So you’re thinking of ditching your property management company for your condo association. A self managed HOA is rife with benefits, not the least of which is substantial savings on operating costs. These savings can be passed on to condo association members and used to improve shared facilities.
Self-management puts the decisions in the hands of the people who will be affected by them. Any actions taken will be in the community’s best interest.
But, this also means volunteers from the community may not have extensive experience in HOA management. The Treasurer may not have enough financial background to feel comfortable in their new position. Luckily, HOA self management software can support a Condo Association Treasurer every step of the way.
What Does a Treasurer Do?
Your condo association’s bylaws will outline the duties of the Treasurer, but generally, the Treasurer is responsible for handling the association’s finances. All board members are responsible for the financial health of the association, but the Treasurer in particular has additional responsibilities pertaining to the organization’s finances. These could include creating an annual budget, performing audits, generating financial reports, and collecting dues.
So where does a volunteer begin? What tools do they have at their disposal? How can a self-managed HOA make the volunteer experience as simple as possible and manage the condo association better than a management company?
Here are some general best practices to follow as the Treasurer of your self managed condo association.
Transparency is key. A Treasurer should never attempt to hide financial issues or spending from other board members or members of the community. Maintain records and a paper trail so that every decision is documented. HOA self management software hosts everything pertaining to the condo association. A paper trail is created without a second thought to volunteers.
Build a Budget
The Treasurer will create a draft of an annual budget based on the needs of the community. Consult the community directly to figure out the vision for the upcoming year.
To prepare an annual budget:
- Look at the previous year’s budget to get an idea of spending.
- Renegotiate contracts and/or send out Requests for Proposals to vendors for maintenance and other needs.
- Calculate the upcoming year’s dues based on the income needed to complete the tasks for the year.
- Present the draft budget to other board members and community members and ask for their input.
Some things to consider when preparing a budget:
- Insurance: Ensure money is delegated to the required insurance, including worker’s compensation, casualty, and fidelity.
- Reserves: Pay into reserve funds regularly to cover emergency repairs, new projects, and replacements.
Planning Ahead: Maintenance and Scheduling
An annual budget isn’t the only tool for planning ahead when it comes to a condo association’s finances. The Treasurer and Board of Directors can work together to create:
- investment policies
- long-term (three to five years out) operating budget
- reserve studies
Treasurers have a say in how the condo association spends its money. Investments will typically be for large projects that will improve the quality of life and/or property value of the condo. Reserve studies should be commissioned at least every three years. An opportune time to conduct one is before a major investment, repair, or other projects.
Schedule maintenance in advance as often as possible. Ongoing maintenance keeps the condo in pristine condition, avoiding expensive repairs as things are neglected, and maintaining property value. Scheduling seasonal maintenance, like cleaning a swimming pool, in advance will ensure the payment is accounted for in the budget and allows the Treasurer and the Board to spend as much time as possible seeking the best vendor for the job, with the greatest price.
Also, as the year goes on, the Treasurer will keep their eye out for any mishandling of condo association funds.
The Treasurer is responsible for ensuring the association is audited regularly. The requirements for this will change based on the state in which the condo association is located. They are also responsible for filing taxes for the association.
One of the major benefits of a self-managed HOA is the increased engagement of the community. Having community volunteers lead the association rather than a neutral property management company makes sure decision-makers are truly invested in communal well being. This increased engagement doesn’t have to end with the Board of Directors.
Communicating frequently with members keeps everyone involved with what is happening with the association. The Treasurer should be transparent about finances:
- Provide members with summaries of the budget and reserves on a regular basis.
- Communicate major projects well in advance. Inform members about decisions, benefits, and necessary preparation.
Increasing communication strengthens the community and sets your condo association apart from other condo associations.
Dues are the fuel that keeps a condo association operating. Late or unpaid dues can result in a lack of operating funds. The Treasurer must gather payments, maintain accurate records, and solve problems with members before they cause issues for the entire community.
Most condo associations collect dues monthly. The bank statements will need to be reconciled as payment is received. Members who do not pay dues on time will need to receive a late notice and fee if it applies. This is a time-consuming process and doing it manually is prone to errors. Setting up autopay makes dues collection easier for condo owners and board members.
HOA Self Management Software
So how does one volunteer manage all of this? The answer might be more simple than you think.
HOA self management software is a centralized platform for all things HOA. It’s more than just financial software, it’s a record of all requests and communications between volunteers and members. It’s more than just communication software, it features dozens of customizable financial reports at the click of a button. PayHOA’s HOA self management software is the only thing your condo association volunteers need to complete their tasks.
PayHOA’s hoa self management software helps your condo association Treasurer with:
- Record keeping: The software keeps secure financial and accounting records. Closing out the year-end books becomes a breeze.
- Financial reports: HOA self management software has all the financial reports a Treasurer needs, including income vs. expenses.
- Mass communication: send mass emails, text messages, surveys, polls, and physical mail easily on the PayHOA platform. The software even tracks recipients’ receive and open status.
- Digital payments: digital invoices automatically update to include late fees. Homeowners can pay online and set up autopay.
What’s stopping your condo association from becoming a self-managed HOA? PayHOA’s HOA management software helps you manage your community and make it better than ever while saving you loads of money in the meantime.