Inside Self-Storage

DEC 2018

Inside Self-Storage (ISS) is an information source for industry owners, managers, developers and investors covering news, trends, facility operation, finance, real estate, construction, development, marketing, technology, insurance and legality.

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LEARN MORE! Learn more from author Magen Smith in the videos "How to Audit Your Self-Storage Facility Like a Pro: A Case Study" and "Delving Into Your Self-Storage Management Data: The Truth It Tells and How to Use It," both available exclusively at You can also join Magen at the 2019 ISS World Expo in Las Vegas, April 1-4, where she'll present a portion of the freshly revamped Ownership Excellence Workshop. Watch for details at If the unit is marked as being in auction status, again, it should have an overlock next to the tenant lock. If the tenant lock has already been cut, add a seal or wire tag to prove no one entered the unit after it was removed. If the unit is marked as unrentable, there should be a plan to get it back in operation. I've seen managers make units unrentable only to rent them off the books and pocket the payment. Be especially careful with parking spots if your numbers aren't clearly marked. Marking the map as you examine each unit will also verify that all spaces are represented in the software system. Once all units are checked, review your reports to screen for any other possible issues. Using Reports There are several management reports you should use in your audit. The daily payment-summary report, for example, can be used to track money from the property to your bank account. If you start your accounting by entering bank deposits, you likely have sales tax mixed in with your income and are paying more in taxes than necessary. You must use the payment-summary report to enter your revenue into your accounting system, and then check to ensure the money was deposited each day. Having your manager make a separate deposit slip each day will make this job much easier. Next, review the credits-issued report to see who's receiving credits and from which staff member. Late fees seem to quickly get out of hand if your manager waives too many. My company has a policy that we waive one late fee per customer. If someone wants a second fee waived, he must sign up for autopay. Also, review the discounts report and check that each tenant with a student or military discount has a valid ID on file. Watch for units that have been backdated out of the system. When staff works on Jan. 2 and you were closed on Jan. 1, they'll need to backdate some tenants who moved out before the first. However, no one should be backdated in the middle of the month if your staff is doing regular walk-throughs. The exceptions report is a gold mine of information when it comes to audits. I review each deleted charge and payment, unit change or edit, and anything else that 22 ISS I December 2018

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