Vacation Rental Software

The Importance of Rental Property Accounting Software

Hospitality is becoming one of the most app-dependent industries around the world, supported by a diverse marketplace of software providers specializing in every facet of vacation rental management operations. Below, learn why it’s important to select software that supports integration and get a list of some of the key apps you will need to be familiar with to start managing short-term rentals.

by Ximplifi

What Do Your Apps Have to Do With Accounting?

As a vacation rental manager, you will rely heavily on technology to list properties, book reservations, and maintain physical amenities. At any touchpoint where you either receive or remit payment, you are capturing financial data that is relevant to you and possibly the government. 

To keep track of all these different sources of financial reporting data, you need a way to bring it all into one place where the funds can then be sorted, reconciled, and redistributed to the proper accounts. 

This is where API integration comes in. APIs, or application programming interfaces, provide the basis for how different apps talk to one another and share information. API integration is important because it allows data to sync automatically between two systems, thus eliminating the need for a person to manually export, record, and track each dataset. 

That said, even sophisticated apps can’t always integrate directly, but that’s where third-party integrations like VRPlatform can help. By providing a digital bridge between the PMS and accounting software, this tool automatically records transactions triggered by a reservation and directs funds to the right accounts.

Vacation rental apps that integrate help create a single connected system, which is a critical first step to being able to automate accounting processes like posting and updating guest invoices, posting batch deposits, management commissions, and more.

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The Different Types of Vacation Rental Management Apps

If you go exploring the app market for vacation rental software, you will come across many different services, but there are a few in particular that you should be familiar with and understand the features included.

Each one of these technologies solves an important and time-consuming piece of the puzzle for vacation rental management. If there is a breakdown in how these apps work together, you will end up with islands of data and holes in your workflows that now have to be done manually.

Property Management System (PMS)

This is the software suite where all your property listings and reservations are centralized. There are more than 250 different property management software apps available, but some of the ones we recommend are Guesty, Hostaway, Hostfully, and Track. 

Each one offers its own mix of customization, functionality, and customer support. 

Accounting Software

This is the “brain” for all your business financial data. Using an Airbnb accounting tool allows you to pull in data that your PMS can’t, so you can track how much profit your business is actually generating once all the payments have been posted. 

QuickBooks Online, Sage Intacct, and Xero are all examples of accounting solutions used by vacation rental managers.

Merchant Processors

These apps manage credit card transactions by processing online payments and delivering the funds to your financial institution. These include services like Stripe, Braintree, and


Channels are your customer touchpoints. They include property listing sites like Airbnb, Vrbo,, and hundreds of others. Your property management system should be able to integrate with your channels and aggregate booking information from all these different sites.

Property Care

Lastly, property care and maintenance apps allow you to manage the physical amenities of each property with cleaning, repair, inspection, and inventory services. Apps like Turno make it easy to ensure each stay is impeccable. 

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Other Apps To Consider For Your Vacation Rental Business

Beyond the operations of managing rental properties, as your business grows, you may have additional costs that need to be factored into your management earnings, such as employee benefits and payroll, mortgage or rent payments, and other company expenses.

Below are some additional areas of your business to consider when you build your vacation rental technology stack.

  • Online document storage: Online document storage software gives you the ability to attach receipts or communications to your transactions, saving you time down the road if you ever need to reopen a case. Two examples are Hubdoc and Receipt Bank.
  • Employee payroll, time-tracking, and benefits: These apps help you care for the heart of your customer experience: your team. Rippling and Gusto are two examples.
  • Expense tracking and reimbursement: How do employees get paid back for reimbursable expenses? Apps like Expensify are designed to make it easy for employees to submit receipts and set up approvals based on your rules.
  • Accounts payable: Paying vendors is never as easy as it seems it should be. Some payments are made online or in-person, and receipts could be a piece of paper or an email. Apps like help businesses capture invoices, consolidate funds owed to outside vendors (accounts payable), and post payments in an organized fashion.
  • Lodge/sales tax: Finally, for vacation rental managers who take on the responsibility of filing taxes associated with their properties, MyLodgeTax by Avalara is a service designed to automate processes from licensing to filing.

All of these functions are essential to any growing business and can be done with or without technology — but we recommend with. Each function also involves transferring funds either into or out of your business, a sign that any apps involved need to integrate with your accounting software. 

Integrating these systems and automating processes through them will not only help you save hours every day by doing fewer manual accounting tasks, but it will also pay dividends in the long run by allowing you to see the bigger picture and proactively find new opportunities for your business.

Choose the Best Vacation Rental Management Apps for You

From property management systems and listing sites to maintenance, accounting, and more, the desktop and mobile app market for vacation rental companies today is much more sophisticated than what it was just a few years ago. 

This can be both a blessing and a curse. With so many niche options to select from at the start, it can be easy to suffer from “analysis paralysis.” You’re ready to go out and find the apps that you need, but what should you be looking for? 

Ultimately, you need to assess what’s most important for your business and work within your budget. You will have different criteria for selecting an accounting software than a payroll system, but as we’ve emphasized here, you should especially look for apps that support integration with other related systems. 

This opens the door for automation that can help you save time, reduce errors, and see updates in real-time as transactions are processed and tasks are completed.