QuickBooks is a giant among bookkeeping solutions and HOAs often buy a subscription because of its universality. However, many HOAs find that using this software as their system of financial record isn’t sufficient for the routine business required of HOA management.
An HOA must not only bill its homeowners for dues, but manage communications, violations, and vendors. Quickbooks was designed for a more simplistic payer-payee transactional relationship. For HOAs, it quickly becomes complicated managing all of their tasks in a system designed for a more basic transactional business in mind.
Homeowners association software offers a holistic solution to the needs of HOAs where QuickBooks cannot. It’s easier than you think to begin the transition.
Why Making the Switch is Worth It
It can seem like a huge hassle to upend the status quo and implement a new system of operations for your HOA. However, if you are using QuickBooks, you may notice some pain points that are easily remedied with HOA software.
Ultimately, running an HOA requires more nuance than QuickBooks allows for. Trying to make it work for your organization will require more time and effort than using homeowners association software.
QuickBooks isn’t designed with an HOA treasurer in mind – it’s really for just the payer and the payee. Homeowners are in the system as “customers” and their homes are listed as “jobs,” which is not intuitive and can make the community organization feel more businesslike than it should.
Invoices must be submitted individually by homeowners, which can be incredibly time-consuming for monthly dues, late fees, and fines.
Since QuickBooks only handles the financial aspects of your HOA, you will most likely need to arrange some conjunction of other systems to fill in the gaps. This can get messy and confusing the more systems are brought in.
This is where homeowners association software like PayHOA comes in.
PayHOA is so much more than accounting software; it is a holistic solution for HOA management.
Homeowners association software is chock full of features that HOAs deal with on a daily basis: violations, maintenance requests, and communication logs. Useful extras like a website, homeowners portal, and event calendar help elevate your community and make it easier to deal with for all involved.
In spite of the numerous benefits, it can still be intimidating to transition from QuickBooks to homeowners association software. But not only will switching to HOA software save you time in the future, it is incredibly easy to implement.
Ready to take the plunge? Here are three tips for switching from QuickBooks to Homeowners Association Software:
Import Transaction Information from QuickBooks
Migrate your entire financial transaction history from QuickBooks to your new software so you can analyze all that valuable historical data.
It’s best to start this process during a time of the year when your HOA isn’t busy with things like tax season or end-of-the-year financial reconciliation. You want things to be relatively quiet so you can focus on making the transition.
Prepping your information in QuickBooks by getting all of your payments as categorized and squared away as possible will start your new system off right. Make sure everything is accounted for and organized for your new system. Once you’re satisfied with the data, you can export it into a .csv spreadsheet.
In PayHOA, you can easily import that information into the Transactions tab. PayHOA will automatically convert the date, description, and category. You can edit any transactions that need more detail.
Now that your financial history is uploaded, you can start creating reports to analyze your past and build for the future.
PayHOA comes with report templates specifically designed with the needs of HOAs in mind. This creates financial clarity and allows you to make more informed decisions for your organization. You can also create any reports in the system.
Import Owners and Units
This is one of the beneficial features of using homeowners association software over QuickBooks. You’ll be able to efficiently create and view the histories of your units and owners within it without any confusing workarounds.
You can manually create units and HOA members in the software, but uploading a .csv file will be quicker. This will create owners and units as separate profiles. You can then link them to accurately communicate with the homeowners.
Within your software, you can also create tags and special fields for units to easily locate them. Maybe two-story units require a special charge that one-story units do not. With homeowners association software, you can identify them easily.
Once you’ve done this, homeowners can start scheduling their payments on autopay or paying with a credit card. They can access their online portal to see their status of payments and any messages they have. And you can start issuing violations and keeping track of maintenance requests by unit.
Importing any data that you can will give you a head start on centralizing and streamlining your HOA’s processes.
Export for Your Accountant
There are many reasons that, even though you have an HOA treasurer, you will still want to hire an accountant unaffiliated with your organization. Most importantly, a licensed CPA should perform your HOA’s audit.
Because of QuickBooks’ ubiquity, your accountant will most likely use the software for their own purposes. For this reason, homeowners association software allows you to export transactions, budgets, and reports into files that your accountant will be able to easily import into QuickBooks or any other accounting platform for analysis.
With your exported data and numerous financial reports, your accountant will be able to seamlessly perform reviews and audits for your organization with the tools they need.
Your accountant can also help with the financial compliance required by your state. Saving your HOA’s covenants and bylaws within your homeowners association software provides a centralized location for your most important documents. They can easily be referenced by your accountant or lawyer to ensure you’re following the law.
Each HOA deeply affects the atmosphere of its neighborhood. Good management starts with good tools. Since it’s more than a business, it requires more than QuickBooks.