What’s a ledger review? What’s a no-cost ledger review?

Posted on July 10, 2015

Your ledger can get complicated. Sorting out who has paid what and who still owes what can be a challenge. We are happy to go over your ledger and help determine who owes what, and, Hey!, the first one’s free!

Your “ledger” is a list of all charges and all payments on your account. The ledger is the accounting tool that shows exactly what has happened in your account over time.

Making Separate Payments Complicates the Ledger

Your ledger can get quite complicated, and challenging to interpret, if you and your roommates have decided to make separate payments directly to us. When you do that, you multiply the number of entries that occur in the ledger, so instead of a single charge and payment, you could have 5-6 payments, perhaps a late rent charge, and other items, and then you own money, and wonder: “who owes money?” Well, good question!

Single Lump Payments. Simple.

For example, you owe a $2,500 monthly installment. You pay in a single ACH payment in your portal for $2,500. Balance due=$0. Easy! The next month, repeat. Oh, maybe you have a maintenance charge, you see it, pay in in your lump sum, or as a separate check. Still pretty straightforward.

Separate Payments. Losing track of things. Complicated!

Now, how about this situation: you owe $2,500. You and your buddies each pay $500. So you have 5*$500. No problem. Oops, Buddy #2 had his check bounce. But he made good on it. That cost your account $35 or so, oh, and let’s say he (re)paid it 6 days later, that’s $24, oh and in the interim, you had a minor issue with breaking a toilet, so maybe a $65 charge. The next month, you all just send your 5*$500, and we say, um, dudes (or dudettes), you still owe $124. And you say, huh? Oh, and you don’t pay that, but some of your checks went toward the original $124 (the NSF, the late fees, the maintenance because payments are applied to the oldest charges first) so you really owe $124 in rent from that month and, yep, late fees (“but we weren’t late!” But, yes, you actually were late on the rent because the payments partially went to even older charges. This happens a few months in a row, and maybe Bob doesn’t even pay one month, and Ted another, and now you have a balance of, oh, a lot. Yikes…. and inevitably your response is, “no way, why?” Well… because you lost track…

Your portal can help you stay on top of things. As can the payment and charge notifications that our system automatically sends.

And, checking your ledger before sending in your checks can really help. Do that in the portal too. Oh, why not just make your payments there. See a zero balance. Done. Awesome!

Of course paying with a single check is a lot simpler.

Keeping it Straight is Your Responsibility. But We Will Help, and the First One’s Free.

We’ve had more practice with complicated ledgers, and we are happy to help you out.

We can help sort through your ledger, even sit down with you to go over it together. And the first one’s free!

However, it is important to realize that although we offer this service, it takes time, and it’s really your responsibility as co- and severally liable tenants to pay the full amount and to keep track yourselves of who owes what.

If it becomes a habit, say each month we end up going over your balance and who owes what because you aren’t keeping track, then we will charge an accounting review fee per our standard policies and procedures. We may require you to pay the entire amount due with one check, and work it out among yourselves.

Tips for Sorting through Separate Payments

Have a balance due but not sure why or who? Want to do it yourself?

  • Make a Spreadsheet (Google Sheets, Excel, whatever)
  • In the columns, use
    • Installments,
    • Other Charges,
    • Person 1,
    • Person 2,
    • Person 3… until you run out of roommates.
    • You can add a column beside both charges columns for Notes if you like.

Then enter all the charges and payments from your ledger onto the spreadsheet. Do a Sum on the columns. This sum will show the total of all charges and of payments, with the payments broken out by person.

You can tell how much each person SHOULD have paid by taking the two total charges columns and adding them together and then dividing by how many of you there are (assuming you decided to split costs evenly).

You can tell how far off each person is by taking this SHOULD HAVE PAID amount and subtracting the actual column amount for that person. Heck, some of you may even be owed money among yourselves.

Your Tenant Account is a good place to find your payment history, including, in most cases WHO paid, and with what form of payment.