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What Does a Property Accountant Do?

Each day, a property accountant must review and keep record of a property's cash position.
A property accountant tracks security deposits, refunds, and payments.
Paying real estate taxes is one responsibility of a property accountant.
Article Details
  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 03 July 2014
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A property accountant is charged with the task of tracking all cash activity for a property, as well as working with property managers to accurately account for tenant payments. This type of accountant is also relied upon to properly track all refunds due to tenants, such as security deposits that may be due after a tenant vacates the property. Each day, a property accountant must also review and keep record of a property’s cash position, as well as all banking activity for an assigned property. Other duties for this job may include keeping detailed records for all maintenance costs and invoices, preparing monthly accounting and budgeting reports, and preparing audit packages to be used by an auditor at the end of the property management company’s fiscal year.

A property accountant must also be aware of when property taxes, insurance payments and other fees are due on a particular property. This information must be kept in a clear format and the accountant is responsible for making sure these payments are made in a timely fashion to avoid additional fees or penalties. It is also the job of the accountant to provide regular reports to a property’s owners detailing when such payments are due and to keep a record of receipts once payments have been made.

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Aside from working with property managers, owners, auditors and tenants, a property accountant may also, at times, be assigned to work rather closely with a property’s outside investors. An accountant may be called upon to answer investor questions and address financial concerns, as well as to provide detailed reports on a property’s overall performance. Occasionally, this type of accountant may be called upon to present financial reports at meetings, as well. In addition to strong accounting skills, a good property accountant must have strong written and verbal communication skills and be able to work well with others to effectively perform accounting tasks.

Most companies that are in the market to hire a property accountant require applicants to have an accounting degree, as well as experience in general accounting procedures. In some instances, a company may further require candidates to have previous experience working in real estate. A property accountant must also have experience working with property management accounting software and spreadsheets, as both of these are likely used in the accountant’s day-to-day tasks.

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Discuss this Article

anon947725
Post 6

What does a senior accountant do in property accounting?

anon937578
Post 5

I work as a property accountant and I can tell you this job requires not only to be detail oriented but competent also. You need to know the fundamentals of the accounting in order to succeed in this job, which you can't get without going to college.

Contentum
Post 4
I believe that is why some companies, especially the ones that are involved with properties, taxes, financial documents and the like are a bit busier during the tax season. And also why companies that deal with document management are constantly expanding.
Grinderry
Post 3
The hardest part of this kind of job would almost definitely have to be dealing with the tax laws and having to make sure every form and document is filled out properly and with the correct amounts of monies. Imagine if an individual tax form were a booklet. Can you picture how much documentation a business or corporation needs to have completed?
Realited
Post 2
I think there's more to it than just counting money. A company must be accountable for every penny that comes in and goes out. I believe that is why they call them accountants and why they need some form of college or business degree in order to perform their jobs. I don't think you would want to be treated by someone who did not have a degree from a medical school if you were in the hospital why should it be any different in the world of accounting?

I think a business needs to hire people who are competent enough to get the job done with very little to absolute zero errors after all the errors that might be found could cost the company lots of money in fines and fees.

Contentum
Post 1
Its interesting that someone who chooses this profession must have a degree. I guess it's because I'm not an accountant of any kind that I see them as just being money counters. I realize my opinion might be offensive to some, but aside from the different aspects and the various software that might be used, I still think in the end all you're doing is counting someone else's money.

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