Complete Guide to Rental Accounting in TOPS

    Posted by Andrea Drennen, CMCA on August 26, 2015


    There are Basic and Advanced functions in TOPS to do Rentals.
    If you utilize the Rental Accounting as it was intended, you will find it is a good choice to handle rental units.
    There are 5 main functions that are Basic in TOPS:

    1. Assigning a Renter to a Home
    2. Your lease option: there are reports that will pull this very handy info
    3. Renters can be assigned Letters, Notes, Flags, Attachments, Flex data
    4. IMAIL feature for renters
    5. Reports

    The 4 Advanced features that are used in conjunction with the Basic features:

    1. More Rental Reports
    2. Apply charges and Cash receipts to renters
    3. Security deposits- you can post and refund
    4. Bills & Statements for the Renters.

    I prefer to use the advanced features, it gives you more options from the start, instead of having to go back and activate the rental accounting later.

    Activate Rental Accounting

    To turn on Rental Accounting you have to go to: Set Up > Owner Data A/R Set Up

    Now you will see the check box to Activate Rental Accounting (1), Click on the box and it will fill in a check mark. If you look under the Default Accelerated you will see another default account Security Deposit Acct (2) - You must fill this in with a correct GL Account number that is associated with your Security Deposits. This should be a Liability account. 


    TOPS will now track your rental units.

    Flag Rental Units

    The next step is to mark your rental units as such, so they will pull on your reports.

    Owners / Maintain - there is a new box on your maintain screen - check the box if this is a rental unit.

    Click on ADD (1)/ ADD again (2)

    The first thing you should do is Click on the Classification - a list of options will appear - you can enter in your renter’s information. If the home does not have a current renter, you do not ADD.

    After you have entered in the Renter’s information go back to the Owner Maintain screen - use the Select button (1) and click on Renter (2). 

    Fill in the Lease Start Date and Lease End Date. This will allow you to utilize the Rental Reports in the Owner Reports Menu, which are the Lease Expiration and Property Vacancy reports.

    You can have numerous Renters for a property as time goes by - RENTER 01 - means the current renter.

    Security Deposits 

    There are 2 ways to add a security deposit

      1. Pull up renter in A/R Owner Balances - Select ADD/WAIVE and enter date - In the A/R Adjust Balance Screen - Click on the Security Deposit option

        Enter in the Amount of Deposit received - offset should be your bank to make the deposit.
      2. A/R Cash receipts - Pull up Renter Account and re-distribute the funds to Code LS. Post as usual.

        Both of these ways will show in the Owners history correctly


    To Refund the Deposit

    You will Pull up renter in A/R Owner Balances - Select ADD/WAIVE and enter date - In the A/R Adjust Balance Screen - Click on the Security Deposit option - Enter in the Amount of Refund with a (-) - offset should be your bank to make the Check to the Renter.

    Make the Renter a Vendor and offset account will be the bank- process through and print check - now you have refunded the renter, cleared the renters history of the deposit and it has posted through correctly to the homeowners account.

    Rental Reports

    In owner reports you can find several report options for managing rentals:

    Additionally, every Owner report  can include renter data as well.

    Charging Renters

    Unless the rental unit is owned by the association, the landlord should be responsible for charging renters. However, if it is an association owned unit, or If you are going to charge renters a fee, you must set up a separate charge code, it may be a C-1 or a "C" charge code of your choosing - renters cannot be assigned an A-1 code; only owners can use an A-1.

    You need to set up a receivable account and an income account to track the funds. (For Cash accounting, only an income account is required).

    Charging your renters is done the exact same way as charging the owners - Go to Apply Charges- Here are the new changes - you will select Apply to Renters - then in the window select the charges that apply to only renters - Accrue and post as usual. This applies to Late Fees and Interest - SELECT RENTERS option.


    When taking in a cash receipt for a renter - make sure you select the renter.

    In LOCKBOX - when you post and deposit - (You will only see this if you POST&DEPOSIT - not the first option - Unposted Cash Receipts.) There will be a box that appears for you to enter the Deposit Date - it gives you the option to check Apply to Owners First (For Rental Communities) this means that the Communities are activated as Rental Accounting.



    Image Credit: RikkisRefuge Other via flickr

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