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Bill Back Feature in OneSite Accounting

If you are a multifamily third party property manager and use RealPage's OneSite Accounting you are going to like the Bill Back feature.

The Bill Back feature allows you to to create an Accounts Receivable invoice and the system will automatically create the Accounts Payable bills for the properties. So, if you are paying for items such as landscaping fees, telephone, delivery charges, etc. you can create an Accounts Receivable entry for the Owner and an Accounts Payable entry will be created for the individual properties. This is particularly helpful when dealing with payroll expenses.

This is a really nice feature that is not available in some other well knows packages. Most other accounting applications that can do this do so by use of their job cost module.In this case, the feature is part of the Accounts Receivable module.

Don Wood is a PMP with over 25 years of experience in project management, business process improvement, and information technology for the real estate industry. Please visit www.dbrw.com for more information.

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Yardi's Multifamily Revenue Management

Multifamily revenue management has been a hot topic of late. There are products on the market that will cost a fair amount and help you to optimize your pricing. Often these products have a proprietary calculation method that gives you the recommended rental price for a unit. If you have Yardi Voyager 6.0 you already have this feature available to you.Revenue Management comes free with Yardi Voyager 6.0. Granted, it is not as feature rich as other products such as RealPage's Yieldstar but it is included in your base application.What can you do with Yardi Revenue Management?The revenue Management functions include market surveys and pricing models.Market SurveysSubject propertyComparison propertiesComparison groupsCollect market survey dataPricing ModelsCreate pricing modelsPreview model rentsCalculate new market rentsReview and post new market rentsYou already collect market surveys, right?You are probably already collecting market survey data and entering the information on a spreadsheet or a paper form. With this tool you just enter that data into Voyager. The module will then maintain the information and allow you to use it for analysis and reporting. You can capture data such as property name, number of units, percent occupied, rents, unit types, amenities, etc.The market survey reports list the data and includes graphs. The standard reports include market survey and rent comparables, effective rent trends, and comparable ratings. Imagine how impressed your boss will be when you present a report with graphs showing the valuable data you have gathered!Flexible Pricing ModelsVoyager allows the user to create pricing models. Instead of using......
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Will MS Dynamics Penetrate the Multifamily Market?

A few years ago, Microsoft purchased the Great Plains accounting software company and rebranded it as Microsoft Dynamics - GP. This product is not about to take on the property management software leaders like Yardi and Intuit RES (MRI), however, it does offer a solution for a much needed niche: corporate accounting, consolidations, and non-real estate related business accounting.There are excellent property management software products that manage resident traffic, rent, maintenance, etc. Where they often fall short is in handling the corporate office accounting. In the past JD Edwards has been the leader in solving this problem. However, MS Dynamics-GP is starting to gain momentum in this area. Several large multifamily companies use MS Dynamics - GP. A few months ago I helped CAS (Riverstone's parent) select MS Dynamics-GP as their corporate accounting platform. I have since assisted Aztec Systems, a Microsoft Partner, better understand the Multifamily requirements. Microsoft has placed GP in their Office division and that has enabled some powerful integration with MS Office. For example, a report can be run in GP and placed in an Outlook folder. Users can open the report and drill down to data from their Outlook and never log into GP. Therefore, they don't need to purchase a license for GP. Microsoft has taken a best of breed approach and rather than developing their own software modules they promote tight integration. This can be very good for users. For example, job cost, project accounting, project management, and project controls can be crucial to......
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Software Selections

A couple of discussions on this board inspired me to write about selecting software products. Not all purchases need go through a detailed process, but if you are considering a major investment such as a new property management or accounting software, a carefully planned selection project would behoove you and your firm.As with any project, the first step is to plan. The basic steps I use in a software selection project are: 1. Initiating & Planning 2. Define List of Requirements 3. Develop Business Scenarios 4. Vendor List 5. Request for Proposal 6. Vendor Short List 7. Develop Decision Criteria 8. Vendor Demonstrations 9. Product Analysis (a.k.a. scorecard) and Reference Checks 10. Negotiations 11. Plan implementationIn my experience, the key to a successful selection project is a carefully defined list of requirements and detailed business scenarios. Gathering the requirements can be daunting but it is a critical step. Involve users at your company. This will get your better requirements and help you to garner buy-in from the users. The requirements should be detailed and sorted into logical groups (e.g. Accounts Payable). List the requirements and identify them by level of importance, such as critical, important, and nice to have.Well drafted business scenarios are instrumental because they allow you to see the differences between products and show you how the software is going to execute and improve your business processes. I usually write a story board of a process like the purchasing process. I'll explain how the company does it, what they......
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