First, what is Stessa?
Stessa is a free (at the time of this writing) accounting software for rental property owners.
Is it a good choice for rental property accounting software?
Let’s be honest, accounting for rental properties can get messy. I have seen spreadsheets with 20 single-family properties on it with no easy way to break out the administrative costs and other shared costs to allocate among the properties. As a CPA, preparing a tax return with that kind of spreadsheet leads to unnecessary extra hours (i.e., higher prices for the client). There are a variety of accounting software out there that try to help solve this messy problem. I’ll say it upfront if you’re not familiar with accounting principles and some basic tax principles; it doesn’t matter which software you use – I guarantee your books are wrong. However, some accounting software seems to help more in minimizing the mess. I would say Stessa fits into this category.
Are tax adjustments required?
It depends; most likely, your books will need some tax adjustments like depreciation calculations.
How many properties can you track in Stessa?
Does it import transactions?
It does from banks, but it won’t tie into your property management software if you use a pm company. You’ll have to make adjustments to the books for those transactions.
How tax-ready are the reports?
The output is only as good as the input. I have seen reports from Stessa that are tax-ready and some that aren’t even close. As I said before, unless you have some basic accounting and tax knowledge, it will be next to impossible to have tax-ready reports.