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.
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.