Managing personal rentals

I am switching over from quick books to tiller and would like to manage my renal properties in tiller. So far I have the addresses as groups and the categories are income and expenses or transfers. Anyone have additional thoughts?

Are the rentals solely owned? Do you have the need or desire to run P&L’s by property address? Are all the properties being accounted for in the same bank account? Are all the addresses in one or multiple SMLLC’s? The Tiller Simple Business add-on allows you to run P&L reports and you can do it by account. Based on your answers, running reports by account might be beneficial. If it were me, I would want to see P&L reports by legal entity, at a minimum for tax purposes. In the Feedbot version Tags would be helpful in breaking out activities by address but the way they changed Tags in the Feeds version it will not be that helpful. I do not have rentals but this is what comes to mind based on what I know about Tiller. Good luck.

Thank you Blake for your response. The rentals are owned solely. and I run P&L’s by each addresses. Each one is in the same bank account. I don’t know what SMLLC is. I am also not familiar with Feedbot version or tags. I will look that up.

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:wave:, @Sammys!

There are a couple ways to leverage Tags in Tiller spreadsheets (Feedbot vs Feeds doesn’t matter with Tags cc @blake)

We just today transitioned the Tags Report to being delivered via the Tiller Labs add-on.

Typically, for rental property tracking I recommend that you have a group for each property and then create a unique set of Categories with an identifying pre-fix per property, especially if you want/need to budget for the expenses.

Example
Group:

123 Magnolia St.

Categories:
123-Magnolia Repairs (expense)
123-Magnolia Maintenance (expense)
123-Magnolia Rent (income)

You could also use the Tags in Transactions to add a layer of granularity, but the P&L only reports on the Type (income/expense), Group, and Category level.

You can find the P&L under Add-ons > Tiller > Business > Generate Reports in the Tiller add-on after you run “Start”

You might also find the Category Rollup report useful under Add-ons > Tiller > Other Tools > Category Rollup

You can also add Tags to the Categories sheet if you want all transactions for a specific category to be tagged a certain way and this is especially useful for tax reporting in combo with the Category Rollup report (as that report will allow you to run a detailed transaction report on only Tax relevant categories).

More resources:

@heather, thanks for bringing the Tags sheet over from the old platform to the new platform. Question - How do you run a P&L report by property address (group) when the only option I see is by account? I must be missing something. @Sammys, SMLLC is single member limited liability company. Are you using zero, one, or multiple SMLLC’s? How are you running your Tiller P&L by property? Check out that new Tags tab, I like it. Thanks, Blake

Are you looking to report on categories by month pivoted on the category group, @blake?

Randy

I am not talking about a pivot table.

I assumed your were talking about formula-driven reporting. I was using the word “pivot” to mean grouped by. Are you looking for a report that shows category groups, then totals for each category (filtered by month)?

Randy

I am not looking for anything but was merely asking how to run the P&L report by rental address group. Thanks, Blake

@Sammys - Did the tags information help you come up with a solution? Having each property be its own separate tag might be the best solution.

@Blake - Thanks for helping out. Regarding the P&L report, as you might be guessed, that report is automatically generated via a script. As far as I can tell, it is all hard-coded to use Categories. There doesn’t appear to be a way to run it with Groups instead of Categories.

That’s right, @jono. As built the P&L report does not use groups.
It’s a medium size project to rework it to include groups, so that is a possibility if there is enough interest… :ear:t4:

Randy

Hi @heather, all,

I’ve recently started using Tiller, and have a question about this topic. Essentially I want a report that summarizes all expenses by Category, but also can group or filter by Tags. I see ‘Tags’ actually being the first, top-level sort/filter, and ‘Category’ being underneath that.

Use Case: I have 3 rental properties. I don’t want to setup a new Group and/or Category for each one, because there are around 15 expenses to track for each, thus I would need 45 ‘Categories’ just for rental properties – way too cumbersome. ‘Tags’ is the right solution, because for a given Transaction, I can select a single Category (i.e. Lawn Care), and add a Tag for each property appropriately (i.e. 123 Main St.) However, I don’t see a single report that really gives me the data sliced this way. I’ve looked over the ‘Category Roll-up Report’, ‘Category Tracker’ and the ‘Tags Reports’, and don’t see this capability in a single report. Again, I simply need to show all expenses by Category and group by a Tag (in Excel I think this would be easy with a Pivot table.) Essentially this is a year-end report I need for taxes.

On a related note, are their any plans to be able to somehow associate the Tags in the ‘Transactions’ sheet to the Tags in the ‘Categories’ sheet? I understand these work independently today, which is a shame. The ‘Category Roll-up Report’ is not that useful to me, because, again, I need to pull the Tags from each Transaction for each property into a report. Right now the Category Roll-up Report uses the Categories Tags, but I don’t see a way to use multiple tags (1 per property) without having to create 45+ categories aforementioned. If I had to do this, it basically negates the need for Tags altogether (at least for rental properties.) I hope this makes sense. Maybe there’s a solution out there I’m missing?

Thank you for your help!

Hi Kirk -

If my understanding is correct - I think what you need to use is a Pivot Table just like you would in Excel. This will allow you to see your expense categories by tags or tags by expense categories. It seems like you know pivots in excel already?

I don’t understand your last paragraph regarding tags in transactions sheet vs tags in categories. Could you re-explain maybe with another use case example?

Thanks!

KirkO

What did you wind up doing. I have the identical situation and I’m just starting with Tiller. I want to quickly create a year end report that I can give to my accountant for tax preparation. I completely agree with you that setting up a separate Category for each property would be way too cumbersome.

I’ve been thinking of creating a Group called, “Rentals” and using my normal set of Categories with tags to flag transactions related to a specific rental. But, I’m so new to Tiller that I don’t know what I don’t know!

I am very familiar with spreadsheets including pivot tables so I’m thinking that I can create a custom report based on the Transaction tab with a “Tags” column added even if the Solutions Add-Ons that you mentioned in your post don’t produce the reports I want.

So — would you mind sharing how you finally approached this to get the reports you wanted?

Thank you.

ScottC
Saluda, NC

KirkO:

Like you, I have rental properties and I also have a consulting business with business-related expenses. I’ve wondered how to categorize them for expense tracking and especially for tax preparation. Organizing our expenses into a report for our CPA each year can take me several days because I don’t keep up with it. I “cram” to gather the data from our banks every March and spend many hours categorizing them into specific IRS Schedules for each Property. I’m hoping Tiller will make this a much more simple process.

I agree with your comment about creating a Group for each property and a unique category for each property-expense. This approach would lead to a very long drop-down list of categories.

I’m thinking that property-specific tags assigned to specific transactions combined with one or more pivot tables is the answer. I may not be able to use some of the add-on reports that Heather mentioned in one of her replies but I’m thinking that a pivot table will generate equivalent reports assuming the Tags, Groups, and Categories are consistently applied.

I don’t have enough data in my Transactions tab yet to prove this but I’m wondering what approach you’ve decided upon. Did you choose Tags over custom Groups and Categories and if so, how has it worked out for you?

ScottC
Saluda, NC

Do you have ideas on this? The first thing that comes to mind is to use AutoCat to categorize transactions for you throughout the year BUT you will still need to check in on your accounts’ refresh status and make sure they are properly refreshing. If an account goes more than 30 days without refreshing you’ll likely have gaps in your transaction data.

Hi Scott,

There are different ways to approach it. But yes, unfortunatley, I don’t know of a report in Tiller that uses the category tags and summarizes the expenses by category and by tag - you’d have to use a pivot table. I’m not sure there will ever be a report that does this because in Tiller, you can use more than one tag on a transaction or at the category level.

Option A - If budgeting by each property is important to you, then it makes the most sense to create categories for each property (ex: Utilities - 123 Drive and Utilities - 789 Lane). Like you mentioned this does start to create a long list of categories, but if it’s only 1 or 2 properties it might not be that bad. And you can consolidate a bit of the category type (like in the above example, the category is for utilities in total and not Water Utility - 123 Drive, Electric Utility - 123 Drive, etc.). Then you can use tags at the Transactions Level to further analyze the types of utilities. With this approach, obviously it can be overwhelming looking at a monthly or annual summary so a quick trick would be to color code your categories and organize them in the categories tab and then quickly hide and unhide personal v business groups and view your reports. Then when you’re done, obviously unhide everything again.

The other approach is to have one whole group for Rentals and a category called Utilities - Rentals, for example. Then you can use either Transactions Tags to label each property or even create a new column called Property in your Transactions Sheet and input which property into this column (you can automate rules for any new column header just like you would with tags, category, etc FYI). The reason you might want to consider creating a new Tracking column just for property is if you want to see your data in a pivot table and like to use tags in other ways - this makes your pivot table summary cleaner and easier to look at. But on the other hand, Tiller’s tags reports is handy and obviously only works with the Transactions Column Tags.

The easiest way to automate all of the tracking would be to keep each properties income & expenses on their own separate bank accounts/credit cards so you can create all the rules based on the accounts. Otherwise, if things are always paid together for the property (like electric bill together) then you’ll always have to go back in and manually separate. Tiller recently released a feature to split transactions and save how you split them for future transactions that might be helpful.

Thank you, Kirsti.

That was extremely helpful. You gave me some good ideas that I hadn’t thought of. Because Tiller is based on Sheets or Excel, it reduces the risk of setting it up wrong and pivot tables make it possible to create almost any report.

Im delighted with Tiller software and Customer Support.

Scott
704-661-5393

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