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Service Charge Accounts v Expense Account

Published by Merisha Shrestha
Published Date: April 27, 2023

When it comes to managing finances and keeping track of expenses, there are a variety of accounts that can be used by property management companies to stay organized. Two common types of accounts used in accounting are service charge accounts and expense account.

While they may seem similar, there are distinct differences between the two. Understanding the differences between these two types of accounts is important for property management businesses to accurately track their finances. In this article, we will explore the differences between service charge accounts and expense accounts.

Defining Service Charge Accounts

A service charge account is an account that displays how Service Charge funds collected by a landlord or property management company are allocated. It provides a breakdown of the charges levied on tenants or leaseholders for services such as maintenance, repairs, cleaning, and utilities.

To understand Service Charge Accounts in it's entirety, take a look at our main guide.

Defining Expense Accounts

An expense account is a classification that displays the amount of money the property management company has spent on its regular operational expenses.

These accounts track the direct costs associated with running the business on a daily basis, such as salaries, rent, utilities, supplies, and other necessary expenses.

Comparing Service Charge Accounts and Expense Account

Although service charge accounts and expense accounts may appear to be alike, here are some notable distinctions between them:

  • Purpose
  • Regulations
  • Reporting
  • Accountability
  • The primary purpose of service charge accounts is to manage the funds collected from tenants for services provided by the property management company, such as cleaning, maintenance, repairs, etc.
  • Expense account, on the other hand, are used to track the expenses incurred by the property management company in the course of managing the property, such as salaries, taxes, utilities, insurance, and other operating costs.

Key Benefit of Service Charge Accounts and Expense Account

Service charge accounts provide tenants and leaseholders with transparency and accountability, as they can monitor how their contributions are being utilized and verify the accuracy and fairness of the charges.

Expense accounts enable property management businesses to track their expenses effectively and identify opportunities to reduce costs, leading to increased profitability and efficiency.


In conclusion, while both service charge accounts and expense account are essential for managing property finances, they have different purposes, regulations, reporting requirements, and accountability.

service charge accounts and expense account calculation

Property management companies should be aware of these differences to have a better understanding of their finances and make informed decisions about the future of their business.

Merisha Shrestha
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