Read-Only Users Now Supported in SimpleRent (Property Management Software)

In addition to the different types of user roles (admin, standard, vendor), we just added the ability to have read-only users in SimpleRent - that is, users that can view data and reports but cannot edit or remove it. Here's how it works:

Now, when you add a new user from the Admin --> Users area, you'll see the new checkbox to indicate whether the user is 'read-only' or not:

When this is checked, this means this user will be able to see data (for the screens/modules you've granted them access to if they are a Standard User), but they won't be able to make any changes/edits/deletes - all of the save and delete buttons will be disabled/not clickable, or removed, as applicable.

Read-Only users will see this banner when they are logged in:

This type of permission restriction is useful when you have staff/employees that need access to your SimpleRent account data in a casual, "look but don't touch" capacity, or for users that just need to run a few reports every month, etc.

 

Print receipts right at the time of collecting rental payments

A couple of weeks ago we added in the ability to generate and download a payment receipt right at the time you're collecting the payment on the Collect Payment screen.  This eliminates the need to generate receipts after the fact on the Payment History page, and is faster if just want to collect a single payment and print the receipt now.  This feature was request by a SimpleRent customer; we greatly encourage this type of feedback - here's how to use this new option:

A checkbox has been added to the Collect Payments screen, on the right side pay panel, right above the 'post payment' button:

When this is checked, a link will appear to download the receipt after the payment has been recorded - click this link to download the receipt PDF as soon as you post the payment:

If you are collecting a single payment, a single receipt PDF showing that payment will be generated. If you are collecting multiple, split payments, they will be separate line item on the receipt.  If you are collecting multiple, separate payments, the items will be split across separate receipts/pages, in the same PDF.

 

 

Tenants Statements Now Added to SimpleRent (Rental Property Management Software)

Today we added a new Statement of Charges report to SimpleRent. This report is similar to invoices in the sense that it shows a summary of charges for each tenant, but this statement also includes payment history grouped by each period/month.

To use the Statement of Charges, go to the Rent Roll screen:
 
 
1. Configure the list to show the items you want - i.e. all tenants, or one tenant, all due or late or within last X days, show fully paid vs hide, etc.  and generate the rent roll using the Refresh (arrows) button.
 
2. You can also just select a sub-set of the receivables using the checkboxes on the left side of the list.
 
 
3. Click Statements.  Click the Generate Now button
 
4. The Statement of Charges report appears - it is similar to the invoice, but it also contains all of the payments received for each period/due date:
 
 
5. This report can be emailed just like invoices & receipts using the "Email Report" button.

Improved User Permissions and Roles for SimpleRent Users

A few days ago we added some enhancements to the user permissions in the Admin --> Users areas:

Now, when you open an existing user for editing or add a new user to your account, you'll see three different types of users, and some permission/role enhancements.

There are Admin users:

Standard Users:

Standard users can't access admin features, and you can define which areas/modules they can't access.  By default standard users have access to every non-admin feature and screen, but you can set restrictions which remove these areas for them.  Check a box here to restrict access to that area/module.

And Vendor Users:


Vendor users are intended to give your contractors, repair & maintenance staff, and vendors access to your SimpleRent work orders.

Sync with Quickbooks or Import and Read Bank & Credit Card Statements

We just released an update to SimpleRent that will allow you to import statements from your bank or credit card provider, load those transactions and reconcile them as accounting entries (expense, income records) in the SimpleRent system.  You can also use these features to read transactions from Quickbooks.  In either case, SimpleRent requires that your files are in CSV format, which most online banking websites and credit card vendors can be configured to export their data as.  Quickbooks also supports this format.

The import, load and reconciliation processes are very easy to set up and will save you a lot of data entry time.

Here's how to get started:

1. Under the Accounting menu, choose the "Bank & Credit Card Statements" item

2. The "Statements" screen appears.  This is where you add each statement you want to import and load.  Click "Add New Statement" to add your first one:

3. If this is the first time you've added a statement you won't see anything in the "Statement Type" drop-down list, so you'll need to add a new statement type - this is what defines the file format/template for the statement you're loading.

Click "New Statement Type" - specify the kind of statement you're loading - for example, the name of the bank or credit card.  Don't put statement-specific labels in the statement type field.  In other words, don't use something like "July Statement" here - just use "First Credit Bank of Springfield", for example.

Select whether the statement is a bank statement or a credit card statement - this choice impacts how debits and credits are interpreted.

4. Specify the file containing the statement's transactions - click the Browse button and navigate to where you've previously downloaded the file from your online banking or credit card vendor's website.  Note that the file must in CSV format (comma-separated-value) with a .csv extension.

CSV is a a text file format that can be opened in a text editor (Notepad), or Excel.

(You might have to explore your online banking portal or credit card online statement website to find the appropriate options to export your account statement data as CSV format. It might also simply be called "Excel" format as well.)

Every file is different, and sometimes a vendor might not adhere perfectly to a clean data export standard - there might be garbled data, mismatched columns, or header rows or extraneous data in the file. In most cases it is wise to first open the file in a text editor (i.e. Notepad) first to make sure your file looks good. It should simply contain a row/line of data per transaction, and each transaction field is separated by commas. If you open it in Excel, the file should contain one transaction per row, and each field should be in a separate column. Remove any other lines or blank rows that aren't actual data.

SimpleRent will give you the option when you add a new statement to "Ignore the Header Row" - check this box to ignore the first row of data if it contains useless non-data or header titles.

Finally, give the statement file a name or description (here you can be more specific, like "June-July Bank Statement") and click "Add Statement" - the file will be uploaded to your SimpleRent account.

5. You'll now see that your statement is shown, but that no transactions have been loaded yet.  Click the Load Transactions button to map the fields/columns in your file to the fields that SimpleRent can read:

On this screen you should what field type each column in your file represents - for example, one column is probably the Date of the transaction, while another column is the Amount.  Others are most likely descriptions of the item and additional/memo information.

Each column must be its own type (no duplicates) but you can choose between Date, Amount, Name (description), Memo, and you can ignore a column as well. Some files will contain data that SimpleRent can't import, so you are limited to reading only these types of data. Make sure you specify the date in the correct format for your file (m/d/yyyy, yyyymmdd, etc).

Once you have configured the field types, click "Save Configuration & Load Transactions". Note: once you have defined a statement type, you will not have to do it again for that bank or credit card, unless the format from the vendor changes. You should create a separate statement type for each bank or credit card that you want to import.

6. The Statement Transactions screen loads, showing your imported transaction data:


Reconciling Transactions

Each transaction that can be loaded from your file is displayed on the Statement Transactions page. Your job is to reconcile each of these transactions by selecting what account code to allocate the transaction to. Income and expense account codes are shown appropriately for each transaction type (debit, credit).

Click a row to display the account code drop-down list. Choose the account code the transaction should be filed under, and click the checkmark to save it. If you want to ignore the transaction and not create an accounting entry for it, click the X button.



As you go, each transaction is categorized and accounted for, and this screen saves your progress. You can leave this page and come back to it later, breaking the data entry effort up if you want. The screen keeps track of your reconciliation progress (percentage) as you make changes:

Reconciliation Tips

You should most likely ignore payments on credit cards that show as Credits on the statement. This isn't truly income, and it isn't an expense - it's funds that you have moved from one account (bank) to another (credit card) to make payments on the card. SimpleRent is a simplified ledger system that doesn't track these types of events like a true double-entry accounting system like Quickbooks might.

Similarly, you should ignore amounts transferred out of your bank account that are not expenses (i.e. things like credit card payments or transfers from one bank account to another), unless you can truly call them expenses. Transaction items on credit card statements where you have used the card to purchase something (and are expenses) should be reconciled with the appropriate expense code.

Finalizing the Reconcilation

Once you have categorized ALL transactions (either by specifying account category codes for them, or ignoring them), you're reading to finalize/complete the reconcilation. Once you have completed the categorization of the last transaction, a popup window will appear to prompt you to "Confirm Statement Reconcilation". This screen will also appear if you click the "Finalize Reconcilation" button as well (only enabled once you have categorized all transactions).



Click the Complete button on this popup screen to finalize the process. Accounting entries (expenses and other income) will be created for the Amount, Date, Description, and Account Code you have selected. No accounting entries will be created for transactions that are set to be ignored.

 

You can jump to the details of each accounting entry here by clicking the link for each item. These transactions are also accessible as regular accounting entries in the accounting areas (ledger, expenses, income, and associated reports):


Once this process has completed, congratulations you are done importing your first bank or credit card statement!

Recurring Expenses Now Supported in SimpleRent (Software for managing rental properties)

We just completed another update to SimpleRent - in response to some great feedback, we decided to add the ability to create recurring expenses. So now you can - here's how:

Access Expenses either from the Accounting --> Expenses Only menu or the Income & Expenses menu (these are available to users on paid plans only).

Click "New Expense Entry" - the Add New Expense Entry screen appears:

Click the new "recurring entry" button next to the Date field 

The date is now irrelevant since the item you're creating with recur, based on your settings.  Notice that a new set of fields/controls are shown on the screen:

You can choose to have your expense entry recur Monthly, Weekly, or Daily. Depending on what you choose, different options will be available - you should choose what day or day of the week the item will recur, and when it will start.  For monthly and weekly scenarios, you should choose how many weeks/months the item will repeat.  We've set a limit here to avoid recurrence iterating out of control, so if you need to extend recurrence beyond a years worth (for example), just add a second recurring item for the second year.  For daily recurring entries, you must specify specifically when the recurrence will end.

Once you've set up the recurrence pattern, everything about the entry (amount, accounting code, description, unit, vendor, etc) will be duplicated for each recurring entry and they will be created and saved.

Each recurring item will be shown with the recurrence icon:

Clicking this icon will show all the entries in the same series:

The recurring entries are loosely linked, so there's nothing stopping you from deleting a specific entry in the series, or modifying it slightly as appropriate after they are created. We view the recurring feature more as a way to quickly create a number of very similar expense entries with little effort, and the recurrence shouldn't prevent you from working with those entries any differently than any other expense record.  We believe we've struck the right balance here between feature and flexibility.

Hope this helps in your accounting efforts!

 

 

Full Data Search Now Added to SimpleRent (Rental Property Software)

Happy New Year!  We've just added a new feature to SimpleRent that we hope you will love using.

Until now, you could always search for just about anything you wanted, any field from any screen - as long as you were filtering and searching the units/properties screens for unit data, or searching the work order screens for work order data, for example.

But we thought it might be nice to quickly search across tenants, units, work orders, and vendors in one place.  So, without further ado, we give you Full Data Search!

To use it, just look for the Search icon at the top of any screen:

Click it, and the search textbox appears.

Start typing a unit nickname or address, or a tenant name, email address, or phone number.  You can also search vendor names, vendor email/phone, work order #s, work order descriptions, etc.  As you type, search results will start to appear:

You can click the search result item link (the "John Wick" text in the above example), and you will be taken to that record's details:

Or, click the "pencil" icon next to the search results, and you'll be taken to the record's edit page:

We hope you enjoy using this feature to quickly jump to the data you need; as always if you have any questions or suggestions, please reach out and let us know!

 

Bulk Rent Roll Waivers & Deletes

We noticed on the Rent Roll that it was fairly time consuming to make a lot of changes to the rent roll's receivables, particularly when you're just removing/waiving late fees and other items that you want to write off or forgive.

We just added a simple update to the Rent Roll screen to enable you to waive late fees or remove items from the Rent Roll in bulk, so you can take care of much of this pruning and maintenance in one fell swoop.  Here's how to use it..

On the Rent Roll screen, just use the checkboxes to select more than one item you want to remove:

Then, at the top of the page, notice that the 'Waive/Delete Multiple Items' button has appeared:

Click it, and a confirmation screen appears:

Click 'Waive/Delete Items' and the receivables will be removed (if the item is a regular receivable like Rent, etc) or waived (if the item is a calculated/incidental item like Late Fees usually are).

A record of the change will also be stored in the Rent Roll transaction log:

That's all there is to it!

Lease Templates

We recently updated SimpleRent to add a new feature called Lease Templates.  Not to be confused with our Document Templates (where you can create document templates for leases, forms, and letters), Lease Templates are designed to be used to save you time when you're creating and setting up new lease records in the system.

In other words, it's often time consuming (when you're new to SimpleRent or are adding lots of data) to repeatedly create lease records with multiple charges, fees, and settings, especially when your leases are often the same and share common characteristics. For example, many of our customers only have a couple of different lease configurations - a 'standard lease' that is comprised of rent, security deposit, and late fees, and maybe a 'custom lease' that might have additional fees such as utility fees, garage or parking rental, etc.

Lease Templates allow you to create 'templates' of common charges and settings and label them, creating a 'lease category' or type.  These types (templates) can then be re-used as starting points to quickly create leases & associated charges later.

To use this feature, create your first Lease Template, from the Leases menu/toolbar item:

Click "Lease Templates" and the Lease Templates screen appears:

To add your first Lease Template, click "Add New Lease Template":

The "Add New Lease" template popup screen appears:

Give your lease template a name (eg. "Standard Lease") and an optional description.  Click "Save & Configure Default Charges & Fees" to continue.

In the "Rent & Other Charges" area, click "Add Charge":

Add your first charge or fee to the template (for example, standard rent):

Click Save and repeat to add more standard charges (eg. security deposit, etc) to the template - keep in mind that you only want to add common, standard charges & fees to the lease that always are part of every (or most) leases you actually write.  You don't want to add corner cases, exceptions to the rule, custom one-off charges, or anything that isn't considered typical.  Lease templates should be re-usable, and as such, broad and representative of the majority of the leases you use in practice.  You can of course add any number of lease templates to account for all sorts of different scenarios.

Once you've added one or more Lease Templates, you're ready to use them when creating new Leases.

From the People or Units screens, add a new Lease and notice the "Copy Charges from Lease Template" link:

Clicking this link will let you select the Lease Template you previously created:

Choose the the Lease Template you selected and click "Select & Add Charges".

The charges & fees from the Lease Template are copied to the lease you are creating:

You can accept these default settings from the lease template or click the 'pencil' icon to further edit them if required; the point of this feature is that the lease templates can let you add preconfigured charges & fees to a lease much more quickly than doing each item manually and repeatedly.