A Homeowner’s Association (HOA) is an organization of homeowners in a community that creates and enforces rules relating to the properties within that community. More than 74.1 million Americans reside in subdivisions, condominium communities, cooperatives, and planned communities overseen by HOAs. Typically, when a property within an HOA is purchased, the owner automatically becomes a member of the HOA and must pay associated fees. HOAs can regulate the use of property, enforce HOA policies, and have a significant impact on the property owner’s rights.
HOAs share a few essential goals:
- preserving the nature and character of the community
- providing services and amenities to residents
- protecting property values
- meeting owners’ established expectations
HOA leaders – almost always volunteers – perform their work in service of these goals: they inhabit the role of organizer, booster, facilitator, accountant, conflict negotiator, and problem solver.
The Critical Role of HOA Accounting Software
These duties—and the associated financial obligations—make it essential that HOA leaders have efficient and reliable accounting systems to manage their HOAs. While various accounting software options exist, HOA leaders benefit by seeking accounting software explicitly designed to help them perform their duties.
HOA accounting software is designed to facilitate accounting tasks specific to HOA management. Its capabilities include:
- enabling managers to perform accounting functions without accounting expertise
- tracking maintenance histories, communications, and payments in detail
- synching with bank ledgers to eliminate double entry
- generating real-time accounting reports to share with stakeholders
- enabling the creation of custom reports
These functions make HOA accounting software efficient and easy to use. Efficiency is critical for HOA managers, who are typically volunteers, often with other jobs and busy lives. HOA accounting software makes the organization’s financial management as quick and straightforward as possible so that being an HOA manager remains feasible and manageable for volunteers.
HOA Software Features and Functionalities
Financial Tracking and Reporting
HOA leaders are responsible for tracking and reporting their organization’s financial transactions. HOA accounting software stores and organizes an HOA’s financial information in one place so managers can quickly and easily access it. All essential documents, maintenance reports, communications, and payment histories are organized and easily searchable to give managers quick access to critical financial information.
- 24/7 access to an online portal allows HOA leaders to solve problems in real-time.
- Managers can use one login to manage all properties and units.
- Tags, custom fields, and notes enable robust searches to help managers track down detail-level information.
HOA leaders are responsible for creating and managing their organizations’ budgets. HOA accounting software facilitates their success by quickly building a customized budget to forecast income and expenses. HOA software generates charts and reports that make it easy for HOA managers to compare budget data to actual data. This allows managers to monitor the organization’s financial health at all times.
Member Communication Tools
Software designed for HOA management makes communication highly efficient and allows managers to communicate with homeowners through various means. Because HOA software communication tools can be automated, HOA managers save time they would otherwise spend drafting and sending individual communications. Managers can communicate efficiently in the following ways:
- Send on-demand broadcast text messages to all or selected homeowners.
- Send mass emails, including attachments.
- Broadcast custom phone calls on demand or at specified times.
- Access all communications on a dashboard for reference and auditing purposes.
HOA accounting software automates many of an HOA manager’s tasks, thus reducing time spent performing HOA-related tasks. HOA software enables managers to track templates to record HOA violations and enforcement actions; this creates a digital record and allows progress to be monitored. Maintenance requests and actions can be efficiently processed in the same way.
Significantly, HOA accounting software facilitates secure, automatic payment of HOA dues. By enrolling in autopay, homeowners don’t have to worry about making another payment, and HOA leaders don’t have to track down late payments. Owners can pay via ACH or credit card, making HOA financial transactions as quick and easy as possible for all parties.
Traditional Accounting Headaches for HOAs
Traditional accounting methods result in predictable challenges for HOAs. Manually processing payments, violation fees, maintenance requests, and other information increases the risk of errors and inaccuracies. Manual data entry is not only time-consuming; it also opens the door to human error. HOA accounting software eliminates this risk through bank integration, which ensures that HOA financial transactions are automatically captured and accurately recorded.
By using HOA software for financial management, HOAs are maximally transparent. Instead of owners’ financial and other data being stored on an individual computer or a digital location hidden from public view, HOA accounting software allows managers to share critical information with designated owners and other stakeholders securely. HOA software makes it easy for HOA leaders to demonstrate compliance and accountability to other organization members.
HOA leaders endorse HOA software for its ability to streamline their duties. One user comments that an HOA software platform “significantly streamlined our association’s duties, from managing finances to facilitating resident payments online.” Furthermore, this HOA reduced the number of owners with unpaid dues.
Another HOA manager testifies that their HOA software’s invoicing and payment features “made it easy to do our quarterly dues billing. We also like how it syncs with the bank account. This has been great because the HOA president uses bill pay through the bank, and those payments show right up in PayHOA.” The features of the HOA account software make it user-friendly and efficient for all stakeholders.
Is HOA Software Worth the Cost?
The time-saving benefits of automation alone will likely make many HOA managers abandon their old financial management systems for HOA software. For HOA managers who are juggling responsibilities beyond their HOA duties, time is precious. In this respect, the advantages of HOA software are clear.
HOA software also performs a vital risk mitigation function. Because it automates an HOA’s financial transactions, HOA accounting software minimizes errors in financial records and reporting, which in turn minimizes the HOA’s risk of accidental financial losses or mismanagement.
HOA accounting software is available at various price points, and trial periods allow HOAs to evaluate the benefits of switching to HOA software. Traditional accounting methods—particularly paying for outside accounting services—are often more expensive and time-consuming than using the features built into HOA accounting software. HOA software increases efficiency, accuracy, transparency, and accessibility for every organizational stakeholder; the result is long-term savings and value.
PayHOA Streamlines HOA Financial Management
PayHOA is an all-in-one software platform for HOAs for accounting, communications, owner requests, payments, and more. PayHOA is used by more than 5,000 HOAs across the country. Their customer service team provides free, ongoing guidance during an HOA’s transition from traditional accounting practices to software-based management, including training and support for HOA managers and members.
With a 98% customer satisfaction rate, PayHOA understands the specific needs of HOAs. Its highly intuitive software is accessible to various users, and customer service is always an email away.
HOA stakeholders interested in learning more can schedule an exploratory call with PayHOA experts to discuss the advantages of switching to PayHOA accounting software. A 30-day free trial allows HOA leaders to explore PayHOA’s features and its benefits. PayHOA’s specialized HOA software increases transparency and makes accounting and communication tasks highly efficient. The result is a well-run organization that effectively manages the financial well-being of its community.