7 Questions Association Management Companies Need To Ask Before Choosing Association Accounting Software
With the right association accounting software, your association management company can thrive. Association accounting software is specifically designed for the needs of homeowner association (HOA) and condominium association (COA) managers. This means you’ll receive powerful tools to help you manage your clients’ finances.
Unlike general accounting software, HOA/COA accounting software has features that are custom-made to help you and your association clients. Association accounting software will enable you to streamline your association management company and deliver amazing service to your clients. It’s one of the best investments your HOA/COA management company can make.
But how do you choose the best association accounting software? With so many options to choose from, how do you know which software is right for your company? Here are seven questions you should ask before choosing association management accounting software. These questions will help you clarify and understand your company’s needs, and ensure you make the best choice.
1. What Is the Average Size of Your Clients’ HOA/COAs?
First, assess your client base. How many clients do you have, and how big are their HOA/COAs? Are you collecting association membership fees for ten residents, or ten thousand? If you’re only managing a small COA with a handful of units, your accounting needs will be very different from a company that manages an HOA with dozens of properties.
Once you understand the scope of your association management company, you can research different HOA/COA accounting software programs based on their data capacity. Some software programs will be able to handle larger quantities of data more easily. Other programs are customizable, meaning they can be put to use for associations of any size. By asking yourself how many accounts your management company is handling, you’ll be able to make a more informed choice.
2. What Are the Local Laws About HOA/COAs in Your State?
Next, it’s important to understand the varying HOA state laws. Because associations aren’t federally regulated, every state has different legal requirements for these organizations. Sometimes there are also local county or city laws that cover HOA/COAs. HOA/COA laws can cover everything from issuing noise ordinances to permits. But when it comes to choosing association accounting software, you’ll want to understand all the financing and tax laws that apply to your clients.
For example, some states require HOA/COAs to disclose their fee structure, income, and budgets on a certain annual timetable, using a specific standard format. If your clients are bound by any such legislations, you’ll need to make sure that your HOA/COA accounting software can accommodate these legal needs.
3. What Are Your Business Goals as an Association Management Company?
When you’re choosing association accounting software, it’s important to ask questions about your clients. However, you also need to consider the needs of your own HOA/COA management company. What are your business goals? Do you hope to double or triple your client base within a certain timeframe? Do you plan to hire more employees?
Whatever your short-term and long-term goals as an association management business, you’ll need to choose accounting software that can grow alongside you. With an association accounting software like CINC Systems, you gain a platform that’s fully customizable to meet all your needs. To see how CINC Systems can help your business adapt and reach its goals, you can request a free demo or call (855) 943-8246.
4. What Is Your Software Budget?
Another question to ask yourself as you choose an association accounting software concerns your company’s budget. How much can you afford to spend? Association accounting software is available at many different price-points, from low to high. Some HOA/COA accounting programs are a one-time purchase, while others use a subscription model where you’re paying a smaller amount each month.
We recommend setting a range for your HOA/COA accounting software budget. Figure out the maximum amount you’re willing to spend and look for software that falls within a few dollars of that amount. If you find an association management accounting program that’s perfect, but happens to be $20 more than you’d planned on spending, find a way to make up the difference. Good HOA/COA accounting software is worth the investment.
5. Is the Association Accounting Software Cloud-Based?
Once you know your client’s needs and the needs of your own company, it’s time to ask specific questions about the association accounting software you’re considering. First, is it cloud-based? Cloud-based software means that your HOA/COA data is stored remotely across multiple servers in different physical locations. Cloud-based software is more secure than traditional software because it uses powerful encryption technology. You’re also protected against hardware malfunctions. If something happens to your computer, your data is still safe in the cloud.
Additionally, cloud-based software gives you remote access so you can manage your clients’ association finances from any location. As long as you have a laptop or any other device with internet access, you can log into your HOA/COA accounting software and do your work. This can increase your efficiency by allowing you to work on the finances for one client while being on-site for another.
6. Can the Association Accounting Software Create Web Portals?
You should also make sure that any HOA/COA accounting software can create web portals. Web portals are an extremely valuable feature, enabling you to save time and streamline your management business.
With an HOA/COA web portal, residents can submit association fees online. You can also create web portals to process vendor invoices and work orders. By automating these tasks, you’ll be able to free up your energy to focus on other projects for your clients.
7. Does the Association Management Software Generate Automatic Reports?
Finally, determine if the association accounting software in question can generate automatic financial reports. This useful feature allows you to share financials with your clients’ board members with the click of a button. It also makes it easier to help your clients with their taxes and annual audits.
If you are looking for an association accounting software that checks all the right boxes, CINC Systems might be the answer you are looking for. CINC Systems has been trusted and loved by clients who have successfully transitioned to this new age HOA/COA accounting software.
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