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April 3, 2023

Whynot, North Carolina — New insight from the Wharton Business School’s “Hazards of Accounting” study finds property managers who step away from bookkeeping duties face a worsening time management crisis: excess time.

As more property managers outsource their accounting to Proper, they find the advantages — saving money, increasing efficiency, decreasing burnout, and protecting their peace of mind — come with the disadvantage of having too much time on their hands.

After months of trying to catch up on back books and being all but overwhelmed by the sheer volume of paperwork, Bob LaBlah, manager of Wits End Apartments, made the critical decision to outsource his company’s accounting to Proper.

“There’s always something to do between temperamental tenants, move-ins, move-outs, illegal chicken coops, and balancing the books…but usually, I was balancing the books. Or attempting to.”

The external accountant caught errors and discrepancies Bob hadn’t noticed. Since they did his accounting faster and more accurately, his properties ran more efficiently, so Bob had more than enough time to grow his door count and work with new owners.

The problem, however, was the extra time. Fewer accounting functions led to more hours in the day than Bob needed. “I was initially bored, but eventually, I just caught up on my reading. I finished The Power of Habit, The Power of Now, and The Power of Positive Thinking. Now I’m enjoying The Power of Less.

Bob’s not alone.  

“I had no idea how much time was going to bank reconciliations,” says Amy Stake, manager at Peel Apartments in Uncertain, Texas. “With someone else handling the books, I had more spare time than when I broke both arms base-jumping.”

Because the company she hired was cheaper, more efficient, and more accurate than in-house accounting, Amy found time for “safer” hobbies like heli-skiing and cave diving.

The extra time led to an unexpected discovery for others: their children.

Joe King, a property manager from Okay, Oklahoma, was so busy with back books and management fee calculations that he barely had time to say hello to his children. They were a mystery. But after outsourcing his company’s accounting, he could finally spend quality time with his family.

At first, it was awkward (he learned that his daughter, “Leslie,” is actually named “Liesel”). He didn’t know what to say or do with his kids, so he passed on skills useful to property management, like fixing leaky faucets or verifying service animal documentation. However, the relationship is showing signs of improvement.*

Property management accounting experts offer few solutions for handling a crisis of surplus time. “Take a vacation or learn a new language?” suggests Matt Amatics, one such expert.

The point is moot for property managers who see, on average, a 30% door growth count with outsourced accounting. According to Bob, “I could spend the rest of my life deciding between The Power to Change by Craig Groeschel or The Power to Change by Campbell MacPherson as long as I never have to see another triple-tie-out.”

*As of publication, Mr. King is almost certain his other daughter is named “Erin” and not “Karen.”

Disclaimer: This is a satirical article; any resemblance to actual events is purely coincidental. The critical truth of this piece: Proper saves hours and up to 50% on property accounting costs. What you do with those hours is up to you. Learn more about our services here.