Real Estate Accountant Job Description Examples

A real estate accountant comes up with financial strategies and prepares reports for property owners and real estate developers. They are involved in various property related activities such as budget and tax reporting, investment and planning.

To become an accounting professional, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. In addition, some states may require that you possess a license and a Certified Public Accountant designation in order to practice your profession.

If you have a knack for crunching numbers and love solving problems, then you might enjoy being a real estate accountant. If this is the path you want to pursue, here’s what you need to know:

Education & Training

A bachelor’s degree in accounting is a good step into getting a job as a real estate accountant. However, a degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting will do as well. If you want to further your career, successfully completing a master’s degree program is one way to go.

Most of the states in the US require a license from a State Board of Accountancy for those who want to become accountants. Although licensing regulations differ across states, a majority just needs someone to possess a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation which is achieved by passing the Uniform CPA Examination.

Majority of states require interested parties to have completed 150 course credits in order to take the Uniform CPA Examination. The 150 course credit requirement is more than the 120 credits required in a bachelor’s degree.

In addition, you need to gain 1-2 years of work experience working for a licensed CPA before you can get your own license. Once you get your license, you have to take continuing education courses so you can maintain your license.

Although experience in the real estate industry isn’t a strict requirement, some employers do prefer to hire applicants with real estate experience. Also, one important skill that applicants need to have is the use of different kinds of software to perform accounting such as word processing, spreadsheet and accounting programs.

Duties & Responsibilities

As a real estate accountant, your primary duty is to help clients or employers in preparing financial records and various reports for real estate transactions. These records and reports include leases, property sales, rentals and time sharing.

As an accountant, you will also deal with development expenses, operational costs and profits. Other reports such as revenue and expenditure cycle reports, lease abstracts, cash basis income statements and other reports related to budget will be part of what you do.

If there are organizations looking to acquire and develop property, they can also ask your help in providing them with investment analysis and planning.

Generally, as an accountant in the real estate industry, you will participate in activities such as appraisal, asset evaluation and capitalization.

Real Estate Accountant Job Descriptions

As a real estate accountant, your primary responsibilities are with accounting. For example, when working for a commercial real estate company, you will be in charge of performing accounting for various properties. Depending on the size of the company, you may work on a large portfolio of commercial properties which include different kinds of products (office, retail, etc) located in various places across the country.

Being a property accountant puts you in charge of activities related to accounting for certain properties. You will be takes with preparing budgets, providing monthly detailed reports and performing expense reconciliation activities. Apart from all these, you will also help out in various aspects of commercial accounting management which include activities such as acquisition, financing and disposition.

As an accountant for a commercial real estate firm, part of your duties involve answering the questions of property managers regarding statements of tenants. You will also be tasked with reviewing and approving tenant credit memos, non-recurring tenant billings and cash receipts. Part of the job also involves preparing security deposit refund invoices and making sure the Accounts Payable department has a copy. Also, when tenants dispute charges on their accounts, the job of an accountant is to prepare a tenant account analysis.

Accountants also work closely with real estate managers when it comes to developing and handling budgets. They also participate in the preparation of or contribute to various documents such as annual reports, cost estimates and lease and rental agreements.

The Importance of Real Estate Accountants

A real estate accountant can provide advice for real estate owners, developers and investors. Their goal is to help clients achieve both their financial and operational goals. They can deal with different kinds of real estate properties such as commercial rental property, residential property and owner-occupied property. Accountants also work with residential and commercial builders and different kinds of real estate companies (appraisers, real estate management, title insurance agencies, etc).

Here are reasons that make accountants a crucial part of any real estate transaction process:

They help real estate investors structure their operations and investments in a way that is tax efficient.
Accountants take part in activities such as budget, investment, planning and tax reporting to make sure that the investors they serve all make the right decisions. For every real estate transaction, accountants need to prepare financial reports and records.

They help with finding the right people to work with.
Be it insurance agents, real estate agents attorneys or other professionals, an accountant can help you find one that can cater to your needs. With their knowledge of business structures, legal protection levels and financial perspectives, they can provide the advice you need to find the right people you can do business with.

They help make sure investments are protected from sudden shocks in the market.
Part of an accountant’s job is to perform appraisal, capitalization and asset evaluation. Through these activities, accountants can help investors make the right decisions.

Salary Range

In 2013, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed that accountants and auditors earn an average of $72,500 per year. The BLS also predicts a 13% job growth for accountants and auditors between 2012 and 2022.