Accounting, Rent Payment, Tenant Management

Landlord Accounting Software for Your Rental Property: Stessa Overview

happy investor using landlord accounting software

According to the US census bureau, small-portfolio, non-institutional landlords – in other words, ordinary individuals and families – own about 75% of all rental property. Some of them may want to be full-time landlords, some would like to grow their portfolio or increase their wealth, while others may see it as way to supplement to their existing income, or perhaps as a means to retire early. No matter the final objective, this is where Stessa’s landlord accounting software comes in to help.

Of these independent landlords who own three quarters of the rental market, only 10% of them express confidence in their ability to manage their rentals themselves. Apps exist to simplify the marketing of a rental or the collection of rent, but the real bear for many is the bookkeeping.

With so many expenses to track, receipts to log, and tax time looming, many landlords throw up their hands in despair. As a result, they might hand over the keys to a property manager who takes a healthy cut of the collected rent, or they settle on incomplete or expensive solutions like Excel spreadsheets, Google docs, or other accounting software. They may also even hire a CPA and bookkeeper on top of that.

This is the problem that Stessa, founded in 2016, intends to solve: increase efficiency, transparency, and profitability of your assets by eliminating the overwhelm that comes with rental property bookkeeping.

stessa landlord accounting software logoStessa
Stessa is smart accounting software that empowers real estate investors to optimize their portfolios and achieve financial freedom.

What Is Stessa?

Stessa is a smart money management tool that helps rental property owners and investors optimize their portfolios for performance. This includes free rental property accounting software that offers a Cloud-based “smart bookkeeping solution” for landlords. The product vision is to make managing the financial aspect of a portfolio of rental properties painless and automatic.

Stessa is ideal for self-managing landlords who might use (or consider using) a bookkeeping software product such as Quickbooks. However, Quickbooks can be complicated to set up for real estate uses from scratch, and is not expressly intended for rental property businesses. Similarly, products like Intuit Mint are easy to use, but optimized for personal finances rather than rental properties.

Instead, Stessa is designed for rental property owners and investors to manage their assets. Stessa is landlord accounting software created by landlords to include the features and metrics that matter to rental property owners, preloaded as a “turnkey” landlord bookkeeping platform with little or no customization. Automate income and expense tracking, view and download personalized reports, and maximize profits. Just plug and play.

Stessa is not a professional or enterprise-level property management solution. While a rent collection product is in the works, it still does not have the functionality to screen tenants, market your property, or field maintenance requests. But when paired with other property management tools for those tasks, Stessa makes a great argument for itself as the missing link of DIY property management. 

Also Read: Money Management 101: Best Finance Practices for Landlords

Stessa Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Free rental property finance solution.
  • Designed by landlords, for landlords
  • Easy to use
  • Beautiful, intuitive user interface
  • Great automation, syncing, and reporting tools
  • Comprehensive landlord accounting software

Cons

  • No tools for tenant screening
  • Does not handle maintenance requests or tenant communication
  • No advertising or property listing capabilities

Stessa Features

Automated Bookkeeping

The key feature of Stessa’s free rental property accounting software is the way it automates bookkeeping and financial tracking. It does this by securely syncing with bank and financial accounts associated with your rental property. For example, these could include:

  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Dedicated credit and debit cards
  • Mortgage accounts
  • Other debt accounts

Once you link your accounts, Stessa automatically tracks your transactions, and organizes them into easy to use reports of assets and liabilities, income and expenses, and more.

Document Management

Stessa landlord accounting software also includes a document management center you can use to store important paperwork like leases, receipts, budgets, and other important documents.

Receipt Scanning

Finally, Stessa offers industry-leading receipt scanning functionality. The mobile version of Stessa can access your device’s camera to take a snapshot of the receipt, and it also immediately uploads it for processing. You can also email your receipt image to receipts@stessa.com for automatic processing. No more mountain of crumpled-up paper receipts at tax time.

Easy Report Generation

Stessa provides a variety of reports available at one click, including balance sheets, cash flow, profit and loss statements, rent rolls, schedules of real estate owned…even IRS-ready statements for tax time. It also includes a one-click tax package feature, which downloads files that can be sent directly to your CPA or tax preparation specialist.

Stessa is a winner: Reporting and Accounting Tools: Best Accounting Software for Landlords

How Stessa Works

Stessa landlord accounting software exists as a web platform, iOS app, and Android app, with all data and functionality synced and unified by your login credentials so changes and actions on one device are reflected on all others within the account.

New users follow a three-step setup process:

  1. Create your account.
  2. Add property addresses.
  3. Link your accounts.

That’s it. Now you are ready to start using this free rental property accounting software. Once logged in, the main dashboard of your Stessa account shows a plethora of useful information at a glance including:

  • Portfolio Value
  • Asset Return
  • Occupancy
  • Net Operating Income
  • Cash Flow
  • Debt
  • Property Highlights

You can also navigate to view your property details, transaction reports, document center, data sources, settings, support, and other useful resources.

Is Stessa Secure?

When entering bank information and monitoring financial data, it’s always wise to double-check the security of the app.

Stessa offers bank-grade encryption and operates under strict internal controls. Since your account is protected by multi-factor authentication, no one on Stessa’s side ever has access to your private data.

Stessa also submits to regular third party scans by Norton/Symantec to check for malware and security vulnerabilities.

The financial aggregation is powered by Yodlee/Envestnet, an industry leader since 1999. Therefore, your sensitive financial data actually sits encrypted on Yodlee’s servers, not Stessa’s.

Who Should Use Stessa?

The typical Stessa user is an independent landlord with three or more properties who self-manages his/her portfolio of rentals. Stessa is beginner-friendly, but even experienced landlords will find a great deal of value in the easy and automated bookkeeping features Stessa offers.

Landlords looking to take the next step in their rental property business would also benefit from Stessa. For instance, they may be in the process of growing their portfolio, or using data to better inform their decisions. Stessa landlord accounting software is the tool that they need to gain insight and transparency into their portfolio and decision making process.

Furthermore, a landlord who has considered hiring a property manager may find that they can use Stessa to go farther without incurring that extra property management expense. Stessa claims to automate 90% of the busywork associated with financial tracking, bookkeeping and tax prep. As a result, landlords may be able to handle the rest of the property management work themselves. Using Stessa can therefore become a less expensive and more reliable solution.

Stessa Pricing

Stessa landlord accounting software is 100% free to sign up and try. In the future, there may be premium plans with upgraded features, but users can currently experience the power of Stessa before committing to an upgraded subscription. There are also optional, fee-based services for real estate investors to assist with things like rent analysis, mortgage financing and market research.

stessa landlord accounting software logoStessa
Stessa is smart accounting software that empowers real estate investors to optimize their portfolios and achieve financial freedom.

Stessa Landlord Accounting Software: The Bottom Line

Stessa is an impressive piece of accounting software for landlords. It offers everything a self-managed landlord needs to easily keep track of finances, prepare for tax time, and manage documentation. It also does it all for an impressive price—free.

Stessa does not claim to do everything an enterprise-level property management app does. However, when paired with other property management tools, Stessa’s rental property accounting software empowers real estate owners and investors to optimize their portfolio for performance and achieve financial freedom. Sign up for a free account and see if it is right for you.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and Landlord Gurus may earn a commission. Our mission remains to provide valuable resources and information that helps landlords manage their rental properties efficiently and profitably. We link to these companies and their products because of their quality, not because of the commission.

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About Chris Lee

Chris comes from a family of real estate investors, and remembers well his childhood of helping to prepare apartments between renters. He now manages his own property, apartment complexes, and condos. He has particular insight into the issues around short-term rentals as he manages those for himself and for other owners.
View all posts by Chris Lee →

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