How Do I Handle a Refundable Security Deposit in QuickBooks?

Posted on January 30, 2013 by

It is the goal of this column to answer questions about QuickBooks and how it is used in the real estate investor arena. Know how to record transactions in the proper way and have your set of books in good shape when it comes time for taxes. It is our intention to do this by you the members submitting questions to Karen@smallbusinessadvisor.biz, and getting answers here in this column.

Q: I am having difficulty reconciling my bank account.  I have reviewed each entry and have found that several of my deposits do not match the amount the bank has for them. How do I see all my detail on each deposit without clicking on each one to open it?

A: Go to Reports – Banking – and look for a report called “Deposit Detail”. It will give you line-by-line detail of your deposits in one report and you can compare that to what you have in the bank.  If you make copies of the checks for each deposit and put it with your deposit ticket on each one, that will give you a paper back up of what you actually gave the bank. This way if the bank made the error then you have details of what you produced to the bank.

Q: Why do I need to create sub accounts in my chart of accounts?

A: The Chart of Accounts is the main driver of the program.  If you have you accounts set up properly your reports – Income Statement and  Balance Sheet – will be reflected properly.  You may want sub accounts for some of your expenses in particular to be able to see where certain money is being spent. For instance – if you make sub accounts for Auto Expenses – Fuel, Repairs & Maint, Tags, Tolls & Parking, Insurance, etc. – you then can see that the total amount spent in that areas was not just Fuel, which is expensive but you had a major repair done and therefore your comparison to last year for the same time makes more sense.

Q: I received a “Refundable Security Deposit” from my tenant. How do I enter this into QuickBooks?

A: This is a Liability account that you will need to payout at some later date. In your chart of accounts you should have a Liability account set up for Security Deposits Escrow – or some name that sets it apart from security deposits you paid that are owed back to you (which is an Asset). In the deposit window, instead of showing this as income you should go to this special Liability account and book it to that account.  When it is time to pay the tenant the money back, less any damages if need be, you will write the check out and expense it also to this Liability account to clear the money from the account.

Karen BershadKaren Bershad is The Small Business Advisor. Most small business owners have a challenge handling all the different areas of running a business. The accounting can be a challenge, particularly if the software seems overwhelming. The Small Business Advisor is what you may need to get you to the next level of your business. We work at your office or provide off site assistance in getting things under control by providing a wide variety of services that are specifically for the small business.

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