Tracking income and expenses for several rental properties in Quicken for Mac

Hi- Need help with new Quicken Mac after converting from QM07Lion.
What's the best way to track rental income and expenses for several schedule E properties/units without completely screwing up bank and credit card registers by using transfers or moving transactions?

I do not have a separate bank account for each rental property (yes, I know I should.)

There are separate quicken accounts for each rental unit to track cash flow and capital improvements/basis. In old QML07 I'd move categorized transactions from imported credit card transaction files monthly to the proper rental property file. (Much easier to do this in new Quicken Mac with drag and drop!) I manually entered the lesser numbers of checks and electronic transactions in rental accounts for payments as they went to or from bank accounts. In old version I never tracked bank account balances--it was easy to just check accounts periodically online or with phone apps. It is nice having all accounts in one place, though.

Can I harness the good of the new Quicken aggregator and constant balance tracking or do I need to just ignore it and still use old method of transaction moving without having to constantly adjust bank/credit card balances for moved or transferred transactions? Or use tags or subcategories and run reports including the bank and credit card transactions- in which case, why have cash flow accounts for each rental unit?

I can hardly wait trying to set up reports in new version. (Tongue in cheek.)
Downloaded VMware fusion today just in case.
-Nut :)


  • Lynd
    Lynd Member
    Hi Nut, I too NEED Home, Business & Rental Property for MAC. Could not find an alternative that would work with the schedule E If enough people bring it up to Quicken, maybe they will make it available for MAC. We can only hope.
  • Quicken_Tyka
    Quicken_Tyka Alumni ✭✭✭✭
    Hello @nutbrain

    Thank you for taking the time to visit the Community to post your question, although I apologize that you have not received a response.

    When you converted from the 2007 version did you convert your existing file or start over? If using an existing file, what accounts were you using to track the transactions for your rental properties?

    Do the rental property transactions exist in an account already? If so, you may look at assigning Tax Schedule E to the existing category for these transactions.

    I hope this helps, if not, please provide where you are at in this process and more details on what you are needing assistance with.

    Thank you,

    -Quicken Tyka
  • nutbrain
    nutbrain Member ✭✭
    @Quicken_Tyka: Thank, Tyka, but I know how to associate categories with tax schedules/topics. My question is how do I keep an accurate balance in bank and credit card accounts while also tracking rental income and expenses (as well as basis) in the latest version of Quicken for Mac.

    I converted existing file from QuickenMac07Lion.

    Here's my old system: There are several separate Quicken accounts for each rental unit. I did not not have "live" bank accounts previously, would just check online or on app once in a while. I'd manually enter rent income and the few expenses paid with checks. There's an account for my "rental" credit card (that I pay in full each month). I download credit card transactions periodically, categorize them, then move each transaction to the appropriate rental account where it shows up as an expense. I then note the date of that update in the "payee" line of a transaction in the zeroed out credit card register and delete (zero out) credit card payments from bank in the credit card register when they come in.

    I created my own rental categories corresponding to deductible items or income in schedule E, all which end with a space and E. (e.g. "Rent Income E" , "Cleaning and Maintenance E", " Repairs E" etc. In old version this made it easy for me to do rental reports. I'd select all categories ending in a space and E for rows, and then select the various rental property accounts to show in columns. This allowed me to track each unit and also give me overall total for rental properties. At end of year, I'd run the report and enter for each property manually into schedule E. Some categories, such as leasing commissions or legal fees for long term leases or improvements to structure or land need to be tracked separately for amortization, depreciation and basis, so I have " E" categories for those also.
    Turbotax then keeps the amortization and depreciation schedules for future use.

    @Jacobs offered potential solution by just creating tags for each rental account I had in old system and using "real life" bank accounts, credit cards to track. That might work but I'll have to explore.

    Having said all that, I now realize why accountants advise having a separate bank account and credit card for each rental property. I started small with a single rental, and as I expanded, it was cumbersome for me having a lot of separate bank accounts and credit cards when it was relatively easy to categorize and move transactions (and it still is.) It would just be nice to do all this and still have all online and rental property accounts balance. I'll play around with tags in a separate file to see if that works for me moving forward. Maybe I'll find a way to get a "balanced" aggregator picture somehow.
    Thanks and anyone with suggestions, please reach out!
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @nutbrain  While separate bank accounts for each property can definitely help keep things separated and clean, it's not necessary unless your finances are very complex. (And that approach can create its own problems: if you use a contractor to make repairs in three separate properties and they send you a single bill, you either need to write three checks from three accounts, or do transfers between your accounts to keep things properly accounted for.)

    I think you'll find if you have a single checking account, it's best to have the same in Quicken, so you can keep your real-world and Quicken-world in sync. Then, it's just  a matter of properly attributing income and expenses to each rental property. As I mentioned in a previous post, Tags are a good way to do this. You can do a category report for Property A to quickly see the income and expenses for Property A.

    An alternative is to use sub-categories for each property. If you only have a handful of income and expense categories for your rental properties, and not too many properties, this can be viable; the more properties you have or more expense categories you have for your properties, the more unwieldy this becomes. And if you acquire a new property, you'd have to add new sub-categories for each category you use. (Whereas with Tags, you'd just add one new Tag for Property X, and you'd be off and running.)
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    My knowledge on this subject is very limited, but I know this much.  Quicken Windows "Business/Rental" system is built on the concept of tags, and some "manual" accounts.  As in a tag per business/properties or such.

    Sure there are account types and other "forms" and such built on top, but at the heart it is the tags that allow all the "separation" in reports and such.

    On top of that from what I saw there were other accounts used that in the real world don't exist.  In truth I believe this is more of what accountants really do.

    It would be totally impractical for a big organization to have separate "real" accounts at their financial institution for every "client" they had.  But what they do have is one or more accounts in their books.  In the Quicken terminology that would be a "manual"/offline account.  For "accounts receivable" and such.  And there isn't anything stopping a person from doing that in the Deluxe version. As in when you get a case where something is "shared" or such go through a manual account if needed.

    One thing I think is very telling is that in Quicken Windows a person using the Business/Rental features can downgrade to Deluxe.  The account types "change", but are still all there. And of course different reports, and the forms go away.  But then they can upgrade back to the Home & Business & Rental level and loose nothing.

    It is sort reminds me of Quicken Windows Paycheck reminder. It is clear that it is a "form" over a split transaction/reminder. It is interesting to note that "form" has more restrictions on the scheduling and such that the underline spilt 
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website:
  • J_Mike
    J_Mike SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I strongly support the recommendation to use Tags!!! You create a unique Tag for each property and then mark each income and expense item with the appropriate Tag.

    I see no advantage to multiple checking and credit card accounts. A single checking account and a single credit card will suffice. If I had 10 rental properties - I would not want to be carrying 10 check books and 10 credit cards with me on a shopping trip to Home Depot - checkout would be chaos:>).

    Using Tags will permit keeping your checking and credit card accounts intact - no need to shuffle transactions around. You can then reconcile these accounts per normal practice and reduce the chance of errors or omissions,

    You will have to do some experimenting with the Reports to find what suits your needs. A category summary report, subtotaled by Tag gives a god summation of how each property is doing. You will likely end up with multiple saved reports to get the info you need.

    QWin & QMac (Deluxe) Subscription
    Quicken user since 1991

  • nutbrain
    nutbrain Member ✭✭
    Thank you, @Jacobs, @Chris_QPW, @J_Mike for your very helpful comments.
    Yes, tags seem to be the answer for rental properties for new QuickenMac.
    I now have tags set up for all the rentals and can create a rental summary property report using selected categories for rows and tags for columns to get either an overall bog picture of cash flow, or can use single or dual tags for individual property reports.

    I note that new Quicken Mac no longer allows me to sort my categories "ending in E" so I'll have to clean up my custom rental categories a bit going forward and maybe "merge" or hide the old categories I created previously. I think merging categories will alter all my prior year previously recorded categories as well... is that true? If so, maybe just hide for now.

    I'll also add my vote to beef up Quicken for Mac's report content sorting tools with advanced options that allowed sorting by "contains, is, starts with or ends with." That allowed superb end user customization for different purposes (like rental properties.) For instance when searching transactions, and I can't remember the name of the business but know it started with a P...

    Thank you all so much... feel much better moving forward with this input.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    @nutbrain  It sounds like you're on your way to creating a set-up that will work for you. Best wishes moving forward with it.
    nutbrain said:
    I note that new Quicken Mac no longer allows me to sort my categories "ending in E" so I'll have to clean up my custom rental categories a bit going forward and maybe "merge" or hide the old categories I created previously. I think merging categories will alter all my prior year previously recorded categories as well... is that true? If so, maybe just hide for now.
    There is no way to hide Categories in Quicken Mac. There's a request from users to add that functionality, which you can see and vote for here. (It's marked as "Under Consideration," which means the developers have not yet said yea or nay to putting this on the development roadmap.)

    And you are correct that merging categories (or sub-categories) will automatically change all existing transactions using the categories which are changed. Is it easier to keep your old categories unchanged, or to go back and add tags to old transactions? You'll need to figure out which will help you the most going forward versus how much time/work it will take to accomplish.

    One thing you might consider if you want to keep some old categories but not use them going forward is to edit the category names to add a prefix like "z" so they'll drop to the bottom of your category list and generally stay out of sight. (That is, if you have old categories for "Repairs-UnitA" and "Repairs-UnitB", and move decided you want to go forward with a single category of "Repairs" using tags for the different units, you could change the existing categories to "zRepairs-UnitA" and "zRepairs-UnitB" to put them at the bottom of the categories list.)

    nutbrain said:
    I'll also add my vote to beef up Quicken for Mac's report content sorting tools with advanced options that allowed sorting by "contains, is, starts with or ends with." That allowed superb end user customization for different purposes (like rental properties.) For instance when searching transactions, and I can't remember the name of the business but know it started with a P...
    Keep in mind that all Searches in Quicken Mac are "contains" searches. I can't think of any reason they couldn't add an option for "begins with", other than if they thing it will add complexity and confuse some users. There's an Idea thread for this which you can read and vote for here.

    You can do Searches on two or more characters, not a single character.

    To search for a transaction with a business starting with "P," there are two ways to quickly zero in on the one you're looking for. You can click in any register on the column heading for Payee to quickly sort the register in alphabetical order by Payee; then scroll down to the "P" Payees and look for the one you're trying to think of. (If you have even a ballpark sense of when you did business with them, you could set the date filter to Last Year or 1/1/2010-12/31/2017 or whatever would give you a shorter list of transactions to look through. Alternatively, you might want to open the Payees window, scroll to P, and start looking. Both of these approaches are basically the same as searching in Quicken 2007 for "begins with P".

    (Sorry, I've got no such methodology for an "ends with E" search, though. I don't think I ever used that functionality in Quicken 2007, although I see how it was useful to you if you appended a rental unit letter to your transactions.)
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • nutbrain
    nutbrain Member ✭✭
    Thank you again for all your help, Jacobs. I had already added my vote and hope they add the search by "ends with" so that if I'm ever audited for past years, I'll be able to find my old searches easily for past years. Going forward will move to tags and live bank accounts/credit cards rather than continuing a separate account for each rental property. Those will be marked hidden and closed for now.
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