Cloud or not to cloud, that is the question…
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably heard of cloud-based accounting software and have a basic idea of how it works. It seems that most businesses have gotten over the stigma of the cloud and are now embracing it for its functionality and convenience. Utilizing the cloud is really just a more efficient way for owners and managers to stay connected to their data and accountants – especially when your teams are spread over different locations. Depending on how your system is set up, it should be easy enough to integrate cloud components. Nevertheless, when shopping around for an accounting software ensure that cloud migration is a possibility.
Benefits of Cloud Accounting Software:
- Lower operational costs & greater reliability
- Data can be uploaded & accessed from anywhere
- Improved accuracy
- Real time access to your accountant
- Software should get updated automatically
Negatives of Cloud Accounting Software:
- Security concern as your data is accessible anytime on the internet
- Could have additional costs for add-on features
- Costs could increase based on data storage and number of users
- Know your supplier
Once you’ve narrowed down the accounting software systems that would work best with in your company, do some research on the providers. In the beginning it’s important to work with a software that provides adequate customer support.
Is there a dedicated account rep, do they provide 24-hour voice support, is there an offline backup? These are just some of concerns when dealing with an accounting software provider. Check reviews and get in touch with other companies who are already using their software. Sometimes the features and costs could be very similar for accounting software companies; however, the difference can be the people and how helpful they are.
- What features should be included?
Your choice of software will be determined by the size of your business and your existing software and infrastructure. Try to focus on specific goals like moving towards a paperless office, managing growth after mergers & acquisitions, managing compliance and automating marketing. Knowing these elements will guide you towards a software that fits your needs. A major aspect of choosing the right software boils down to the key features they provide. Take these key features into account when shopping for student accommodation software.
- Budgeting and forecasting
- Online portal for students
- Support for other services
QX works with many of the top student accommodation companies, delivering accounting services for properties spread across 180 sites, covering over 50,000 beds. Our teams work with a wide range of software and our F&A services have helped student housing owners reduce the operating costs for accounting functions by up to 50%.
Don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you need any advice or want to explore our services.