The question of why Self Storage facilities can’t use regular accounting software to rent out their units is one we’re asked frequently. There are several reasons for this, and to understand the reasoning, it’s important to examine the top seven differences between accounting software and Self Storage management software.
- Recurring Billing – Most accounting packages can bill on a regular basis and that’s where the problem starts. Most, if not all, recognise the income once billed. For most businesses that’s not a problem, but for self storage we need to bill customers for future dates. All Self Storage income is billed in advance, and regular accounting software reporting cannot provide prepayment details. Few, if any accounting packages deal with pro rated charges.
- Unit Details – Self Storage management software, like SiteLink Web Edition, deals with the ‘Inventory’ of Self Storage facilities. This information includes unit types, unit sizes, locations, and other features, and all this information is stored as a part of the database. Regular accounting software doesn’t have the capacity to add extra information needed to manage units.
- Offers and Deals – An important aspect of the Self Storage industry is the focus on creating “deals” for customers. These can include options for rent and packaging along with time-based deals. In regular billing and accounting software, discounts can be delivered, but the complex conditions involved in Self Storage deals cannot be reported on, nor adjusted easily.
- Security Integrations – Self Storage facilities cannot function without third-party integrations such as integration to security systems. The importance of security system integration alone is reason enough to avoid accounting software for Self Storage rentals. With specific Self Storage management software, you retain the ability to lock out non-payers, which helps keep your Self Storage facility more secure, via the gate software.
- Reporting – Products like SiteLink Web Edition have over 50 specific Self Storage Reports and has a custom report writer to deliver any financial information. Reporting in self storage specific software enables you to generate reports in the metrics that matter to you like occupancy and yield – concepts that are uniquely applied in the self storage industry.
- API – Self Storage management software like SiteLink Web Edition offers an API that provides for custom programming capabilities, giving customers the option to develop their own specific process for Self Storage. The APIs also enable the use of self storage specific technology enhancements like online booking platforms and customer apps.
- Self Storage management software is industry specific – From the surface, renting Self Storage spaces would appear to be simple. In reality, it’s not. Businesses, like Self Storage facilities, that deal with multiple customers with multiple spaces, all with different payment dates, need specialist software.
There is a place for accounting software: head office, or your Accountant’s office. Self Storage billing, however, is too complex a task for average accounting software.
The number one reason to use a specialist Self Storage management software package like SiteLink Web Edition is revenue management. In this context, revenue management starts with billing all storers, updating payment details, taking payments, moving storers in and moving them out, following them up when they don’t pay and most importantly, scheduling rate changes based on a complex algorithm, tailored for each storer and unit type. Self Storage billing is so much more than just sending a bill.
Self Storage is a cycle from the enquiry to the move-out and you must manage each step.
Leading Self Storage management software SiteLink Web Edition has over 50 Marketplace partners, all committed to integrating with the software.
From security to websites, from revenue enhancement to Insurance and online rentals, specialist Self Storage management software is the only real choice for serious Self Storage professionals.
Accounting software will do one good job: show the profits you’ve made with Self Storage software!