The Aspect Property Manager is designed for use by anyone involved in rental property management, especially those required to operate a trust account.
It has a great deal of flexibility to cover those many odd situations that arise and you can use it merely as an electronic version of your manual paper system if you wish, but what a waste. It is intended to make your life easy, not hard, while giving you flexibility to adjust values, dates etc. where the situation requires. If what you are doing seems difficult you are possibly not doing it right.
To gain the greatest benefit from the system, use it the way it is meant to be used, which, in a nutshell is :-
Enter details of money received.
Enter details of supplier invoices before the invoice is paid.
Then the system will tell you how much to pay your landlords, suppliers, bond centre, yourself and the tax man.
Please read the previous paragraph again. Although it is simplistic, it is how the system is meant to be used.
Realise right at the start, the system does not replace your brains. In fact, it is very thick indeed and will do exactly what you tell it to do.
The system records transactions for the receipt of rent, bond, letting fees, tenant debts, other miscellaneous receipts as well as payments made to landlords, suppliers, tenants, the bond authority and other miscellaneous payments.
A tenant's "Paid To" date is automatically recalculated when rent is paid. Letting fee, bond receipts and transfers and debts are tracked. The tenant's situation is known immediately.
Management fees and GST are calculated on transactions and automatically deducted from the landlords' accounts.
Payments due to landlords are calculated and statements printed. Statements may be emailed to landlords.
Supplier invoices may be accumulated, paid in one payment and supplier statements printed. If you make individual manual payments a remittance advice may be printed.
A bank reconciliation system ensures the system accounts and real bank are kept in step.
An audit trail prints all transactions entered in the system while a Cashbook shows receipts and payments only.
There are numerous reports all of which provide screen display as well as hard copy options.
Standard, or form, letters may be entered and "mail-merged" with data from the database.
To use the Aspect Property Manager a number of set up tasks must be completed and these are detailed in the Getting Started topic. The system has some hierarchical requirements which prohibit illogical relationships being established or transactions entered. For rent to be received you must have a landlord with a property which has a tenant. The system will accept a receipt directly into a landlord's account without a tenant being involved, but it can't accept rent from a tenant without there being a landlord - property - tenant relationship established.
During the initial set up steps some system-wide defaults are entered which will be automatically applied to future entries of both the master and transaction records. Their purpose is to ensure that correct and consistent processing occurs for each transaction entered and make sure you collect all the fees you should. In the main these defaults may be overridden to meet special circumstances.
For example if a standard management fee is set up of say 8%, that fee will be deducted from all rents received unless a different fee schedule overrides it. If a special fee is negotiated with one landlord a different fee may be set of 6%. This fee can then be applied to rents received for that specific landlord, or even just one property, instead of the standard 8%.
When a tenant rents a property their details are loaded into the system, including the bond, letting fee and rent requirements. Rent may be collected weekly, fortnightly, monthly or even daily.
Receipts from tenants may be made by cash, cheque or electronic payment. When the receipt is entered it is allocated to rent, debt, bond, letting fee or tenant Held. The system automatically deducts management fees and GST where applicable and credits the appropriate trust control account with the balance being credited to the landlord's account.
When an invoice is received from a supplier for work performed on a property the invoice details are entered and allocated to the particular property or properties involved. The invoice value is deducted immediately from the landlord's account and credited to the supplier. Management fees and GST, where applicable, are also deducted from the landlord's account.
During the invoice entry process you have the opportunity to pass on to the tenant none, some, or all of the invoice amount, plus fees and GST if you wish, by creating a tenant debt and printing a tenant invoice.
The system issues warnings when unusual situations are encountered. Any message should not be ignored. There will be a reason for it appearing.
The Aspect Property Manager is a "period based" system, which means you are not tied to strict calendar month processing. Most users will use the calendar month for financial delineation but those who run 4-4-5 week financial periods or wish to close off on the last Friday of each month may do so.
The Aspect Property Manager has numerous reports. You should be viewing some of these "routine management" reports throughout the period, either on the screen or hard copy, to help you keep a check on things. Other reports are either associated with periodic processing, e.g. statements, or are "static" detail reports such as a landlord property list.
At least once each period you will want to pay your landlords. Perhaps you won't want to - but they will want you to. You may pay an individual landlord, a number of selected landlords, or all landlords in bulk payment run(s) at any time during the period. Payments may be made by direct credit or cheque.
Similarly suppliers may be paid in the same fashion and both landlord and supplier payments may be combined into a single payment run.
Landlord statements may be printed as often as required and reflect the position "now". Each statement shows the income and expense on each property separately and the account is finally summarised. They may also be printed for one or several past periods. An "annual" summary statement can be printed. There is no limit to the number of times payment runs are performed in a period.
The same capabilities apply to paying suppliers except the summary statement is not available. Supplier statements may be printed at any time.
At the end of each period you will need to perform an end of period processing run. Reports should be printed and a back-up made beforehand. Various checks are made by the system as part of this run. Once the criteria have been met the end of period processing closes off the period and opens a new one. Part of this run includes some housekeeping to keep the system tidy internally.
A Balance Forward record is created for each landlord, tenant and supplier containing a summary of the account.
In the tenant's account, a series of Rent Inv records are created showing the date and amount of rent to be paid in the new period. If a Vacate Date has been entered which falls within the new period the final rent amount will be calculated by simple pro-rata of days. Rent changes will be applied automatically.