Best Accounting Software For Small Business In Real Estate

"We’re able to work 50% faster on end-of-month processes, making us more efficient all around." Kim Penitenti, Controller Legacy Builders

Legacy Builders, Inc. doesn’t use Yardi Breeze Premier for property management, but they still think it could be the best accounting software for a small business in real estate. That’s exactly why we wanted to talk to their controller, Kim Penitenti. A few years ago, she was looking for the best accounting software to manage finances for various commercial properties. Even though she doesn’t need a system to manage tenants, Breeze Premier has the real estate accounting features she wants at a price that beats out the competition.

In this interview, Kim tells us why Breeze Premier might make the most sense for many small businesses, even if they don’t use the system for property management.

Legacy Builders

Interviewer: Tell us about Legacy Builders and your role there.

Legacy Builders is a unique business. We have ranches, a hangar and a few different commercial companies. We actually don’t use Yardi Breeze Premier for property management purposes, but it’s an excellent accounting platform.

As controller, I was able to use Breeze Premier to customize our chart of accounts to meet our needs. We run financials for all the entities we work with. Legacy Builders can run reporting requirements for them, cut checks, record deposits and general AP accounting. It’s certainly an affordable accounting platform, and it handles everything we need it to.

Before Breeze Premier

Interviewer: What issues were you facing before adopting Breeze Premier?

The software we had before was customized for homebuilding. It didn’t allow us to streamline processes. We were always going through extra steps that, in my opinion, weren’t necessary. It was a very old system, so we decided to make a change.

Best accounting software

Interviewer: What was the main driver in looking at Breeze Premier?

Our CFO at the time used to work with Yardi. She found Breeze Premier and presented it to the owners as a cost-effective system for our smaller, non-homebuilding companies. The owners were quickly convinced this was the right system for our needs.

Implementation & setup

Interviewer: How would you describe the implementation process?

I’m the one who handled implementation. When we went live on Breeze Premier, we imported our balance sheets with a Yardi implementation specialist to help us out. Then we just went forward with Breeze Premier. It’s intuitive enough that even if we’re not sure about something, I can look up and even print out all the help documents and provide them to our users. I really think it’s the best accounting software for our needs.

We’ve been using Breeze Premier for four years. Last year was the best, in my opinion, because Yardi updated the Breeze Premier reporting capabilities to include comparative analysis, allowing us to compare current balance to prior periods. It’s a really useful feature, so I’m glad they added it.

How it’s going

Interviewer: What benefits have you realized since using the software?

Data entry is much easier. We’re able to put in recurring journal entries using a template that we can update for the next month, so we don’t have to retype every line item. That’s a great feature. I also like the cash receipt function that lets us input the cash receipt and print out a receipt with a deposit number.

Breeze Premier makes everything simpler and more efficient for us. We don’t have to go through extra steps or hoops to run financials. It’s straightforward to run a financial report. I can get things reviewed and approved by the four accountants who work under me quickly. We’re always able to meet our deadlines for closing the books every month. I just find Breeze Premier to be very efficient.

Best features

Interviewer: Are there any features that have been unexpectedly important to you?

The dashboard is really easy to navigate and has a modern interface, which was not expected given the software we were coming from.

For us, the insurance notifications have turned out to be a useful feature. We have some companies that need to provide certificates of insurance if they work on our properties. We require insurance, and when that insurance is about to expire, we get a notification. It’s an important feature we’re happy to have.

Bigger improvements in workflow

Interviewer: What are the biggest improvements you’ve seen in your workflow?

I think we’ve saved a lot of time processing data. We stay current, and it’s a lot simpler to do so. It used to take four or five days to close all the books, and now it takes one or two. Just going by that, we’re able to work 50% faster on end-of-month processes, making us more efficient all around.

Security has also been greatly improved. When we first converted, I worked extensively with the IT team to ensure our data would be secure, which is very important to us. We had a physical, on-site server with our previous software, but we’re now able to keep everything stored in the cloud, and Yardi is very good about security.

More time, fewer problems

Interviewer: What have those time savings meant for you?

We can now work our regular Monday through Friday schedule. We don’t have to work weekends, and we can meet our deadlines. Everyone is able to take a vacation when they want. We’ve gained back time to work on improving the efficiencies of our filing and scanning systems. So yes, we’ve been able to refocus on improving a lot of other areas in our personal and professional lives.

Communication with owners

Interviewer: Has the software improved communications with your owners?

I think they are satisfied that we can get things done efficiently and meet deadlines early. Everybody at Legacy Builders likes it. When clients ask questions, we can provide results faster than ever. In our older system, answering questions took a lot longer, but with Breeze Premier, we can get much of what we need in just a few clicks from the dashboard.

Customer support

Interviewer: How would you describe the customer support you’ve received?

It’s been good. The chat feature is awesome, and there’s no cost to that, so I encourage our users to use it anytime they need it. A lot of times we’ll ask for things that can’t be resolved over chat right away, but they always work with us until a solution is reached.

The Help Center is also very helpful, especially when we’re figuring out end-of-year 1099s. I like that they’re proactive in making sure the 1099 updates are ready. If we have questions on how to run them, support is there to help.

Recommending best accounting software

Interviewer: What would you tell someone who’s considering Breeze Premier?

That’s easy: Breeze Premier is efficient. If you’re looking for the best accounting software to manage cash, post cash receipts, pay your bills and run financials, it’s a better option than others out there. It’s intuitive, and the reporting is great. It’s affordable, and it provides exactly what you need. It can accommodate any entity. There’s even a job costing feature. Overall, it’s a great solution for a small business in real estate.