In the real estate and development world, the pace is swift, and the stakes are high. As developers and real estate professionals navigate this rapidly evolving sector, scalable, efficient, and secure back-office technology becomes more critical than ever. While tools like QuickBooks have provided foundational support and can be a go-to for basic accounting needs, as your firm grows, the complexity and scale of modern real estate projects call for something more.
It’s now time for a real estate ERP software solution that directly addresses the unique complexities of this industry. For an increasing number of real estate and development firms, that solution is Sage Intacct, with its unique industry specific capabilities. Here are 10 signs it’s time to move from QuickBooks to a real estate ERP software like Sage Intacct:
1. Your business is scaling rapidly
Real estate projects often involve complex financing arrangements, including loans, mortgages, and investor funding. Accounting for these arrangements, including interest capitalization, mortgage servicing, and compliance with loan covenants, is a complex task. As these complex arrangements increase, the limitations of QuickBooks in handling advanced financial operations become more apparent.
Sage Intacct is a sophisticated financial management solution (the only solution endorsed by the AICPA) capable of handling any accounting complexity you throw at it. Plus, it’s an enormously scalable solution that grows with your business.
2. Need for advanced reporting and KPIs
Different stakeholders, from investors to project managers, require different information. If you’re finding that QuickBooks cannot produce the in-depth, customizable reports you need for informed decision-making, it’s time to consider Sage Intacct, which offers comprehensive and customizable reporting capabilities.
Modern cloud-based solutions like Sage Intacct provide real-time dashboards that you can tailor to your organization’s needs. It also provides dozens of reports and key performance indicators to keep your entire team up to date and fueled with the information they need.
3. Complex project accounting needs
Real estate and development projects often span several years and involve considerable costs that you must track accurately. Significant challenges include allocating costs to the correct project, managing multiple projects simultaneously, and ensuring accurate revenue recognition per project. In our work with real estate and development companies, we’ve seen some, let’s call them, “highly creative” techniques for managing project complexity. Typically, it involves lots of spreadsheets, notes, emails, and time. If QuickBooks cannot efficiently manage the complexities of your project accounting tasks, it’s time for a move to a proper real estate ERP software.
Sage Intacct’s project accounting features could be the solution. From acquisition to development and sales, managing various phases of real estate projects demands a comprehensive toolset. Sage Intacct offers detailed project tracking and management, aligning all aspects of development seamlessly.
4. Multi-entity management is cumbersome
Managing multiple entities or locations is challenging in QuickBooks. We’ve worked with clients that started small with one or two entities but scaled quickly to double and even triple digits. Consolidating information across potentially hundreds of QuickBooks instances is an exercise in extreme patience. We’ve even heard from some companies that compiling a simple corporate-level accounts payable report might take most of the month.
If your business operates across various sites or entities, Sage Intacct’s robust multi-entity management will streamline processes. Multi-entity capabilities are built into Sage Intacct. After moving to QuickBooks, we’ve had clients tell us they’ve sped up their monthly close process by 50% or more.
5. Difficulty integrating with other applications
As your business grows, you’ll likely begin to add various specialized software solutions to your tech stack. If QuickBooks is not integrating well with other systems, Sage Intacct’s superior integration capabilities can make a huge difference.
Sage Intacct offers out-of-the-box integration with dozens of third-party applications, including real estate and development industry-specific tools like Sage Intacct Real Estate (property management), Corecon (recently acquired by Sage and renamed Sage Construction Management), Procore, Sage Intacct Construction Payroll (developed in partnership with Penta Technologies), and more. With Sage Intacct, you can integrate this data with your project financials and track the metrics critical to your organization’s financial and operational success to create a single version of the truth.
6. Revenue recognition is a requirement
The timing of revenue recognition can be complex in real estate. The percentage-of-completion method, commonly used in the industry, requires ongoing assessment of costs and progress, which can be challenging to manage and calculate accurately. If revenue recognition is part of your business model, you’ll need to look beyond QuickBooks for help.
Sage Intacct delivers intelligent, automated, compliant revenue recognition to help your company scale—with complete support for ASC 606 and IFRS 15. BT Partners has extensive experience working with companies to implement revenue recognition workflows within Sage Intacct that streamline this critical task.
7. Compliance and financial controls
Real estate and development companies must comply with industry-specific regulations and accounting standards. Staying current with changes in tax laws, zoning laws, environmental regulations, and accounting standards is challenging but essential. If your business struggles with maintaining compliance or needs stronger financial controls, it could be time for a move to a real estate ERP software.
A move to Sage Intacct provides you with the confidence that your firm is always compliant and audit ready. With its audit trails, role-based access controls, continuous updates, and automated revenue recognition capabilities, Sage Intacct ensures that businesses using the platform can maintain financial integrity while meeting the demands of regulators and stakeholders.
8. Cash flow management
Real estate and development projects have long gestation periods with significant upfront investments. Managing cash flow effectively, considering the timing of expenses and revenue, is crucial for the company’s financial health. QuickBooks offers fundamental cash flow tracking capabilities. You can record and categorize income and expenses and create cash flow forecasts in QuickBooks—but it often requires manual input and manipulation.
Sage Intacct offers much more sophisticated cash flow management tools compared to QuickBooks. It allows for real-time visibility into current and forecasted cash flow. In addition, Sage Intacct can automate cash flow forecasting, dynamically updating forecasts based on real-time data so you always know just where you stand.
9. Limited access controls
In real estate and development, controlling who has access to what information is essential. QuickBooks offers minimal functionality in this area—and don’t get us started on its “audit trail.”
Sage Intacct allows you to customize access levels, ensuring sensitive data is visible only to those needing it. When your business grows to more than one or two accounting users, you’ll need robust user access controls like those in Sage Intacct. Clients tell us they love how simple security is to configure, yet how granular and powerful those controls are.
10. Lease management and accounting demands
If your company is involved in property leasing, managing and accounting for leases, especially under the newer accounting standards like ASC 842, can be complex. It can include determining lease classifications, recognizing lease assets and liabilities, and accounting for lease modifications. Lease management and lease accounting are simply not in QuickBooks’s wheelhouse.
Sage Intacct Lease Accounting streamlines and automates lease accounting processes to ensure compliance, improved accuracy, and better insight into your lease obligations. This seamless solution for Sage Intacct automates complex lease calculations, generates payment schedules, and provides centralized lease data and compliance reporting.
A Sound Investment
The technology that underpins these operations is just as crucial as a well-located property or a perfectly executed development plan. If your real estate and development firm faces one or more challenges highlighted here, Sage Intacct could be your best strategic move. BT Partners works with companies in this space to help them optimize the application to address their needs and deliver a rapid and lasting return on investment. Get in touch to learn more.