Real Estate Bookkeeping: Review of The KISS Guide to Bookkeeping by John Hyre

John Hyre's “The KISS Guide to Bookkeeping” promises to teach real estate investors (and their bookkeepers or assistants) basic accounting, tax guidelines and how to use Quickbooks for most real estate transactions.

Editors Rating


First Impression
Delivers on Promise?



Specifically for real estate investors


Not available online or as audio or video

Outdated Screenshots

Best if you’re using Quickbooks 

Course Description

John Hyre’s course “The Real Estate Investor's KISS Guide to Bookkeeping” has been around for many years and has been used by hundreds of real estate investors to help them with their bookkeeping.


John’s recommendation (and I would concur) is to study the course yourself, and then use it to train your bookkeeper or assistant how to do the bookkeeping for your real estate business.

When you receive the course, it comes in a white binder with about […] pages and a computer CD. There’s nothing flashy about the course, and it’s a bit outdated, but the content is excellent. John uses step-by-step examples throughout the course to show you exactly how to account for various kinds of real estate bookkeeping transactions like flipping a house or purchasing a rental property.

Here are some of things that stood out for me in the course.


  • Describes in detail how to set up the chart of accounts and provides a file to import them directly into Quickbooks
  • I suggest reading the whole course from cover to cover, then focus on the information that helps you do whatever specific task you need to do next.
  • John provides tons of real-life real estate examples to teach every concept. For example, there are simple transactions like how to enter a rent check but it also includes much more complex transactions like how to account for buying and selling an entire property. [SHOW SCREEN SHOT OF EXAMPLE]
  • John keeps it simple by arguing for and teaching only the cash method of accounting. This is definitely a plus because the Accrual method is beyond my understanding.
  • He provides a detailed discussion of how depreciation works. This is useful because it’s always been a bit of a mystery to me. John shows you exactly how to calculate it yourself.
  • John provides a significant section on exactly how to accelerate the depreciation of a buy and hold property. He’s almost too detailed because he provides a worksheet to separate EVERY component of a house into its own category that can be accelerate much faster than the standard 29 or so years.
  • He shows exactly how to account for more advanced strategies like subject to, seller-financing and mortgage wraps. One of his examples is a house that is fixed and immediately seller with seller-financing (cool!).

Meet the Instructor

John HyreJohn Hyre is a tax attorney, accountant and real estate investor. I’ve known him for a nearly a decade and there are several things I really like about John:

  • He’s extremely knowledgeable about tax law and isn’t afraid of the IRS. He specializes in helping people with audits and litigation as it relates to the IRS (trust me, once you hear or see John in action, you’ll want him on your side). Most recently, his passion is educating people about the benefits and pitfalls of investing with their self-directed IRAs.
  • He specializes in tax law specifically for the real estate investor, AND he’s a real estate investor himself. I don’t know of a single CPA/tax attorney like that!

And finally, his content is to the point, actionable, and laced with classic John Hyre humor (turning a rather dry topic into a rather entertaining read!). In fact, he’s absolutely hysterical. Listen to my outtakes from one of his recent presentations:


Take a Look InsideJohn Hyre Bookkeeping Look Inside


Click here to download a short PDF of an excerpt of the course containing these sections:


  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Part of Chapter 11: “How to determine if you're a real estate dealer”.

Editor’s Review

First Impression  3-stars

Not available online or as audio or video: In this day and age I really want instant access to a course that’s online. And I want it in multiple formats (PDF, video and audio). John’s course is only available as a shipped binder.

When you open the package, the course comes in a simple white binder with a cover that appears to have been printed at home. Because it comes in a binder, sometimes the pages come out of the binding. The course comes with a CD.

Having said that, the quality of the content is superb: well organized, table of contents, page numbers, easy to find stuff.

By his own admission, John doesn’t really care about appearances, but he DOES care about the content – both of which are apparent when you hear him speak or see the course J

Overall, nothing fancy but professional – the first impression is fine for a shipped product.

Content 4-Stars

  • The biggest gripe I have with the course is that it’s outdated. It was created in 2003, and the screen shots are all using that year’s version of Quickbooks.

    I pressed John on this, and upgrading the course is somewhere on his rather long to-do list, but he did say he wanted to get it done sometime in the next 12 months. He did say that the concepts and step-by-step methodology of accounting for the different transactions still hold true in today’s version of Quickbooks (the desktop or online version).

    I “tested” this with a few examples using Quickbooks Online and was able to follow his instructions. But the screen shots of course are no longer accurate, so you’d have to ignore those and follow the text instructions.

    It’s distracting that the screen shots are all outdated, which stinks for me because I’m a visual person.

    But having said that, the quantity of real estate investing scenarios and the step-by-step instructions easily make up for this. A virtual assistant or bookkeeper should easily be able to set up the Chart of Accounts (by importing the file from the course) and accounting for any transaction you might throw their way.

  • Best if you’re using Quickbooks. If you’re not using Quickbooks, I’m sure the concepts and methodology still hold true, but I think it would be more difficult to apply the instructions to another software package.
  • The language used is easy to understand, and I can follow what John is saying.
  • Specifically for real estate investors: This is the only bookkeeping course I know of specifically for real estate investors. The examples John uses are real-world scenarios that range from the simple to the complex.

The course does suffer because the screen shots are outdated. But because the course is so focused on real estate and the examples and instructions are so good, it far outweighs these negatives and should be in every real estate investors every-day reference library.

Delivers on Promise? 5-stars

John promises to teach real estate investors (and their bookkeepers or assistants) basic accounting, tax guidelines and how to use Quickbooks for most real estate transactions.

And in that respect, he delivers: I can use the course as a step-by-step reference guide. If I want to know how to enter a capital expense in Quickbooks, there’s an example for that. If I want to see how to account for an entire house flip transaction, it’s in there two.

Value 4.5-stars

At $299, the price is incredibly well-priced. Consider that a CPA can charge anywhere from $150 to $350 per hour to get your bookkeeping ready for tax time. 

The Bottom-Line

John Hyre’s course “The Real Estate Investor's KISS Guide to Bookkeeping” is a bit simple and outdated but it makes up for it in the completeness of real estate investing transactions covered.

Every real estate investor should be familiar with basic bookkeeping. At $299, the price is incredibly well-priced. Instead of paying John $350 per hour to straighten out your bookkeeping, why not buy this course and give it to your assistant or bookkeeper and save a ton of money?

Want to Purchase the Course?

If you’re ready to purchase John’s “KISS Guide to Bookkeeping”, just click the button below to access the sales page. 

Disclosure: Please note that I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase (at no additional cost to you).  I am recommending this product because I think it may be helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.  Please do not spend any money on this products unless you feel that it will help you achieve your goals.

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